Name Luna Saint Claire
I am trying to have a healthy relationship with time. In my novel, The Sleeping Serpent, there are multiple scenes where characters discuss its fluidity. What is time? What is age? How does the passing of time change us? I used to be very secretive about my age because I dreaded being “older” fearing the loss of beauty and relevance.
A little about yourself `ie your education Family life etc
I live in New York City and Los Angeles – kind of back and forth since I became a costume designer. I have a wonderful brilliant husband who is a philosophy professor. When I was a young person I also danced ballet. My husband and I enjoy going to museums, concerts, and dancing around the living room to blues music on Friday night – date night.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I am writing my second novel and having trouble balancing my time between the demands of book promotion on The Sleeping Serpent, the research required on the next book, and writing. I am juggling and hope to strike the perfect balance soon.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
The Sleeping Serpent was inspired by people and events in my life in Hollywood. It is fiction, but I drew from my experience with a narcissistic controlling yoga master. Proof, this can happen to anyone!
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When my editor, who is brilliant and very gifted, told me so. She never inserted herself, or her personal style – she encouraged me and was a very “light touch” gently nudging me forward so I didn’t get stuck in the woods.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I really hadn’t thought about writing this story but every year more and more of my friends and family told me to do it. When I took a leave from my job, it felt like the perfect time.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I am character driven with lush prose. I also like writing in the third person with multiple points of view. In my WIP I am also including first person at times. Today, many renowned authors have been successful experimenting with style. I write slowly and do a lot of research about the people, and places that are in the story.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
The Sleeping Serpent is a Kundalini Yoga term for the “coiled snake,” the life force or prana that resides at the root chakra. Moving the prana upwards through the chakras is the practice of yoga to raise awareness, mindfulness, and gain higher consciousness.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
We all grow up believing in a self-constructed paradigm. Pleasing others is a sure way to become a target of a sociopath. The message is, “This can happen to anyone” – regardless of your intelligence, sophistication, beauty, or wealth – anyone can become entangled with an abusive narcissist during a vulnerable time in their life—when unfulfilled desires (attachment to outcome) and disappointments make you feel invisible. But, a shattering experience is an opportunity for growth and to shift your paradigm and change your beliefs and values. Begin to refocus on an authentic life relying on inner wisdom and greater spirituality.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
All the characters, including Luna, are composites of people I have met along the way. The events have also been completely changed to make a more thrilling plot. The character’s vulnerabilities and what drives their behavior, falling for the manipulations of a narcissistic sociopath, is accurately described and should be heeded.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life? a mentor?
As a student, I read a great deal of philosophy and religion—especially Buddhist, Taoist, and Hinduism. I also am a student of Native American history, culture, and spirituality—reading extensively in nonfiction and fiction. I especially adore the novels of Sherman Alexie and Louise Erdrich. Novels stimulate empathy and creativity far more than nonfiction, even narrative nonfiction. The Sleeping Serpent is essentially a spiritual journey and its teaching is to let go of attachment. In that regard, I must say Buddha had the greatest influence.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest and who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I enjoy beautifully written stories with psychologically interesting characters. The plots I like are the ones that transform characters. I want gorgeous sentences that take my breath away. The authors that captivate me with both their style and character development are Jim Harrison, Hemingway, Murakami, Ian McEwan, Cormac McCarthy, Jhumpa Lahiri, Ann Patchett, to name a few. I am very interested in character driven stories. I am reading my first Paul Auster book, Brooklyn Follies, and his characters are delicately drawn, I think he is a great stylist.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
It was a college roommate that called me in late 2012 and it was she that convinced me to begin writing the book. My editor was the one who encouraged me, and praised my writing when I thought I was awful. So one gets credit for starting me out, and the other for propelling me forward.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
No, not at all. I read a quote by James Atlas and I saved it because I feel much the same way. “I wrote to answer questions I had — the motive of all art, whatever its ostensible subject. There were things I urgently needed to know.”
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I don’t think there is anything I would change, but I don’t look backwards.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I have always been an avid reader, and I believe that reading is a wonderful motivation for writing.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
It is also a spiritual journey and it will contain more mysticism than the first.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
The spiritual aspects are the most interesting to me, but I struggle to make them more concrete. I don’t want readers to be lost, but I don’t want to be pedantic either.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I would love to go to Peru for my WIP, but I am not able to do that so I am doing a lot of research. Maybe I will get there before the editing process. We shall see.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
My good friend just happens to be a highly regarded creative director. I am grateful she designed the cover.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
I had a wonderful time writing The Sleeping Serpent. More fun than I am having now with my WIP. Had I been worried about time, that would have been difficult and stressful. But I didn’t have a deadline so I just enjoyed myself. I wasn’t great at first with dialog, but during the edits I tweaked them to be more natural.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned I could write and that I was good at it. I also learned a lot about editing. I had to cut many scenes, and my editor was pleasantly surprised that I didn’t try to hang on to every word I wrote. I also learned that everyone gets both good and bad reviews. I learned to not to take it personally, and that it’s all subjective.
Fiona: If any of your books was made into a film who would you like to play the lead
Nico Romero is dark, magnetic, and deeply troubled. I think Kit Harrington would be perfect.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Invite the inspiration gods to sit down with you. Be open to them. Have no expectations. Enjoy yourself. To my experience, I find writing is the most creative form of expression
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I want to thank them all for reading my book, sharing it with others, and writing such lovely reviews. I hope you will stick with me even though I am a slow writer. I will have the next one out as soon as I can.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I am currently reading Brooklyn Follies by Paul Auster and the classic Moby Dick by Melville.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
The first books I read that made a lasting impression on me were, Island of the Blue Dolphins (Scott O’dell) and Black Beauty (Anna Sewell)
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Stephen Colbert makes me laugh out loud. And, I watch re-runs of The Big Bang Theory every night before bed to make me laugh.
Fiona: Is there one person past or present you would meet and why?
There are so many, how can I choose? But I’ll pick Isak Dinesen who wrote the memoir, Out of Africa. I think she had such an interesting life. Her love story is filled with passion and heartbreak.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why?
Billy Wilder’s head stone reads: I’m a writer but then nobody’s perfect.
I’ll have to get back to you… hopefully not soon.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
I go to the gym and run outdoors if the weather is good. I also practice yoga. I love cooking and listening to music ranging from opera and classical to blues and indie folk. I made a playlist called The Sleeping Serpent on Spotify and hope you will follow me there.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
We are still watching Homeland, House of Cards and Game of Thrones. I loved Transparent and This is Us. We also watch a few on the Syfy channel. A new one we like is Expanse. Steven Strait is hot, and he could be a contended to play Nico in the TV series of The Sleeping Serpent.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Food: Guacamole and pizza
Color: dark green
Music: Indie folk rock and blues rock. But I also love classical like Mozart and operas by Verdi. I love pop like Taylor Swift and Sia and Bruno Mars. Classics such as Led Zepplin, Allman Brothers, The Grateful Dead, and Pearl Jam. But I will always go back to Van Morrison for my soul.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I love dancing ballet. I also love being a costume designer.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
SPOTIFY: : http://spoti.fi/1TdA14E
AMAZON AUTHOR: https://www.amazon.com/Luna-Saint-Claire/e/B017DN9Y4Y
A darker and more deeply etched Big Little Lies
The debut psychological thriller that dips into the dark seedy side of yoga
As thrilling as The Girl on the Train, and twisted as Gone Girl – a gripping account of the seductive manipulations of a sociopath. This can happen to anyone!
Fashion, Passion & Yoga – I had an obsessive bond with this book! – Mary Carlomagno, author
Whether by free will or fate, Luna’s encounter with Nico provokes a storm that shatters her perceptions of identity, duty, morality, and self-worth. The storm didn’t blow in from the outside. She was the storm. Its turbulence within her, forcing her to confront the darkness, uncovers her secrets and her pain.
Luna Saint Claire has a loving husband and an enviable career as a Hollywood costume designer. Still, something is gnawing at her. Bored with her conventional and circumscribed existence, she feels herself becoming invisible. When she meets Nico Romero, a charismatic yoga guru, his attentions awaken her passions and desires. Dangerous, but not in a way that scares her, he makes her feel as if anything is possible. Infatuated, she becomes entangled in Nico’s life as he uses his mesmerizing sexuality to manipulate everyone around him in his pursuit of women, wealth, and celebrity.
Immensely erotic and psychologically captivating, The Sleeping Serpent is the compelling story of a woman’s obsession with a spellbinding guru and the struggle to reclaim her life. At its heart, it is a painfully beautiful exposition of unconditional love that makes us question what we truly want.
“She realized in an instant that being around him awakened her, stirring the sediment that had long ago settled at the bottom of her well. He made her feel a part of him–of something larger, and somehow more alive.”