Behind the Book: The Full Moon

Since the “Behind the Book: The Blood Moon” post was so popular, I decided to continue the series for the rest of my books. So here is the story of The Full Moon.

Like The Blood Moon, the ideas for The Full Moon have been with me since I was a teenager. I can’t remember when exactly I got the idea to tell Kathy and Will’s story; it might’ve been while I was writing The Blood Moon (originally titled The Lewis Brothers) or it might’ve been when I was writing one of the former sequels to that first manuscript. Either way, Kathy and Will’s story needed to be told.

At some point after I had written two of the sequels for The Lewis Brothers (I think I was around 17), I started writing Kathy and Will’s story, then titled The Dark Knight. The problem I soon found was that I couldn’t differentiate between Kathy’s story and Josh and Chris’s story. The focus was split too much. I also soon learned that Kathy’s story was an adult story, which I wasn’t yet. Still, I wrote about 80 pages before giving up on that project for six years.

Fast forward to spring of 2014 when I was 22 and had spent many many many years editing The Blood Moon. I was ready to move on to a new project. Frankly, I was pretty sick of hearing Josh and Chris’s story. They needed to be put on the back-burner for a bit while I explored other interests.

Well, the other interest happened to be their aunt. In July 2014 I plotted most of Kathy’s story, basically ignoring the first manuscript, which was flawed, boring, and didn’t represent the new direction The Blood Moon had taken after several years’ worth of editing.

With the new book plotted, Kathy’s story was exciting and had great potential. Still, it needed to be written. It also needed a new title. I had played around with different ideas: The Dark KnightThe Knight Before, or simply Kathy’s Story and none of them represented the body of work I was writing.

After a conversation with my brothers, I decided on continuing the lunar theme that I decided on for the first book. I reworked some details (highlighting the full moon more throughout the book, especially at Kathy and Will’s wedding) and retitled it The Full Moon, which fit perfectly.

With the new title, everything fell into place. I had the idea for the cover in my head as I continued to write and I had a complete vision to Kathy’s story. After reworking the ending a bit to add in more excitement and keep the story consistent, I wrapped up the first draft on January 2, 2015.

The funny thing about writing, at least for me, is that while writing the first draft, you have a lot of negative thoughts in your head:

“This sucks.”

“Have I lost the ability to write good fiction?”

“Should I even continue?”

“This is going to take A LOT of editing! I’m never going to meet my deadline.”

What was surprising to me when I started editing was that the first draft was really good. Of course there were inconsistencies and plot holes, but compared to The Blood Moon, this book read really well. Not only that, but as I got deeper in the edits, I fell in love with all of the characters and the dynamic I created. I kept asking myself, “I wrote this? Damn!”

With newfound confidence, I contacted my copy editor and sent the book to her after I had slaved away on the details (hundreds of scrap pieces of paper included). I was delighted when she returned The Full Moon to me saying, “This was a fun book!”

Yet another sign that I had written a great novel was the number of comments and changes my editor suggested were significantly lower than they were for The Blood Moon.

I went through another few rounds of edits myself, polishing even more details, and continued to appreciate the story. Apparently there is such a thing as the “sophomore slump,” so to speak, for authors too. I didn’t experience that with The Full Moon (maybe because there were eight years between the first draft of Blood and the first draft of Full), but I was definitely intimidated when I started the first draft of my third book! I suppose that’s a good thing and a feeling I hope I continue to have with each book.The Full Moon

The cover process was simple. I used the same designers, asked them to keep the same theme, font, and styling to preserve the series brand. I gave a short description of what I wanted, knew what to include up front, and within a few days they had the design put together exactly the way I asked for it. By the end of that week I was ordering my first printed proof of the book—further cementing the fact that I had written another book.

I could ramble on and on about The Full Moon because I love it so much, but I hope the book speaks for itself. It will be available February 6, 2016. I hope you love it just as much as I do!

Kathy and her sister, Samantha, have always been a team. Throughout their time as witches, they’ve taken out more than their share of bad guys. But after Kathy meets Will, who she learns is a demonic Dark Knight, her loyalties begin to change.

Meanwhile, Samantha doesn’t trust Will or his intentions. Still, Kathy can’t help but feel tempted by the dark side as she falls deeper in love with Will. Crossing over would give Kathy the freedom to do whatever she wanted with her magic. No rules. No limitations. It would also mean breaking the bond she has always shared with her sister, who has made it clear that she wants nothing to do with the dark side.

When Will proposes they take over the underworld, Kathy loves the idea of having power. But it also leaves her with a choice that will change her life: abandon her family and the life she has always known, or give up the love of her life forever.


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