Behind the Book: The Harvest Moon

The Harvest MoonThe Harvest Moon Deluxe EditionLike The Blood Moon, the idea for The Harvest Moon came to me when I was 15 years old. In fact, I actually started writing an early draft of The Harvest Moon (then called The Magical Inheritence and completely unrelated to the current Under the Moon Series) before I started work on the early draft of The Blood Moon (then called The Lewis Brothers). I remember the day I started writing The Magical Inheritence clearly because it was my 15th birthday. Yesterday was my 25th birthday and tomorrow The Harvest Moon will be released. It only took ten years, but this book is finally coming full circle.

The story for The Magical Inheritence wasn’t really a story at all. It was more of a situation: a girl is a teenager and has magic. Okay, so Toxanna was still present, and Holly (who originally had her mother’s name, Danielle) had still lost her mother due to magic, but I was seriously lacking a plot. That was surprising because I had actually outlined this book, whereas at this point in my writing career, I was typically a pantser.

About 80 pages in to the manuscript, I gave up on it. Without really knowing where to go, it was inevitable. What really occupied my time was that I began working on another story (I also thought that I could be one of those writers that works on several things at once—I can’t).

That story was The Lewis Brothers. Not only was it more exciting for me, but I could relate to the characters better because they were teenage boys. But I was 15. Writing often got hard (writing is still hard, but I can generally figure out whatever problem I’m facing in a reasonable time). The Magical Inheritence was an attractive distraction…so I merged them. Holly Bowen suddenly showed up at the brothers’ house and asked for help at their weakest moment.

That move could have been executed much better, but it spiced up my story by introducing new problems to focus on when there were lulls in the main plot and gave Chris a romantic interest.

Ultimately, Holly’s story was resolved in The Blood Moon along with Josh and Chris’s, but once I finished The Blood Moon (at 23) I realized there was a big part of the story left untold: Kathy’s relationship with Will and Holly’s discovery that she’s a witch and her introduction to her family’s nemesis.

I diverted my attention to writing Kathy and Will’s story. Partly because I was older and wanted to get out of the YA realm for a bit and partly because I had a more distinct vision of what their story was. Their story became The Full Moon.

Throughout the process of that book, I knew I was going to jump into The Harvest Moon next. I just didn’t know exactly what the story was yet.

One thought lingered from my work on The Blood Moon: what if the Bowen family and the Harper family had previously been connected somehow? Not only that, but how did Toxanna’s crusade on the Bowen family begin?

These were questions I needed to answer in The Harvest Moon. I suddenly had my story. But it still wasn’t Holly’s story. That needed to be fleshed out more. So I went on outlining the early part of the Bowen’s story, focusing primarily on Holly’s mother, Danielle. As I crafted her journey, Holly’s naturally came to me.

I knew how I wanted the book to end: Holly needed to run to Erie. Not only that, but in The Blood Moon Holly had knowledge of several magical things, yet she only discovers she’s a witch a month or two before the events of The Blood Moon. There’s something else that needed to happen.

Somehow, it all worked. Funny thing, too, because I hated writing The Harvest Moon. I thought it was trash and I had lost my touch and I couldn’t imagine following up a great book like The Full Moon with this amateur crap I was writing.

As with all my books, by the second draft my mind began to change. Once I got the book back from my copyeditor and she said, “I think this is the best thing you’ve written,” my mind really changed.

Another thing that I wanted to try with The Harvest Moon was release two different versions of it: standard and deluxe. The standard is strictly the novel. The deluxe features an exclusive short story, Bound, which chronicles a portion of Drew’s story.  His character is one of my favorites but was probably the least developed until The Harvest Moon and Bound.

In the end, I’m very proud of this new book in the Under the Moon Series and where I’ve come as a writer since the idea first came to me. I hope you all enjoy it and pick up a copy tomorrow when it comes out.

A legacy of magic and danger.

All Danielle Bowen wants is a normal life: white picket fence, kids in the nursery, and peace and quiet with her husband Simon. But she can’t escape the fate her family has wrought for her. Born into a tradition of witchcraft, she has also inherited a deadly enemy: Toxanna, a dark witch who will stop at nothing to destroy the last of the Bowen line.

But will Danielle’s powers be enough to save her family—or even herself? And when Toxanna sets her sights on Holly, Danielle’s only daughter, will anyone have the strength to rescue the newly fledged witch? The darkness is closing around the last of the Bowens. In a world of wizards and powerful demons, how can one family of witches survive?

(Exclusive to the Deluxe Edition of The Harvest Moon)

Orphaned by the shocking murder of both his parents, thirteen-year-old Drew must conceal his magical powers as he navigates the foster care system. But it might be easier for a young wizard to control his cracking voice than his magic. When one of Drew’s spells attracts the attention of a local coven called the Fire Wizards, Drew sees his chance to solve the mystery of who killed his parents with the coven’s help.

There’s just one catch: once you enter the coven, you’re bound for life. And the more involved Drew becomes with the Fire Wizards, the faster his façade of safety crumbles. Can he find justice for his parents without binding himself to a world of magical peril?

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