Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Interview with Jamie Lee Moyer, author of Delia's Shadow

Today, Flashlight Commentary is pleased to welcome author Jaime Lee Moyer to our little corner of the net to discuss her debut release, Delia's Shadow.

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Welcome to Flashlight Commentary Jaime. To start things off, please tell us a bit about Delia's Shadow.
Delia's Shadow is a ghost story/murder mystery set in 1915 San Francisco. Delia Martin wakes up one morning to find herself haunted by a ghost who follows her everywhere. She's seen ghosts all her life, but this spirit is relentless and demands things of Delia. The ghost drives her back home to San Francisco in search of answers. Once she arrives, Delia meets Detective Gabe Ryan. Gabe is searching for a serial killer that is terrorizing the city. The two of them come to realize their quests are related.

What inspired you to write this story?
The entire novel grew out of a dream I had about Delia. She was standing next to a steam locomotive, looking over her shoulder for the person who'd been following her. Turns out that person was a ghost. The whole novel grew from that fragment.

What research went into Delia's Shadow and what challenges did you face writing a story set in San Francisco during 1915?
Life was very different in 1915. Cars were just becoming as common as horse drawn buggies, telephones were all on party lines, social interactions were vastly different. Slang and speech patterns were also very different from today. The past was truly a foreign country.

I researched so many things, from clothing styles to what the popular exhibits at the Panama Pacific Exposition were, what the most modern police techniques were--everything. The character's stories are told against the backdrop of the times. I needed to get it right.

What scene was the most difficult for you as an author?
I don't want to spoil the book for anyone who hasn't read it. But I can say that writing the aftermath of what happened on the 4th of July was very difficult for me.

What is your favorite scene in the novel?
Again, I don't want to spoil anyone, but if I had to pick a favorite--the scene in Colin's office at Stanford. I like that scene a lot.

Sometimes fiction takes on a life of its own and forces the author to make sacrifices for the sake of the story. Is there a character you wish you could have spent more time with?
No, none I can think of. The main characters in the story--Delia, Gabe, Sadie, Jack, Dora, Esther and Annie--all get plenty of screen time. The focus changes from book to book, but no one gets ignored.

Do you see yourself in any of your characters and is there one of your cast you wish you were more like?
It may sound odd, but I think I identify more with Gabe than anyone else. He is the poster child for responsible adult and in many ways, so am I. If I could be more like any of them, I'd grow up to be Dora. I never knew what she was going to say.

If you could sit down and talk with one of your characters, maybe meet and discuss things over drinks, who would you choose and why?
I don't think I could choose just one. What I'd love is to sit around a big table and spend a night talking to all of them. I like these characters. Spending time with them wouldn't be a hardship.

What do you hope readers come away with after reading your work?
My ultimate goal as a writer is to tell the best story I can. I hope people come away from reading this book thinking they read a damn good story, and found a character or two they can relate to. I don't think a writer can ask for more than that.

Finally, what is next for you? Any new projects waiting in the wings?
I've already finished and turned in two more Gabe and Delia books. A Barricade in Hell will be out June 2014, and Against A Brightening Sky, will be out February 2015. Those are the dates I have right now, but pub dates are always subject to change.

I have a few ideas for the next book. I just need to pick which writing project I want to focus on.

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About the Author: Jaime Lee Moyer lives in San Antonio with musician Marshall Payne, two cats, three guitars and a growing collection of books and music. Her first novel, Delia's Shadow, was published by TOR Books on September 17, 2013. Two other books in the series, A Barricade in Hell, and Against a Brightening Sky, will be published in 2014 and 2015. Jaime has sold short fiction to Lone Star Stories, Daily Science Fiction, and to the Triangulations: End of the Rainbow, and Triangulations: Last Contact anthologies. She was poetry editor for Ideomancer Speculative Fiction for five years and edited the 2010 Rhysling Award Anthology for the Science Fiction Poetry Association. A poet in her own right, she's sold more than her share of poetry. Find out more about Jaime on her website or follow her on twitter.

About the Book: A dark, romantic fantasy set against the backdrop of San Francisco devastated by the Great Quake. It is the dawn of a new century in San Francisco and Delia Martin is a wealthy young woman whose life appears ideal. But a dark secret colors her life, for Delia’s most loyal companions are ghosts, as she has been gifted (or some would say cursed) with an ability to peer across to the other side. Since the great quake rocked her city in 1906, Delia has been haunted by an avalanche of the dead clamoring for her help. Delia flees to the other side of the continent, hoping to gain some peace. After several years in New York, Delia believes she is free…until one determined specter appears and she realizes that she must return to the City by the Bay in order to put this tortured soul to rest. It will not be easy, as the ghost is only one of the many victims of a serial killer who was never caught. A killer who after thirty years is killing again. And who is now aware of Delia’s existence.

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