By Amy Shojai
Lisa Kessler didn’t plan to be an author. A chance encounter with a palm reader in New Orleans set her on the path to publication. NIGHT WALKER, her debut paranormal thriller, combines reincarnation, rogue monks, hot romance and Mayan mythology for a new twist on the vampire mythos.
He gave up his soul for a second chance to love her…
That sentence sums up the fire behind the main characters and the lengths to which the hero will go to be reunited with the love he lost centuries ago. The characters have garnered positive reviews from readers eager to read more about them in future books of the series.
A first book is an exciting time for an author. I asked Lisa to share some of that excitement as a debut author.
This is your debut novel—tell us about your writer’s journey to getting that first book published.
What inspired you to write NIGHT WALKER?
Actually it was a palm reader in New Orleans! I was in town for a trade show for work and while wandering around the French Quarter I decided to get my palm read. After the reading as she walked me to the door she said, “Can I ask you something?”
“Are you a writer?”
“No.” I shrugged. “I do write, but just for fun.”
She smiled and told me, “You’re going to be a famous writer someday.”
I left with my head spinning. While I waited for my plane in New Orleans, I jotted down plot ideas for NIGHT WALKER on cocktail napkins and six months later I had the first draft of NIGHT WALKER written!
Paranormal books can have elements of a number of genres, from romance to thrillers to horror. So why paranormal? What’s the attraction there?
I got my start publishing horror short stories. When I began writing novels, romance and paranormal thrillers came together for me. It felt like a very natural shift from horror to paranormal.
Since this the first in a series, how do you plan to keep your readers hungry and wanting to read more about your main characters?
NIGHT WALKER is Book One in the Night Series. At the end of the Epilogue it’s obvious there is more to the NIGHT WALKER story to tell. I didn’t leave it a cliffhanger, but I hope it left readers hungry for more.
Some books require lots of research and others not so much. What sort of research did you need to do?
I wanted to write a vampire book set in San Diego. But the more I tweaked it, I couldn’t make the European vampire mythos fit in SoCal.
Instead, I gave up Europe and turned to the North American continent, to the oldest settlements. I started researching the Mayans. I eventually took a trip to the Yucatan and toured four different Mayan ruins with a Mayan guide. I’m so glad I got the opportunity to see it all with my own eyes. I think it made a big difference in my NIGHT WALKER world.
Who inspires your writing? Any favorite authors? Or are there any writing mentors you’d like to publicly thank?
There are so many! Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles definitely inspired me to write. I also really enjoy Kelley Armstrong, Patricia Briggs, Dean Koontz, Stephen King and lots more I’m forgetting.
I was SUPER lucky to get some great guidance and advice from Angie Fox on my manuscript and Kelley Armstrong also took the time to encourage me and get me started networking in the publishing world.
Writers are really amazing, giving people. I hope I’ll be able to pay it forward too.
You also are a singer and performer. Are there any characters in NIGHT WALKER (or in future books) that have elements of your own life? Is there music in the stories?
Great question! Actually music bleeds into NIGHT WALKER quite a bit.The heroine Kate is a choir director with a beautiful singing voice and the hero Calisto plays piano.
I also had a horror short story, IMMORTAL BELOVED, that offered a paranormal answer to the identity of Beethoven’s Immortal Beloved in his letters.
How is NIGHT WALKER different (or similar) than other paranormal stories? What can readers expect?
I think NIGHT WALKER offers readers a different take on a “vampire-like” immortal. My series also weaves in real history which I hope makes the paranormal elements more realistic to the reader. With my horror background, my paranormal romance books are usually very dark, suspenseful and at heart romantic.
What haven’t I asked you that is important for readers to know about Lisa Kessler and her NIGHT WALKER paranormal series?
Hmmm. I guess I’d like to mention that even though I write dark paranormals, I’m quick to smile, love to laugh, and I’m a huge Disney fan! Although the Evil Queen from SNOW WHITE is my favorite character. LOL!
As for the Night Series, my biggest hope is that readers will fall in love with the characters and be swept away into a world where immortals really do dwell among us.
Lisa Kessler has always loved to make up stories. Her horror shorts have appeared in the anthologies DEAD SOULS, LADIES OF HORROR 2009, and HELL HATH NO FURY, as well as many magazines including Sinisteria, Horrorfind, and Twilight Times. Her story, IMMORTAL BELOVED was a finalist for a Bram Stoker award.
Lisa has completed the first two novels in her Night Trilogy. The first is NIGHT WALKER, published by Entangled Publishing.
To learn more about Lisa, please visit her website.