1. Describe your Luna East story in a few short sentences
Coast Guard: Through a mix of baked goods and well-meaning friends, Claire is somehow coerced by campus sweetheart Anna to keep watch over her crush Mark, just because she happens to share the same route as him, and his childhood best friend Noah. Rumor says, however, that Anna’s fiercest competitor for Mark’s heart isn’t one of the nineteen other girls who’ve had crushes on him – but in fact is Noah himself! Is there any truth to this?
(And if there were, does anybody seriously think Claire could do anything about it?)
2. Did a real event from high school inspire your story?
Actually, it’s always been a dream of me to write a romance story in first person from the POV of someone who isn’t in love with any of the main characters – I’ve never remembered reading anything like this, but what I did know was that there had to be one, because art imitates life and if I have to live with love teams and romance drama that I’m not exactly a part of, then surely it could be written about, as well?
So yeah. There’s a lot of bits and pieces in Coast Guard that’s from my high school years, as well as my college ones. I’ve always gotten inexplicably entangled with popular love teams somehow, despite not being one of the lovebirds myself, or not being in love with either of said lovebirds, so what Claire feels about the whole Anna/Mark/Noah thing is drawing heavily from my own experiences.
Unlike her, I only got myself a cute little brother after graduating from high school, though.
3. What did you like to read when you were in high school?
I was a really weird kid. (Honestly, I still am.) But my favorite novella of all time continues to be Thomas Mann’s Death in Venice, which I discovered just as I graduated grade school, and continued re-reading all the way throughout high school.
I also developed a soft spot for English translations of Japanese light novels – I started with the ones that were adapted into popular anime series at the time, and fully intended to branch out into more obscure, serious stories, but I never really did get to doing that. I was also really interested in reading books tackling history and the differences between global cultures, as well as in reading cookbooks.
You can never really go wrong with cookbooks.
4. Who do you think should be reading Luna East, and how do we get the books to them?
Well, naturally I would say that the most obvious target market would be the teenagers who are actually living through the age bracket that we portray in Luna East, but – there’s a reason why teen romances (teen anythings, in general, but mostly and especially the romances) are spectacularly popular and break through the mainstream easily: because society believes that the teenage years are the happiest years of one’s life, and so anyone who’d want to remember ‘happier times’ would be interested in reading about teenagers. So if you ask me, anyone could read Luna East, and like it. A little bit of nostalgia never did anyone any harm, I reckon.
As for the next question – well, in this day and age it doesn’t come as a surprise that my first suggestion would be to make the most out of SNS’s, social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter and the like. I first learned about this project through a friend I follow on Twitter, after all – so I know how effective this could be in generating interest. What I like about SNS’s is that, when used efficiently, they’re basically good-old-fashioned word-of-mouth – only on a wider scale than literal spoken words do.
5. What other stories are you planning for Luna East?
Hmm. For all that I’m a romance writer when it comes to fanfiction, when it comes to my original stuff I tend to focus more on friendship. Good old platonic, sibling-like friendship.
When I wrote the last words for Coast Guard a few hours ago I thought that I didn’t want to write about these characters again – the Anna/Mark/Noah triangle is a force to be reckoned with, and to be completely honest with you their dynamic really reminds me of a triangle I already see too much of in real life so writing for them kinda intimidates me, now – but I kinda want to write more about Claire’s friendship with Sabrina: how they managed to be best friends even though they study in rival schools, how Claire manages to get flighty-but-brainy Sabrina to stay focused enough to prepare for a quiz bee (against Luna East, but that’s irrelevant), how Sabrina convinces pragmatic and serious Claire to think that joining Luna East’s anime club just might be a good idea. Speaking of which, something about the anime club might be interesting to write about, since it’s squarely in my sphere of influence!
Moving on to more serious matters, though, bullying is a topic that always gets a little bit too close to home when I’m concerned, since I was a bully magnet, of sorts. Still am, but I’ve since learned to deal with it better – maybe writing about not letting the taunts define you would be of help to the people who’re going through that?
I’m also a bit interested in writing something based off the contestants I’d meet in MTAP contests, before. Something like Romeo and Juliet, with parabolic equations. Rival schools and all that.
Patricia is an incoming college senior at a Philippine state university, taking up Bachelor of Science in Accountancy, who writes fiction and spoils her little brother on her (increasingly rare) off hours. She’s been writing for years, and has never been published, and as such seeing something she’d written get published has always been a dream for her. While her writing tends to focus on the fanfiction side of things – her current focus is on writing for Free!, otherwise known as “the swimming anime” – she has always had a soft spot for original fiction, hence her current, sporadic involvement in Luna East.
Write your #LunaEast story! Read the rules. Post your story on your blog, Wattpad, Figment, or http://lunaeastacademy.org. And then answer these interview questions and send to firstname.lastname@example.org. :) Order the Volume 1 paperback, or get the ebook on Amazon.