I am a huge fan of the paranormal/urban fantasy genre. Unfortunately, the market seems to be flooded with paranormal romance novels. Not that I don’t enjoy romance (I mean, give me a break, I’m not a robot), but most of them are written from a girl’s perspective and I can’t really say that I could relate. I was really glad to have come across E. Van Lowe, author of Moondancers, who wrote a paranormal romance novel from a guy’s perspective.
Michael Pang: Can you tell us a bit about your background?
E. Van Lowe: I grew up in New York City. When I was nine, I think, I got my first library card. I was so proud of that card because it made me feel like I was a big kid. I could go to the library alone and choose my own books. I went to the library every two weeks after I got my card and took out the maximum number of books—six. The big deal for me was walking home with all those books under my arm. I thought I looked very smart. One person who didn’t think I was being smart was my father, who busted me for bringing six books home every two weeks but reading none of them. I skimmed the books, but I didn’t read them. My enjoyment was in having a library card. My father suggested I get two books next time and read them cover-to-cover. A new concept for me. Being a dutiful kid, I did as my dad suggested and discovered the joy of reading.
M.P.: That’s great that you were able to find that passion in reading at the age of nine, I unfortunately skimmed through books till I was almost finished high school. It wasn’t until I was in my 12th grade English class did I start reading from cover to cover! Where and when did your writing journey begin?
E.V.L.: I decided I wanted to be a writer when was ten. I wrote short stories, plays, I started a novel when I was twelve. Kid stuff. My journey didn’t really begin until I was in college at USC. That’s when I started my professional writing career. At first, writing for the romance and true confession magazines (yes, the confessions are not TRUE), and then graduating to writing mystery and horror fiction for men’s magazines. While in college, I wrote my first novel, the horror novel, Child’s Play (not the movie), under the pseudonym Sal Conte. The novel went on to do incredibly well—I don’t recall how many printings, but a lot. Then I wrote, The Power, and after that I went to work in film and television.
M.P.: WHAT! True confessions are not true!!? Wow … sorry about my outburst, let’s get back to you. Who are your favorite authors and how have they influenced your writing?
E.V.L.: I have many favorites, and at times the list changes, but my absolute favorite is J.D. Salinger. Nine Stories definitely shaped who I am as a writer, and how I go about adding pathos to my work. I am also heavily influenced by Stephen King. I became infatuated with horror when I read Salem’s Lot. These two names are the only constants on my ever-changing list of favorites.
M.P.: Definitely great authors! I can see the influence! So, being a writer for film and television, it must be very time consuming. What does a typical day in your life look like? And how does your writing routine fit into your day?
E.V.L.: I am a full time writer, so my day is spent writing, marketing, editing, and taking meetings in Hollywood. First thing in the morning I check emails, looking for fan emails or problems readers may be having downloading one of my free books. After that I check sales, and then I might workout, before I start the day. Aside from that, I don’t have a specific routine unless there’s a deadline looming ahead.
M.P.: I’m always interested in how an author’s mind works. How did you come up with the idea for your novel?
E.V.L.: I don’t remember exactly where Moondancers began. Even since I read Beautiful Creatures (Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl) I’d been wanting to write from a male perspective. In the YA paranormal romance genre, the protagonists are almost always girls. It’s risky writing from a male pov, but heck, I’m a guy. And since I am now beginning my journey into self-publishing, I didn’t have to worry about pushback from my publisher. I liked the idea of setting the book in the community in which I live, Beverly Hills, because everyone associates BH with glamour. I wanted to show a different side of the community—the slums of Beverly Hills, which I thought might be interesting for readers. I did some research and discovered there is a little known hot spring that runs beneath Beverly Hills. Southern California is a desert, so the idea that there is water running beneath our feet that very few people know about sparked my imagination. Okay, so maybe I do know where the idea came from. Lol.
M.P.: Interesting, I never knew there were slums in Beverly Hills nor were there hot springs underneath. That will definitely spark the interest of many. What do you think sets your novel apart from others current on the shelves?
E.V.L.: My books are always different, and reviewers always point that out. Not surprisingly, you will hear this from several readers if you go to the Moondancers’ Amazon page. It’s just the way my imagination works. One thing I know that sets me apart is my sense of humor. I was a comedy writer in Hollywood where I wrote TV sitcoms for over twenty years, so I am naturally funny. My books have a subtle level of humor to them which is unusual for the genre I write in.
M.P.: I always like books with a bit of wit to it. What really makes me love a book are dynamic characters that I can relate to. Which character in your book is your favorite and how much of yourself is reflected in that character?
E.V.L.: I love all the characters in this book, and I especially like the romance between Josh and Lara. The book centers on the idea that two strangers can possibly have been destined to become soulmates. I believe this strongly, so that part of me is definitely reflected in the book. But also like in the book I believe that soulmates can meet, fall in love and still not wind up together because as humans we are good at screwing things up. This is also reflected in the relationship between Josh and Lara.
M.P.: Now you really got my attention. I totally believe in soulmates and am so glad I’m married to mine. Being a writer who likes to use humor, you must have a lot of fun with your books. Which scenes in your book did you have the most fun writing?
E.V.L.: My favorite scene in the book is when Josh comes over to Alan’s house and discovers that Alan has gone to the sporting goods store and purchased all sorts of things he plans to use to kill the creature. That scene cracked me up.
M.P.: What do you hope for your readers to take away after reading your book?
E.V.L.: There’s a lot going on with this book aside from it being a paranormal, romantic thriller. One thing one reviewer pointed out is my use of romantic poetry. The reviewer says: “The use of poetry, OMG, was so appropriate that it flowed and melded with the story. Those old, eloquent, undying words were beautifully brought back again…. In a way a new generation can appreciate and re-discover its meaning. I’d like to call it a reawakening…” I absolutely hated poetry when I was Josh’s age, and at the beginning of the book he hates it as much as I did. I hope the book increases some of my readers’ appreciation of poetry. Don’t panic poetry haters, there’s not a lot in the book, and never are you asking yourself “what did that mean?” Mostly, however, I want readers to come away feeling entertained. I feel my job as a writer is to entertain people. I get a kick when readers say “I couldn’t put it down.” That was my goal from page one.
M.P.: Well put my friend! What are your hopes for this novel?
E.V.L.: Like any author, I hope the book is well received. Like any professional author, I hope the book makes money.
M.P.: What do you have in store next for your readers?
E.V.L.: If you get to the end of the book you will see what’s in store. There’s a link to pre-order book two in the series. I hope readers like the book enough to do that.
M.P.: Nice! Thank you so much for sharing with us your story!
About the Book
Moondancers (The Beautiful Creatures of Beverly Hills Book 1)
by E. Van Lowe
Publisher: EViL E Books
Publication Date: February 11, 2016
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
There is a creature haunting the swimming pools of Beverly Hills. 16 year-old Josh Butters believes he sees a connection between the creature and the mysterious and beautiful girl next door. Before long, Josh finds himself falling head-over-heels in love with the girl, Lara, who it turns out is an enchanted being. Josh discovers that he and Lara are soulmates, drawn together by the siren’s song, destined to be together from birth. But there’s a dark secret to being Lara’s soulmate, a secret that involves battling creatures, and an age-old feud. Josh must decide if the price for being Lara’s one true love is a price he’s willing to pay. It could cost him, his family, and friends their lives.
Dangerously exciting, yet mystical and romantic, Moondancers is a page turning thriller that asks the question “do you believe in soulmates?”
About the Author
E. Van Lowe is an author, television writer/producer who has worked on such TV shows as “The Cosby Show,” “Even Stevens,” and “Homeboys In Outer Space.” He has been nominated for both an Emmy and an Academy Award. His first YA Paranormal novel, “Never Slow Dance With A Zombie,” was a selection of The Scholastic Book Club, and a nominee for an American Library Association Award. “Boyfriend From Hell,” “Earth Angel,” “Heaven Sent,” and “Falling” are the four books of the Falling Angels Saga.
E lives in Beverly Hills California with his spouse, a werewolf, several zombies and a fairy godmother who grants him wishes from time-to-time.