Debut paranormal novelist Lily Luchesi is visiting us today to talk about Stake Out, the first novel in her new Paranormal Detective series.
Lily Luchesi is a young author/poet born in Chicago, Illinois, now residing 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 by the time she was twelve, and, as her family has always been what they now call “Gothic”, she doesn’t believe she shall ever change. She is also a hopeless romantic and avid music-lover, and will always associate vampires with love, blood and rock and roll. Her interest in poetry came around the same time as when she was given a book of Edgar Allan Poe’s complete work. She then realized that she had been writing her own poetry since she could hold a pen, and just had not known the correct terms. She finished her first manuscript at the age of fourteen, and now, at twenty-one, has two contributing credits in anthologies and a debut novel, Stake-Out, was published by Vamptasy Publishing on May 19th, 2015. It is available in print and on Kindle. She also has a short story in the CHBB anthology Love Sucks.
Welcome Lily. Please tell us about your debut release.
Stake-Out is a story about a cop whose perp turns out to be a vampire, but the police department doesn't believe him. He gets contacted by the Paranormal Investigative Division of the FBI to help them hunt the centuries-old rogue vampire. Danny, my protagonist, has to learn to cope with the fact that vampires and other various paranormal creatures are real, while slowly falling for his new partner, Detective Angelica Cross.
But things get even worse when past lives are revealed and vengeful witches come to throw even more wrenches into Danny's life.
What inspired you to write this book?
I was watching a crime show on TV one night and wondered, "What would happen if a cop's perp turned out to be a vampire?" Honestly, the rest of the book kind of wrote itself. I can barely remember writing it! I finished the first draft in less than three months and came out of it with ideas for three more books, as long as my publisher accepts them. Here is a little taste to whet your appetite!
Excerpt from Stake Out:
"'Cause if my eyes don't deceive me/There's something going wrong around here."--Joe Jackson
Detective First Grade Daniel Mancini was on assignment to follow a homicide suspect. The man was suave, British and rich. He was also suspected of murdering two women in the past two weeks. It was Danny's mission to put the perp behind bars...at least, until he could get a needle in his arm! He should have had his partner with him, but she was on maternity leave and the Chicago Police Department was short-handed, so he was on his own that night.
He followed the man from his house in a rural and posh suburb to the South Side of the city, in one of the worst neighborhoods.
It was foggy and cold; felt more like mid-March than June. He watched his perp chat up a young woman on the corner. Prostitute. The other two had also been classified as "ladies of the night", but the second one turned out to be the runaway wife of a high-powered lawyer. She'd left because he beat her and withheld any money he earned from her. He would've killed her eventually; this way she'd just ended up deader sooner. It was her death that put this investigation at the top of Homicide's priority list.
He brought along his smartphone to photograph or film the perp talking with the woman, for proof. He hung back as long as possible, hating the thought that he might cause a woman emotional trauma by waiting, but, in order to make the charges stick, he needed to catch the perp in the act. He clipped the phone to his belt, hoping the video camera would catch everything. He needed his hands free.
Keeping one hand on his gun he crept closer, keeping his distance, until he heard a woman's gurgling scream. He dashed into the alleyway and what he saw changed his life forever.
The woman was on the cold, wet, dirty concrete, trying to scream again. She couldn't, because the perp was latched onto her throat with fangs that could only be described as Dracula-worthy.
Her clothes were torn and blood also flowed from one breast and her abdomen. He could clearly distinguish the bite marks as those he saw in every old vampire movie ever made (with the exception of Nosferatu).
"Freeze! Police!" he cried, taking out his gun. He fired two shots which, on a normal man, would've proved instantly fatal. On this perp, it was like firing a BB gun at a rhino.
The perp looked up, his pale face ghoulish in the waning light from the lamppost a few feet down.
The whites of his eyes were blood red and his pupils were entirely black, like a cat's...or a bat's.
His face had elongated somehow, to accommodate the mouthful of fangs, two of which were protruding more than the others to pierce the skin. His jaw was slick and shiny with the dark, sticky lifeblood of the girl who was now breathing her last breaths. The hiss that issued from that evil mouth was like a hellborn snake. His eyes widened even more, making Danny feel faint. He passed out in the alley, his last sight the poor dead girl, with blood flowing from her unearthly bite marks and then ceasing, as her heart also ceased to beat.
The last thing he heard was a small shuffling and footsteps coming towards him before all thought ceased.
What exciting story are you working on next?
The sequel to Stake-Out is with my publisher, and I'm waiting to hear back about it. I can't disclose much, but it picks up a few months after Stake-Out ends, and brings Danny's long-dead (emphasis on dead) past back to the forefront of his life.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Well, I actually started writing when I was a little kid, starting with Sailor Moon fan fiction. I decided to do it professionally when I was eight years old. My teacher taught me how writing could be fun, and my mother encouraged my creativity. So as I was reading a book, and writing a short story for class, I decided, "This is what I want to be."
Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I write full time, but I also blog and edit freelance as well, at http://kellysmithreviews.blogspot.com . I was trapped inside my home as it burned in 2010 and ever since then I have had very bad anxiety, depression and insomnia, so every day is not the same for me. Sometimes I can barely get out of bed, and sometimes I'm Supergirl. I try to promote myself and my colleagues for a couple of hours every day, and write at least two thousand words a day, but I don't always make it. I do my best and every day I am getting better little by little.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I have a few things that differentiate me from other writers. Number one is I never write outlines for a book. If I can't remember it, it wasn't worth putting in my story. I also can't write in silence. I need either a film or music on in the background. I can write anywhere, any time and on any device. I wrote Stake-Out on a tablet, because my laptop broke and I couldn't afford a new one!
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Aside from wanting to be a writer, I had dreams of being a psychologist. That didn't happen, but I use what I did learn (I studied since I was thirteen) in my work, as crime and psychology go hand in hand.
Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I'd like to also let you all know that I have a short story in the Crushing Hearts and Black
Butterfly anthology Love Sucks (CHBB owns Vamptasy, the company that published Stake-Out), and it is also vampire-themed.
I will also be in the Hot Ink Press (another CHBB subsidiary) anthology Death, Love and Lust with my very first erotic short story, which will also be horror-based.
I also want to thank you in advance if you do decide to go and give Stake-Out a read. I am not in this for monetary gain, but because I absolutely love to read and write, especially horror and paranormal stories. I hope that you love reading my book as much as I loved working on it, and will come back for more! xoxo
Thanks, Lily! Happy writing!