Moondancer drake

Author of Multicultural LGBTQ Speculative Fiction

About Moondancer Drake

   
     

 

Larger Bio/Official - Moondancer Drake is a two-spirit author of environmental and spiritually driven multicultural fiction, especially paranormal lesbian romance. She is also a vocal advocate for civil rights and the responsibility of all people to take better care of Mother Earth. She lives in Wisconsin with her family and is a recent theatre tech graduate from UW-Milwaukee. Moondancer draws much of her inspiration from her spirituality as well as experiences as an Eastern Band Cherokee artist and a mother.

 

Small Bio/Official - Moondancer Drake is an author of multicultural LGBTQ paranormal lesbian romance. She is also a vocal advocate for civil rights and environmental stewardship



Interesting facts About Moondancer

 

 

 

Moon’s FAQ

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

 

Yes, I've always wanted to be a writer, but I can't say I've always believed I could or should write stories. Growing up with undiagnosed ADD and dyslexia I often doubted my ability because I didn't learn the same way that everybody else seemed to be able to. I had millions of stories in my head, but always struggled with the technical end of writing. About a decade ago I was having a conversation with some writer friends of mine at Wiscon. We were venting about our frustration growing up without seeing anyone like us in the sci-fi and fantasy books we read, and the fact that even as adults we struggled to find those sorts of stories. I remember getting very wound up over it all and stating that sometimes I thought I should just write the stories myself. They urged me to do just that. Within the month I had completed the first draft of Natural Order. This is why if anybody ever asks, I always blame K Tempest Bradford and Nisi Shawl for encouraging the insanity that has become my writing obsession.


What was your first book and where did you get the idea for it?

 

Like a lot of my stories, the characters, plots, sometimes even settings generally come to me while I'm sleeping. My muse, much to my relief, has become more reasonable about the hour of the night I am woken with a story idea. This is not always the case. Natural Order was one of the nights I awoke at 2 AM in the morning with a story idea that wouldn't let go. In that case it was a nightmare where experienced the night Dusty was killed. I knew I had to tell Beth's story, as if the telling of it would somehow bring her and I peace.


How long does it take you to write a book?

 

The timeframe for finishing the first rough draft at least varies from book to book. If there are no emotional speed bumps going around in my life at the time, and no plot holes that trip me up, it can take me as little as a month to do a first draft. I rarely get that kind of time to work on my writing, so generally a few months is a good gauge for a first draft. I admit remind myself to shut off my internal editor and just create generally helps the process. It's the editing and revisions that generally slow down the writing process, as important as the are. I like to have multiple beta readers go over a manuscript before I submit it, so I would say the low end timewise for writing a novel for me is about a year start to finish.


Do you get to choose the cover art?

 

In the past I had a bit more control over the final cover proof that I do with the publisher I have now, but that's mostly because they are better versed on what graphics are more marketable that I am. I submit my ideas, and the artists use those suggestions along with their own expertise to come of with a cover.

 

Why multicultural? Why spec-fic? Why LGBTQ?

 

I write what I love. I write the stories I want to read myself, with characters I feel need to have their stories told. I love paranormal, but I don't feel like there's enough LGBTQ paranormal stories out there. I admit there's a lot more then there was when I first writing, but I'd like to see more. As a Native American as well as someone who spent my life fighting in the arena of social justice, writing multicultural fiction was something I just had to do. Not because anybody forced me to, not because as a biracial artist I felt I had to, but because I was passionate in the need for stories to be told about people that are too often forgotten and invisible in today's society. Called it labor of love if you will, but I've never regretted making the choice.


Are your characters based on anyone real?

 

Sometimes. Often a character comes to me demanding to be heard, and as I get to know them I find connections between them and people I've known that helps me develop the character further. Sometimes I'll meet someone who impresses me so much that they form is a character in my mind and I have to bring that character to life on paper. This does also happen when I've had to deal with people I don't like, and then they gently become villains in my story so I can abuse them. Writer's prerogative. More often than not when I have to build a character there will be pieces from several people I know used to breathe life into the character.

 


Do you use a music playlist when you write?

 

I can't listen to music at all when I write. The sound, in fact any sound, risks throwing me out of my creative flow. Since my carpal tunnel got very bad I started using speech to text software, which requires complete silence in the area from it to work properly. That said, when I am doing research, cobbling together ideas for a story, or looking for inspiration to prep myself to write, music and play a very large part of that process. I am very eclectic in my musical tastes. One day can be showtunes, another heavy metal, and still another I'll feel the urge for old-school funk. My musical preferences cover many decades, and my choices based entirely on my mood and was sort of frame of mind I'm trying to put myself in.


What is your favorite snack food when writing?

 

Yeah that's the thing... When I'm really into my writing I don't eat it all. There are days that my family will come home (this before I had to pick my daughter up from school every day when she still rode the bus) and it isn't until then I realized that I hadn't eaten all day long.


Do you have any other hobbies besides writing?

 

Oh my gosh so many. I dabble with costuming, SCA arts and sciences like illumination and a bunch of others I'm just learning, I like taking recycled items and turning them into something else, I've been doing herbal medicine on a hobby level for about three decades now, I like gardening get around to it and the weather in Wisconsin cooperates, puppet making, and I could just go on and on and on. I pretty much like anything that I can do with my hands.


Do you mind fanfic?

 

Nope. Don't mind it a bit. If people like my characters enough to want to continue their stories in some fashion, go for it. I can't guarantee it'll stand as cannon, but I'll say this, if I came across a good piece of fanfic that stays true to the characters and fit within the world set that I was building, I would happily add a link to it on my website. I love the idea that someone is that drawn in to the world and the characters I create for them to be inspired by it. I have certainly done my own share of fanfic which I think is a great way for a writer to hone their craft before tackling something novel length that they create themselves.


What was your favorite book when you were a kid/teenager?

 

I had so many of them. My mother was a single mom, so often in the summertime instead of paying a babysitter, which she couldn't afford, she drop me off every day before the library opened and then picked me up that evening when she got a home from work. I did a lot of reading over the summer. I think I had to pick a favorite book that really impacted me in a positive way it would be "A Wrinkle in Time" by Madeleine L'Engle. That was my first experience with a book about a girl having her own adventures where she got to be the hero. I think the same reason I was so in the Nancy Drew books, though to be honest my favorite character was always George.

 

Do you believe in crit/writer groups?

 

Our local writer's group seemed to move too slowly for the speed that I was writing at, and the online critique groups insisted that I had to join the erotica groups because I wrote lesbian fiction. The trouble was my stories don't have as much sex in them as many of the erotica readers preferred. Keep in mind that was years and years ago, so I think that may have changed in lot of groups since then. I think if critique groups and writers groups work for someone, that's great. I've had much better success personally with beta readers.


Do you like hearing from fans?

 

Oh goddess, yes. Nothing makes my day more than getting an email or talking to a person who has read one of my stories. I love getting feedback from readers and answering questions they may have. One of the biggest fears for me putting a story out there is that people aren't reading it. Getting that sort of feedback reminds me that yes, my story has reached someone, maybe even touched someone. That is the best feeling.


What are you working on next?

 

I am so very naughty. I almost always have a lap full of projects going on all at once. Right now I'm working on the sequel to Natural Order, as well as have three or four YA stories in some variation of "in process". And countless others that are a skeleton of ideas. The advantage of having several projects going on at once is that once you finish the rough draft of something, or while you're dealing with the plot speed-bump, there's something else you can work on to sort of cleanse the creative pallet.

 

 

Favorite Interviews and Reviews

 

 

 

The Path Less Traveled - Mark Mandrake & BlueFire Witch on Blogtalk Radio (starts at around 1:16 I think) - interesting coversation though poor sound quality.