Lunaside is my debut novel. It’s a lesbian romance, set at a summer camp! It’s about Moira, Lunaside’s Art camp counselor, as she deals with having her geeky girlfriend work at the camp while also having feelings for the quiet, striking new counselor.
(As you can see in the art by http://layaart.tumblr.com/–Moira is caught between a nerd and too-attractive, ghost-eyed girl).
It’s also about the unexpected friendships that form between people forced to spend a summer together, and features lots of stuff about the inner workings of summer camp, based on my own experiences as a camp counselor.
(More art by http://layaart.tumblr.com/! Moira and her mismatched BFFs; Jude the Sports Camp counselor and Bailey, Lunaside’s reclusive costume designer)
Are you a plotter or a free writer?
Since I mostly write in first person, I start with a test write of that character’s point of view. After that, I think about how I can challenge my character to the point where they will have to go for what they want at all costs. Then I write a plan for how I want the story to go.
SPOILER: I almost never stick to the original plan.
Is your book part of a series or a standalone?
Lunaside is planned as a series, but each one is standalone and will feature a different counselor as the main character. The series aspect is really the story of the camp itself, as it grows and changes over time.
Do you require silence when writing or do you listen to music?
When I’m editing, I listen to a lot of house music. When I’m plotting, I listen to music that goes with the theme of the thing I’m writing. For Lunaside, that was lots of shouty indie rock about friendship. My current project’s playlist has a lot of music that sounds at home at a Soccer game or is literally about Soccer.
When I write, I can’t listen to anything. It’s too distracting. I start thinking about dancing or literally dancing, and it’s kind of hard to write like that.
Are you writing your next book? Can you share a little about it?
I’m working on a follow-up to Lunaside! It takes place the summer after Moira’s story, and will feature a different counselor as narrator. I won’t say who yet as the book is still being edited. She’s a VERY important character in Lunaside though, and expect her story to feature Writing Camp, more f/f romance, and A TON of Soccer references.
How long were you writing before getting a publishing contract?
I was always writing, but it’s only recently that I learned that it’s okay to submit stuff and tell my stories.
Prizm, my publisher, was actually the publisher I chose to study for one of my Creative Writing courses. We had to pretend to submit to a publisher or agent for practice, and I chose them because of their LGBT focus.
At the time, I wasn’t ready to submit a non-pretend query. But then I got to the point where I felt like Lunaside was polished enough and I thought “let’s do this!”
When does your book release?
Lunaside was released January 7th of this year!
JL Douglas left her real-life summer camp to go to university. One day, while looking over her endless pile of Stats homework she asked, “is there life after summer camp?!” Her answer was to write. LUNASIDE is her debut novel. She secretly hopes that it will be part of a master plan of one day running a summer camp of her own.