A Character Interview with Cora Nash from LUNAR RAMPAGE plus a conversation with author Samantha Cross!

Today we're bringing something different to Writing in the Modern Age in the form of a character interview.  These character interviews, now and in the future, should prove to be very enlightening for all of us. 

We have the pleasure of meeting Cora Nash, a character from Lunar Rampage.  

We'll get a chance to talk to the author, Samantha Cross, in a bit, but now we have on the stage...Cora! 


Marie Lavender:  Hello, Cora.  Please have a seat.

Character Cora Nash:  Thank you.  It's a pleasure to be here.

Marie:  We're going to start out with some simple questions, okay? 

Cora:  Sure.
Marie:  So, what is your occupation? Are you any good at it?  Do you like it?
Cora:  I like to call myself a professional photographer, but my grandmother says otherwise. If I'm not featured in a magazine, I'm an amateur according to her. But I love doing what I do, and there's nothing like taking some beautiful scenery shots in the forest. Well, if the forest is safe, that is. Large animals are not fond of me, and I was not born with great running skills.

Marie:  (Smiles.) I can relate to that. 
So, what is your family like?
Cora:  Eccentric, to say the least. My grandma and I are two peas in a pod. Unfortunately she has a hard time remembering my name half the time, but when she does it's a real treat.  
Marie:  All right.
If I may ask, what did your childhood home look like? 
Cora:  It was a two-story beauty out in the middle of the country. I honestly think being exposed to that much country life made me interested in photography. There were so many sunsets worth capturing with my camera.  
Marie:  Well, of course!
Do you have any hobbies, Cora? What do you enjoy doing?
Cora:  Photography, because it's a passion of mine, and really any art form. Oh and eating, for obvious reasons.  

Marie:  Okay. So, what is your greatest dream?


Cora:  To have a great career, a sweet apartment overlooking the city, and to never come into contact with werewolves ever again.


Marie:  All right.  


What kind of person do you wish you could be? What is stopping you?


Cora: I'd love to be the super confident girl who enters the room in a skin tight red dress as "Roxeanne" by The Police plays and everyone watches in awe. What's stopping me? My name isn't Roxeanne.


Marie:  (Laughs.) Let's try something else.

Who was your first love?


Cora:  Someone that wasn't meant to be.


Marie:  All right. I guess I'll let you get away with that vague answer.

So, what's the most terrible thing that ever happened to you, Cora?

Cora: The night of the blue moon. I don't know if I can talk about it...




Marie:  Okay...


Let's try something else, shall we? 


What was your dream growing up? Did you achieve that dream? If so, in what ways was it not what you expected? If you never achieved the dream, why not?

Cora:  All I wanted to be was an independent girl living in the city, chasing her dream as a photographer. I'd say I've accomplished that.


Marie:  That's great! 


So, who is your role model?


Cora:  My mom, of course. Isn't that everyone's? But when I get old, I want to end up exactly like my grandma, minus her terrible memory and knack for wearing sweaters during the summer. She's just flat out crazy for doing that.


Marie: Okay.


Out of curiosity, is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?


Cora:  Plenty of people. I'm the master of the forced fake smile. 


Marie:  Let's try another question.

What is your deepest desire?

Cora: To fall in love.


Marie: Well, of course! Who wouldn't want that? (Sighs.) I love romance.


Let's try something else.


So, what is your greatest fear, Cora?


Cora: Large beasts that can run fast. I practically have penguin limbs, so if it's large and fast I am terrified beyond belief.


Marie:  Aww...

Well, it looks like we're running out of time, Cora. I want to thank you for visiting us today. 


Cora:  Thank you for inviting me.

Marie:  Of course! I wish you luck with...uh, your werewolf problem. It was so interesting getting to know you.  (Waves at her guest as she heads off the stage.)


Now, let's shift over and get the author's perspective.  We have fellow author Samantha Cross on the stage today!  Hi, Samantha!



Author Samantha Cross:  Hello, Marie!

Marie:  (Smiles.) Welcome to Writing in the Modern Age.

We just got to talk to the heroine of your story, Cora. Quite an interesting character. Can you tell us a little about her?

Samantha:  Cora is one of my favorite leading ladies to write. She sees the world through such a quirky perspective, and despite people not always being the friendliest she remains optimistic and funny. A reviewer said this about her, and I thought it summed her up well: "Cora is an intelligent, sarcastic and charming heroine, and she definitely holds her own."

Marie:  Great!

So, what are your character's greatest strengths?  

Samantha:  Definitely her humor.  

Marie:  (Smiles.) I did catch that when I spoke to her. She certainly sounds fun.

What are her greatest weaknesses? 

Samantha:  She can be a bit naive and skittish.  

Marie:  I see.


So, what are some of her favorite foods?


Samantha:  She's a vegetarian, so anything without meat is cool in her book.


Marie:  All right. Let's try something else. 


What's a positive quality that your character is unaware that he or she has? 


Samantha:  She doesn't realize how strong and brave she is. She's always willing to help someone out and stand up for them, yet she often sees herself as cowardly, when it's completely the opposite.


Marie:  Okay.


Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?


Samantha: Every person who has read this has complimented Cora for how likable she is. I think everyone is going to be able to find a little bit of themselves inside of her. She's not a droning, crabby, moody character. She's full of energy and light, and is able to make fun of herself in a completely lighthearted fashion. She knows she's not a model or a rocket scientist, and instead of moping about it she shrugs it off and has fun with it.


Marie: Great!

Well, now that we have a real taste of Cora, we have a few questions for you as well as the author.

What first gave you the idea for Lunar Rampage

Samantha: A dream actually. It was in early 2008 that I had a very vivid dream about a girl in a woodsy town that was inhabited with werewolves. The relationship between Cora and the character Max, was also heavily highlighted. Of course a few details didn't make the book, but there's always room in the sequel.


Marie:  Indeed.

What is your writing style like, Samantha? Are you a pantster or a plotter?

Samantha:  I'm a bit of a hybrid. When a story comes to me, it's in tiny fragments that aren't connected in any capacity. What I do is make bullet points for each chapter, but then I also allow myself the freedom to improvise as I go. A lot of my chapters or really important moments were done on the fly, and ended up being my favorite aspects of the book.


Marie: (Smiles.) I know exactly what you mean.

So, I’m throwing this one in for our aspiring writers.  Did you come across any specific challenges in writing Lunar Rampage or getting it published?  What would you do differently the next time?  

Samantha: The hardest part was getting it started. I drove myself nuts thinking about how to approach the writing process for it, and how it needed to be "perfect", when all I did was delay it for no good reason. As soon as I threw caution to the wind and just wrote for fun, the words flowed out of me and I was done with the book in a few months. As for getting the book out there, I endured the same hardships as all writers, which was getting published. Looking back on it now, I realize I was too eager and reckless. Take your time, really revise your book, and then find a good publisher.


Marie:  Those are wise words.

Well, it was such a pleasure having you here on Writing in the Modern Age, Samantha. We hope you can come back sometime!  :)  

Readers, I hope you all get a chance to pick up a copy of this awesome book!


Here is the blurb for Lunar Rampage.
Photographer, animal lover, and unfortunately for the summer, the new girl in town, Cora Nash considers herself a simple girl. Renovating and living at her grandmother's house seemed like a good idea, until events took a turn for the bizarre. Garbage cans viciously torn into, howls from the woods, wild animals behaving erratically, and an ominous warning from the good looking bad boy, "Stay out the forest."

This seemingly normal town hides a mysterious and violent secret. When one of the townsfolk up and disappears in the forest, leaving nothing but a pair of shoes, Cora is the only person willing to investigate. The answer, however, is nothing she could have ever anticipated, when under a full moon she finds herself face to face with a… werewolf.

If werewolves don’t exist, where did it come from? And… more importantly, who could it be?

Purchase Links
Universal Amazon link:  http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00X68H7BS 


About Samantha Cross:

I was born in a very small town in Connecticut called Putnam, and when I was two years old my parents moved back to their home state of Michigan, where I was raised and still reside. From a very early age I found myself telling stories, either through make believe or the use of dolls. I didn't see it as being childish, but as a way to act out all the dramatic stories I had in my head. I knew quite early in life that I wanted to be a writer, but I was convinced I couldn't have it as a career. I tried to find alternate avenues, but writing always pulled me back in, and I never found more happiness than when I was creating characters and alternate worlds.

There is no genre I will not touch, and I am currently in the process of rewriting my post-apocalyptic thriller, and a sequel to my recently released novel, Lunar Rampage.


Author Links:

Samantha's Book: