Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Lenore Borja Interview - The Last Huntress

Photo Content from Lenore Borja

Lenore Borja grew up in Phoenix, Arizona. She attended Arizona State University before moving to New York City to study acting at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts. After a brief career as an actress, she spent several years working in executive search and human resources in both New York and San Francisco. She now resides in Fort Collins, Colorado, with her husband and a bossy feline named Maximus. When she’s not writing, she enjoys adventure travel and anything that gets the heart racing, whether it’s hiking, running, or getting lost in a good book.


Greatest thing you learned at school. 
Don’t leave things until the last minute!

Beyond your own work (of course), what is your all-time favorite book and why? 
It’s a toss-up between Jane Eyre and Persuasion. If I had to choose, Jane Eyre. I’m a hopeless romantic, and I love a tortured, brooding love interest like Edward Rochester. However, Persuasion is the only book that ever made me cry (I mean ugly, snot-filled crying). Captain Wentworth’s letter to Anne destroyed me!

Favorite book outside my genre.
Good Omens, by Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett

What was the single worst distraction that kept you from writing this book? 
My cat!

Has reading a book ever changed your life? Which one and why, if yes? 
Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon. I wouldn’t say it necessarily changed my life, but it is why my husband and I spent our honeymoon in Scotland. (I had just finished Voyager, the third book in the series, and I was OBSESSED)

Can you tell us when you started THE LAST HUNTRESS, how that came about? 
We lived in an apartment in San Francisco for over a year when my husband discovered one of the mirrors on the wall was a door. He accidentally banged into it while vacuuming, and it popped open. Luckily, it was just an empty linen closet, designed to be hidden. But it helped inspire me to create an entire world behind the mirror.

What was the most surprising thing you learned in creating your characters? 
They do and say things I never planned. Discovery is my favorite part of writing. Sometimes I feel like my characters are writing the story, and I’m just along for the ride.

Your Favorite Quotes/Scenes from THE LAST HUNTRESS
Without giving too much away, here are a couple of excerpts:

1. She spun around. Two very serious-looking Dobermans had snuck up behind her and were now well within biting distance. They had to be eighty pounds each, and they were just standing there, staring at her like she was a giant milk bone. Had they been stalking her through the entire house? The idea made her shudder. If only she weren’t a cat person.

2. Even though she was expecting it to be him, her initial response was to go weak in the knees. Levity was the only weapon she had.

“Sorry,” she said. “I think I’m lost. Which way to yesterday?”

  • Alice's cat, Boop, is based on my cat, Maximus.
  • Max (the horse) is also loosely based on Maximus.
  • I don't have a dog, but after creating Hammacher and Schlemmer (the Doberman Pinschers featured in the book), I desperately want to adopt two Doberman puppies.
  • A friend told me she's now a little wary of looking in mirrors after reading my book.
  • The original title was Wayward Soul, but my publisher felt The Last Huntress better represented the story.
  • The Last Huntress was a top 25 finalist in the 2020 Launch Pad Manuscript Competition (entered as Wayward Soul). It's a competition that seeks manuscripts with cinematic appeal for adaptation to film and television.
  • I grew up in Phoenix, AZ, and based Alice's scenic 'rock' on a similar spot I used to hike to when I was a teenager.
  • My first draft was 160,000 words.
  • The Last Huntress is the first in a four-book series.
  • I sat down at my laptop and wrote the opening desert scene in January 2018. It’s been a long road, but an incredible journey.
Meet the Characters
 Alice is petite with brown hair and brown eyes and would describe herself as ‘average.’ She is an only child, and after her parent’s divorce (due to infidelity on her father’s part), she had to become strong for her mother. She gets a lot of her strength and independence from her aunt Molly. She has friends and can hold her own in a social situation but never felt like she truly belonged.

COLIN  Colin is tall and fit, with dark blond hair, pale blue eyes, and a megawatt smile. He’s handsome, but not in an obvious way, and carries himself with the confidence of someone far beyond his years. He has little use for stupidity and can be impatient at times. He’ll do whatever it takes to protect the people he cares about, even protecting them from themselves.

OLIVIA  Olivia has dark hair and dark eyes. She has exotic features she hides behind harsh makeup and black clothing. Her style resembles ‘goth’ (but don’t say that to her face). She has specific extrasensory abilities that make it difficult for her to get close to people. Except for Soxie, Hadley, and Alice, she prefers the company of animals. She’s smart as a whip and almost always understands what’s happening before anybody else does.

SOXIE — Soxie has green eyes and a mane of bouncy, curly red hair. She’s tall and curvy, and her wardrobe is top-notch. She comes from money—and knows how to spend it—but it doesn’t define her. She’s honest, fiercely loyal, and not afraid to call someone out on their bull----. She has a commanding presence and a sharp tongue. She can be a little judgmental, but she has a good heart.

HADLEY — Hadley is tall with blue eyes, blond hair, and a sweet, disarming smile. She’d never describe herself as such, but others would call her knock-out gorgeous. Her style is casual; she prefers leather pants, boots, and t-shirts to dresses and high heels. She knows her way around a car and can handle herself in a dangerous situation. She’s the definition of ‘badass’ and the sweetest girl you’ll ever meet. She calls her friends ‘honey’ and would give them both of her kidneys if they asked.

MOLLY  Molly is Alice’s aunt. She has a complicated relationship with her sister Judy (Alice’s mother), but she adores Alice more than anything in the world. She’s a flight attendant who travels the world, but she always makes time to visit her only niece. She has a good heart but can often be irresponsible and selfish. She makes up for it with her enthusiasm and charm.

Your Journey to Publication
As I mentioned in my ‘random facts’, my first draft came in at 160,000 words. Unless you’re Diana Gabaldon or JK Rowling, this is a difficult sell for any author. I spent a lot of time reworking it to get it to a manageable size. It was hard to let certain characters and scenes go, but ultimately the story benefitted from it, and I was grateful to land a home for The Last Huntress with SparkPress. My family and friends have been very supportive, and I’m thankful for that support. I couldn’t have done it without them!

Writing Behind the Scenes
· I write in Google Docs because I’m horrified of losing anything.
· My cat likes to sit on my lap when I’m writing. (or occasionally on my keyboard)
· When I’m in the writing ‘zone,’ I sometimes forget to eat or drink. Hours go by, and then suddenly, I’m famished!

What is the first job you have had? 
I worked in a place called Metro Midway in Phoenix as a carnival booth and ride operator.

Best date you've ever had? 
The first date with my husband, of course! 😉

What is the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning? 

What is your most memorable travel experience? 
Going inside the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt

Which would you choose, true love with a guarantee of a heart break or have never loved before? 
True love every time!

When you looked in the mirror first thing this morning, what was the first thing you thought? 
I need more sleep.

What do you usually think about right before falling asleep? 
EVERYTHING. My mind won’t quit!

If you could be born into history as any famous person who would it be and why?
Amelia Earhart. She was a trailblazer, adventurer, and advocate for women. She was ahead of her time.
Most horrifying dream you have ever had? It’s my senior year of high school and just before graduation, I realize (with horror!) that I forgot to go to math class all year. Why do so many of us have this dream? It’s bizarre.

First Heartbreak? 
When Brad Pitt married Jenn Aniston. I was happy for them but sad for me. Brad was my celebrity crush for ages. Though, by the time he married Angelina, I was over it. So Brad, if you’re reading this: Sorry. I’ve moved on.

What is the weirdest thing you have seen in someone else’s home? 
An elevator.

What event in your life would make a good movie? 
When I was twenty years old I met a guy on a plane on Christmas Eve. There was an instant connection and potential for romance, but nothing ever came of it. The next time I saw him was years later, on television. He’s now a successful actor and I’ve enjoyed following his career over the years. I won’t say who he is, but the premise would make for a good Hallmark movie. (Though let’s be honest; if Hallmark hasn’t already made that movie then someone over there isn’t doing their job)

What is one unique thing are you afraid of? 
It’s not unique, but I’m still scared of the dark. There will always be something spooky about a dark and quiet house. Give me lights, music, television, and voices, and I’ll sleep like a baby. Pitch black and silence? I’ll stare at the ceiling with my eyes wide open.

Alice Daniels has a problem. Her reflection keeps misbehaving when she looks in the mirror--and the longer she ignores it, the harder it tries to get her attention. On her eighteenth birthday, she learns why: she is a huntress, someone gifted with the power to enter mirrors and the magical world that exists beyond. But with this power comes immense responsibility, for in the Mirror Realm lurks an evil that has infected the human race for centuries: demons. It is up to her and her three huntress sisters--with the help of one handsome and overbearing protector--to hunt and banish this evil one demon at a time, thereby keeping the chaos in check. But when an ancient god pays Alice a visit that turns deadly, it is clear the Mirror Realm is more than it seems, and she soon finds herself in a race against time to save the life--and soul--of the one man the gods are determined to never let her have.

The Last Huntress is a story of redemption and sacrifice, the bonds of true sisterhood, and the impossible, sometimes frightening, things we'll do for love.

You can purchase The Last Huntress at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you LENORE BORJA for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of The Last Huntress by Lenore Borja.

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