Today on Make-Believe Mondays, my guest is Melody Knight.
Melody: Thank you so much, Debra, for inviting me as a visitor to your blog!
Debra: It's a pleasure to have you here today. Melody, first, tell us a little bit about the manuscript you’re working on now.
Melody: I'm actually working on three at the moment, all under my "N. D. Hansen-Hill" name, which means they are mainstream fantasy/science fiction/paranormal/horror, but not romances, per se. That's because this has been my romance year as "Melody Knight". I've written a number of fantasy romances, SF romances, paranormal romances, and had a romantic suspense novel, "In Flames", released. I'm playing catch-up now with my non-romance thriller publishers to prep for 2009!
The first of my current WIPs is about three paranormal archeologists who know far more about their subjects, the artifacts, and the settings than they should. These three run into trouble when they uncover a particularly strong entity, with possession on its mind.
The second WIP is a fantasy which will probably relate to my fantasy series, The Elf Chronicles. We have an adventurer in a cave and he's running into major problems with creatures who have no business being there. No business being anywhere on Earth.
The third is about gargoyles. I've always wanted to do a book about gargoyles, and this one's just barely underway.
Debra: Of the three, I don't know which one I'd choose to read first, they all sound fascinating. Archaeologists, elves and gargoyles, oh my!
Ray Bradbury said, “We are cups, constantly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.” How do you keep your creative cup filled?
Melody: Research! In-depth research offers insight into everything from the molecular to the movements of galaxies. No event can be viewed singularly, any more than an individual can consider herself remote from her surroundings. I really like lateral thinking in my books, and layering. I don't intentionally arrange it that way, because I write by the seat of my pants, but the more I study a topic "under construction", the more interesting I'm able to make a scene.
Debra: Yes, everything is related to everything when it come to our lives and is equally true when creating the worlds in our books. Pebbles in the stream reach far. It's amazing how something you studied or experienced years ago can play an important role in a manuscript.
Is there a point when your characters begin to come alive and you can see and hear them?
Melody: Definitely! To the point of embarrassment, I must admit. When you're walking down the street, having a two-sided conversation, or sweating because you've just been pursued by a demon, you know you're in trouble, LOL.
Debra: Well, I talk to mine too when no one is in the room. LOL Dickens who is one of my favorite authors, used to do it too. I figure if he did it, we're in good company. And each of his characters is quite memorable.
Some very famous authors have played with language, creating words for people or places that no one has ever heard of. Have you ever played with words in that way and if so how?
Melody: Sometimes there just isn't a word to describe the way one of your characters feels or reacts, so I'm guilty of creating one. Usually my editors catch me, but when the word is perfect for the character, they'll often let it pass.
Debra: Glad that you're guilty then, and that they let them pass. Language is a living growing thing and it is fun for me as a reader when new words are born.
As a child did any particular book or author pull you into their imaginary world?
Melody: There was this book about a blind boy who grew a luscious strawberry to give to a beautiful princess, because he was poor and had nothing else to offer her. It turned out to be her favorite of all the gifts she received. I absolutely loved that story!
Debra: Oh, that sounds like a wonderful story. (Readers if you know the name of this story please leave it in the comments. I would love to read it.)
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?
Melody: The kind I already write as ND. Writing romance is not my favorite thing, because I have to focus so much on the two main characters. I like entire worlds in trouble with heroes coming to the rescue.
Debra: Then that is the direction you should go, or perhaps blend them a little. We need to write the things that call to us, that bring us joy. It can be difficult when a writer is capable of writing so many things (as I am learning right now) but I think, from speaking to so many authors, that there comes a point where things just click in and you know.
Melody, thank you for joining us here on this Make-believe Monday to share a little bit of the magic of writing with our readers.
Melody: Thanks again, Debra, for "having me over"
Red Rose Publishing
Linden Bay Romance (now part of Samhain)
my Melody Knight website www.MelodyKnight.com
my N. D. Hansen-Hill website www.NDHansen-Hill.com
and my MySpace pages
Debra: It's been a pleasure, and welcome to Samhain. I was excited to hear of the acquisition, especially as so many publishing houses are cutting back and trimming.
Debra's News/Debra is watching this week:
I'd like to take a moment to wish everyone Happy Holidays.
This week I'm looking forward to visiting with our son and daughter-in-law who are coming up from Baton Rouge. Our other son is in Vegas and this will be the first year he hasn't made it home. It's rather unusual for them to have snow in Vegas or Baton Rouge, but they've both had it this year! So one of the things I've been watching lately is the unusual weather patterns.
Now the tricky thing this week for any author who celebrates Christmas, is to write while in the midst of the holiday. I managed to do it at Thanksgiving, and there's no reason not to get some pages written this week. If you had a 9 to 5 punch the clock job, you'd still have to go to work, wouldn't you? So why should writing for a living be any different? I'll be taking my own advice this week for all but Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. That's the way books get written.
This is a season of gift giving and I love pretty packages with shiny bows as much as anyone, but the true gift is the person handing you the gift. Make some memories and enjoy the people you care for and who care for you. Jobs, money and gifts are here today and gone tomorrow. But your loves ones....those who are there in good times and in bad....they are to be treasured.