How would you describe The Burning Star in 10 words?
Secrets. Love. Supernatural beings. Crazy people. Loss. Revelations. What if?
Jessie Lane is a name you came up with, but this book is actually wrote by two people. Can you tell us a bit about both of you and how you came to write together as well as your process?
‘Jessie Lane’ is actually the writing team of Crystal Leo and Melissa Pahl. Coming up with our name was just the first in a long line of learning how to work and compromise with another author. Instead of playing rock, paper, scissors, or having a wrestling smack down over what our name should be, we both chose some of our favorite female fictional characters and wrote one long list. In the end we both agreed on ‘Jessie Lane’. ‘Jessie’, is Melissa’s favorite female lead character from the movie, Queen of The Damned, and ‘Lane’ after Crystal’s favorite female lead character from Karen Marie Moning’s ‘Fever Series’ with MacKayla ‘Mac’ Lane.
Working with a co-author is from our perspectives has more ‘pros’ than ‘cons’. For instance when I (Crystal) am stuck on a section of the book (which can be often), I call Melissa and scream help the moment she picks up her phone. When she realizes that I am screaming help because I’m writing and not because my husband (Melissa’s brother) is killing me or because I am being kidnapped by Aleksander Skarsgard then she reminds to breathe by inhaling deeply before I pass out. Then we spend time going over where I am in the writing process, where I kind of thought about going with the story and she takes over for a little while from there. A few days later she sends the book back and I can pick up where she left off. It works very well for us.
One of our only cons is the fact that we live on different coasts. Crystal lives in Kentucky while Melissa lives in Washington state. However as much as Crystal often misses her awesome sister-in-law and wishes she was nearby she finds the fact that Melissa lives far, far away comes in handy when they piss each other off and want to commit homicide. So in other words, even their con is ultimately a pro! Melissa agrees murdering her sister-in-law would be bad.
Can you tell us a bit about your favorite character you’ve written about and why they are your favorite?
Melissa says: Brendan mainly because he has so many sides to him that are played out throughout the book. He starts out as a loyal and understanding best friend, and then he is forced to become a sworn protector to someone he has never met, and then finally to a fierce and unwavering protective big brother role.
Crystal says: Can’t I pick them all? Every character I have written holds a piece of me somehow. Some characters carry all the positive things I see in the world. Other characters carry my struggles that I’ve lived through and survived. But if I have to pick a character from The Burning Star I’m going to have to say it’s Kira. Since she’s not the main character, Kay, that’s mentioned everyone is going to wonder who I am talking about now! Let’s just say Kira is the character you sometimes come across that straddles the line between good and bad. She’s had a hard road in life. Something I can relate too. The journey that she’s going to undertake to come out on the other side is something I am looking forward to relaying.
What was the most difficult scene for you to write? Crystal says: How do I answer this without giving away serious spoilers? Actually the only answer that comes to mind for me is the scene where Kira sees Ryan’s home for the first time. She’s never been in an environment like this and it seems like paradise for her. However I am not the kind of author that will describe a room to my readers so that they know its entire contents down to the pen on the table. I more or less like to write what I call a ‘foundation’. I’ll giving you the necessities and then I’ll decorate a bit, but I’d much rather let your imagination finish off what’s around you in the story. I think it creates a better visual for a reader.
Melissa says: Kira shutting down. She thinks that she is not worthy of people’s positive attention but still wants it. Thinking of herself as trash and wanting to be free from her life.
If you could travel to any place and in any time, when and where would you travel? Crystal says: Ooooooo! I get my own time machine? *does that cabbage patch dance*
I’ve got to admit I am a wannabe explorer. Give me the means and I would travel the world. I mean that. If you gave me a time machine with unlimited trips to make I’d be all over the world in different time periods. Even if it was just to watch for a few days what it was like. Medieval times in Scotland with men in kilts? Check. Prehistoric times to peek at the dinosaurs as long as they didn’t try and eat me for lunch. Check. Ancient Egypt. Check. But more than anything I would want to go to the future! Can I see an alien please? As long as it’s friendly I’m game!
Melissa looks at Crystal like she’s truly nuts before saying: Hmmm not really sure, but I wouldn’t mind being a pirate sailing the seas with Capt. Jack Sparrow or just Johnny Depp without the dreads.
What is one book you highly recommend just off the top of your head?
Melissa says: Mortal Instruments: City of Glass. By far it’s my favorite of the series.
Crystal says: Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning. Not only is her Fever series one of my favorites but I think her world building is phenomenal and her characters are unforgettable. A very close second is Moon Called by Patricia Briggs. Not only is Mercy awesome but there’s a lot of werewolves in the stories and I LOVE WEREWOLVES!
And last question, what can we expect to see from you in the future? Is this a planned series? If so, how many books? Are any other books in the works? Will there be more books? YES! The Burning Star does have a sequel in the works titled, The Frozen Star, which will continue the Star Series. However the next two books we are looking to release are titled Big Bad Bite and Secret Maneuvers. Each book is the first in their own series. Big Bad Bite is the beginning of the Big Bad Bite Series which is an adult paranormal romance series. Secret Maneuvers is the first book in the Ex Ops Series and is an adult contemporary romance series. We’re hoping for both books to be out before the end of 2012. Star Series fans can look for The Frozen Star in 2013!
Can she reach her destiny before tragedy strikes?
The doctors have told Kay that she will die before she reaches her eighteenth birthday. Her mother’s determination to save her life leads them to a move outside of Asheville, NC to a new set of cancer specialists in the hopes to help her. But it’s not what Kay and her Mom find in the doctor’s offices in Asheville that lead them on the journey to save her before time runs out. It’s what Kay finds in the woods outside of Asheville, and an inhumanly gorgeous guy named Ryan, instead.
Myths and fairy tales come to life before Kay’s eyes, bringing her closer to the ultimate cure if she can stay alive long enough to get there. And if the cancer doesn’t kill her before she finds the cure the secrets her mother has hidden from her may be the beginning of the end.