Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Off the Moon by LK Hunsaker
About the Author : LK Hunsaker holds a psychology degree from University of Maryland
University College and an arts degree from Illinois Central College.
The author of “Finishing Touches” and the “Rehearsal” series,
both revolving around the arts, Hunsaker dabbles in fine art,
piano, and guitar and runs a group assisting writers with their
publishing goals. Several of her short stories and poems have been
published in literary ezines. Widely traveled as a military spouse,
she is now settled in western Pennsylvania with her
husband and two children.
Author Site: http://www.lkhunsaker.com
Off The Moon: The Inside Scoop
Hello and thanks for having me here today as the last stop on my whirlwind tour! Since this is the end, I thought I’d talk about the inspiration behind the story and leave a short excerpt.
All of my books revolve around the arts or an artist of some kind. I grew up surrounded by artists and it seeped into who I am enough that it flowed through to my characters back when I first started creating characters. I was in my early teens, or maybe even my pre-teens, when I wrote my first character sketches onto paper. Most often, the inspiration for them came from music, either from a song or album, or from musicians. I’m music obsessed. I always have been. The first things I wrote were musical plays based on songs from music books in my grandma’s library. So it only made sense that my first real characters were musicians. My Rehearsal series (2006 & 2008) was inspired by an actual band.
Next, I moved to a story about a young artist who refuses to call herself an artist for fear she can’t compare with her professional artist husband. That was a touch autobiographical. It can be highly inspiring to grow up around professional and could-be-professional artists, but it can also make you wary of trying to “compete” per se. That story became my first published, “Finishing Touches” (2003) and it’s set in my hometown area.
Now, with “Off The Moon,” I’m back to a musician. Unlike Rehearsal, which starts with the band playing local clubs and trying to get going, Ryan Reynauld has already made it to the top by the start of the story. He’s popular enough to need a personal bodyguard as he walks around New York City, and he has his life set up the way he wants it. He is the only POV character in the book. This is the first time I’ve used only a male POV in a novel. “Finishing Touches” is all in Jenna’s viewpoint, and the Rehearsal series varies between the three main characters (different scenes for different characters – I don’t head hop).
I didn’t at all plan for Ryan to be the POV character. My original intent was for Kaitlyn to take that role. It was her story that first formed in my head. The premise was based on quiet types – those of us who aren’t comfortable speaking in public or even in small groups. I wanted to focus on what it was like inside the head of such a person. Of course, I had to build her background as to why she felt that way, and her story grew deeper than I expected. I also wanted a way to pull her out of it, at least to an extent, and that’s where Ryan came along.
The viewpoint problem started as Ryan’s character grew in my head. He’s actually based (lightly) on a current pop singer whose lyrics I adore. It was the idea of who he was behind the scenes and how he became such a poetic soul to write such gorgeous lyrics when his outer appearance is so opposite that. It was entirely too intriguing and started to take over the story and I knew he couldn’t be only a secondary character to Kaitlyn. I had the thing in my head somewhat plotted, with the plan to alternate between Ryan and Kaitlyn, when I decided to use the story as my 2007 Nanowrimo novel, just to get it started.
A funny thing happened, though. Ryan hijacked the story and kept it for himself. He was too strong to fight.
Here’s a bit of the beginning that shows even his well-built bodyguard has trouble going against what he wants:
“C’mon Reynauld, you’re already in fryin’ water. Where’re ya going?”
Ryan veered around his bodyguard, dodged an ugly silver car doing a bad job of parallel parking, and jogged across the street. Daws would stay on his heels even if he was late, and Mac could wait. What choice did he have? Ryan paid for his time.
He stopped in the middle of the sidewalk to peer up at the office building. The height made him cringe. It wasn’t even one of Manhattan’s taller buildings. Seven stories. Tall enough.
“What is up with you today?” Daws stopped at his side. “You’re edgy as hell and you’ve seen this building a thousand times. What is so fascinating?”
“Not sure. Maybe nothing.” He strode a wide angle around a couple of girls heading his way as they eyed him, pushed through the glass doors, and slid between a crowd of business suits and briefcases. It reminded him of a mud-covered pig rooting through tight-assed penguins. Grinning at the thought, he decided to hold it in his mind to use later.
Daws cut him off. “The paycheck is that way.”
“And what are you going to do? Throw me over your shoulder and make me go? Come on, lighten up. I’ll only be a minute.” He feigned anger at the body blockade. “Either get out of my way or come with me. There’s something I gotta do.”
“Something you can’t do across the street where you’re supposed to be?”
With an eye on where the girls he’d avoided were descending and joining forces with a few more, Ryan shifted out of their vision as much as possible. “Not unless you can pick this building up and move it over there. Might get kinda messy, though.”
Daws crossed his arms in front of his chest. “I’m not one of your flattering fans who thinks you’re hysterical. You’re holding everyone up and no matter who you are, their time matters…”
Ryan ignored the rant and ducked around to sprint toward the elevator. He called for someone to hold it when it started to close. Stares answered and relief showed on a suit’s face just before the door clenched tight. “Great. Guess we do the stairs.”
“Let it go, Reynauld. I promise if you’re good and play nice, I’ll bring you back after work.”
“Funny. We’re getting a crowd, you know. The more we delay, the more there’ll be and I’m not giving in.” Ryan noted the glower and did his best not to smile while near-sprinting toward the stairwell.
Buy Link for Off the Moon :
Off The Moon website:
Also, be sure to check my blog for novel-related features. I have an interview with NYC drummer Gino Scalmato up, as well as an interview with singer/songwriter Vicki Blankenship. More to come! http://lkhunsaker.blogspot.com
Off The Moon
"Riveting" Ryan Reynauld is immersed in a world of music, parties, and temporary companionship. Having risen to the top of the pop charts, his biggest concern is objecting to the way his music is produced. That is, until he finds a young woman standing on a window ledge. Against the advice of family and friends, and through media attacks and fan protests, Ryan determines to care for her himself, making a promise that threatens to destroy his career.
Convincing the skittish girl she can learn to trust again comes with a steep price. Sometimes the path to recovery begins by allowing your world to implode.
Print ISBN 978-0-9825299-0-4
Ebook ISBN 978-0-9825299-1-1
Also available to order from your local bookstore or to request from your library. Will be at all major US and UK online bookstores around the end of December.
Thanks for letting me chat here today! And special thanks to Judah Raine of CRR Promotions for setting up this tour. :-)
The full tour itinerary is available at http://www.classicromancerevival.com
Don't forget to leave your comments! One person from each blog will be drawn to receive a signed, mailed copy of the short story LK has written as a bit of a prequel to Off The Moon, called Toward The Sky, plus there will be a signed print book drawing for anyone who comments on at least 8 blogs! Winners will be posted at http://www.classicromancerevival.com/blog/?p=1520