New author Lexi DeHalo lived in the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina until she left for college to study Chemistry and Forensic Science. Despite her love for science, Lexi’s heart has always belonged to the arts. So, after moving to the big city, she decided to pursue her creativity by writing hot stories about hot men who love other men.
Q: The first book in the Be-Were series, Mating Moon, establishes a complex world, rife with paranormal creatures, prejudice, and surprising friendship. How did you come up with the premise of a world ruled by superhumans that hunt werewolves and vampires?
A: The idea started with my characters. I always had this image of Night in my mind, and I guess you could say the world was built around him. Night was always a Hunter to me, but I began to ask questions like what made him a Hunter? Did he choose this path or was it a path he was born into? What reasons would the superhumans have for hunting the shifters and vampires? What adaptive traits would be required for a superhuman race to keep up with the abilities possessed by shifters and vampires? The more I learned about him, the more complex the world became until the premise for the world was established and Mating Moon was created.
Q: Both heroes in the book have tragic back stories. Akira witnessed his brother’s murder and lived on the street. Night grew up in a home without love. What draws you to characters with a dark past?
A: I like the added depth it gives to characters. We all have things in our pasts that have shaped us into the people we are today, so why would my characters be any different? Even if our pasts aren’t as dark as what Night and Akira had to go through, there are still moments in our lives that we will carry with us, influencing our decisions and the way we interpret the world around us.
Q: The heroes in the book, Akira and Night, have great names. How did you come up with them, and what significance do they have in the story?
A: Well, I choose the name based on the character. A bad name can ruin a character, so their names had to be something that would suit them. Akira was actually named by a good friend of mine when we were discussing his traits. The name fit so perfectly that I knew it belonged to him. As for Night, I don’t really remember how I came up with it, but when I would picture him in my mind it was always at nighttime. I actually tried a few other names out first but none of them fit him as well as Night did and I decided to just go with it.
Q: We are given hints in Mating Moon of the steamy and forbidden romance between Jared, the Alpha, and Dani, Omega and peacekeeper of the pack. Will their story be explored further in future books?
A: Oh definitely. Their story is actually one I am looking forward to. Since Mating Moon first began I always knew they would get their own book. I fell in love with Jared the moment he was introduced into the plot, and Dani was just perfect for him. I have a long way to go before I get to their story though. However, I can say they will continue to show up in later books until they get their own happily ever after.
Q: Which character do you like writing more: the protagonist or the villain? Why?
A: I can honestly say I like writing both. I like exploring the gray areas of all my characters because no one is perfect. There will be times when the protagonist may not always do the right thing or the villain may have a moment of kindness. It is their reasons behind why they do the things they do that I am most interested in, not necessarily their role in the book, although that is important, too. I think it is my curiosity of how a person comes to be the way they are that attracts me to both types of characters.
Q: What do you do to relax or get the creative juices flowing when you are struggling to meet your writing goals or deadlines?
A: I make time for my writing. You have to be in a certain mindset to really focus on your manuscript so on a day I know I need to write, I make sure I have plenty of rest and try to get many of my other tasks out of the way so they aren’t distractions when I begin writing. Also, I avoid things like Facebook, e-mail, and generally anything online. It only makes me procrastinate longer, and then I end up not writing as much as I originally wanted.
Q: What person, record, and book would you take with you to a desert island?
A: The person I would take would have to be my best friend. We are inseparable and it would be a requirement before going to this desert island. As for what record I would take, that would be a hard decision. I’m addicted to all kinds of music. Literally. So choosing one would be hard, but going based on what I’m currently listening to, it would either be between Broken Iris’s The Eyes of Tomorrow album, In This Moment’s Blood album, or Rihanna’s Talk That Talk album. The book I would take with me would probably be Working Stiffs by Jana Downs. I just love her creative twist on the zombie apocalypse.
Q: What is the scariest thing that ever happened to you?
A: It would probably be when I was in college. I had brought my laptop to a chemistry lab to work on my assignment and all of a sudden my screen froze. When I rebooted my computer it said that the hard drive could not be found. I sat through two more excruciating hours of class before I was able to take my laptop to a computer store where I was told my hard drive had suddenly quit working for no apparent reason and that for two hundred dollars they could try to retrieve my manuscripts but it was unlikely. I believe I cried the whole half an hour drive back home before I remembered I had saved them on my USB drive two days ago when I had used my roommate’s desktop to write on. It was a close call, but now I try to make sure I save everything in at least two different locations.
Q: Tell us something we don’t know about you that might surprise us.
A: I like reading science text books. While most would find them boring, I am completely fascinated by the world around us and understanding how it works. I guess that’s why I decided to major in chemistry and forensics. I also like to watch documentaries for fun and will cross-reference some of their information to see if what they’re talking about is actually backed up by facts. I’m kind of a nerd that way I guess.
Q: Who do you look up to? What are some of their qualities that you strive to possess as well?
A: Yuu Watase. She is an unbelievable artist and I absolutely love her originality and unique plots. I haven’t found one of her mangas that hasn’t moved me in some way. I hope that someday my stories become equally inspiring.