Happy Full Moon - An Interview w/Sabrina Luna
Hey Everyone! Today I've reposted an interview that was featured in The Eidolon Edge's Fall/Winter newsletter in October 2007 --Enjoy! :)Tina with The Eidolon Foundation:
I’m speaking with Sabrina Luna, who is not only one of Charlotte’s premier Supernatural Romance authors, but also a member of our own Pagan community, an excellent tarot reader, and a Reiki practitioner. We’ll be seeking insights and wisdom into the world of book publishing and writing, and how her Paganism affected these areas in her life.Sabrina:
Sabrina, how did you first enter the realm of Supernatural Romance writing?Sabrina:
I began writing in 1997, however my full time career began in 2006 –and I’m steadily moving forward. As for Supernatural, well, I prefer to call it Paranormal Romance.
Since the late 1980s, I was a fan of Anne Rice (The Vampire Chronicles), but it wasn’t until 2000 that I became aware of a change in the mass market publishing industry --novels that included magickal elements interfused with urban or modern settings. These types of books are also known as Paranormal or Urban Fantasy.
I’ll confess, I wasn’t a big reader of traditional romance stories. It wasn’t until I read stories that blended my love of paranormal/magickal elements with romance that I really began to enjoy this hybrid genre and wanted to write stories of this kind.
Now, as an author, I write stories with the paranormal/magickal elements –sometimes consciously, sometimes unconsciously –LOL! If asked, I usually define my writing as ‘spicy romance with a touch of magick’. It’s my personal preference, but also something that comes quite ‘natural’ to me because of my metaphysical background.Tina:
Was it difficult to find a publisher? How did you obtain the publisher you currently have?Sabrina:
Difficult? Not really. There has been an explosion of growth in the epublishing industry in the last couple of years on the internet.
Fortunately for me, I had several completed stories already saved in my computer. After reading the guidelines for several epublishing companies, I submitted a manuscript with cover letter to a few and I got responses. Of course I was excited to have offers, but I had to quickly learn the business of the publishing industry.
I’m still no expert, but I’m not as ‘green’ as I was just two years ago either! It’s all a learning process –and I’m still learning every single day.Tina:
What do you think of self-publishing through a company such as iUniverse.com versus being published through a publishing house? Which system do you believe works best? Are there any cons to either system?Sabrina:
Well, first of all I must say, these opinions –my $1.01, for what it’s worth. *wink-wink*
I did my research on self-publishing long before I was ever serious about a writing career. Self-publishing is a tough job. All a self-publishing company does is maybe offer to put your book into format and, if you’re lucky, offer a place for your readers to buy –the rest is up to you!
I admire those who are self-published because they really believe in their material and are out there busting their butts to promote and sell their novels!
I, personally, decided on an epublishing company. Epublishing is similar to the big NY publishers in some respects, some not. Both are money-making businesses, however, Epublishing is usually a smaller network comprised of editors, cover artists and other authors.
I’m currently working with four epublishers with several titles now available in ebook format. I also have one anthology in print now through one of the epublishers and another print book coming out from another in the near future. So I’m still writing for ebook format, but steadily branching out to print –so, keep yer fingers crossed for me!
However, there are so *many* epublishers around now that some companies have closed within less than a year of opening. I’ve had my share of ‘learning experiences’ over the past two years, but I’ve never let this discourage my dreams and moved on.
I’ve also join several author-oriented groups, organizations which help authors learn more about the business of publishing. These groups are invaluable and worth joining, in my opinion, if you’re pursuing writing as a career –not a hobby. Tina:
What do you do to market your books?Sabrina:
I actively promote at local events with a promo group made up of three other ladies who write paranormal romance. We’re called The Midnight Muses and promote in the Charlotte area at book fairs, pagan festivals and other venues to get readers familiar with us and our books.
You can learn more about our promotional group at: http://www.myspace.com/themidnightmuses
We also put together an anthology of short, paranormal erotic romances titled MIDNIGHT ENCOUNTERS
. It’s published by Whiskey Creek Press – Torrid and is available now in ebook format and print. http://www.whiskeycreekpress.com/torrid
Since epublishing is a smaller network, authors have to do a good share of their own promotion. That is why we formed The Midnight Muses –to promote our work locally and split the costs of promotion –because promotion isn’t cheap!
I also have my own website and also promote online through my blogspot, my MySpace profile and through Yahoo! groups –Check it out at:http://www.sabrinaluna.com
In all honesty, I’d say my average work day is roughly 30% online promoting and 70% writing and editing -of course it varies, but I do spend lots of time attempting to get readers familiar with me and my titles. One day, it will pay off. *wink-wink*Tina:
You say that you write Supernatural Romance novels. What does this entail? Do you deal exclusively with the supernatural creatures and powers typically associated with this genre, or do you also include ideas from some of the better known alternative religions (Wicca, Asatru, Druidism, etc.)?Sabrina:
I haven’t yet written anything with ‘alternative religions’. I don’t know if I will or not—we’ll see.
I’m currently writing a Scottish wolf story in which a character can see auras (life force energies that surround people) and, another one is psychic or very intuitive. In my opinion, it makes my story more paranormal and these are more fantasy-like elements, but based on certain Pagan and New Age metaphysical principles.Tina:
Do you think that being a Pagan yourself has influenced your writing? Has it caused you to rethink actions or beliefs for your characters because you have a grounding in this area?Sabrina:
I’m a magickal person. Everything I do is a magickal creation or manifestation –storytelling is one of them! So, writing, for me, is magick. Even if I’m writing something not a paranormal story –say a contemporary romance—a little bit of my own personal magick shines through. The story may not have any ‘magick’ in it, but it’s still magickal –because I created it. Hope that makes sense –LOL!Tina:
How much of your religious practice surfaces in your books? Do you include the tarot or Reiki (both practices that you are involved with) in plots or subplots? What about rituals? Do you include your own ritual structures in books that contain such things?Sabrina:
No, I haven’t used the Tarot or Reiki in my stories –yet. Several epublishers have submission calls for stories involving (or loosely basing) novels on Tarot cards and other divination tools (like the Runes and Astrology).
Although the guidelines have tempted me to write stories for those types of lines, I’ve steered clear. It’s like I told an author-buddy (whose story, btw, was accepted for a Tarot-themed line), I’ll write my own Tarot story one of these days. As a professional psychic reader, I have such strong ties to the Tarot. I’d prefer to hold off and wait until I feel the time is right –for me.
I’ve written a short story or two with elements of ritual spell work. I kept the elements light and in the context of the story. I did my research to get the magick ‘right’, but didn’t want it to distract the reader from the story. Tina:
Do you have to do a lot of research into particular Pagan Sects or Mythological beliefs for each of your books?Sabrina:
Well, it depends on what I’m writing! LOL! I’ve always loved ‘looking things up’! The internet can be so addictive to someone like me. Search engines make it easy to look up topics and subtopics. If you’re like me, you find yourself glued to the chair and five hours have past you by in the blink of an eye –and you haven’t written a darn thing! (Uh oh!)
But, yes, I do research, both online and through paper-and-ink books. I also like to ask people I know what they may think or recommend on subjects too –just for a well-rounded view.
However, I also think too much research and spoil the creative process. I try to keep myself open and allow my inner storyteller to tell the story –and not worry so much about the little ‘technical’ details.Tina:
Finally, Sabrina, there are many aspiring Pagan authors out there. If you could relay one piece of wisdom or insight to them in the world of book authoring and publishing, what would that be?Sabrina:
If you’re seriously pursing a career in writing –know the business aspects of publishing as well as the creative side! Many writers forget or don’t acknowledge that writing/publishing IS a business. It’s a fun, creative business, but still, lots of hard work and long hours go into this type of career –Good luck!Tina:
I’d like to thank Sabrina for talking to us today on the important topic of book authoring and publishing. I hope that you aspiring authors out there got a lot of useful information from this interview.
The Eidolon Foundation
is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to promoting greater awareness of alternative spiritual traditions and minority religions in Charlotte, NC and the surrounding region.
For more information on the Eidolon Foundation CLICK HERE
Thx & Hugs,
Sabrina )O(+ + +
Spicy Romance with a Touch of Magick