Thank you to Dianna Gunn for this Interview and Cover Reveal. Enjoy!
All Riana has ever wanted is freedom. Unfortunately, that’s the one thing her kind cannot have.
Bound by the curse in her demonic blood for millennia, Riana has tried several times to bend the rules and live out her life in the mortal realm. Now her consistent rule breaking has drawn the attention of Loki, God of Mischief, the main tormentor of Riana’s kind. But instead of punishing her, he offers her the escape she has always desired. All she has to do to is save the kingdom of Moonshadow from a mysterious magical plague.
Armed only with the inherent power of her own blood and Loki’s pet dragon, Riana is determined to fight for the right to create her own destiny. However, when her mission forces her to destroy the last remnants of an ancient culture, Riana must ask – what is freedom really worth?
Moonshadow’s Guardian is a tale about the meaning of belonging, and the struggle to create a future not defined by your past.
Trigger Warnings: PTSD, depression, torture, gore, death
And without further ado, here is the updated COVER REVEAL! This cover update will be made in September and available for purchase then!
Title: Moonshadow’s Guardian
Series: The Moonshadow Rising Duology #1
Genre: Fantasy Horror
Publication Date: November 17th, 2018
Page Count: 262 pages
Links to Buy (Only $1.99 for the ebook!): https://books2read.com/u/mVBOkJ
Author Bio & Social Links
Dianna Gunn is an author of fantasy and science fiction with strong horror elements. Her first full-length novel, Moonshadow’s Guardian, was released in 2018, with the sequel set to arrive in fall 2022.
She also runs the Weeknight Writers Group, a social enterprise dedicated to creating accessible educational and community supports for writers, including the #WeeknightWriters Twitter chat on Thursdays at 7PM EST.
Tell us a little about yourself
Well, I’m a writer, obviously, and generally obsessed with books. One of my fondest dreams is to have a whole room or a whole floor of my future home (hah, hah, future home) devoted to books. Floor-to-ceiling shelves with those ladders on wheels, multiple reading nooks with fancy lamps and comfy chairs, an ancient wooden desk for taking notes. And of course, a cat or three to sit companionably with me while I read.
I also play lots of video games, dabble in TTRPGs, and watch a considerable amount of TV. In short, I’m always consuming some kind of story.
What made you want to become an author?
I’ve wanted to be a writer ever since I found out that “writer” could be a job. There are other jobs I think might be fun, but nothing has ever held my interest like writing. There’s simply nothing in this world that I love more than stories. Well, maybe my cats.
Why write Fantasy Horror?
The fantasy genre is a thing in my mother’s family. I mean, we all went to see Return of the King in theaters together, kind of thing. I grew up surrounded by stories from Tolkien, Mercedes Lackey, Terry Pratchett, and a hundred other fantasy authors. I watched The Princess Bride and Willow probably a hundred times. Fantasy is as close to being in my blood as a genre can be. I can’t imagine writing anything else for very long.
Horror, on the other hand, is more just… how my stories evolved. I always intended to lean into the darker elements of my stories, and I used to think of my stories as “fantasy with a dose of horror”. Well, it turns out that a pretty substantial number of readers thought my books had more than “a dose” of horror. I guess my perspective is a little skewed because I watched Neon Genesis Evangelion and Claymore when I was like 14 (if you know, you know). But I’m good at writing horror, at writing fear, at writing pain, so I’m leaning all the way into it now.
Tell us a little bit about Moonshadow’s Guardian and Moonshadow’s Champion. In your own words what is the story about?
Both books are, in a sense, about freedom. What freedom means, what freedom is worth, how far people are willing to go for it.
In Moonshadow’s Guardian, Riana has made a bargain with Loki to save the kingdom of Moonshadow in exchange for freedom from an ancient curse that binds her to serve human masters. She must decide how far she’s willing to go to achieve that freedom.
In Moonshadow’s Champion, the conflict is more about what we do with the freedom we do have and the importance of protecting that freedom. Oh, and a civil war.
It’s so exciting that Moonshadow’s Guardian is getting a new cover. I’ve always wondered, what is the thought process that goes into making that decision?
Cover changes are almost always about branding. Sometimes it’s because the cover isn’t appropriate for the book, sometimes it’s to make it look more in line with current cover trends, sometimes it’s to make it look more like other covers in your backlist.
Other times, it’s about availability. Popular cover artists are often booking 2-3 years in advance.
For me, it was a bit of both. Due to some personal stuff, my original cover artist had greatly reduced her client list and wasn’t sure when she would be available to do the cover for my second book. I wanted to make sure both covers have similar branding, so I decided to get the artist for the second cover to create a new first cover as well.
The new cover will be revealed at the beginning of August and I’m REALLY excited about it!
Moonshadow’s Champion is coming out Fall 2022, what are you most excited about when thinking of that release?
It being over?
I’m only half joking on that one. This book has taken me way, way longer to whip into publishable shape than I expected & I’ll be glad to finally share it with the world. I’m also really excited to do a lot of launch promos, but those are exhausting and when it’s done, I’ll be looking forward to a long nap even more.
I love book quotes. Do you have a favorite, non-spoiler quote from one of your books that you’d like to share
One of my favorite characters is Jacob II, a long-time friend and mentor of Riana, and I’m particularly fond of this line discussing the shrine of a dead loved one:
“It helps, you know,” Jacob II said softly. “To see the shrine. You can’t move through the pain until you acknowledge it.”
Who are some of your favorite authors and why?
The first one that comes to mind is NK Jemisin because of the richness of her imagined worlds and the intricacy of her storytelling, and also because no books have ever broken my heart as thoroughly as the Broken Earth trilogy.
And of course there’s Terry Pratchett. I love his style of satire and I am endlessly envious of his ability to tackle social concepts in a way that is both funny and meaningful. Not to mention the magic of watching Discworld evolve over many books (though I’ve only read about half of them so far).
What is one thing that you love about the current state of Fantasy Horror and what is one thing that you wish you saw more of?
Honestly, I love everything about the current state of fantasy horror. The genre is thriving. There are several great small presses producing fantasy horror, and a lot of traditionally published books that just get marketed as fantasy are pretty heavy on the horror themes. Moreover, the author communities I’ve found in this genre are incredible. It sounds weird, but nobody is nicer than a horror writer. At least until you threaten us or our friends. You don’t want to know what happens if you do that. Oh, and for legal reasons, that was a joke.
What is a great book that you’ve read recently and why should we read it?
I recently read The Spider’s Web by Sophia Beaumont and not only was it a fun story, but it was also an artifact in time, with references to flip phones and various pop culture phenomena of the time. If you’re feeling nostalgic for the 2000’s and you like urban fantasy, I highly recommend it. Unless you’re afraid of spiders, because that reference is pretty literal.