Find the tour schedule here.
Moonburner by Claire Luana
Release Date: June 14, 2016
Publisher: Soul Fire Press
Publisher: Soul Fire Press
When 17-year old Kai is exposed as a female sorceress—a moonburner, she knows the punishment is death. Despite the odds against her, Kai escapes her fate and undertakes a harrowing journey to a land where moonburners are revered and trained as warriors.
But the moonburner citadel is not the place of refuge and learning that Kai imagined. The ongoing war against the male sorcerers, or sunburners, has led the citadel leadership down a dark path that could spell the end of all magic. Armed with a secret from her past and a handsome but dangerous ally in the sunburner prince, Kai may be the only one able to prevent the destruction of her people.
She started awake when the moon was at its height. She lay very still, listening. She heard movement, the slippery sound of sand shifting down the side of a dune.
Footsteps. Sniffing. An animal. She saw her stick close by and reached for it slowly. The animal was coming closer. Her heart hammered in her throat.
Kai leaped up, brandishing her stick with a shout. She promptly staggered to her knees again as her head rushed with blood and pain. She was so weak and thirsty. She could hardly stand, let alone fight. She looked up wearily at whatever had come to eat her.
Two black eyes like marbles stared back at her from a silvery white face topped with pricked ears. It was a fox! It was as large as a medium-sized dog, much bigger than any fox she had ever seen. It was covered in pure silvery white fur, the kind of fur that called out to be touched. Somehow she didn’t think the fox would appreciate that.
“Well, the battle cry was impressive, but I don’t know what you thought you were going to do with that stick.”
Kai slouched back on her heels, dumbfounded. She had gone mad. They said the desert could do it, and here was the proof. A talking silver fox.
10 Things I’ve Learned about Being an Author
1. There is no special sauce, only hard work.
I put this as number one, because it is perhaps the most important thing I learned. There are plenty of authors who made it big in some way that worked for them--but would be impossible to recreate. There is no magic formula to discover or class to take that will make you successful as a writer. There is only hard work!
2. You get to read as research.
I was worried that studying writing and being an author might make me critical when I read other people’s books. Reading is such a joy for me, I didn’t want it to turn into “work.” I’ve been pleased to discover the opposite. I love reading even more now, and I appreciate the beauty in other people’s work even more. I get to read all the newest books and feel good because I’m not wasting time, I’m “keeping up on trends in the market.” :)
3. The muse is a real thing.
People ask how I came up with the idea for Moonburner, and while I can give an answer that identifies one of the sparks that grew into the book, the truth is, it came to me. The title, the premise, the rough plot line, it all just flew out of me in about 10 minutes. I was astounded. The muse is real, folks.
4. Writing your book is the easy part.
Don’t get me wrong, writing your first draft is hard. Especially when it’s the first time you’ve done it. But its probably about, oh, 10-20% of the work it takes to get your book launched into the real world. Plus add marketing onto that. You have to write, edit, possibly find other editors, identify how you want to publish and try to find publishers/agents, build your author platform, publish or assist with publishing your book, and then launch or assist with launching your book. You start to look back nostalgically on those blissful days where all you had to do was write 1,000 words in a day!
5. You will face the highest highs and the lowest lows.
There is a creative emotional cycle that I was totally unaware of. There were times where I felt like my book was amazing, compelling, and ground-breaking, followed by days where I was sure it was the crappiest book ever written. And then back again. You just have to ride the wave and try to have faith in yourself!
6. Every reader is different.
Not everyone is going to like your book. And that is ok. Someone could say it was the worst book ever written, and while they may feel that way, it doesn’t make it true. I haven’t gotten any bad reviews yet, but I’m bracing myself. When I do, I will think of how some of my all-time favourite books have terrible reviews as well. People just have different tastes, and you can’t take it personally.
7. Every writer is different.
There is a lot of trial and error involved in finding your process. For instance, I was certain I was going to be a plotter (meaning you plot your entire novel out scene by scene before you ever start writing), rather than a pantser (meaning you write by the seat of your pants). Turns out I’m a pantser! I didn’t learn this until I tried plotting and failed miserably. There is lots of advice out there that may work for someone else, but won’t work for you. Find what works for you.
8. Being an author is to be a perpetual student.
This is a follow up to number 7. When I started out on my path to be an author, I was astounded by the amount I had to learn. Learn how to write. How plot works. How to write good characters. Compelling theme. Interesting dialogue. Then learning how to edit. And so on! I have come a long way, but still have a ton to learn. I don’t think I’ll ever be done. But I dig that about it. I love to learn new things. It’s easy to forget the pleasure of learning, in the monotony of adult life!
9. It will never be perfect.
At some point, you have to let it go. You will never feel that each sentence, each word is perfect. There is always more tinkering you could do. At some point, you have to cut your baby loose. And be ok with the imperfections.
10. You write because you love it.
Being an author is not all sitting in stylish coffee shops with sleek Moleskine notebooks penning effortless prose. A lot of the time it’s dragging yourself to the laptop after a long day of work while you’re longingly looking at your husband cuddling with the dogs on the couch. But you will keep doing it, if you really love it. As Richard Bach said, “A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.” So if you really love it, like I do, you keep at it!
As I re-read that list, it seems a little heavy. I don’t mean to discourage anyone from following their dream of being a writer! On the contrary. It is totally, completely, worth it. But you’ll be better equipped for the inevitable struggles if you go in with your eyes open! And it will be that much sweeter when you get there, because you know you earned it through your own hard work and passion.
About the Author
Claire Luana grew up in Edmonds, Washington, reading everything she could get her hands on and writing every chance she could get. Eventually, adulthood won out and she turned her writing talents to more scholarly pursuits, graduating from University of Washington School of Law and going to work as a commercial litigation attorney at a mid-sized law firm.
While continuing to practice law, Claire decided to return to her roots and try her hand once again at creative writing. Her first novel, Moonburner, will be published in 2016 with Soul Fire Press, an imprint of Christopher Matthews Publishing. She is currently working on the sequel, Sunburner. In her (little) remaining spare time, she loves to hike, travel, run, play with her two dogs, and of course, fall into a good book.
Check her out on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/claireluana/