So, an Eppie finalist! You must be pretty excited--how did you find out? And what did you do when you heard the good news?
I was informed by an e-mail from the Eppie people. I was thrilled, of course, and the first thing I did was share the news with Jill Williamson, who edited Moonlight Dancer. Where would we be without our editors?Tell me about Moonlight Dancer.
How did you get the idea for Moonlight Dancer?
Moonlight Dancer is set on the Canadian Prairie, where Charlie Mitchell, city girl, clashes with Kyle Fleming, a young man whose future is irrevocably tied to the land he farms with his father. Charlie’s unusual abilities include being able to sense the dreams and emotions of people who have gone before. In her aunt’s farmhouse, she discovers that her ancestor Charlotte had been desperately in love with a handsome ranch hand, Harm. Even though Harm was killed in a rodeo accident before the couple could elope, Charlotte went to the dance hall where they met every time there was a full moon, until she dies of a broken heart.
Alone in the dance hall one day, Charlie meets Harm’s ghost and agrees to help him try to contact Charlotte. When she tries to explain all this to Kyle, who’s a straightforward kind of guy, he can’t quite grasp that Charlie talks to ghosts, and she wonders if their relationship will survive the emotional roller coaster that ensues.
I was traveling in Saskatchewan and saw an old dance hall on the edge of a lake. Built back in the depression years, people would drive for miles to meet and dance there. And believe it or not, it’s still going strong! Maybe I’m a bit like Charlie, but I just knew that there was a ghost in there with a romantic story.
Are you drawn to paranormal stories?
You know, I didn’t think so, as I mainly write contemporary adult romance. But writing Moonlight Dancer has led me down an entirely new avenue. What I like about writing for Young Adults is that they are so accepting of the paranormal…so open-minded.
Are you inspired by any particular music? What's on your playlist when you're writing?
I don’t listen to music when I write, because I’m in the scene I’m writing. But if I did, it would be Andrea Bocelli. I have no idea what he’s saying, but who cares? It’s music to fall in love by.
What was your favorite book when you were a teenager?
I read absolutely everything, but I do remember reading a lot by an author called Sax Rohmer. The main character in the books I read was an oriental gentleman called Fu Manchu. If I recall correctly, they were very violent and gory, but I loved them.
Any other books coming out soon that Climbing Rose readers will love?
My stories percolate around in my head for a long time before I sit down toHow about an excerpt from Moonlight Dancer?
write them, and I have one bubbling away, but I’m committed to a couple of other
books just now, so I’ll have to say no.
Mona, thanks so much for stopping by! And good luck in the Eppie Awards!