Welcome to the edition of The Pen Review & Interview with Angela Lam! Keep reading and be sure to comment as Angela is going to giveaway to one lucky winner a copy of her work, Blood Moon Rising!
Blood Moon Rising by Angela Lam
Release date: June 7, 2009
Available as eBook: ISBN 978-1-926704-02-09
Available as trade paperback: ISBN 978-1-926704-10-4
Publisher: Eternal Press (www.eternalpress.ca)
What I liked: I really enjoyed reading this work by Angela. I really loved the main character, Valkyrie and how she would risk everything in order to find her son a cure. I love the way she interacts with her son, it's a very touching relationship and it's very present in the book. I also love how Anthony, her son, also feels the need to know about the human side and how it conflicts to what he has learned from his mother. Don't let this book fool you though, things come to light as then Valkyrie needs to find the father of her son to save his life. This is a must read for those who love action, romance, and a good tale.
A vampire must save her dhampir son from dying by finding the blood of his human father before the next full moon.
“We went to stores,” Anthony said. “I’ve never seen so many people and so many new things.” Anthony bit his lower lip trying to think of the words to explain what he experienced to his mother. “There were toys and games, books and music, and lots and lots of clothes. Rosita let me try everything on first to see if it fit. See.” Anthony’s reflection spun in the mirror, a blur of cotton and denim. “Tomorrow I’m going with Rosita to get my hair cut. She says she’s tired of having me look like a stray dog.”
Valkyrie searched for the soiled t-shirt and jeans Anthony had worn for days. She found them clean and neatly folded in a dresser drawer beside her cloak which had also been washed. “What’s this?” She fingered the softly laundered clothes.
“Rosita did our laundry.”
“What did she say about the blood stains?”
Anthony shrugged. “She didn’t mention it.”
Valkyrie cupped her hand under Anthony’s chin. Above the stubby nose and dark blue eyes, brown curls fell over his forehead and around his ears and brushed against the nape of his neck. “I don’t want you to get your hair cut. You look perfectly fine the way you are.” Valkyrie felt tightness in her chest, a pang of envy and bitterness. She thought about how selfish she had been the last few days, searching for food and clothing for herself, completely ignoring her son. A burning shame overcame her. She turned her head away from Anthony in his bright new sweatshirt and jeans and grabbed the leather bag she had stolen from Daisy.
Anthony hopped on the bed. “We need room service. Clean sheets. New soap. Rosita says it’s not sanitary the way we live.”
“How many times has Rosita been in our room?”
“Twice. She helped me carry up my new clothes. I had to let her in.”
The muscles in Valkyrie’s back tightened. “What else did Rosita say?”
“That we shouldn’t keep the curtains closed during the day. It’s too dark.”
“I like it dark. And you do, too.”
“It’s not healthy, she said.”
“Rosita doesn’t know what she’s talking about. And she knows nothing about us.” Valkyrie opened the leather bag. It was empty. She flung open the closet door. Everything had been pressed and hung up on tiny metal hangers. Valkyrie fingered a soft chemise sweater. Rosita. Tears blurred her eyes. What if she suspects something happened? What if she knows about the feeding? “I don’t want you talking to that woman anymore. She’s dangerous.”
“She’s my friend.”
Valkyrie turned around and shook Anthony’s shoulders. “You shouldn’t have let her buy you anything. I have plenty of money to get whatever you need. Just tell me what it is you want.”
“Where can we go for toys?”
“The stores. But there’s only one problem.”
“They’re only open during the day.”
Valkyrie screamed as she released her son. She picked up the empty leather bag and flung it across the room. It knocked against the wall and crumpled to the floor. Valkyrie sunk to her knees, sobbing. Her hands trembled. “I try so hard,” she said. “I don’t understand how I can get everything wrong when it comes to you.”
Anthony slowly approached his mother. He gently touched her quivering shoulders. “Why are you crying?”
“Because I keep failing you, don’t you understand? We’ve been here for a quarter of a moon and we haven’t even begun looking for the man who fathered you. From now on, you’re coming everywhere with me, understand?”
“But I like Rosita. She’s teaching me all sorts of things. Like how to read and write and do math. I want to be like her. I want to be human.”
Where are you from? Tell us a little about yourself!
I am originally from Silicon Valley. I moved to Northern California almost 20 years ago.
Tell us a bit about your book, Blood Moon Rising? What inspired it?
Blood Moon Rising is a mother-son story with a romantic twist. Valkyrie is a vampire mother who must save her dhampir son by finding his human father's blood before the next full moon. She risks her life by journeying into the city to find a man she has not seen in over 15 years. The struggle between Valkyrie's motherly love and her son's growing interest in learning how to be human is compounded by Valkyrie's romantic interest in a man she suspects might be her son's father.
I wrote the novel during maternity leave when the maternal themes were very present in my life.
What's your formula for creating characters? I find myself falling in love with the heroes and heroines. Do you model them after people around you or do they have a bit of you in them?
I do not have a set formula for creating characters. If I am telling a story about a series of events, I ask what type of person would engage in those actions? If I am writing about a theme, such as forgiveness, I ask who needs to be forgiven and for what? The answers to those questions lead to character creation. I do not use real people or myself as models, but I do use my feelings to convey the emotional truth about my characters.
Do you have any other works in progress that you want to share?
I am almost finished with a story about three close childhood friends caught between loyalties, ambitions, and the Native American way of life with the opening of a casino.
What would be your advice to aspiring writers out there?
Keep writing. Believe in your work when no one else believes in you. There is a ton of rejection both before and after your work is published. If you are grounded in the reason why you write, you will not be derailed.
If you don't have the heart for it, please do something else. Life is too short to be a starving artist.
What are your favorite books at the moment?
I just finished reading Last Night in Montreal by Emily St. John Mandel. It is a beautifully written story about intimacy and freedom and finding meaning in the past so you can live fully in the present. For more on my favorite books, please visit my bookshelf at goodreads.com. I usually read 2-4 books a month.
What is your favorite word?
Thank you again for this interview.