Welcome to my weekly Author Spotlight. I’ve asked a bunch of my author friends to answer a set of interview questions, and to share their latest work.
Today, Edale Lane – the author of an award winning 2019 debut novel, Heart of Sherwood. She is the alter-ego of author Melodie Romeo, (Tribute in Blood, Terror in Time, and others) who founded Past and Prologue Press. Both identities are qualified to write historical fiction by virtue of an MA in History and 24 years spent as a teacher, along with skill and dedication in regard to research. She is a successful author who also currently drives a tractor-trailer across the United States. A native of Vicksburg, MS, Edale (or Melodie as the case may be) is also a musician who loves animals, gardening, and nature. Please visit her website at: https://pastandprologuepress.lpages.co/
Thanks so much, Edale, for joining me
J. Scott Coatsworth: How would you describe your writing style/genre?
Edale Lane: Unsatisfied with the confines of a specific genre, I decided an author is not required to abide by any rule save “create something excellent.” The basis of my writing is historical, because I love history and have a master’s degree and many years teaching under my belt. Then I include romance, since that element is a major part of our lives. I’m not huge on drama, so I make up for that with action, adventure, and/or mystery. In an Edale Lane novel, there will be triumph and tragedy, love and battles, but above all, characters who grow and evolve. I like to set a scene with description, use dialog and action to move the plot ahead, and throw in a surprise or two to keep the audience on their toes. And while there may be some dark moments, I believe in positivity, and ensure that something good will befall my protagonist.
JSC: Do you reward yourself for writing, or punish yourself for failing to do so? How?
EL: No punishment. I write what I can when I can and don’t spend time lolly-gagging around. Should I feel like putting on a DVD or playing a video game one evening instead of working–after a long day of working–then I allow myself a break. I treat myself the way I would one of my students or children: high expectations tempered with grace and understanding. As to rewards? Getting that chapter just the way I want it fills my heart with more pleasure than anything else in the world! For me, writing is its own reward.
JSC: What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?
EL: I remember writing novellas and short stories as far back as the 1970s, all in spiral notebooks. Who remembers old typewriters? I praised God when correction tape and whiteout were invented! Must haves: a computer or laptop with word processor, the internet, thesaurus, hours of research (doesn’t matter what you are writing–get your references correct!), a vivid imagination, a love for what you are creating, and either proofreaders or an editor (preferably both).
JSC: What are your least favorite parts of publishing?
EL: Marketing and social media. It’s not that I’m anti-social; it just sucks up too much time that could be spent researching and writing. As an independent publisher, I must spend time creating blurbs and ads, plus hours every week promoting my books. One day, I’ll be able to pay someone to do that.
JSC: Who did your cover, and what was the design process like?
EL: My cover artist is the immensely talented Enggar Adirasa. He is a dream to work with! I tell him a bit about the book and characters, send him some sample images, give him an idea what I am looking for, and he draws up a concept and sends it to me. If it is not exactly what I had in mind, I tell him how I want it changed, and he sends me an updated version. Then I get it with color, and once again he makes any changes I ask for. I already have his cover for Viking Quest; now to edit it into a novel worthy of his gorgeous artwork!
JSC: What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?
EL: Chaos in Milan was intended to complete the trilogy in an exciting, unexpected, and satisfying way, while still leaving the door open for more sequels. I believe I accomplished that goal with excellence; otherwise, I would still be working on it.
JSC: What question do you wish that someone would ask about your book, but nobody has? Write it out here, then answer it.
EL: No one has asked a question about my novels’ themes, and to me theme is everything. Yes, I want to tell an entertaining story, but I want the reader to come away with something deeper, a true feeling of inspiration. There are several important themes in Chaos in Milan: 1) people can change, but they usually don’t because transforming oneself is hard work. 2) true love finds a way. 3) Nothing is impossible.
JSC: What was the weirdest thing you had to Google for your story?
EL: The Bone Chapel. It’s in Florence and quite freakishly fascinating. I invite you to look it up, or better yet–order a copy of Chaos in Milan!
JSC: Describe yourself using a song.
EL: “Forever Young.”
JSC: What are you working on now?
EL: I am about to release another rewrite under Edale Lane, Viking Quest. I expect this epic saga featuring a woman warrior leading her men in a perilous expedition (with a slow burning ff romance) to be released sometime in April. Then it’s on to Missing in Milan, a Night Flyer Novel, which I have almost completed in my head. More mysteries to solve and villains to battle for Florentina, Maddie, and their family members in this next chapter of their adventures, not to mention historical jewels like attending a Renaissance Italian wedding. Be on the lookout for this one late summer or early fall.
And now for Edale’s latest book: Chaos in Milan:
One woman stands between chaos and order—the Night Flyer.
When chaos strikes at the heart of Milan, it is up to Florentina’s alter-ego the Night Flyer to stop it. As Florentina and Madelena’s love deepens, so does the well of danger surrounding them. The race is on to discover the mysterious Shadow Guild and uncover who is behind the deadly rampage, but Florentina’s mission is threatened by a gang of assassins. Can the Night Flyer prevail, or will Maddie’s love be ripped from her arms?
Chaos in Milan is the third book in Edale Lane’s Night Flyer Trilogy, a tale of power, passion, and payback in Renaissance Italy. If you like action and suspense, rich historical background, three-dimensional characters, and a sweet romance, then you’ll want to complete the Night Flyer saga. Order your copy of Chaos in Milan today!