Today I have the pleasure of hosting Melissa Mayberry, one of the new author’s under the Novel Concept Publishing imprint. Melissa’s book Mellifica: Devastating First Love just came out on New Year’s.
JET: Can you tell us about Mellifica?
MEL: Mellifica: Devastating First Love was written about a difficult time in my life. I could have never imagined the impact that one person had on my life, and it still amazes me that I was able to pull through and grow and learn through the torment that my first love put me through.
JET: What drew you to romance?
MEL: Romance doesn’t leave you sad; it gives you a happy ending. I’m a complete sucker for happy endings. Mellifica is written as young adult because the true events that this book is based on started when I was sixteen.
JET: What’s been your most challenging hurdle on the road to publication?
MEL: Writing about personal events can be easy because memories can be more vivid than my imagination. However, when the storyline became heartbreaking, those memories were hard to write about. I found myself visiting old demons that I had forgotten years ago. Writing Mellifica was so emotional for me, and I hope it brings my readers the full spectrum of emotions that it brought me.
JET: What was your favorite moment in the journey?
MEL: The day I decided to start writing I was excited to be able to create and revisiting some of my memories was special. During the process, I’ve made a lot of new friends and became reacquainted with several old friends. When I finally finished, and it was the best I could do, I was overwhelmed with relief and pride. There is no way to pick a favorite from all of those moments.
JET: Which authors had the most influence over you growing up?
MEL: I was crazy about poetry when I was younger, and I also had a somber outlook. So, of course, I loved Emily Dickenson.
JET: When did you know you wanted to take the plunge into the writing world?
MEL: When I was in high school, I wrote a lot of short stories, poems and even wrote for the high school paper. The boyfriend that Mellifica was written about, “Arien,” encouraged me to write and we wrote a lot of short stories together. I loved it so much, but years after that relationship I couldn’t continue to write even though many people begged me years ago to write this story. About eighteen years passed, and the true story of “Arien” came to a final, heartbreaking and very ironic ending. The events were just so strange that I knew it was fate telling me that I had to write again.
JET: What’s the craziest thing you’ve done in the name of book research? Most interesting fact you uncovered?
MEL: There wasn’t a lot that I had to research for this book. All of the information fell in my lap, begging me to put it all together, and I can’t tell the most interesting fact that I uncovered. That would be a huge spoiler for book two! I can tell you that it has to do with a gravestone. It’s interesting to note that there is a website with pictures of headstones. The craziest thing I’ve done was stalk Facebook pages. I even “friended” a certain nemesis—in the name of research.
JET: Of all the novels and stories you’ve written - which one is your favorite? Why?
MEL: Of course it’s Mellifica. It’s the first full length novel that I’ve written, and it’s so close to my heart, that it will be known to me as one of my biggest accomplishments. The books are eighteen years of procrastination that I’ve buckled down and accomplished.
JET: Any advice (from a writer’s standpoint) for the novices out there?
MEL: If you haven’t written in years, make friends with people that practice the art. Without my critique group, I may never have gotten past the first chapter. Having a few very honest people to read your work is more helpful than a thousand people that love you reading it. Keep your skin thick and your determination strong.
JET: All right - now that I’ve hammered you with the big questions, let’s tackle my favorite (and geeky) quick ten. . . starting with: Paper or Plastic?
MEL: Paper—you know, book covers!
JET: Steak or Tofu?
JET: Beach or Mountains?
JET: Country or Rock-n-Roll?
MEL: Hair bands!
JET: Leather or Lace?
JET: Angels or Demons?
JET: Paper or Digital?
JET: Silent Film Classics or Cheesy B Rated Horror?
MEL: Ew. Neither.
JET: Twilight or True Blood
MEL: AH! Both.
JET: Coffee or Tea?
JET: Thank you for indulging me. Before we wrap this up, can you tell us what you're working on now? What's next?
MEL: Well, I’ve finished Mellifica Book two. I don’t know what to call it. I don’t know what the cover will look like. So, I’m working on the little things for book two.
While my mind is covering that, I’m also writing a few other things. I’m crazy like that. One story is called Reckless. A woman takes a huge leap of faith and crosses the country for a death defying stunt man. She learns to live life only to figure out she had been really reckless with hers.
Another work in progress is “Critical Access.” It’s a medical romance/comedy. I couldn’t help it, I’m a nurse!
JET: Thank you so much for taking the time to chat on my blog. Folks, you can find out more about Melissa Mayberry and her work at the following places: http://melissamayberry.com
or Twitter: https://twitter.com/MayberryMelissa
Thank you for swinging in today,
Until next time,