Monday, February 18, 2013

Interview with Melissa Lemon, author of Blue Sky

I had the chance to visit with Melissa Lemon about her latest book, Blue Sky. Here is what she had to say...

You are having a blog tour for Blue Sky. What is a blog tour and how can people participate? A blog tour is a way for lots of people to learn about a book, usually about the time it is released. Different blogs host your book on a certain day during the tour. Tours usually run for two to three weeks. If you would like to host blog tours, begin building a following on your blog, reviewing books, and building a network of other authors and reviewers.

How do some of your book ideas come to you?
Well, I spend a lot of time in my imagination. Really, they just come. Sometimes from a dream or a life experience, but much of the time it seems like they come out of thin air.

How did you get the initial idea for Blue Sky? Growing up, my sister and I wondered at times if somebody was living in our unfinished basement. In the end, we decided it was haunted, but that is really where the idea came from. I wondered why somebody would be secretly living in a stranger's basement. Would it be because they were bad, or could they possible be a protagonist?

Blue Sky is coming out only a few weeks after the release of your novel, Snow Whyte and the Queen of Mayhem. Those releases are very close together. When did you start and finish each book? I wrote Blue Sky in the spring and summer of 2008. It was my first novel and needed LOTS of editing. I wrote Snow Whyte and the Queen of Mayhem early 2012.

Can you share a similarity you have to one of your characters in Blue Sky? I think I'm kind of bossy like Meg.

What is a similarity you share with a character in Snow Whyte and the Queen of Mayhem? I can be pretty snarky, which shows up in Jasper (the one telling the story) as well as several of the dwarfs.

You are a busy writer with books to promote. You also run #authorchat on Twitter every Tuesday night at 9 p.m., and take care of a growing family. How do you carve out time to write? Good question. Anybody want to answer that for me? I haven't written much lately. :)

What are your daily and weekly writing goals? Right now I'm working on a book launch so I'm not writing new material. In March, that will change. I don't set hourly goals because I'm kind of a free spirit and tend to rebel against such things. I'm more spontaneous with my writing.

When do you prefer to write? When I'm alone and really feeling a story.

Knowing that ideas often come when authors are away from their computer, what is the strangest thing you have ever written on to record a sudden idea, conversation snippet, or description for a book you were writing? Napkins and receipts are pretty common when I'm in my car. I've probably jotted things on my hand as well. I wish I had something really odd to share, but that's all I can think of.

What was the best piece of writing advice you ever received? It's not really advice, but this poem really helped me through all the rejections.

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
--William Ernest Henley

What do you do to get through writing slumps? Take a break. Whether it's an hour, a day, a week, or a month, it always does the trick.

If you could swap one chore in your life for more writing time (and only one chore), what would be the chore you would give up first? Laundry. Oh wait, I already gave that up. Okay, making dinner.

Thank you, Melissa! It is always fun to learn about our favorite writers. Be sure and come back on February 25, when I post my review of her new book, Blue Sky!

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