J.A. Saare Q&A: Werewolves, love at first sight and Caleb vs. Trent

J.A. Saare, author of Crimson Moon

Paranormal romance author J.A. Saare

In Crimson Moon, Emma discovers her link to vampires while falling in love with a werewolf (read our review). Intense romance unfolds with heavy choices laid on her shoulders, including choosing a side: vampire or werewolf.

Author J.A. Saare, whose other work includes Dead, Undead or Somewhere in Between, set aside some time to answer our questions about unyielding love, accepting differences and comparisons to Twilight (though, a darker, sexier Twilight).

J.A. Saare: Thanks for having me on the blog! I’m so excited to share the answers to your question and provide a bit of insight into Crimson Moon.

Vampire Book Club: While momentarily freaked out, Emma is accepting and understanding of the werewolves upon the reveal. Is it because her own otherness, her roll-with-the-punches nature or something else all together?

J.A. Saare: I’ve always believed that deep down Emma knew she was different.  Instinctually, she recognized something was unique even if she wasn’t aware of it consciously. Considering how she was chased out of town, the circumstances of her rescue, and the way things evolved, she naturally gravitated toward a suspension of disbelief.

Vampire Book Club: Neither the weres nor the vampires are made out as the bad guys, making Emma’s choice all the more complex. Was that a conscious effort and was it difficult to keep things so balanced?’

J.A. Saare: While I knew the werewolves would be good, in the conceptual stages I wasn’t sure how the vampires — especially the commons versus the Truebloods — would be.  I’m a pantser (fly by the seat of versus plot) and didn’t know what surprises were in store.  It wasn’t until I was thinking about another story involving a vampire, the woman he loved, and an accident that has placed her on the brink of life and death that I realized, “These could be Emma’s parents,” and began working that into the storyline. It wasn’t a conscious effort to make it more difficult but just occurred as things went along.

Vampire Book Club: Taking the boys (Trent and Caleb) out of the equation, how would you choose: werewolf or vampire?

J.A. Saare: I’ve always been a werewolf gal. *grin* There is something so intriguing about a man with a wild animal that he carries within. While I do think that vampires are captivating in their own right, I’ve always preferred heroes who shift forms, howl at the moon, and have an instinctual propensity to protect those they love.

Vampire Book Club: Could Caleb and Emma stay together if she were to become a vampire?

J.A. Saare: I can’t give anything away, but the next book answers this question.  😉

Vampire Book Club: Your werewolves have a human shifted state — growing in size, elongation of the face, etc. – and the animal shifted state. Where did the idea for two levels of shift come from and why did you think it was important?

J.A. Saare: I had a difficult time because I’ve always loved the Wolfman as well as the “pretty” version of werewolves. At first I was going to make them change form but not shift entirely; however, as this is a romanticized book of about shifters, vampires, and the like, I felt it was best to have both forms. Each has their place, and I tried to incorporate them into the story in places where it worked for the scene.  They are man and beast, both beautiful and hideous, and I wanted to portray that.

Crimson Moon by J.A. SaareVampire Book Club: Do you think the concept of shifters bonding or imprinting is a reflection of our desire for explosive, finite love-at-first sight? If so, the big question is, do you believe in it or did you just love giving that joy to Emma?

J.A. Saare: I do believe in love at first sight, but I also know that love can be one sided and may or may not be reciprocated. That is the usual story with first romances, as well as the tragedy of them.  Fortunately, when you write your own stories, you can dictate how things occur. Since I love when two people meet, feel a mutual attraction, and form a close connection, bonding is something that felt like a very natural path to take. It’s far easier to have love at first sight/mating/bonding with paranormal romance versus contemporary romance, so it suited my purposes, but I definitely think you can see a person and know he or she is “the one.”

As for Emma, well, I’d be lying if I said my personal experiences didn’t influence aspects of the story.   We all know what it’s like to love someone unconditionally, even if it doesn’t make sense. Unfortunately what we don’t often anticipate is just how vulnerable loving another person makes us. I tried to incorporate this into Crimson Moon in ways that are uplifting, yet, heartbreaking.

Vampire Book Club: What makes Emma and Caleb’s relationship special?

J.A. Saare: They complement each other. He’s older and rough around the edges; she’s young and views life through rose tinted glasses. Yet, when you put the two together, you learn that while he might know more about the world, her ability to see past the surface of things creates an undeniable balance. Deep down, they provide what each needs in the other. Whereas Caleb is quick to react and short tempered, Emma is soft-spoken and reflective.

Vampire Book Club: What about Emma and her vampire suitor Trent?

J.A. Saare: Honestly, Trent is better suited for Emma. He understands her abilities, shares her lineage, and can relate to her in ways Caleb cannot. Also, due to the extenuating circumstances, he is her friend first versus a romantic interest, which allows them to get to know each other on a very personal level, which is totally different than what Emma has experienced with Caleb.

Vampire Book Club: With the immediate acceptance and utter certainty of love and the taboo nature of the relationship, Crimson Moon can draw comparisons to Twilight. (We think the Twilight fans will love your novel, but recognize them as two very different things.) Do you see the relation and do you mind others conceptually linking the two?

J.A. Saare: After reflecting on it, I think that the first person narrative (via the heroine), use of vampires and werewolves, and the fact that it’s a romance novel (under a different context, of course) evoke the same kind of emotions and responses. I don’t mind the comparison (it’s rather flattering), but while there are similarities there are also differences — namely in the darkness and sexual content of Crimson Moon.

If I continue on with the following installment/installments as planned (the second story is written but currently under contract negotiation), the dark tone will only increase. You won’t get fade to black chapter breaks when violence or sexual scenes occur, nor will primary characters ever be “safe.” Sometimes sacrifices have to be made in books. You can expect that in this series.

Vampire Book Club: Finally, and this is a big one, are we going to get more of Emma’s story? While Crimson Moon can definitely stand alone, I’d love to see what happens after her making that choice.

J.A. Saare: I think I gave myself away in the answers above. *smile*

When I wrote Crimson Moon, I had no idea how long it would be.  When I thought I knew how things were going to end, something else arose and I found myself stretching things out.  When I surpassed the 100k mark, I realized I was going to have to break the story into two or three parts.

I’ve written the second story and a portion of the third, but I’m not certain if they will be combined or will remain separate.  I can tell you that several things change, there are some surprises you won’t see coming, and there is less Caleb Blackney and more Trent Balman.  I had a tough time writing Crimson Sunrise (title of the second installment), because as much as I love Caleb, I also adore Trent. I don’t envy Emma in having to make a choice.

Thanks so much for having me, for reviewing Crimson Moon, and for spreading the word.  I hope people enjoy the story and that I can continue to write things people want to read. 😉

Vampire Book Club: You can get more information on J.A. Saare and her other novels on her website. Don’t forget, Crimson Moon is our group read for August, and we’ll continue to have related posts each week.

Also, if you haven’t picked up Crimson Moon, now would be a good time. Order the book online at Wild Rose Press or Amazon.

4 Responses to “J.A. Saare Q&A: Werewolves, love at first sight and Caleb vs. Trent”

  1. Spaz P says:

    Great interview! I cannot wait to read Crimson Moon!!! JA Saare is awesome.

  2. Jaime says:

    Spaz P, YOU are awesome. 😉 Ty for stopping by! I’m hoping to be on Twitter next week. I miss all you guys.

  3. Agreed. JA Saare is awesome.

    …and Spaz P, I KNOW you’re going to like this one. 🙂

  4. Bells says:

    What a great interview. I have read Crimson Moon and I loved it. I fell in love with both Trent and Caleb, but I’m leaning a little more toward Trent. I am so a fangirl of JA Saare. She has quickly become one of my favorite writers.


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