Oddly enough, I received an email the other night (morning?). Promptly at midnight. From L.A. Dragoni. She consented to an interview (but only between the hours of 12 and 2:00 AM and only when there’s a full moon out. And she sent along this (not very helpful) photo.
These are the results…
SRW: Hey L.A! Glad to see you could, um, make it. Okay, what’s L.A. stand for? How much CAN you tell me about yourself?
LA: Thanks for letting me hang out, Stuart. Nice rafters digs you got here. Though LA are my initials, the real reason people call me that is because when I was young I used to talk about horrible, scary things all the time. So much so, that when other kids saw me coming they’d stick their fingers in their ears and chant, “La la la la la la” so they couldn’t hear my creepy tales and anecdotes.
Fine print: this may or may not be a true story. LA Dragoni is writing under a pen name and writes fiction.
SRW: Let’s jump right into Ghost Touch. Give the readers the briefest, “teaseriest” description possible.
LA: She can help him cross, but can she let him go?
SRW: Okay, now I gotta tell you, I’m not much of a fan of paranormal romances. And one thing that struck me as odd is that Tamara begins to fall for one of the ghosts, Cal, haunting her barn. The only problem is he looks like a skeleton! My wife assures me this is par for the course in paranormal romances (as I said, I don’t read, um, many), so just go with it. But as Grandma used to tell me, “Looks count (she was odd, my grandma).” I’m just curious what your take is on this.
LA: There are a lot of things going on in both your question and in the book. Let’s see if I can make them converge. Two things inspired Ghost Touch.
First and foremost, I dreamed it. I dream every night, so that’s no big deal – but this dream was so vivid and complete and, dare I say it, haunting. The dream took place in my barn, my yard, on my property. Maybe that’s why it felt so real. All I know is the story wasn’t going to leave me until I wrote it down.
Second, looks do count, most of the time, but you have to realize that Tamara is a young woman who is grieving the first major loss of her lifetime. Her mother. Grief does crazy things to your psyche. So even though this revolting, musty smelling skeleton scares the crud out of her in the beginning, his kindness and consideration, his polite, cowboy ways, his gentle manner cut through Tamara’s grief and become the balm to the wounds that losing her beautiful, nurturing mom left her with. Besides, when he does become corporeal, he’s totally hot. But that is not what she falls for. That’s just bonus.
SRW: After I just went through my macho posturing about not reading paranormal romances, I have to admit you’ve created a very compelling love triangle between Tamara, Cal and Dex. Actually, I couldn’t wait to see who she ended up with. Dex is a sorta salt-of-the-earth kinda’ guy, Cal is, um, sorta from the earth. Did you have a preference?
LA: I don’t think I do have a preference. Tamara is in the unusual situation where Cal is corporeal and could very well be hers – for her lifetime. That kind of relationship security is enticing. But Dex is a real, living breathing, warm-blooded man. There is something appealing about warm skin. I admit I love Cal’s kindness and old-fashioned manners. But I’m also drawn to Dex’s fun mix of nerdiness and quirkiness. I could totally see him unapologetically attending a Star Wars convention dressed as Chewbacca.
SRW: In the book, Tamara likes her men (both dead and alive) big and long-haired. There’s a lot of finger kneading and knitting through long hair from all three main characters (this didn’t get by me as I’m follicularly challenged. Jealous I guess)! Is it safe to assume the elusive Ms. Dragoni likes her men the same way?
LA: Uh oh. Sorry if I overdid that! No, I don’t have a preference there either. Back in the day when I was alive and single, hair was optional.
SRW: I particularly liked the villain, Troit. Very memorably creepy, slimy, yet possessing a certain bit of Cockney bad boy charm. Where’d you haul him out from (besides the barn/void, I mean)?
LA: Troit was so much fun to write! I spent a lot of time looking up 20’s and 30’s slang to make his smack talk more authentic. I loved being able to revel in his meanness and selfishness. Tamara was really afraid of him – and rightfully so. Once he figured out what her Ghost Touch could do for him, he didn’t hesitate to try to drain her life force in order to walk the earth permanently.
SRW: The first chapter truly gave me the creeps, very evocative, very spooky. Would you ever consider writing a straight-up horror tale, light on the romance?
LA: Honestly, that’s what I set out to do here. There was nothing about love in my dream! The love story was not planned. But what can I say? I love love.
SRW: What’s up next for Ms. Dragoni?
LA: A sequel to Ghost Touch that I don’t want to say too much about, but I’m excited over. And I also have a phoenix story planned. The main character is a bad, bad girl and though there will be a romance in it, the story will be dark and creepy. Just wait until you find out what her boyfriend is!
SRW: Sounds great! Thank you very much for, um, showing up this morning, L.A. Yawn. Wait you’re fading…what? Hold up…
And like that, POOF, L.A. has left the building, vanished into a glowing light.
But, here, check out this cover:
Beauty, ain’t it? Huh? HUH?
Buy her book here: Ghost Touch