Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!
Earlier this August, I featured the Cover Reveal and book trailer (which spoke to the origins of the world’s mythology) whilst I was eagerly awaiting the blog tour which would celebrate the novel’s release. However, somewhere between my initial curiosities about Under the Lesser Moon and the blog tour, I have come to uncover some of the content and aspects of how the story is told (both contextually and visually) are now a step removed from what I can personally handle as a reader – as you will find disclosed through this Q&A there are certain content and trigger warnings which I simply do not desire to read about in the stories I am choosing to read. One of the hardest of all the ones listed for me is abuse – for both children and animals. It is a deal-breaker for me for any story I am considering to read because I simply cannot handle those kinds of stories – they are above and beyond the kind of content I want to be reading myself. In fact, I pulled out of a blog tour this year which dealt with explicit child abuse and on/off scene visuals of it because it was not the story I was pitched as a book blogger and I feel a bit the same in regards to Under the Lesser Moon.
Mostly as I was under the impression this was a slow-building dragon fiction series – wherein, the dragons would be more central to the story and to the context of the series rather than what is being disclosed today through the conversation I had with the author. In some respects, I think this is outside my own purview of what I would like to see in dragon fiction as this is too hinged to the origins of what first inspired the mythological past of the world Campbell has built. I had no idea her inspiration marker was the Aztecs as I studied the histories and cultures of the Aztecs, the Mayans and the Incas in school. I had a very strong passion for Archaeology and Anthropology and nearly entered those fields – however, of the three societies I studied, the one I felt the most akin to wanting to know more about were the Mayans. I found them quite interesting and by sixteen I was walking through the ruins of their cities in Central Mexico and in the Yucatan peninsula.
Likewise, the one series I never felt motivated to read despite it being touted as a series I ought to read by my teachers was Clan of the Cave Bear as to me, it was too brutal of a world and the darker elements of what was written into the novel for me were just not my cuppa of tea. I barely made it through the opening bridge of the first novel if I finished it at all before I put it down and returnt it to my teacher. I’ve kept away from stories and series which parallel thematically from that series and/or stories which are rooted in similar epochs of History as they do not seem to be a good fit for me as a reader.
And, in regards to the Horror disclosures of Under the Lesser Moon, I was quite disappointed as despite the fact I read ‘Cosy Horror’ – for me the most spookied part of this subniche of the genre is the fact like in a Hitchcock film, most of the suspenseful thrills are off camera and off-scene; these are stories which thread through a psychological suspense lens rather than a visually graphic one depicting the truer elements of what Horror is known for as a genre. Thereby, I do not read traditional Horror and was quite burnt a few times on stories which I felt were Cosier than they became as I read them.
As the conversation progressed however I appreciated the candor of the author’s responses as much as I appreciated how she gave us such a firm impression of her world-building and the character sketches she reveals about her mythological origins and of the lead character himself. To me, this conversation is pivotal towards understanding the main components of the series this novel begins and of better knowing if the content of the story (and of the succession of installments) is a good fit for us as readers. This is one reason I enjoy interviewing authors and/or conversing with them on Twitter. It is hard to gather an opinion about a story in Speculative Fiction from the outside without asking key questions which root out the specific areas we might be concerned about as readers. Thus, I am fully appreciative whenever an author answers my questions candidly and with such wonderful insight as Ms Campbell has herself today.
I hope you will find this conversation I had with the author, Ms Campbell will help you decide if this Dark Fantasy novel and series is right up your street or if it is a bit too dark for you as I have felt it is for me through the conversation we shared.