Thursday, September 26, 2019

Get to Know Writer...JN MOON

JN Moon

NK - You set your vampire series in Bath, England, which is your home base. Bath seems like a nice, quiet, historic city, the kind of place not prone to drawing vampires.  Besides knowing your city well, what other reasons do you have for setting novels there?

JNM – Yes, as a teenager visiting night clubs, in the early hours of the morning the city held the most magic, like a backdrop from Sherlock Holmes. The Georgian houses, cobbled streets and antiquated street lamps fueled my imagination.

In the Royal Victoria Park, massive stone lions guard the entrance. So this was the perfect backdrop to a vampire story, and along with it, a wealth of history predating Roman times, all with its own folklore and legends, which I researched and used in my books, especially for magical scenes.

NK - Lots of people watched the Hammer films but not everybody rooted for the monsters. Why did/do vampires, Frankenstein's monster and his spouse, and all the other supernaturals appeal to you more than the 'heroes', aka 'humans'.

JNM – I asked myself this recently, why do I love vampires, werewolves so much? Aside from their power, strength, immortality and unyielding beauty, and usually wealth, I think the core attraction is strength. If I were a vampire, or dating a vampire, then nobody could hurt me, the apex alpha male! I would be safe forever from harm. I guess as well, they have all this but are outsiders. I’ve never been one to run with the pack. It’s not something I tried to do, I just never fit the box.

NK - You have a 'real' job and you are a writer. Do both parts of your life impinge on one another?

JNM - Yes, it’s frustrating having to do the day job but I work around it. I commute for an hour three times a week, so I write on my phone, (probably about 600K words so far) using Google docs and I write on my lunch breaks.

I don’t get ideas for characters in my day to day life, my characters are too big for that. But that said I do work with really lovely supportive people, and as such have recently started teaching creative writing as a volunteer which my Department Head is fully supporting. (I get special paid leave for this) but the opportunity came by chance, through work helping homeless and vulnerable people.

I absolutely love it! And I get other personal development opportunities to help with confidence/communication and business skills that transition into my business. This goes both ways. Cheesy as it is, I invest my time as much as possible. Time, after all, is all we got.

NK - You've described your novels as containing 'a smattering of the philosophical'. Having read your vampire series, I'd say that's an understatement.  Your main characters, especially Anthony, seem to think about how everything does and doesn't fit together and how it all came to be.  This is reminiscent of Anne Rice's vampires, but with a big difference: most of your undead are working-class or middle class, not the highbrow elite of Rice world, which is refreshing. Can you say how these type of characters fit into your world view?

JNM – With my first book, I thought if the main character was the guy next door, it would be scarier and readers could relate easier. Most of us don’t know Princes or Lords, (and in the UK, in real life they’re usually seen as pompous, to be honest!).

My vampires try to justify their existence and as a writer, I’m looking for the balance between fantasy and reality, so if you were a vampire, chances are at first you’d battle with your humanity. But over time, after losing all your friends and family this humanity would become eroded, leaving you emotionally cold and perhaps searching for some semblance of it. Existence alone would be chilling indeed.

I grew up on Aesop’s fables, so often I’ll add messages in dialogue that I’ve learned, and aim every day to live by, for example not living from hate, and a biggie, even when you’ve done everything wrong, failed, how you live after that! You can use that to turn life around, to make an impact.

So, it was natural that my vampires, to justify themselves, to be righteous and feed only on the evil...well that could change in my current work in progress!!

NK - Besides vampires, tell us about your newest series that includes: Wolf Born; Dragon Born; Shadow Born.

JNM – I have two new series being released this year, both trilogies, both with female protagonists.

Again, my main characters are ordinary women thrown into extraordinary circumstances. The Blood Moon Series starts off loosely based on Red Riding Hood, and features lots of British and Scottish Folklore, most of which readers won’t be familiar with, (I always add additional information in the Author Notes).

Book 2, Dragon Born features Luke Philips, (he’s in most of my books—I forget he’s not real!) He’s a dragon shifter, but this story has Greek, Scottish and British mythology woven together, again with some mythology not often written about. A lot of the story was set under the sea! Fascinating research for this, and my main character, Emma, really is pushed beyond her limits.

Shadow Born is darker, taking historical religious sects and knights from history, along with theology—Grigori angels, or The Watchers, and pushes my main character to her limits. I took ideas from kung fu, where when a person fights and is completely at one with everything, Mushin. A person’s mind is free from anger, hate and the complexities or the nonsense of life. The kung fu theme runs through my books because I used to do it. It also represents living outside constraints pushed on us or, living outside ‘the matrix,’ though we all get pulled in from time to time.

The other series, The Blood Oath trilogy is based in Bristol. I got the idea a few years ago on my commute, passing a small patch of woodland that was set in front of a rough-housing estate...I could almost see the monsters! This main character is a paramedic and does martial arts, also fast-paced, with a side helping of romance.

I should state that though the latter series have romance in them, there’s no time for much and heads roll, and hearts are ripped out. Literally! It’s still dark fiction.

JN Moon contact


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