Monday, May 21, 2007

Make-Believe Monday with Melissa Mayhue

Today on Make-Believe Mondays I'm pleased to introduce my friend Melissa Mayhue. Melissa writes for Pocket and her first book is coming out in July.

Melissa, first, tell us a little bit about the manuscript
you’re working on now.

Melissa: Right now I’m working on the third book in the Daughters of the Glen series. The first – THIRTY NIGHTS WITH A HIGHLAND HUSBAND – is due to hit the shelves in July 2007. The second – HIGHLAND GUARDIAN – is slated for November 2007. This third book, tentatively titled SOUL OF A HIGHLANDER – is a time travel back to 13th century Scotland, just like the first. And like both the other two, it’s set in a world of where Faeries, both good and evil, walk among us. I’m enjoying writing this book because my heroine appeared in the first book, and the hero comes from the second book. It’s almost like a reunion!

Debra: Highlanders and faeries, well I can't even begin to tell you how I'm looking forward to reading these books.

Is there a point when your characters begin to come alive and you can see and hear them?

Melissa: My characters come alive from the first moment I envision them. I ‘see’ them before I ever write the first word. But, I do have to admit, they constantly surprise me. I’ve had more than one character who just refused to be what he was originally written to be. As a result, I’ve had to learn to be flexible with my characters and their stories!

Debra: And as some of your characters are faeries, I wouldn't be surprised if they played tricks on you as well. ;)

As a child did any particular book or author pull you into their imaginary world?

Melissa: I was an avid reader from the moment I learned to read. To me, there was nothing better than escaping into a whole new world within the covers of a book. I loved the entire Nancy Drew series and had every single story. But the first book that I loved enough to read over and over and over was THE MOONSPINNERS by Mary Stewart. Though I haven’t read it in many years, I still have an old copy on my bookshelves.

Debra: Oh, I loved that book! Wouldn't mind getting my hands on a copy of it as well.

If there were no categories for books, no reader expectations to meet, and you could create the wildest work of imagination that you could think of what kind of story would that be?

Melissa: I honestly don’t think I set out to write to meet any categories or expectations, other than my own. I write what I like to read. When I finished the first book, it was difficult for me to describe what category it fit into exactly. It’s a little bit historical, a little contemporary, and a little suspense, with a little magic and a healthy dose of Faeries. Oh, and of course there’s the time travel. Thank goodness for the all-encompassing category of “Paranormal!” And when you’ve got characters that spend part of their time in the world of Mortals and part of their time living in the Realm of Faerie...well, I think my imagination is already engaged here!

Debra: I agree. And the stories sound wonderful.

Is there anything else you would like to add about the role of imagination, and dreams in creating fiction?

Melissa: I believe reading is all about imagination and dreams. I want a heroine I can identify with and a hero I can fall in love with. To me, if I’ve invested hours of my time in reading a book, when I turn that last page, I want to be happy and feel satisfied that things turned out the way I wanted them to. I can find enough sorrow and controversy in the newspaper or on television, or just in everyday life. When I sink into a book for a good read, I want a Happy Ever After. My goal as a writer is to deliver that!

Debra: Yes, we all need a bit of dreaming. Everyday life is hard enough. The joy a good story can bring to the reader is a great gift.

Any other message for our readers?

Melissa: I’d like to invite everyone to stop by my website [] where they can read a sample from each of the first two books. And by all means, if anyone has questions or comments, don’t hesitate to drop me an email. I’d love to hear from you! Also, my new MySpace page is taking shape now. Feel free to visit there, where I’ll try to keep the latest information on my books and writing updated. [].

Debra: Melissa, thank you for joining us here on this Make-believe Monday to share a little bit of the magic of writing with our readers.

Melissa: Thank you, Debra! I think it’s wonderful that you offer this spot for readers and writers to connect. I’ve loved being here today.

Debra: Why thank you, Melissa. It has been my pleasure.

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