IR- What does it mean to you to be called an author?
L- In the days of self-publishing and anyone and their mother writing a book and slapping a Canva cover on it, being an author has changed.
That’s okay. I like that it has changed and is no longer an exclusive club where talent didn’t necessarily secure a book deal. I self-publish (used to be with a small trad publisher).
But to me, being an author is a BIG responsibility. Books are literal magic, and we are weavers of said magic. We have to be like the witches I write about and care for our craft. We have to lovingly learn more and read more and practice more. We must hone our craft to create the best possible piece of magic in existence.
To be an author is to be among the elite who create entire WORLDS. It’s to be on the same tier as the people who made my childhood and teen years amazing. We get to take an uncountable number of people on adventures without ever leaving their houses.
It’s an honor to be called an author.
IR- Which book are we talking about today?
LL- We are talking about Daunting Darkness and Freaky Familiars, the first two books in the Paige Papillon Paranormal Mysteries.
IR- Can you tell us a bit about the story and its main characters?
LL- So, the story focuses on a wannabe detective, Paige, and her mentors, Jon and Vera, who assist in helping her open her PI business.
Like any good cozy, we also have the handsome policeman, the quirky and lovable best friend, a cat (that may not be a cat), and a magic shop!
And like any good Lily Luchesi book, we have autism, LGBT+ representation, POC characters (including Paige!), and double plot twists.
IR- What inspired the idea for your book?
LL- I have no idea. I always wanted to write a cozy paranormal, but I didn’t consciously set out to write this series. I had the idea for book 5, but it was going to be a standalone UF book. Somehow, Paige developed out of that.
IR- Tell us about a favorite character from the book.
LL- Paige is my favorite. She’s so much like me, but infinitely cleverer. I love her vulnerability, her honesty about her autism, her fashion sense, and the way she thinks.
IR- Do you have any “side stories” about any of the characters?
LL- Okay, so! I can’t give much away, but when book 5, Vatican Vampires, is released, readers will be able to discover side stories about certain characters. I can’t say much more (SPOILERS!), but it’s going to be a really cool and MASSIVE reveal.
IR- Where did you come up with the names in the story?
LL- The main characters, Paige, Zeke, and Shayla, all came organically. In Freaky Familiars, I did some research for Tannie, Haru, and the Juin. I wanted to be sure their names were proper and I wasn’t being culturally insensitive.
Technically, Jon and Vera King’s names are specific and you’ll see why at the end, but even when I initially picked them, they came organically.
IR- If you were friends with a character in this book, what kinds of things would you do together?
LL- I’d want to solve mysteries with Paige, brew potions with Shayla, and discuss books and writing with Vera, also hear her life story, because her history is crazy.
IR- Can you share a day in the life of an author?
LL- Mine is not the same as most. I have a full-time job as an editor and cover designer, so when I wake up, I check my emails/messages, respond to what is needed, eat breakfast, take my allergy meds, and then I work usually 10 hours total for my clients, breaking in between to eat and rest my eyes. (I refuse to work as I eat.)
Then, at night, I take at least 2 hours to work on my projects. On a good day, I can write 3500 words in those 2 hours.
On other days, like today, I do admin work such as filling out interviews, seeking new clients, and making graphics for myself. I am lucky that my co-owner of Partners in Crime Book Services is also my PA, so she handles all my promo.
IR – What was the defining moment that made you say to yourself, “Today, I am going to write a book that I will publish.”?
LL- I didn’t have that about writing a specific book. When I was 8 my teacher taught me a love of writing, and ever since I knew that was what I wanted to do. 13 years later, I did it!
IR- How do you avoid or defeat writer’s block?
LL-Changing my playlist can really help get the juices flowing once they’ve stalled and left me stranded with half a novel and a handful of vague ideas.
IR- What advice would you give to a writer working on their first book?
LL- This isn’t mine, it’s allegedly something Stephen King told a new writer once, but I agree wholeheartedly.
”Stop worrying about how other people do it and just write your story.”
As an editor, I see many writers struggling to write to market, hit the perfect word count, recreate the perfect tropes, etc…
STOP. Write what YOU want to read. It’s that simple.
IR- What are you working on in the near future?
LL- I am releasing DANGER, a short novella consisting of 7 short horror stories. It will be out February 1st and is a celebration of Women in Horror Month. I started out writing horror short stories, so it has been fun getting back to my roots. Warning: it WILL be disturbing to some readers.
Then, in March, we have the third installment of the Paige Papillon Paranormal Mysteries: Werewolf Worries.
IR- Do you have any quirky writing rituals?
I’ve lived an unpredictable life, so I don’t rely on rituals. Give me my noise cancelling earphones, music, and I’m good.
IR- What comes first for you — the plot or the characters?
LL- It depends on the book. For Paige, Vera and Jon came first, then Shayla, and THEN Paige. And I still didn’t have a plot except for book 5.
IR- Who is your audience?
LL- Anyone and everyone. For the Paige books, I want to reach more readers than ever. I want the older or middle aged women who love Hallmark Movies & Mysteries to read it, I want to reach the LGBT+ community, and the millennials and Gen Z who love paranormal stuff, so they can see characters like them. I don’t put my books in a box, I write in a way that, if you like creepy or weird things, you’ll like what I write.
IR- What has been your favorite reader feedback?
LL- A review team called Knightingale Reviews left a review for my debut, Stake-Out, and said their favorite thing about it was how real Angelica Cross was. How she was tough, beautiful, and three-dimensional. Angelica is my baby. I adore her, and I adore The Paranormal Detectives Series. To have that feedback about her made my career!
IR- How do you interact with your readers?
LL- Mostly via my newsletter, but I am active on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as well. Unlike many authors, I post pretty much what I want. Usually music or fandom stuff I’m into. I post books, too, but my social media is also for fun and to get to know me outside of books.
So come find me, everyone! I don’t bite! (my characters might, though)
IR- What is your all time favorite book or author? Do you think this has influenced your writing?
LL- Insomnia by Stephen King. King is a heavy influence, even on my non-horror works. I learned a lot just from reading his work about character depth and having an instantly recognizable voice as a writer, no matter what book it is the reader picks up.
IR- What do you look for in a story as a reader?
LL- Uniqueness. I want to see something that, perhaps, has been done a few dozen times redone in a way only THAT author could. I want to see diversity, and I want to see three-dimensional characters.
IR- What is the first book that you remember reading?
LL- I taught myself to read at around two and a half, and if I recall correctly, it was a Winnie the Pooh picture book.
IR- What are your top 5 favorite books or authors?
LL- Ooooh, a hard one! I could list about 50 authors here.
Edgar Allan Poe
IR- Aside from writing or reading, what are your hobbies or interests?
LL- I love cooking, listening to music, getting tattoos, reading comic books and manga (I consider that different from novels), superheroes, and anime. I also collect Funko Pops.
IR- If you could have lunch with 3 authors (past or present) who would they be and what do you think you would all talk about during lunch?
Okay, I’d want all 3 to be somewhat similar so … Stephen King, Edgar Allan Poe, and Thomas Harris. I’d love to discuss the psychology aspect of horror and how “everyday” people can make extraordinary characters.
IR- What would your dream library look like?
LL- I have planned this in my mind since I was a little kid! You’d enter two large carved double doors to a room the size of a NYC loft. It has black marble floors covered with plush Asian rugs, floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, all hardback, many rare and collectible. There’s a large electric fireplace and faux chandeliers casting creepy shadows over the room. A long cherrywood table and a single chair sits in the middle of the room, while on one end there’s a crimson velvet duvet. Near the fireplace are matching chairs and two end tables.
A secret passage that opens when you pull a copy of The Secret Garden leads to a smaller library and study. No reason. Just because it’s cool.
IR- If you had your own talk show, what would the topic be and who would be your first guest(s)?
LL- I’d interview authors and musicians exclusively, and have live readings and performances. “Late Night with Lily” has a good ring to it, right?
About The Books
Daunting Darkness (Paige Papillon Paranormal Mysteries)
Following your dreams can become a nightmare.
Paige Papillon has always loved mysteries. So much so, she enlists in the Police Academy to one day become a detective.
But when she washes out of training, her Sergeant inspires her to go another route: become a private investigator.
After a few boring cases, she receives an envelope full of cash and mysterious clues that lead to the discovery of a cover up of paranormal proportions.
Worse, the Sergeant’s wife is at the center of it. Can Paige solve the mystery and stay alive, or will she become a midnight snack for a monster?
Purchase Links – Daunting Darkness – Amazon
Freaky Familiars (Paige Papillon Paranormal Mysteries)
No time for a catnap for this paranormal detective!
Now aware that things that go bump in the night exist, private investigator Paige Papillon has expanded her business to include clients of all species.
Assisted by a former detective and his mystery writer wife with a checkered past, she begins to settle into her new job as Chicago’s premier paranormal PI.
But when her best friend’s cat goes missing, Paige realizes how much she still doesn’t know about the supernatural world. It’s a race against the clock to save a shapeshifter and prevent a witch’s familiar from being sold to the highest bidder.
Purchase Links – Freaky Familiars – Amazon
About The Author
Lily Luchesi is the USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of the Paranormal Detectives Series.
Her young adult Coven Series has successfully topped Amazon’s Hot New Releases list consecutively.
She is also the co-owner of Partners in Crime Book Services, where she offers a myriad of services alongside her business partner Annie Smith, including editing.
She was born in Chicago, Illinois, where many of her stories are set. Ever since she was a toddler, her mother noticed her tendency for being interested in all things “dark”. At two she became infatuated with vampires and ghosts, and that infatuation turned into a lifestyle. She is also an out member of the LGBT+ community. When she’s not writing, she’s going to rock concerts, getting tattooed, watching the CW, or reading comics. And drinking copious amounts of coffee.
She also writes contemporary books for adults as Samantha Calcott.
You can also keep up with Lily via her newsletter … and receive a free e-book as well!
Website – https://linktr.ee/lilyluchesi
Newsletter – https://lilyluchesibooks.wixsite.com/lilyluchesi
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/lilyluchesi/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/lilyluchesi
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/LilyLuchesi/
Amazon – https://amzn.to/3xwSORc
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January 8 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
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January 10 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
January 11 – Ascroft, eh? – GUEST POST
January 12 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
January 13 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
January 14 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
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January 15 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
January 16 – Baroness’ Book Trove – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
January 17 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
January 18 – The Mystery Section – SPOTLIGHT
January 18 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
January 19 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – CHARACTER GUEST POST
January 19 – Christa Reads and Writes – SPOTLIGHT
January 20 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT
January 20 – I Read What You Write – AUTHOR INTERVIEW