It’s Halloween weekend so I hope you’re all having a fun (and not too scary) one. I’m thrilled to have the fab A.E.Decker visiting to chat about her new release, The Meddlers of Moonshine, part of her Moonfall Mayhem series. It sounds like some perfect Halloween reading to me, but I’ll let A.E. convince you of that herself 🙂
So, let’s start with you telling us a bit about yourself.
Currently, I live in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. I’ve worked as an ESL tutor and tai chi instructor. I studied both English literature and Colonial American history, with an added interest in the French Revolution and maritime history. So, naturally, with that background, I went on to become a doll-maker. I worked at a Renaissance Faire, and as a vendor at several conventions. One day, I made a bat-winged cat out of alpaca wool to sell, but the moment he was finished, I knew he had a story to tell. The bat-winged cat became Moony, and his story grew into the Moonfall Mayhem series.
I am loving this already! Was there a specific moment where you first knew that you wanted to be a writer?
When I was five, I think! I learned to read very early. Telling myself stories was my way of combatting boredom on long car trips. I first tried writing a book when I was maybe six, but I didn’t have the attention span to finish any.
Do you have a particular writing routine, or any special rituals?
I get my breakfast and take it to my writing space, eat and putter about the internet. Once I finish my coffee, I take my dishes to the sink. That’s my cue that it’s time to start working. Sometimes it takes a little while for the coffee to hit my system fully, but usually my brain settles in pretty quickly.
Lol, yes I must admit I’m fairly useless until the caffeine kicks in. Tell us about the genre you write in, and what drew you to it.
I write in the fantasy genre. I like its freedom. Anything you can imagine, you can write about. You get to set your own rules. Plus, it mixes very well with every other genre out there. Fantasy isn’t snobbish. It’s particularly suited to my method of twisting logic into illogic and back again.
Are there any particular authors or books that have really inspired you?
Terry Pratchett is the author I keep going back to. His wit, insight, humor, and heart are an inspiration. I don’t try to mimic his style, but I do try to light my torch from his, in a manner of speaking.
I do love Pratchett, just the humour he puts into things and his way of looking at the world leave me in awe 🙂 What five things could you never do without?
Cats, chocolate, warm blankets, amusing video games, and Daleks.
To be honest, I think I could probably – at a push – live without Daleks. But the rest, am right with you 🙂 Tell us a bit about your new release.
The Meddlers of Moonshine is the second book in the Moonfall Mayhem series published by World Weaver Press. While the first book, The Falling of the Moon, poked fun at fairy tale tropes, Meddlers takes aim at the ones found in Gothic literature, particularly The Turn of the Screw and Frankenstein. It’s action and humor, mixed up with mystery, spookiness, a touch of steampunk, and a dollop of romance.
Ooh, that sounds like an interesting mix. Where did your inspiration for it come from?
Really, the core of the story derived from reading The Turn of the Screw. I don’t scare easily, but that story really disturbed me. I think it’s not only that the Governess is an unreliable narrator, but that whether the ghosts are real are not, the children in her care end up victims to her ego. I knew Meddlers was going to be my take on Gothic tropes, so Screw served as a touchpoint. I wanted to reexamine the story and give the children a voice and perspective. They became Kay and Lindsay Ashuren in Meddlers.
I actually don’t think I’ve read that, which is odd when I’m a huge fan of Frankenstein and many of the other gothics around that time – shall have to look for it! What did you find most enjoyable about writing it?
I actually enjoy the revision process the most. All the pieces are in place, and it’s more about smoothing out the plot threads and adding in missed opportunities for humor. I really like the atmosphere in Meddlers. It’s more serious than Falling, but it keeps its humor and wit.
What was the hardest part about writing it?
Having to trim out some ideas I really liked. I usually start out with too many ideas and have to do a lot of snipping and trimming of the ends that don’t fit. Curiously, I don’t end up with “deleted scenes,” however. It all sort of melts into the finished piece.
True, it’s always so hard to cut down your babies! Who’s your favourite character in it? (I know, I know, favouritism!)
Ooh, that’s such an unfair question! I feel I have to clap my hands over some characters’ ears so their feelings won’t be hurt. But of the new characters introduced in Meddlers, I’d probably pick Kay Ashuren. He’s someone who was lurking in my head for quite a while until I found a place for him in Meddlers.
Why should we run out and buy it right now? J
Because I guarantee that there are things in my story that you won’t see anywhere else! A half-vampire exorcist, an avocado-loving vagabond, a Big Bad Wolf who reads Dostoyevsky, a Smilodon-shifter with a coffee addiction, and of course a bat-winged kitty with a penchant for mischief. I’d tell you to just imagine what sort of trouble such a crew could get up to in a prim-and-proper steampunk town with an unfortunate ghosts problem—but you don’t have to imagine it! Buy The Meddlers of Moonshine and find out!
Well, I think I’m definitely convinced (think you had me at bat-winged kitty lol)! Check out the book details here:
Something is rotten in the town of Widget, and Rags-n-Bones knows it’s all his fault. Ever since he snitched that avocado from Miss Ascot’s pack, things have been going wrong. Armed with a handful of memories he never realized he had, Rags-n-Bones searches for a way to put right whatever he did to Widget in the past. If only he knew what it was! Unfortunately, the only person who seems to have answers is a half-mad youth that only Rags can see.
Widget is also suffering from a ghost infestation that has the townsfolk almost as spooked of outsiders as they are of actual spooks. While Rags-n-Bones seeks answers in the past, Ascot offers the town leaders her service as an exorcist, only to be handed an ultimatum: banish the ghosts or be banished herself!
Who’s meddling with Widget? To catch the culprit, Ascot and Rags-n-Bones must match wits with a shifty sorcerer, a prissy ex-governess, and a troublingly attractive captain before the town consigns itself to the graveyard of history.
Don’t forget to follow her on social media here:
Have a great Sunday – take care x