Review: The Darkest Minds Review: Chasers Review: Cornered Review: Finale Review: Leopard Moon

Friday, July 9, 2010

Author Interview with Melanie Ray!

Author Interview with Melanie Ray:

Hello there everyone, I am Melanie Ray. If you look me up on the internet you’ll find out I’m an artist and a famous guitarist. Well I’m not, but that’s how common my name is. I’ve been married to my husband Neil since 2004. He is the love of my life and has been since we met on the internet through Yahoo dating. I have a beautiful two year old that is an angel/devil. She’s cute as a button, but hard to manage. I am also mother to our two Labrador Retrievers, Nestle and Droopy. I’m 29 and I live in Texas. I was originally from Kansas but we moved for my husband’s career, and I’ve never been happier.

Where are you from?

Melanie: I am from America, more to the point the panhandle part of Texas.

Tell us your latest news?

Melanie: Book 1 of The Great Destruction Series is going to be available to buy on July 17th. Before that, I am running a tour on my site from July 9th-July 16th to introduce readers to it.

When and why did you begin writing?

Melanie: I began writing when I was little, but I didn’t develop my writing and continuously pursue it until college.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Melanie:  I first considered myself a writer after my first positive review when I posted my story publicly for the first time. Before that, only my sister could read and approve.

What inspired you to write your first book?

Melanie: Touchy, but I’ll answer. The first time I created my story I wanted it to be a light-hearted short comedic romance. During this time however, my father-in-law informed us he had lung cancer, and instead I changed the story to help me deal with my own emotions. When you read you’ll notice light hearted funny moments as well as tragic teary moments. These are the bumps I myself was going through. I won’t say exactly how the series will end, but it will be something that causes closure for all the characters.

Do you have a specific writing style?

Melanie:  I have been said to be whimsical but straight to the point by several reviewers who read the unpublished version.

How did you come up with the title?

Melanie: At first, I wanted to call Book 1 ‘The Great Destruction’ and the series Welcome Home. However later on I saw that it would be the events of The Great Destruction that ties all the books together, and Welcome Home was to simple. Since Book 1 begins the massive chain of events that take place in book two, I decided to simply call it ‘In the Beginning’.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Melanie: As you read my novel, several messages can be heard. There are some I wanted to portray, yet others have found different messages altogether. I would rather let the reader read, and see what it is they themselves take away from it instead of directly saying ‘the message is this’.

How much of the book is realistic?

Melanie: It’s a fantasy story, so not much. However, the characters are very real. Although not based upon real people, during this time I seeked to create real, genuine characters.

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Melanie: Perhaps some, but most is taken right out of my imagination.

What books have influenced your life most?

Melanie:  A. Lee Martinez’ works, especially his work monster. They are not grand flowing words of prose and beautiful poetry. He uses what he can to get the point across, and gives his characters real ‘life’ instead of ‘description’ and that is my favorite style of books. The ones that don’t focus on how beautiful the sun is, but why the sun is important and why it is worth even mentioning.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

Melanie: That would be A. Lee Martinez. Before him, I could not see myself as ever publishing and could only entertain a crowd with free fiction. Everytime I read him, I remember that not everyone writes the same way or wants the same kind of book.

What book are you reading now?

Melanie: I am actually reading a piece called Truitt’s Fix by Rex Evan Woods which is published free, but of superior quality except for a few typo’s. I am also currently reading Between by unpublished author Cyndi Tefft.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

Melanie: Yes, there is a current unpublished author that has truly created something unimaginable and a story so captivating I am waiting on pins and needles to read his second book. He goes by the handle Shakespeare’s Talking Head and wrote a fabulous work called Dropcloth Angels. It is a dark comedy and horror story, and I hope one day it’s published so I can have a true copy.

What are your current projects?

Melanie:  I am currently writing book II to The Great Destruction Series which is called Regaining Sanity. I am also working on another book called Lost Secret.

Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

Melanie: Family members support me? Just kidding. Well, there were some in my family that supported me. I would say the one entity who really kept me going would be The Lord. After church every Sunday I always felt recharged for the week, ready for anything.

Do you see writing as a career?

Melanie:  Writing is what I do. Career, job, hobby, writing is what I’ve done so many years. I put my whole self into my writing, so yeah, I guess you could say I see writing as a career.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

Melanie: My first book is relatively short, and I have tried several times to create a longer sequence for it, but no matter how I try, there was just no way to add to it. The second book is too far away from the first in every way, and I could not blend the books. Events in the book itself were set as well, and I couldn’t do much except add minor details that didn’t seem to help the story. So I kept the first book short while the second books and onward will definitely be longer. In the end, even though I wanted to and had the chance to change my book, I know I still couldn’t. Some things are just supposed to be the way they are.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

Melanie:  When I was very little before school, my brother and sister participated in a program called Book It! where children who read so many books would win free pizza. I was enthralled with it and read so much. Soon after that, I picked up my pencil and tried to make my own stories. I remember, I cursed myself because I didn’t have enough skill at such a young age to write a story past a page!

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

Melanie: Telling you about Regaining Sanity will ruin so much as it is so distant from book 1. I will tell you that the story begins on Earth with three people named X, Wye and M-Win. M-Win is kidnapped shortly after and sets events into motion for book two.

I can tell you about Lost Secret though. The main focus is on two characters. It takes place in a world where the word hero is too common, so it’s split into two different types. The ‘saving damsels in distress and fighting bad guys’ are the Adventure Champions. Those are what we normally thing as heroes. The type is this story is called a Paladin though. They are more hippy like, often not eating meat and protesting about forests and whales. Yes, I know, I’m weird. Anyhow, this particular Paladin (Ezekiel, Zeke for short) guards a city that is filled with all children and almost no adults. (In fact, even the adults that are there act like children.)It’s a paradise really and he does nothing but help the kids stay safe, social and teaching them the wrongs and rights that their parents won’t teach. The other character is called Shelly Kelly and she has a lot hiding in her past that affects the small town she’s come to. For one, her ex-boyfriend has a hit on her, and even the type of hit is too much for the Paladin to bear.

The story begins with her meeting and dating the Paladin’s enemy, but it’s not until chapter two when they cross paths that these two opposites are really introduced to each other.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Melanie: Staying on track. My head is always brimming with ideas on which way to take a story. Even now I have two separate outlines for Lost Secret. I write both stories out until one finally clicks to me that it’s the right way.

Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

Melanie: No, it’s one of the reasons I self published. I was diagnosed with social anxiety disorder, but I have no trouble talking online, or with people I get to know first. I can handle some situations, but traveling to meet people for my books would be way out of my league.

Who designed the covers?

Melanie:  I designed the cover for book one, but I shall be hiring a personal designer for later covers and art for the book.

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

Melanie:  I learned that dealing with stressful and emotional events in life can be transformed and added into a fantasy world, not only making the book that much better, but also making you feel a sense of comfort yourself.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Melanie: Yes. When you are beginning to write a story, write as you want. There is no formula for a perfect story. Don’t dwell on errors or how far you write each day. Simply write because you’ll be editing the whole story later.

After the story is written, be sure to let many people read it. Authonomy and Slush Pile are fantastic places to get real eyes on your work. Fair warning though, when first joining everyone recognizes you as a genius so you will back them on Authonomy.

Also, be sure to improve your own writing skill. Scribophile helped me tremendously as critiques tore my first chapters into so many bits it was ridiculous.

Last but not least after you have your changes made, you have to find yourself a professional editor if you plan on self publishing. Freelance editors work well, so don’t overbudget yourself. Look hard but look smart for the best editor for you.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Melanie: Just that I hope you all enjoy the writing and for great deals on my work and to see my work in progresses, you can visit me at my own site.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Hello lovely reader! Thanks for commenting! I enjoying reading what you have to say :) I have turn on the comment mod due to a large amount of spam. Thanks :)