I’m delighted to feature Luna Saint Claire, an author and costume designer who describes herself as an eclectic bohemian. She lives in Los Angeles, CA with her husband, a philosophy professor. Luna’s début novel is The Sleeping Serpent.
Buy Luna’s book HERE.
Tell us a little about yourself. I recently left a career as a Hollywood costume designer for film and television, and I am currently splitting my time between New York and Los Angeles. My darling husband of a great many years is a philosophy professor and author. I enjoy a variety of musical styles. I was a ballet dancer, so classical music is a big part of my life. My fashion style can best be described as eclectic bohemian, mixing vintage pieces and well-worn jeans. I was adopted as an infant and learned quite early about my Native American heritage, which informs my life and my work.
What is the title and genre of your latest book? Who published it? The Sleeping Serpent is a woman’s struggle to break an obsessive bond with her yoga master. Published by Compelled Books.
Tell us a little about your book. Bored with her conventional and circumscribed existence, Luna feels herself becoming invisible. When she meets Nico Romero, a charismatic yoga guru, his attentions awaken her passions and desires. Infatuated, she becomes entangled in Nico’s life as he uses his mesmerizing sexuality to manipulate everyone around him in his pursuit of women, wealth, and celebrity. Immensely erotic and psychologically captivating, it is the story of a woman’s obsession with a spellbinding guru and the struggle to reclaim her life.
Gazing into his eyes, she descended into a dark green pool of
memories and familiar feelings from long-ago. Again, she heard her name in the foreign tongue Nico was chanting. Tumbling deeper and deeper, she spiraled down a funnel of undulating rivers, fragrant pine trees, and the sweet scent of oranges. She felt a flood of understanding and knowledge—that time no longer existed, and there was no self and no other, they were one. Nico reached over and placed a garland of herbs around her neck, then he wrapped them around her wrists, like bracelets. Stroking her hair, he held the staff above her head while chanting her name, and she descended further into the elliptical galaxy of his eyes—right into his soul.
What inspired you to write it? I became embroiled in the lives of a spellbinding yoga guru and his entourage of beautiful, intelligent, successful women in Hollywood. Luckily, I wasn’t in a romantic relationship with him. Yet, he still had influence over me. Nico is a gifted healer but uses his power for the dark side of self-interest—to acquire wealth and fame. Luna believes she can heal him because he has awakened something inside her she thought was lost. He has made her feel that anything is possible.
What inspires you to write in general? I love the creative process. I have been a dancer, a painter, and costume designer, and now an author. I consider myself a creator and I cherish the introspection that writing offers. Reading other authors’ fiction that is well crafted and thought provoking gives me the motivation. But ideas that come from the universe and poke me in my soul are the inspiration.
When and what did you first start writing? A college friend I hadn’t spoken with in years helped me understand that I had become an addict. I never considered my obsession with a person as an addiction. As I researched relationship abuse, I began to comprehend how one becomes compelled and loses themselves in the process. She encouraged me to write the book as a healing device. All the characters, places, and events are fiction but I drew emotionally from my experience to create the characters.
What authors have most influenced you? How and why? A few authors that come to mind are Isak Dinesen. Her stunning memoir Out of Africa is a work of beauty and sorrow. Everything by Jhumpa Lahiri, The Namesake, Interpreter of Maladies, and Unaccustomed Earth. There is one book, Cold Mountain by James Frazier, whose stunning characters leave you breathless. Another extraordinary stylist I idolize is Ian McEwan (Atonement, Chesil Beach, Comfort of Strangers), and I mustn’t forget to include Cormac McCarthy’s brutal coming of age Border Trilogy. I have always been inspired by Jim Harrison (Legends of the Fall is a favorite) whose style and stories are not unlike Hemingway.
How do you write – outline or free flow? The Sleeping Serpent was written with an outline. My WIP is being written with a Hero’s Journey arc, but no outline.
What genres do you like to read? For the most part I read Literary Fiction and Memoir.
In what genres do you write? My debut novel, The Sleeping Serpent, is psychological women’s fiction because it is a woman’s journey to reclaim her life. Women’s Fiction are stories women can talk about, and say, “Hey, I’ve gone through that.” I hope with my story women will learn they are not alone.
Where and what time of day do you like to write? Why? I like to begin just after breakfast. Shut down my phone and Facebook and write all day until I stop and go to the gym. But there are days, like this one, where I am doing an interview instead.
Do you ever get writer’s block? If so, how do you deal with it? I recently hit a wall and I suppose you can call it writer’s block. I read authors that inspire me and hope I am mystically communing with the inspiration gods and calling them to me.
If you have a blog, what subjects do write about? I don’t have a blog. I do have Tumblr where I post book reviews, interviews, excerpts, and often pieces about relationship abuse and narcissistic personality disorder.
How do you schedule your time between writing and keeping your physical life together? My husband and I do a lot together and we have some flexible time. For myself, I go to the gym to stay healthy and in shape.
Do you have other publishing credits? If so, what are they? I am a contributing author in Black, Blue & Purple Pain – a domestic violence anthology.
How and where have you marketed your work? My book is available worldwide on Amazon, Barnes & Nobel, IBookstore, and Kobo. As for marketing, I have done eight interviews and been featured on nearly fifty blogs. I am active in the author/blogger/ reader/reviewer community on Facebook, participate in Facebook events, and do author takeovers on Facebook Blog pages and in groups.
E-book or paper – do you have a preference? I am probably about 50/50.
What is your current writing project? My WIP, tentatively titled The Serpent Awakens, is also a psychological spiritual journey. I have been researching the mystical shamans of the Andes as well as the shamans of the Amazon jungle that utilize psychotropic substances such as ayahuasca to heal.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing? Any hobbies? My husband and I enjoy traveling when time allows. We enjoy hiking as much as we enjoy art gallery hopping. We love cooking (which includes dancing around the living room) almost as much as dining at our favorite restaurants.
What advice would you give a new writer? I would ask myself why I want to write? If you find it is a necessity that you must write, I believe you will be fulfilled. The esteemed Anne Patchett, whose books never fail, wrote a little memoir titled, Truth and Beauty, about her friendship with Lucy Grealy. In it she writes, “Writing is a job, a talent, but it’s also the place to go in your head. It is the imaginary friend you drink your tea with in the afternoon.”
What do you wish to say to your readers? I hope you find my book moves you in unexpected ways. I hope it challenges your views on love and friendship and that you leave it having a greater understanding and even compassion for those afflicted with narcissistic personality disorder, a devastating mental illness. Sociopaths target victims by keenly identifying their vulnerabilities, and playing to their desires. Charming and magnetic, they appear to be perfect—the answer to your prayers. Truth is, they have targeted you.
What do you hope will be the everlasting thoughts for readers who finish your book? I am always honored when a review reads, “Incredibly well written and vividly told!” “A suspenseful seduction!” or… “Great storytelling with richly written and exposed characters. You won’t forget this book.” It would also be lovely if they put the thought out into the universe, “This would be such a compelling TV series!”