Manuscripts Burn


"Manuscripts don't burn"
- Mikhail Bulgakov

Hi, I'm horror and science fiction author Steve Kozeniewski (pronounced: "causin' ooze key.") Welcome to my blog! You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Amazon. You can e-mail me here, join my mailing list here, or request an e-autograph here. Free on this site you can listen to me recite one of my own short works, "The Thing Under the Bed."

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Good Small Jars (An Interview with Lily Luchesi, author of STAKE-OUT)

Welcome, blogophiles!  Today we have a very exciting guest.  Instead of vamping (ha!) around for a while I'll just introduce her.  Oh, wait.  I guess if you didn't know she was a vampire author that last joke didn't make any sense.  Well, what do you want from me, I'm just one man.  In any case, today we have the extremely talented Lily Luchesi here on the blog and she's agreed to answer a few of my nutty questions.  So without sucking (ha!) up too much more of your time, let's introduce her and then jump right in to the interview.

About Lily Luchesi:

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, is soon to be published by Vamptasy Publishing on May 19th, 2015.

Make sure to purchase the WISHFUL THINKING anthology, featuring her short horror/sci-fi story "Kill 'Em With Kindness."  You can also pick up the poetry anthology THE STRUGGLE, featuring her poem "Aftermath."  And make sure to check out her debut short story "The Ghost's Guitar" for free.

You can follow her on her blog, Twitter, her personal Facebook page, her professional Facebook page, Instagram, and Goodreads.


SK: Welcome, Lily! I'm a bit of a pun fanatic, and I'm disappointed in myself to admit that the only police/vampire puns I could come up with were "stake-out" and "assault and bat-tery." Can I assume you have a few more great ones up your sleeve, perhaps even a few that made it into the final manuscript?

LL:  Hello! Thank you for having me!

Yes, I have a few but they go into the next two titles of the trilogy only. The second is only a police term, based on a new character's name: Miranda's Rights. The third will be Life Sentence, because becoming a vampire is a life sentence. I made a few other puns within the story and then decided to remove them, as they really didn't fit the tone of the story in the end. By the way, I like "assault and bat-tery!"  I didn't think of that one.

SK:  Yeah, coming up with that was like pulling teeth (ha!)  We've spoken a few times before so I just so happen to know your secret identity. Of course, I won't reveal that here, but I have to say, "Lily Luchesi" sounds like the perfect name for a vampire author for reasons I can't even really consciously identify. Is there a special significance/meaning behind your pen name?

LL:  Yes, there is! I was originally supposed to be named Lily at birth, but that didn't happen. I always felt like that name fit me so I used it. The original surname I had planned was "Rochester", after the character in Jane Eyre, but then I was rereading "The Cask of Amontillado" by Edgar Allan Poe and the faceless character used as a lure to another character is known only as "Luchesi". I am Italian, and I liked the sound of the name so I decided to use it.

SK:  Ah, intriguing.  I had a character named "Montresor" in a trunked novel.  Moving on, I've read that you're a sports fan. Do you think soccer will ever become one of the Big Four sports in the U.S. (or, you know, I guess it would be Big Five then?) Or is it just going to be mild interest every four years?

LL:  Mild interest, unfortunately. If it was going to be a more popular sport, it would have been when David Beckham was playing for LA Galaxy. Humans as a rule are usually interested in something when other people are interested, or when there is a physically attractive and/or famous person involved. Even he didn't generate a more mainstream following for the sport!

As a former soccer player, I'd like to see it become more mainstream, but I don't see it happening soon. Hell, they've taken the NHL and most of the MLB off of network TV, too. Networks need to know that people watch more than football and basketball.

SK:  Well, I'm not so sure networks or even TV will be around much longer, but that's a whole other discussion.  Here's something I've been meaning to ask you, though.  I remember being a bit younger and some Christian groups were boycotting HARRY POTTER because of the witchcraft elements. There always seems to be some kind of headbutting (at least as far as the media is concerned) between the horror community and the religious community. You're both a devout Christian and a horror aficionado, so how do you square those two seemingly contradictory impulses? I've mentioned this to you although my readers probably don't know, but I was a bit terrified to send you my own GHOUL ARCHIPELAGO because of the sacrilegious elements.

LL:  Well, I'm not devout, or else I couldn't write what I do or identify as bisexual, but I believe in God and the basic Christian teachings. I believe that, regardless of who we sleep with or what forms of media we enjoy, as long as we are good people it doesn't matter.

God, in my opinion, doesn't mind if we get tattoos or watch "Supernatural." He doesn't care about Harry Potter or Dracula. Perhaps the extremely evil newer films disturb Him, but the book you wrote, the books I write and read aren't as terrible as Bible thumpers proclaim them to be. It's just fiction. It's fun. I don't go around in real life killing people or performing animal sacrifices (like my villains do in STAKE-OUT), so I think I've got a good chance of being on His good side.

That's what people need to remember: it's not real. It's just harmless fun. Stephen King doesn't go around killing people (as far as I know) in real life, right? Us horror writers might have twisted minds, but we also have good small jars on our desks. Haha!

SK:  You make some good points.  I've actually made the argument that horror writers are even better adjusted than the average joe because we exorcise our demons right there on the page.  Speaking of which, how have you been finding the horror community treating you as a new author? Or is it not so much the horror community but the vampire community? Or something even more/less specific?

LL:  I was already accepted and welcomed in the poetry community two years ago when I started getting serious about publishing, and recently I have found that the horror and paranormal communities are absolutely wonderful. My publisher, Vamptasy, has multiple imprints that veer into steampunk, erotica and general fantasy, as well as horror and paranormal. It's a big family there and I'm happy to be here.

I have also recently connected with authors outside of the company via Facebook and they are all very welcoming to me and all the other new authors. I was unsure about whether or not I'd be welcomed, being so young and new, but I'm glad to say that the publishing industry is filled with wonderful people.

SK:   True dat.  Final question: what do you think would happen if we found out vampires were real tomorrow?

LL:  A question for a question: who says they aren't?

SK:  Oooh, the hairs on the back of my neck just stood up.  Or was that a fang?!?!?!?  Well, thanks for being with us today, Lily!   Any final words for your fans?

LL:  Thank you so much for having me! Well, I have a couple things to say to them. (Wow, it's hard to believe I actually have fans! It's so surreal!) Number one: whatever you want in life, DON'T give up on it. Be it a certain career, a lover, anything. Keep working and believing in yourselves.

Number two: thank you. I know I'm not the next Stephen King or Bram Stoker, but I honestly appreciate your following, your support and your encouragement. As an indie author with an indie company, every reader is special to me. I worked so hard on STAKE-OUT, and I am so excited to have you all read it on May 19th!


Detective Danny Mancini is on a case, following a murder suspect. When he catches him, he finds out that the perp isn't even human: he's a 200 year old rogue vampire!

The department doesn't believe him, and puts him on early retirement, despite his many years of service to the Chicago Police Department, which sends him into a downward spiral.

Two years later, Danny gets an invitation from the beautiful, young and very attractive Detective Angelica Cross to join a secret branch of the FBI to help her track down Vincent, the wayward vamp.

But renegade werewolves, meddling immortal witches and Danny's strange visions of a life lived a century ago with Angelica make things more difficult than it should be.

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