Sunday, July 14, 2013

"I want to go back!" "After all that fuss you made about getting left behind?" "I though I was going to be the guy who died on the ship, now I think I will be the guy who dies on the planet."

Do you ever get the feeling, when a cat crawls up next to you and stares at you, that you should have written your will? As I've said before, if Steed were an animal - he'd be a cat.

 I shan't apologize, I was feeling very random - and a bit giddy as I just figured out the major block in The Broken Blade and I am now the very proud owner of a book I've been dying to read for almost a year. (I think I will be evil and save the title for when I review it.)

 But enough of that. I have the second to the last of the interviews I've been holding to celebrate the release of A Stretch of Loyalty! (If you wish to find out more about this book you can find the link on my sidebar.)

 And now, moving on! Today you all have the chance to meet my friend Melody!

 Welcome, Melody! It is great to have you today!
Thank you, Jack!  I'm very happy to be here. 

 1. Reading your blog I saw you are currently working on three books at the moment. Do you find this easier, such as when you get stuck on one you can write another for awhile, or more of a distraction?
I do find it easier.  Usually, when one book stops talking, I can switch to one of the other ones and when I go back to the first one everything flows better because of the break and having worked on something else.  It gives me a fresh view.  But, in late May and early June, ALL THREE OF THE STORIES STOPPED TALKING AT THE SAME TIME.  It was HORRIBLE.  (But, then my FAMILY story came along, so I used the time to develop it.)
 It is never fun when characters decide to go on a holiday without us. 
 2. Your whole blog, and some of your books, seem to be centered around castles and kings. What first got you interested in these kinds of stories?
I think it was reading a set of children's encyclopedias that we had when I was six and seven.  Tales of royalty, medieval days, Arthurian Legend, knights and maidens, and old castles just grabbed my attention and then never let go.  

 3. What kind of writer are you, the kind who edits as you go or puts off editing as long as possible?
Both.  I edit a little bit almost every time I read back over what I have written.  But, then I still have to go back eventually and overhaul the entire story.

 4. Where did you first get the ideas for all your books?
Quara: My younger siblings REFUSED to go to sleep one night.  For half an hour my sisters and I tried to get them to settle down and they just would not.  So I started telling a story about this little princess who was part of a large family and who decided to wander off one day with her pet Castle Cats (Castle Cats are about the size of mountain lions) and thus threw the entire castle into turmoil searching for her.  Once I started the story, my siblings all fell silent and settled down.  When I finished telling it, they loved the story so much they would not give me any peace until I promised to write it down.  And it just grew by leaps and bounds from there until now it is this multi-country fantasy world.

Mostly inspired by my own personal experience of moving halfway across the country when I was 13.  And also my interest in the Victorian age, language of flowers, Italy and the lifestyle of English nobility.
Three Kyngdoms:
I've loved Arthurian Legend for years.  One part that always particularly caught me was the legend that Arthur and his warriors sleep in a cave somewhere and they will return in England's greatest hour of need.  Also, wanting to know what happened in Camelot AFTER the battle of Camlann when Arthur and Mordred died.  Those two things combined to give me the plot of The Three Kyngdoms.  Further inspiration came from reading The Song of Roland and various versions of Tristan and Isolde.

 5. You have lots of siblings, have you ever used them as inspiration for your characters?
ALL THE TIME.  I've lost count of how many times characters in a story have been based on or inspired by one of my siblings.  In fact, the Royal Family of Quara IS my family- with names and a few details changed.  And two more siblings added.  (And here is a secret.  My siblings have even inspired villains a few times.  Those were the days they were really annoying me.  It's true what they say about writers- don't make them angry.  :D)
 I think all authors do that at one time or another. Sometimes siblings just make good villains.  
 6. If you could get into any book you wrote which one would it be and why?
Oh this is tough!!!!  I'd have to say Three Kyngdoms, because of all the stories I've written or am writing, it is my favorite (don't tell the other stories that).  But my newest story- FAMILY- which is in development, is a close second. 
 Out of all your books I know about, that's the one I'd like to get into as well. 
 7. Do you have a favourite character out of all the ones you've created?
This is another tough question to answer.  As far as female characters go- it is a close race between Seren from the Three Kyngdoms and Cordelia from Gemini.  I think Seren wins by a small margin.  Male characters: Lord Falkirk from Gemini and Astrophel from the Three Kyngdoms are tied.  (Picking favorites is SO HARD.)

 8. Which usually comes first to you, the characters or the plot? 
It varies.  With Quara. the characters came first.  With Gemini both came about the same time.  With Three Kyngdoms the plot came first. 

 9. When you face writer's block how do you usually battle it?
I try to figure out why the story isn't talking.  If I can't figure that out, then I go for a few long walks.  If that still doesn't work, then I put the story aside for a while and work on another story.  (And when all of my main stories stop talking- well, that is when a new story comes along.)

 10. And, if you ever publish, do you hope to do it traditionally or self?
I plan to self-publish.  I want complete control of my book. 

 Thank you for coming today! I hope you had fun!
Thank you for having me!  I wholeheartedly enjoyed this interview!

 This post is going up a bit early. I've been tried all day and I want to go to bed early, and hopefully spend all of tomorrow getting caught up on my NaNo word count and making some good progress in finishing Abolished Impracticality. The Broken Blade kind of got put on hold again, but I don't feel bad this time, since I finally know where to go. I'm over the hardest part - the one I've spent the last four or so years trying to get over.

 Quote is from Galaxy Quest, from one of my favourite characters in the movie.




  1. Ooh, these books all sound good. I love world-building. I could just world-build all day. I wish I could do THAT as a job, instead of the real job I have. I also tend to work on several books at once. It keeps my trains of thought going. While one's resting in the station, I can get another one going on its journey, and when that one comes to a halt, BOOM! I have another train to put in motion.

    GALAXY QUEST! That movie is hilarious! My dad, who is a wonderful editor, cleaned up the version we have so it's more "family friendly", and as long as you're a Star Trek fan, all those stupid inside quips they make are hysterical. Like constructing a primitive lathe, or having Guy the red-shirt man, and everyone is paranoid he's going to die, including Guy himself.

    And I forget what his name is in Galaxy Quest, but the odd Tony Shalhoub plays that one character who I always think of as an anti-Monk, because he plays the character Adrian Monk in the TV show MONK, but he's acting in a way Monk would never act. Which is so disorienting.

    1. Thank you, Kat! I could world-build all day, too. :D But, that means little actual writing gets done, so I have to put a limit on how much world-building I allow myself to do a day.

      I love your train analogy!! It's perfect!!

  2. Great interview! *waves to Melody* I loved this bit: "My siblings have even inspired villains a few times." YES. Sometimes it does happen... ;)

    1. Thank you, Cait! *waves back*

      *laughs* Those days when they are making you pull your hair out, or driving you up the walls.... :D

  3. Nice to meet you, Melody! Characters have always come first for me, but I have an idea for a story now and no idea about the characters.
    We have to get out of here before one of those things kills Guy!

    1. Thank you, Alex! *bows* It's nice to meet you, too.

      I will have to go check out your blog and your stories.

  4. I know what you mean when it comes to characters who act like cats. Oh ... Clara ...

    I've never cast any of my sibs as a villain ... though I have cast myself.

    I agree, Three Kyngdoms sounds like a very interesting world - though you have me intrigued with the castle cats.

    1. I'm interested in hearing more about Clara.

      I've cast myself as a villain a couple times, too. It makes for a very interesting writing experience.

      Castle Cats were the second thing about Quara to come to me. (The first was the Royal Family.) I love them, because I've always wanted a big cat for a pet.

    2. You have the first few chapters of her book, Water Princess, Fire Prince, I believe. (Though I have recently decided that I'm going to scrap them and start over. Again.) She's one of my favorite characters, and I do mention her frequently on my blog.

      Actually, it's her book where I'm cast as the villain.

  5. Thanks again for having me, Jack!! I had such a good time with this interview.

    If I ever get into the world of Three Kyngdoms, I'll be sure to call you up so you can go, too- and anyone else who wants to go. We'll make up a traveling party.

  6. What an extraordinary post. I have characters who are much like snakes -- but without as much warmth! May the rest of this week be healing for you.

  7. Lovely interview! Your books sound very interesting Melody.

    Hurrah that you got over the road block in The Broken Blade, Jack!
    And Galaxy Quest is brilliant.


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