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T: Wow, I’m honored! Thanks for having me and for your fabulous review of Blood Moon.
F: How long have you known you were a writer? What’s the earliest story you can remember coming up with?
T: Always. The first story I remember composing was about a cow. I dictated while my mom typed it on her electric typewriter. I believe I was four or five. Since then life has always been about stories.
F: Blood Moon is about witches, and each witch identifies with one particular element, Air, Water, Fire, Earth, Mind, or Dreams. Which one do you think you’d be?
T: I believe I would be a Dreamer, which is partially why one of my main characters, Willa, is a witch with the Gift of Dreams. I’ve always had very vivid and slightly (read: seriously) twisted dreams. Many of Willa’s dreams in the book are inspired by my own.
F: The witches in Blood Moon are decidedly fantastical beings, but cosmetically, they have more in common with real life Wiccans than with most major existing fictionalized versions of witches. What made you decide to go this route, and what was the research process like?
T: Basing the magic of the Moonlight Witches on Wicca and Natural Magic was a conscious decision. I had read a little about both techniques out of curiosity and the beliefs and practices fell in line with the kind of magic I always imagined fantastical witches should have.
So I started reading more on both subjects – I particularly like books by Scott Cunningham - and gaining a solid foundation on which to build my own brand of magic. I consult the books regularly for spell and scene ideas.
F: Give us a glimpse behind the scenes of the writing of Blood Moon. Did it almost write itself, or were there dozens of rounds of drastic redrafting? Any cool deleted scenes we missed out on due to pacing or other practical reasons?
T: Oh, how I wish it had practically written itself! Blood Moon started in the fall of 2010 and every one of the several drafts/rewrites was tear-my-hair-out difficult. I set myself up with a difficult plot format of having the narrative switch between past and present involving a large cast of characters. So keeping everything lined up and making sense is always difficult.
Hmm…deleted scenes – there were many. I had to cut a moon ritual in which one of the characters grows moonflower vines out of the ground to surround all the witches. I loved the imagery in it of the small flowers unfurling and catching the moonlight, but it had to go. Such is the life of a writer.
F: The name Simon means “listener.” Fitting for a character who hears people’s thoughts. Was it intentional? How do you usually choose characters’ names? Is it for meaning, sound, or likeliness given the character’s age and place of birth? Do you ever name them after people?
T: Names are really important to me, at least for my main characters and major role players. I look for all of those thing: meaning, sound, how it fits the character picture in my head and time period. Some names strike a chord with me and I know I want to use them, others I have to search out. I haven’t ever used the name of a person I know in real life.
The name Simon definitely fits the character’s gifts. Willa, which means “resolute protection,” also fits her. Willa will do anything to protect her bond with Simon. But I also really liked the sound of Willa the Witch.
F: Without spoiling anything for those who haven’t read Blood Moon, can you give us any hints about what’s to come in the next book?
T: The next book is all about Simon’s struggle to understand and control his crazy-powerful magic. Willa wants to be there for him, but because of something that happens at the end of BLOOD MOON, Simon retreats inward and the tension that follows threatens their strong bond.
Plus, the evil abounds. From expected and unexpected places.
F: During the pursuit of your writing career, what’s the one question you’ve most fantasized about someday being asked by an interviewer, and how would you answer it?
T: Haha! Great question! I’ll be totally honest, at the risk of embarrassing myself. I love the question: Did you ever expect your (insert what the successful person has done here) to be so successful?
I’ve never heard someone answer with what sounds like a truly honest answer. The interviewee usually feigns humility with something like, “Oh, no. I never imagined it would get this big.”
Well, then these people obviously don’t have very good imaginations! I, on the other hand, imagine things for a living. And so, I hope one day one of my books goes mega-big (because that is what I imagine) and I can answer that questions with a “Heck, yes! I dream big.” After all, why set out to do something hard without having high expectations for your success?
Thanks so much, Fiona! Great questions!
F: Thank you, Teri! May your success still manage to exceed your expectations!
About Teri Harman:
You can find Teri on her website, Facebook, and Twitter.
About Blood Moon:
From what Willa recalls, seeing this pitiful hand, and, eventually, the person connected to it, was the catalyst to the discovery of her true self. Willa is a witch, and it turns out her boyfriend, Simon, is a witch, too. Soon after Willa first sees the reaching hand, Simon and her embark on a rescue mission, only to find themselves catapulted into the alluring, but dangerous world of witches and witchcraft. Answers to all of Willa and Simon's questions are now within reach, but they've also stepped into the middle of a deadly war where many will stop at nothing to control the magic of The Six Gifts.
Willa and Simon must now learn to harness their powers to protect their lives and the lives of their newfound friends before the blood moon arrives, or all will be lost.