Now onto the interview. Oh wait, I have to post this:
|(So Melissa's not the one in the stocking hat but dude...her friend is most likely Canadian and is wearing a stocking hat....I rest my case)|
1. Tell us the scoop on how you got into writing novels.
I have a history of getting pneumonia and at the beginning of 2008, I had my worst case yet. I had to take a nebulizer (oxygen mask that delivered medication) every 3 and a half hours so I was basically confined to a chair in my room. I was desperately ill and due to that and other personal factors of my life, I became seriously depressed. For ten months I sat in a chair.
Looking back, I feel like I lost a year of my life because I wasn't *there* during that time. A lot of times when people are really upset they call it depression - but that's not what depression is. Depression is a complete lack of all emotion. You are empty. There is nothing to feel or fight against, nothing you can do.
For nine months, I hardly had any thoughts in my head. One day these voices just started talking. I ignored them for a month but they kept getting louder, invading my dreams and saturating everything. Finally, I gave in. For a whole day I listened to them, heard their story and was introduced to their world. The next morning when my mom came downstairs to let the dog out, I started talking to her. Animated and full of excitement and energy. (Honestly I think I shocked her into absolute silence because I'd been completely unresponsive and unemotional for so long.)
I started writing my character's story.
Writing lets me sort through my emotions and feelings and balances me in a way I didn't know was possible for me. Whether I get published or not, I will never stop writing because I need to for the sake of my own emotional well -being.
2. What genre do you write?
I write fantasy. With fantasy, the only limit is your own imagination. I can do anything I want and I don't know if I ever even want to write another genre specifically. That being said, I love layered story-telling so I hope that my fantasy has other genres intermingling with it like suspense, romance, mystery - things like that.
3. What authors inspire you?
Lewis Carrol inspired me to love fantasy. Emily Bronte inspired me to root for all-consuming romances. Sophie Kinsella inspires me to have fun with my own work and characters. J.K. Rowling inspires me to be a better writer: make a vivid world, compelling characters, and a gripping storyline.
4. How often do you write?
That's a little hard to define. I'll go for weeks at a time where I write feverishly - my every thought is another sentence forming. And then, when the fervor dies down I'll go for weeks (sometimes months) without writing anything (aside blog posts and stuff for school but I'm not counting that). I'm an all or nothing kind of person and that definitely applies to writing too. Besides, while I admire those who do, I don't have the discipline to write every single day.
5. Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Ummm...neither and both? I feel really...odd saying this but, my idea for my trilogy came to me fully formed. The story, all the rules of the world, the characters, their histories - to be more specific the entire world's history (thousands of years. Yes, my head is very cluttered), and things like that. I've never built characters or crafted a plot. Which would technically make me a pantser. Except that doesn't work either because I'm not sitting down with a vague idea and just writing by the seat of my pants.
I guess the best way to describe it is my conscious mind sort of just goes with all of this stuff but my subconscious mind is a meticulous plotter. I hope that makes sense.
6. Where do you write best, and do you listen to music while you write?
I can write pretty much anywhere, I just have to get in "the zone." Before I even start writing I make a playlist that captures the feelings, emotions and storyline of my novel. Music really helps me get into the necessary emotional state.
7. What is on your TBR pile?
In the month of December I got 40 new books (my family got me a lot of giftcards to the bookstore for christmas!) in anticipation of my 110 book reading challenge this year. On top of that list I have a bunch of mysteries and other books I hadn't read yet at my house waiting to be read this year too. I'm currently reading entice by Carrie Jones and I have a couple novels I need to read for my English classes this week too. I'm not sure what the next book is beyond that right now. But there's a lot to chose from.....
8. If Stephanie Meyer and JK Rowling got in a cat fight, who would win?
Well, sparkling at someone is distracting but the colors of spells eclipses that because there's more than one color. The super speed and strength and extra abilities would be cool... if they weren't already dead from that Avada Kedavra. Since the authors obviously have the skills of their worlds. JK Rowling has ended Stephanie Meyer before I even finished writing this sentence.
9. What is your “day” job?
I'm a full time student. Which means... I don't do anything that earns me money! (Which sucks) In the summer though I got certified as a bartender and am taking this summer off so in a couple of months I hope to be doing that.
10. What can you not leave home without? (cell phones are off limits- NO ONE can leave home without one of those)
Well, I'm sure this isn't that interesting but I can't leave my house without my inhaler. I have really bad asthma so I need to have my inhaler on me at all times, just in case.
11. Mac or PC?
My family is BIG on Mac's - apple products in general actually. But when I started University last year my Grandpa bought me a PC (at my request) and I love it. I love Mac's too. I just... love them both! When I have the money to afford it, I want a Mac desktop and a PC laptop.
12. Favorite dessert?
Peanut butter chocolate passion ice cream made by M&M. (Yes, it has to be this particular brand). It sounds like it'd be really rich and heavy but it's not. I have no idea how they managed it but they somehow combined ice cream, chocolate, and peanut butter into the most scintillating combination of AWESOME ever imaginable.
13. Favorite desert?
I'm assuming a desert that so far exists only in my book/imagination doesn't count. I guess I'll pick a real place (though I hope my desert will be real to other people some day!). My favorite desert is the Antarctica desert because it's the largest tundra/desert in the world! (And before anyone tries to say it isn't a desert I have this to say: a desert is defined by being a larger area with less than 10 inches of annual precipitation. Antarctica actually has less precipitation than the Sahara desert. Unlike other deserts though there is little evaporation so the snow that does fall stays forever and has built up over hundreds and thousands of years!)
14. Where is your dream vacation?
Well, my dream vacation was going to Hogwarts/Hogsmeade since I was nine years old and read the first book. Since, I've already been there now (YAY Wizarding World!) my next dream vacation is going to Atlantis on Paradise Island in the Bahamas. It's a resort and looks absolutely amazing! Seriously, go here (http://www.atlantis.com/) and cruise around the site - you will be amazed! Promise.
15. Finally, link us to your website, blog, fb, twitter and anything else you might like to shamelessly plug for yourself
Here's a link to my blog: http://melissa-throughthelookingglass.blogspot.com/
Thanks Melissa, and btw, SO jealous that you went to Harry Potter world. So I'll just post one more pic:
Quick, who is this? Melissa or Robin?? (notice the Vancouver Canucks jersey??)