Author interview with mystery and suspense author Tony Lee Moral
Tell us about your latest book
The Haunting of Alice May is a mystery and suspense story between a ghost and a human. When Alice May Parker moves to Pacific Grove, California, she is rescued from drowning by Henry Raphael. Handsome, old fashioned and cordial, he sees straight into her soul. Soon the two are involved in a romance but destructive forces threaten to tear them apart. Themes in the novel include what it means to be alive, what it’s like to lose someone you love, and the possibility of an after life.
What is your preferred writing routine?
I write often during the evenings or weekends in my study. Actually I wrote an article on “Blue Sky Thinking” which you can read on my Ghost Maven website. I interviewed a psychologist who told me that creative thinking is best done in wide-open spaces which is where the phrase Blue Sky thinking originated. But if you want to be detailed and analytical, or if you have a looming deadline, confined spaces work best. As I lived in Pacific Grove for two years, where my novel is set, I would visit and write scenes on location in note books so I could capture the sights, smells and vistas of Monterey Bay.
What advice do you have for new writers?
Build your author platform and cultivate your readership and followers. In today’s social media age, your readers are everything. Nurture them and you will see the fruits of your labour. Read books, watch films, and delve deep into your own lives for inspiration. Travel is very important for my writing and I have been lucky enough to visit many places for my other profession as a documentary filmmaker.
What have you found to be the best way to raise awareness of your books?
Through book tours, social media, ad campaigns, but most of all getting reviews on Amazon and GoodReads. GoodReads is especially useful as you have a whole community of authors and readers who are supportive and willing to read your book and recommend it to others.
Tell us something unexpected you discovered during your research
Reading The Haunting of Alice May makes me realize how incredibly personal it is to me. I drew upon my own childhood fears of drowning, a sense of the afterlife and also my interest and appreciation of nature, especially marine life. As I lived in Monterey Bay for two years, the locations became very central to the story and I use them when plotting my mystery and suspense, which I learned through my studies of Alfred Hitchcock.
What was the hardest scene you remember writing?
Definitely the opening chapter was the hardest, which I continually rewrote, as it is vital to pull the reader in. I wanted to plunge Alice in immediate danger and surrounded by her greatest fear, that of drowning. So I thought how could I use the location in an imaginative way, and what better place than placing the heroine in the middle of the Bay.
What are you planning to write next?
I have three more novels which I am planning to publish. Two are suspenseful murder mysteries set in New York and Rome and follow an American heroine and her Italian boyfriend. They were great fun to write and of course I enjoyed visiting the many glamorous places when I was plotting my novel.
www.tonyleemoralbooks.com and find him on Facebook and Twitter @TonyLeeMoral