Lily Luchesi is the USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of the Paranormal Detectives Series, published by Vamptasy Publishing. She also has short stories included in multiple bestselling anthologies and a successful dark erotica retelling of Dracula.
Her Coven Series has successfully topped Amazon’s Hot New Releases list consecutively.
She is also the editor, curator and contributing author of Vamptasy Publishing’s Damsels of Distress anthology, which celebrates strong female characters in horror and paranormal fiction.
She was born in Chicago, Illinois, and now resides in Los Angeles, California. Ever since she was a toddler her mother noticed her tendency for being interested in all things “dark”. At two she became infatuated with vampires and ghosts, and that infatuation turned into a lifestyle. She is also an out member of the LGBT+ community. When she’s not writing, she’s going to rock concerts, getting tattooed, watching the CW, or reading manga. And drinking copious amounts of coffee.
Lily, thank you for agreeing to this interview. New writers do not always consider the emotional and psychological deposit an author must place into a book to make the characters realistic and relatable. How important is it for writers to feel emotions strongly? Do you think someone can write fiction well if they are separated from their feelings?
I personally feel that you have to be extremely in tune with emotions to be a successful writer. Perhaps not your own emotions, but you have to have great empathy for others to accurately depict the emotions you want your characters to portray. I have never felt some of the emotions my characters do, and others I know about firsthand. But being able to understand and embrace emotions is, I think, a huge part of the writing experience.
The Coven Rescue, book three in The Coven Series, recently was released to readers worldwide. For new readers, what is the series about and how does the third installment progress the story? Should we expect a fourth or does The Coven Rescue wrap up the series?
The series follows Harley, a teenage witch who only found out about the magical community at age fourteen. It is YA, so the main subplot of the series is showing her growing up, and becoming a fully fledged witch.
Part of it is based on a real story, of Clans Munro and Fraser who resided in Scotland during the reign of Mary, Queen of Scots. But I take that story and weave magic into it, as well as bring it into the modern day.
Each book in the series can be read as a stand-alone (though Rescue has a slight cliffhanger, it still wraps up the story), and each book has a slightly different plot that will all come together in book five.
I plan on releasing book four, The Coven History, August 27th, and book five, The Coven Queen, in November. And that will end the series, though I do have a follow-up novella planned with the characters, just for fun, really.
The story is perfect for fans of Harry Potter, Charmed, The Secret Circle, and Sandman.
You also released the seventh book in your Paranormal Detectives Series, Day of Execution, which has already had some great reviews from fans. What have you heard readers enjoy most about the collection? Does their response to your characters and plot match your intentions?
Well, when I released Stake-Out way back in 2015, I didn’t know what to expect. It was my first book and all I really wanted was to tell a fun story. Then the reviews started coming in, and they all mentioned one of two things: that Angelica was an amazing female lead, and that it wasn’t “fluffy”.
I never intentionally set out to write a strong female character in the sense that, I didn’t sit down and plan her out. Angelica was an enigma to me from the start, and she still has secrets to tell me, I think. I only knew that there was a certain type of female character I preferred in my books, and I wanted to create her. To see readers still, as each book comes out, compliment her, it warms my heart. She is my “baby” (if you can call a centuries-old vampire your baby), and I love that readers enjoy her so much.
As to their response to the plot, it definitely matched my intentions. I had so many people upset after the end of Execution, I still laugh about it a little because it makes me deliriously happy that I received the response I set out to get.
Tales of vampires has spanned the globe for centuries. What nuances do you include in your stories to surprise readers? What elements of lore do you keep intact for reader enjoyment?
I definitely made a few changes to the lore. My vampires can only be 100% killed by sunlight, decapitation, or dead man’s blood. Garlic has a cure, and staking only wounds them, making them easier to kill.
Of course, I kept that vampires must sleep in the day (except vamplets, my version of half-vampires). I also added claws to their arsenal, which not many vampire stories have. Half-vampires cannot turn into bats, and most vampires in my world prefer not to turn at all, because they don’t want to seem like shapeshifters.
Vamplets cannot turn into bats, as I said, and they must eat normal food as well as drink blood to survive, and they can walk about in daylight as long as they have sunscreen and drink extra blood to replenish themselves.
In book five, Last Rites, I describe how vampires were made, which required a bit of research and was so much fun to do.
Of course, these novels only scratch the surface of your many award-winning and bestselling novels. Which story was your favorite to write and what is its premise?
Oh, now that is a difficult question! I had the most fun writing Day of Execution, but my favorite is Never Again. It’s a standalone spin-off of the PDSeries, focusing on male siren Sean Wireman and his journey from 16th century Israel, to Europe, to America, and then to World War Two, where he fought against Nazis and the demons they controlled.
When the demons return, only he is left to defend his race against a slow, painful death.
The book isn’t political at all, in case anyone is worried. However, I do take a stance that Nazis are bad, so if anyone reading happens to disagree … this might not be the book for you.
What can we expect from you in 2019? Anything else you would like to add?
2019 is going to see some big things happening! In May I am releasing a book under my pen name, Samantha Calcott. As Samantha, I will be writing contemporary BDSM romances, which is a genre I delved into a little with my books like The Hunger Within. Launching a new pen name is frightening, but I enjoy what I’m creating and am excited.
So May 10th will be Her Secret Master, written by Samantha.
June 14th is Paroled From Heaven, which is the final Paranormal Detectives novel.
August 27th is The Coven History.
September 27th is Bound In Perfection, which Samantha is co-writing with TL Travis.
November 7th is The Coven Queen.
So I have a lot of writing to do haha!
It has been a pleasure, Lily! Please tell us where fans can find you online.
Thanks for having me!