Author Crystal Collier is joining us with her young adult paranormal romance, Moonless. Enjoy!
Onions Have Layers
They also make you cry, but that's not the point. The point is, you can peel back one layer and find another, and another, and another. Unlike parfait, they may not be the most appetizing thing in the universe (unless fried, mixed with garlic and tossed in some kind of dish), but they're an experience unlike any other.
I don't know about you, but I'm a mood junkie. When reading a book, I want to peel back the first layer and find something that may or may not make me cry (preferably not). Maybe it will make me laugh or grimace, or even put a kink in my stomach. Whatever it is, I want to FEEL. Give me a literary smorgasbord of emotions, and I may never emerge.
Because I'm always seeking the finer things of the literary world, I read widely: classics, historical, thriller, fantasy, sci-fi, contemporary, horror, mystery, and even romance. (Yeah, I'm female.) What I'm finding lately is that my favorite books incorporate a bit of all these, and so that's the kind of book I set out to write with MOONLESS. An onion...I mean, epic story.
How can one book contain all of those genres?
Classical/historical: Jane Eyre elements set in 1768. Seriously, that poor girl is the epitome of an empathetic character--Harry Potter, stand back. (And if you haven't read Jane Eyre, I can't even talk to you. Go do it, now!)
Mystery/Romance: Like I said, I'm a girl. One of my favorite "romantic tension" authors is Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse series). Delectable tension. Anyone up for a romantic lead shrouded in mystery whose blue eyes may consume your soul?
Thriller/horror: Readers often burn through the story in a single sitting. Fast-paced action sequences (patterned after my protégé, Dean Koontz,) leave the heart pounding and pages turning. Reviewers have admitted to checking the moon cycle after reading this book--to be sure they’re not hitting the town on a moonless night.
Contemporary: In Moonless, no villain is just a villain. People are complicated. Life is complicated. When your entire world comes crashing in, there are grief cycles every human being experiences. Part of an epic story is living through those moments with the characters.
Fantasy: I grew up reading this stuff, and it's lodged at my core. A little magic does the heart good—as Harry Potter proved. (What is with all these Harry Potter references?)
Sci-fi: There actually is NO sci-fi in this book. (Jane Eyre and spaceships... Gee! We might as well be talking about a Unicorn Western.) …Okay so I may have lied—but only if you count time manipulation as sci-fi. (And yes, there is a book out there called “Unicorn Western.” From what I hear it’s a hoot and a half.)
What kind of experience do you look for in a book? What's your favorite genre or mash up of genres?