I met Anita Stewart last year through a group of women horror writers on Facebook. She was kind enough to allow me to guest post on her blog last October, when I was finding homes for a series of cemetery ghost stories. My Marie Laveau story appeared during her October Frights series.
A steadfast and proud sci-fi and fantasy geek, A. F. Stewart was born and raised in Nova Scotia, Canada and still calls it home. The youngest in a family of seven children, she always had an overly creative mind and an active imagination. She favors the dark and deadly when writing—her genres of choice being fantasy and horror—but she has been known to venture into the light on occasion. As an indie author she’s published novels, novellas and story collections, with a few side trips into poetry.
Her latest book is Ghosts of the Sea Moon:
In the Outer Islands, gods and magic rule the ocean.
Under the command of Captain Rafe Morrow, the crew of the Celestial Jewel ferry souls to the After World and defend the seas from monsters. Rafe has dedicated his life to protecting the lost, but the tides have shifted and times have changed.
His sister, the Goddess of the Moon, is on a rampage and her creatures are terrorizing the islands. The survival of the living and dead hinge on the courage and cunning of a beleaguered captain and his motley crew of men and ghosts.
What he doesn’t know is that her threat is part of a larger game. That an ancient, black-winged malevolence is using them all as pawns…
Come set sail with ghosts, gods, and sea monsters.
Did something in the real world inspire your book?
Ghosts of the Sea Moon was inspired by folklore (tales of ghost ships, to be precise) and Greek mythology, although the start of the novel began with a story I wrote for a photo prompt contest. I took that piece of flash fiction (about a sea captain ferrying a sailor to the afterlife) and expanded on the idea to create the book. I included the original story as a book extra.
What is your favorite scene in the book — and why?
My favorite scene happens near the end of the book when a secondary character, Mouse, has his moment to shine. He’s a rather quiet, shy member of the ship’s crew and I enjoyed giving him his heroic bit of glory. He even gets a celebration afterwards.
What was your writing process like as you wrote Ghosts of the Sea Moon?
It was a bit of a labour actually. Ghosts of the Sea Moon was one of the hardest books I’ve written so far. Partly because the book kept changing: it started out as a short story, then a novella, then a novel, and then somewhere along the line the novel turned into a series called Saga of the Outer Islands. Also, I struggled with the ending and getting the final battle scene choreographed while maintaining the conclusion I wanted. It took me about two months to write the ending. Plus there was more nautical research than I thought. I even had to do math for the speed and distance calculations to get the timeline right. The book had several challenges I never expected or planned for.
What was the best thing that happened during your promotion of the book?
The best thing is always when readers respond well towards a book and say good things. I had some very nice compliments about the cover of Ghosts of the Sea Moon — and about the book itself.
What do you have planned next?
Well, I have to finish books two and three in my Saga of the Outer Islands series. Book two, Souls of the Dark Sea, is in the editing stages and I’m working on book three, Renegades of the Lost Sea. There will be more monsters in the second book and some undead pirates showing in the third one. I also want to finish the third installment of my Killers and Demons series and work on the first novel in my Camelot Immortals series (there are a couple of short stories in this series, but this will be the first book).
Pinterest Book Series Board: https://www.pinterest.ca/scribe77/saga-of-the-outer-islands/
Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/8cr7tSCeI0A
Free companion prequel story, Sea Bound: https://www.instafreebie.com/free/Ge8gj
Books2Read(all non-Amazon retailers): https://www.books2read.com/u/ml5GvM
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/afstewartauthor/
Facebook Fan Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/348788975590362/
Newsletter Signup: http://eepurl.com/OGrTT