My Neverending Blog Tour guest blogger today is Melissa Smith, author of paranormal romance Cloud Nine, the first in the Guardians of Man series, and young adult book The Heir Apparent. Melissa lives in the midwest of the USA with her husband and two teenage sons. She dropped by to answer my questions about her latest offering, her writing process, and one crazy rescue kitty.
Me: When did you know you had to write the story of the Guardians of Man?
Melissa:I knew when I woke up from the same dream every morning for over a week. All I could think about all day long was this storyline that wouldn’t let me be.
Me: Are you a plotter or a “pantser?”
I would say a plantser ☺ I do a very basic outline, and I mean basic. I list the characters, the setting, what might happen in the middle and where I want the ending to go. From there everything else is free flowing.
Me: Who would you say are other authors in your genre that have inspired you?
Melissa: Lynn Kurland definitely, along with Jennifer Roberson.
Me: Who is your favourite character from the novel and why?
Melissa: My favourite is Ariana. While not the MC, she’s fun and sometimes clueless about humans in general. She’s a mix of a lot of my friends and myself. So what’s not to love?
Me: What life experiences have you drawn on in writing your novel?
Melissa: There’s one scene where Claire’s mother decides to have ‘the talk’ with her. It was embarrassing and funny (I can say it now) but when it was happening to me in real life I wanted to crawl into a tiny crack in the wall and disappear!
Me: What made you decide to self-publish and how have you found the experience?
Melissa: It was after getting another in a long string of very nice form rejection letters that I decided to look into other options that might be available to me. That’s when I found Writers Beware and an article about self-publishing.
Me: Did you work with an editor and formatter or go it alone?
Melissa: I format my own work and do a quick edit before I send it off to another set of eyes for editing.
Me: Tell me one crazy fact that few people know about Melissa Smith?
Melissa: Crazy fact…ummm…My left eyelid was damn near removed by an angry and abused cat who’d been a rescue when I was four. The right was only a little better. How’s that for crazy? ☺
Me: Yikes! That is one crazy fact and one crazy cat! Second last question: do you listen to music while you write? If so, share some of your favourite writing tunes.
No! If I’m listening to music I like, I can’t seem to help myself…I have to sing along!
Me: Melissa, what is the one thing you hope readers take away with them after reading your book?
Melissa: A feeling that they didn’t want the story to end.
Thank you, Melissa, for guest blogging and best of luck with Cloud Nine and the further releases in the series.