Interview with J.L. Douglas, author of Lunaside

1. Tell us something about your book. Is it your debut? lunaside_coverWhat genre does it belong to?

Lunaside is about Moira, the lone Art counselor at her summer camp (also called Lunaside). This is her first summer running Art camp on her own, which is exciting and terrifying.

There’s the fun of teaching cute kids how to draw (exciting!), but also the horrible dread that comes with having to plan a summer’s worth of activities (terrifying!). Her life is also slightly more complicated by the fact that she’s starring in a web series about the camp, that’s being filmed by Andrea, her geeky, argyle-loving girlfriend (not exciting, just terrifying).

And then there’s Millie, the striking new counselor who almost immediately admits her attraction to Moira (terrifying?). An attraction that Moira knows is probably mutual (way too exciting).

(See also that fancy art by layaart.tumblr.com)

Other than writing, my two biggest loves are running (track!) and cooking (vegan!), which also answers the bonus questions: “Why ARE there so many athletes in Lunaside and why are they all such picky eaters?”

2. Did anyone inspire you to start writing, if yes, who, or did you always knew you just had to write?

I don’t think anyone had to tell me to keep writing, but since I’ve been published there have been lots of fellow writers who have supported me and mentored me in how to Be A Writer.

By that I mean they’ve coached me on stuff like how to shout “LESBIAN SUMMER CAMP ROMANCE” in proper diction.

3. Any advice/tips for newbies?

Don’t feel guilty if your writing pace isn’t the one that you see in style guides.

It’s especially good to write steadily if you’re trying to finish your first longer work, but don’t be afraid to try out different schedules until you find what works for you! Some people like to put in 2,000 words a day, but don’t be surprised if you find your niche putting in 314 words every other day or something. As long as you write steadily, you WILL finish the thing.

4. Are you already writing a new book? Can you tell us a little bit about it?

I’m working on a follow-up to Lunaside that features the perspective of another one of the counselors. I’m not telling which one yet (she’s very important in Lunaside!), because the book is still in edits. She’s going to get her chance to start another camp, and deal with all of that challenges that come with that! It’s about self-rejection, and the strength it takes to come out of it. There are also gratuitous Soccer references.

And, like Lunaside, it’s a LES-

Okay, I’ll stop. But it DOES have romance. At a summer camp. Between two girls. Just saying.

5. A word that you use way too often? (Mine are “quite” and “probably”)

In my early drafts, it varies. While I was writing Lunaside, “actually” was my pet word. For this story, I think it’s going to be “writing.” That’s either a tiny spoiler or a sign that the follow-up is just me typing “writing writing writing writing writing” for ~60,000 words.

6. When does your book release?

It was released on January 7th this year!

7. Last but not least: What’s your favourite type of candy, if you don’t mind me asking?

Definitely halvah. It’s my favorite sweet thing period. It’s super easy to make (if you make candy-type things a lot, at least), and vegan!

And by that I mean I made some after answering this question.

Author Bio

Before she started writing about summer camp, JL Douglas was a summer camp counselor. She taught kids how to things like dance, to do improv, and to stage scream. The parents might not have agreed, but those stage screaming classes were legendary. These days she’s writing books about summer camp and hopes that one day that will somehow feature into her master plan of one day running her own summer camp.

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