Interview with LeTeisha Newton, author of 'Murder by Ritual'

Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?

You know I’ve been dreaming about the Strand series. I remember the fear of Y2K and how many people began stockpiling in case the end of the world was coming. I thought to myself “what if the government was just as afraid?” So the idea of the Strands: beings that were created by splicing DNA into humans. From there I created a world for them and decided that they would be the front for other paranormals. Suddenly I just didn’t have Strands but I could have a world of other non-humans and I gave them a city to govern.

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

It was hard for me to write this novel because my main characters, Eris Herrington and Ken Satou, are trying to catch a serial killer and deal with their own mounting love for each other. That was a very hard line to walk. How can I create love when there is so much death around? The advice I would give to other writers is that love can sneak up on you. If love can happen like that in real life, why can’t it in a book? Make your characters real, not just names on a page, and they will come to life on their own.

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

My publisher is Amira Press. I was lucky enough to find them after reading a novel by Tressie Lockwood. I started following her novels and then other novels from the same publisher. I love their work so much I wanted to be a part of their list of authors.

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

The time it can take! You think it would be pretty instant that they get back to you, go through editing -- because you won’t need much you think! -- and get published. There is a lot an author has to do as well, and you have to be patient. If you aren’t patient your work won’t be presented in the best light and that it what you want. Editing can be a long, and arduous, process so be prepared, no matter how good you may write.

Q: Can you describe the feeling when you saw your published book for the first time?

I think my heart just burst through my chest. There is nothing that matches the feeling of holding your novel, seeing your name on the cover and knowing that months, or years, of hard work is finally complete and within your grasp. It was amazing, to say the least. I think I stated at it for a good twenty minutes before I then read the book from front to back. It’s much different reading it in that form versus on a computer. You can see and feel what your readers will experience.

Q: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published?

I am currently working on the second book in the series, Consumed by the Wolf, and that will be available later this year hopefully. I also have a separate series beginning with Howl at the Moon that will be available before the summer of 2013 from Amira Press.

Q: Fun question: How does your book contribute to making this world a better place?

It is going to bring world peace! No honestly I believe that it’s going to make people very interested in a very small town that I’ve fallen in love it, Port Lavaca, home of the real Sea Gull Inn and they will wonder, just a little, if there really is a world on the other side.

Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book?

The message is that no matter what race, what we look like or if we are human or not, we all face the same problems and emotions, fears, and pains. We should live life together, instead of apart.   

Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

I would thank you for this opportunity and I hope that readers will enjoy Murder by Ritual.

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