Monday, August 24, 2009

Make-Belive Mondays With Mel Francis

Today on Make-Believe Mondays I'm thrilled to be able to introduce my friend Mel Francis. Mel has her first book out!

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

Mel: Well, I’m playing with an idea for a 3rd book in the Bite Me! series and I’m also working on a new series that is super secret…I could tell you but then…well, you know.

Debra: Yeah, you'd have to kill me.

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?

Mel: The beach always fills me up, but unfortunately I don’t get to go that often so I make due w/ the bodies of water I have available to me like the river or the lake. I have been known to take pictures and just walk to help refill my creative well.

Debra: Water is so restful and soul filling and there's something about just going for a walk.

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

Mel: I can’t start writing until I believe the character is real. They talk to me before the story ever begins. More often than not, I have a character and no story. The more they talk, the clearer their story becomes to me.

Debra: I like the way you put that. We really do need to believe in our characters.

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?

Mel: Well, when you write Urban Fantasy/Paranormal you almost always have to play with language. In Bite Me! many of my vampires drink blood from a “Hemoshake.” I’m pretty certain I made that word up. J

Debra: Yes you do! "Hemoshake" is a pretty cool word.

For some writers, dreams play a role in creating fiction. Has this been true for you? Have you ever dreamed a scene or an image that later wound up in one of your books?

Mel: I just recently had a dream that I know will end up in my new WIP. I’ll give you a hint, Warring Turtles. And no, not of the Teenage Mutant Ninja variety.

Debra: Ooh fun! Guess I'll have to wait and see.

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

Mel: Three books from my childhood were very important to me. 1) A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle 2) Deenie by Judy Blume and 3) when I was a teen, Shanna by Kathleen Woodiwiss

Debra: Is there anything else you would like to add about the role of imagination, and dreams in creating fiction? Any other message for our readers?

Mel: As a kid, if you would ever have told me I would get paid to make stuff up, I would have laughed myself silly. Now I think it’s the best job ever. So encourage the kids to daydream, you never know what can come from it!

Debra: So very true! Somewhere there's a kid out there daydreaming who is filled with so much potential. Or perhaps thousands of them! Maybe some of your YA readers even. ;-)

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

Please visit Mel at

Debra's News/Debra is Watching:

Last week I joined a new group formed by my friend H. David Blalock, called Imagicopter. The launch was on Saturday at Davis-Kidd in Memphis, TN and I attended as a surprise guest. I will be joining them at future signings around the mid-south. To learn more about our group visit


Ann Macela said...

Hey, Mel!
I love making things up. When I was writing history, the stuff had to come out as it actually did. Now I can make it come out like I want it to!
As a kid, I used to make up my own stories. Did you do that too?
I'm really looking forward to Bite Me!

Mel Francis said...

Ann! Thanks so much for popping by.

There really is nothing better than making stuff up and mixing it w/ real history. I did that a lot in BITE ME!

I always made up my own stories as a kid...I was almost always grounded so it was my only form of entertainment. ;)