Falling fast into a new world with magical abilities? Days numbered as you try to save a world from being destroyed? Overpowered party members you just don’t get along with? This isn’t Kingdom Hearts, Legend of Zelda or Final Fantasy. This is a whole new story called Cycle of the Six Moons, created by Adelle Yeung. In the first book, The Starriest Summer, our heroine Michelle is on a unforeseen journey to fufill her destiny as a Goddess. ComiConverse’s Gabe Golden got to sit down and talk with Adelle to get the scoop on her new self-published book and how it came to be.
GG: Is this the first book you’ve published?
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AY: Yup this is my first!
GG: How has the process been for you so far?
AY: So far it’s been pretty fun! I’ve been doing a lot of work with the self-publishing process and the self-promotion with finding my own cover artist, editing and formatting myself. I like formatting, it’s fun and I have a network of creative friends that I can use to be like “Hey, I like your art style, can you do a cover for me?” As for the sales part, it’s kind of hard to gauge, because it’s pretty early and only one book is out from the entire trilogy. A lot of advice writers give to other writers is “If you write more books you’ll sell more,” but there’s only one book out.
GG: Can you tell me a little about The Cycle of the Six Moons in a basic elevator pitch?
AY: It’s about this 15 year old girl who falls into another world where she is the Goddess reborn. Only, she is not supposed to be there yet. Her presence awakens the cycle of the six moons which is a series of trials that eventually leads to the destruction of that world [Starss], which leads to an existential destruction of all the other worlds. There’s this whole thing about souls emptying into a void…it’s a little complicated to go there right now.
GG: How did you come up with this idea?
AY: The very first premise revolved around saving a prince because I started writing it when I was 13. The idea came to me when I was on a road trip to Disneyland with my family and I was gazing outside at the passing California countryside. It just came to me: Why are you always saving the princess in video games? Why can’t you save a prince? So the idea of going into an underwater fortress and saving a prince was how the whole story began. As for the cycle of the six moons, the whole idea of its being the governing of life and death… I’m not sure how that came to me, it kind of just evolved into it over the past 13 years of me writing the story.
GG: What were the challenges when coming up with this new kind of story?
AY: It’s been a long time since writing it, but for a while I was stuck rewriting the second version. the book that was published was the third version. I wrote the first version when I was 13 and the second when I was 14. When I was starting the second revision I stopped at a point which was chapter 8 in the second version. In the published version, it was when she left the prince impostor. I was stuck there and I think it was because I was getting caught up with school work, but other than that there weren’t really any other challenges I came across.
GG: Did your break give you more ideas for your book?
AY: College helped, but I’m not sure about high school except for the writers’ club. We would share stuff every week, and I got critiques. That was encouraging and that jump started the second revision. During college I didn’t really write, but the published version was right after I graduated college and I feel I used all my experiences from college to write the published version.
GG: What was your process while writing it?
AY: I daydream a lot, so in the early stages it was me thinking of something to help me fall asleep, and it stayed in my head until I felt like writing it down. When I was writing the published version, I had some downtime at my café job between rushes, so I would just stand around and think about what I was going to write. I use outlines as well, but I still allow myself to be flexible.
GG: You mentioned you wrote it as you were growing up. Were you anything like your video game nerd main character Michelle?
AY: Michelle is basically me. I was a very excitable teenager, so anything she likes, I like!
GG: Any other characters you were drawn to while writing?
AY: The character I have the most fun writing is Dreana. She doesn’t have a very big role in the first one, but she officially “joins the party” in the second book. I really like her because a lot of the other characters have to be nice to Michelle because she is the Goddess, but Dreana is just kind of there being sassy like “you’re such a stupid little girl.” Michele doesn’t like her either so it makes for an interesting dynamic. They are kind of opposites, Michelle being super innocent, childish, and naive, and Dreana is just seductive, sexy and just puts herself all out there.
GG: Is there a certain type of storytelling you like to follow?
AY: Throughout all of college I didn’t write a lot but I read a lot of young adult novels to prepare myself to write the published version of The Cycle of the Six Moons. This was when The Hunger Games was getting popular and it was written in the first person present tense which is how the Cycle is written. I liked that it made it immediate as you were reading it. You were experiencing it as Katniss experienced it. I wanted to utilize that sort of storytelling to make it immediate.
GG: Are you reading anything else right now?
AY: I’m not because I’m trying to prepare the second book for publication. I’ve been re-reading over the second book about five times in December just to edit everything. so once the second book is out there, I might be taking a break before releasing the third book and read something else that is not my own writing.
GG:Any advice you can give the writers getting their own ideas out there?
AY: If there is anybody out there trying to self publish, they should try to go into as many mediums as they can. Don’t do just e-books or just paperbacks. Do as many as you can to [reach] as many that want to read it. I was surprised that I sold more paperbacks than e-books in the first month.
GG: Are there any other forms you are going to put it in?
AY: I’m also a voice actor, so for the books, I’m doing promotional audio shorts to entice people to read it. I really like doing the audio part, but I have standards when It comes to it and I want a full cast with exactly how I have been doing the teasers with the music and sound effects. But to produce that and to be able to pay all of my voice actors is out of my budget. It would be a nice thing but I’m not sure the audience is there yet.
GG:Do you have some promotional videos up already?
AY: I have the ones up for the first book already on youtube, and I’m almost done with the ones for the second book.
GG: How do you work with other voice actors and actresses?
AY: I meet with them over Skype and along with their scripts, send background information with contextual clues. I record their lines a few times so I can hear the delivery I want to hear in the audio shorts.
GG:When do you plan on releasing the second book?
AY: It is due to be released on Friday March 25th.
GG:Any mentions for the next book?
AY: As much as I like the first book, the second book is way better. There’s more drama, and there’s a lot more violence. Some romance for people who like that, I guess. There is more plot to answer unanswered questions from the first book. There will also be a lot more of some characters.
GG: Is there going to be any books added to this trilogy?
AY: I had been thinking of doing side stories of maybe Aaron’s time on Starss, but that’s just an idea.
GG:Do you have a title for the next book?
AY: Yes. It’s going to be Eclipsing Autumn.
Gabe Golden is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Follow him on Twitter @Goldenfedora.