Best known works: Earth's Magick Book 1 ~ Earth ~
Where you can find her: Twitter / Facebook
Top writing tip: Write! Just write your story. The story YOU want to read. Don't worry about rules and editing and all the kerfuffle that gets tossed around on the internet. Just write. After you have the first draft, read it. Then clean it up. Find others who will read it for you. Then clean it up again. It'll never be perfect so don't shoot for perfection. Shoot for a good story.
Thank you, Mel, for sharing a little bit about yourself. It's always interesting to see what makes a fellow writer tick.
How long have you been a writer?
I've written my whole life. I have so many unfinished stories tucked away, it's kind of sad. The Earth's Magick series was one that stuck with me for years and I really took my time plotting the books.
When did you realize you were pagan?
There wasn't one specific instance but rather a slow progression towards the Pagan path. I started reading Scott Cunningham books to begin with. That led to learning herbal and stone magick. From there I learned fire magick, which is still my favorite. Before long, I realized what happened and I felt free.
What life experiences were incorporated into your book?
I grew up in Texas and many of the places and people in Earth's Magick are created from my experiences growing up. I studied Cultural Anthropology and History of Religion in college. Much of what I learned in school influenced the many characters of different faiths in the Earth's Magick series.
Do you see yourself in your book?
I wasn't aware of it but I'm told by others that I did put myself in the books. There's apparently a lot of me in Mela and a few others! I don't see her as me, but I can also understand how others might.
How did the idea for your book come together?
In pieces really. I lived in Texas at the time and kept a notebook full of research for a story. It wasn't until I started outlining the series that the whole thing came together on paper. So much was added and shuffled around as I planned the nine books. Some of my characters required loads of biography work. Four of them are over 2,000 years old and I gave each of them a unique and specific history. I used real history to influence their stories which has helped create depth and realism in the books.
What is Earth's Magick about?
Mela Malone gets attacked every night by an old and terrifying old woman. Mela, desperate for answers, follows instructions to acquire an ancient Grimoire she calls, The Green Book. She begins her journey into the world of magick and becomes the daughter of Hecate and Pan. Both of which are fabulous characters to write about. Mela receives a guide to help her, however, it turns out he has secrets of his own as he talks her into taking some extrmee steps in magick. She's unknowingly initiated into an ancient order of warrior witches called The Elementai. He informs here it's her duty to find four ancient half-human sisters before their four half-human brothers find her first. Mela receives help from unexpected places and discovers how powerful she's actually become when the old woman who was terrorizing her returns. Lots of ancient secrets start to come into the light and it's up to Mela to start putting pieces together.
What kind of experience have you had with your publisher?
I'm published with Solstice Publishing. I had two offers from publishers in the same week and it was so difficult to decide. In the end, I went with Solstice Publishing because we're a perfect fit. On a side note, I signed my contract with Solstice Publishing on the Summer Solstice. I loved that. I loved the idea of going with an Indie publisher because I simply wasn't ready to take on the work load of editing, cover art, formatting and uploading my books. I'm so thankful for the lovely souls at Solstice who've held my hand through this process.
What other work have you had published?
After I signed with Solstice for Earth's Magick, I wrote a horror short story, Getaway, and that was also published with Solstice. It came out on Samhain, which was before Earth's Magick was out of the editing phase.
What future writing projects do you have in the works?
I'm writing the next two books in the Earth's Magick series. I have other projects in my mental cure, but for now, Mela and friends are getting my full attention.
Do you consider yourself a slow or fast writer?
I think I'm a fast writer because I spend so much time outlining before I begin. Each book has its own notebook and I outline each chapter by hand before I even bother opening a document on the computer. Usually a book will take me anywhere between 4-6 weeks to finish a first draft.
Who encourages you? Where does your inspiration come from?
The Monster I married and my Little Monsters are always encouraging. I have so many friends that listen to my ideas or read pieces when I need another set of eyes on a specific scene. My inspiration comes from all around me. When I walk outside and see the sun falling behind the trees, I can imagine a whole other world coming alive in the shadows. My imagination, my Muse, keeps me on my toes. Ha!
Do you socialize with other writers?
I think it's important to socialize with other authors right from the beginning. For instance, myself and seven other authors got together to do a week of free book giveaways. We each, in turn, introduced the others to our Facebook/Twitter people and have had loads of fun "crossin gover" into each other's world. Also, the other authors with Solstice Publishing have been fabulous and are such a supportive group. I'm so very lucky.
How do you recharge your writing batteries?
I recharge when I'm alone. I MUST be alone every once in a while or I go mad. I'm an introvert that really likes people. But too many people around me for too long just sucks the life right out of me. Quiet house with laundry done and dinner slow cooking is the best atmosphere for me to write in.
Do you think ebooks have changed the publishing market for better or worse?
For the better! And still changing, I think. The power authors have now over their work is amazing. The digital age was able to reach non-readers and even offer short stories for those that can't commit to a full length novel. I love digital books!
Thank you for taking the time to share yourself and your book with us. We hope you have every success with your series and future projects.