Melissa lives in a tiny suburb of Atlanta, GA with her husband and daughter. She pretends to like yoga, actually likes shoes, and could not live without coffee. Her writing heroes include greats like Jane Austen and Madeleine L’Engle.
She holds a B.A. in Communication Studies and an M.S. in Graphic Communication, both from Clemson University. Yeah, her blood runs orange.
Melissa West recently showed up on my radar while I was looking for books to feature in our Aliens Abducting August theme. I couldn’t believe I hadn’t heard of, or read Gravity sooner! I tore through Gravity, and was so happy when I realized I wouldn’t have to wait long for Hover, the second book in The Taking series to come out. If you haven’t read Gravity yet, you can check out my review of it here, and enter for a chance to win a digital copy. Because of the nature of a writer’s work, I find it is imperative to do a psychological analysis of each author. I’m sharing this classified information with you for learning purposes only!
Who’s your favorite fictional alien?
Have you always been a Science-Fiction fan?
Yes! I love exploring the possibilities of our mind and our existence. I love pushing social issues and politics. It’ s a fun genre!
Who have been your greatest influences in the genre?
John Christopher, Madeleine L’ Engle, among others
Have you always wanted to write novels, or did the inspiration to do so develop later in life?
Later in life, actually. I have only been writing for about 4 years.
Do you believe Aliens really exist?
I do. It is a pretty big waste of space if we’ re the only ones out there.
If you were a character in The Taking series, would you be a human or an Ancient?
I would be Ari, which I suppose makes me a hybrid. ð
Do you believe humans would react with hostility if Aliens visited Earth?
We tend to distrust what we don’ t understand, so yes, I think we would respond defensively.
When you are writing, do you imagine yourself as the main character?
I like to get inside her head. It helps me to think through her responses.
Who’s hotter? Jackson or Lawrence? ð
Ha! Jackson. No question. ð
While reading Gravity, I kept feeling like there were red flags about Gretchen. Do we still have a lot to learn about her character in the upcoming novels?
Gretchen is very unsure of herself and her place in the war. I think we can expect some issues with her in COLLIDE.
Do you use people in your everyday life to shape some of your fictional characters after?
I do! Most of my characters have traits from people I know. Jackson is very much like my husband, which is why it’ s so funny when reviews claim he wouldn’ t do x or y or z. Typically my husband did that very thing. LOL!
Do you prefer black leather, or blue velvet?
Did you have to put a lot of research into Gravity and Hover? If so, what kind of research did you do (watching movies, reading, etc.)?
I do, and it always feels that it isn’ t enough. I researched GRAVITY extensively, but more along the lines of war and how it occurs. I researched the Holocaust, etc. For HOVER, I consulted lots of journals to ensure the science was as sound as possibleâfor sci-fi!
Do you have a dream cast picked out for Ari, Jackson, Gretchen, and Lawrence if your books are optioned for film rights?
I like Megan Fox for Ariâthough a softer Megan Fox. And Taylor Kitsch for Jackson. I’ m not sure on Gretchen, but I like Ed Westwick for Law.
Do you have any favorite Sci-Fi movies?
Too many to list. ð
Are you afraid of Snowy Owls?
No, are you?
Were you a fan of the television series Roswell back in the late ’90s, early 2000s?
I have actually never watched it. I have also never watched Stargate, though many claim I pulled elements from that series. I have no clue. ð
If so, who was your favorite character, and would you have done anything differently with the series when it was adapted for television?
Again, I can’ t say! I’ ve never watched it.
Have you ever dressed up as an alien for Halloween? ð
No, I tended to go more for the witch look. Ha!
Do you have any novellas planned for The Taking series?
We are talking about a standalone book that would include the events that led up to GRAVITY. It would detail the story of Sandra Cartier and Jackson’ s father.
Okay, time for the speed round! This part of the interview is meant to be like the speed round on Family Fued. I will list some words or a phrase, and you answer with the first thing that pops into your head. Read? Set. Go!
Â Piranhas Scared
Blue My daughter’ s eyes
The 1970’s Great clothes.
Jersey Shore Tacky
Christian Bale or Henry Cavill? Bale
Spandex 80′ s
Perigee Perigee Moon, Tara Fuller’ s book
Ding, ding, ding! Time’s up! Once again, THANK YOU soo much for participating in our Aliens Abducting August theme. If you have any other suggestions or something else you would like to promote in August, let me know! I will be posting a review for Gravity and Hover on the blog in August. ð
The questions asked of Melissa were specifically crafted to reveal important information about her psyche and cognitive well-being. After many tests, and a thorough review of her answers, I have reached a diagnosis:
Melissa West is one cool chick, and demonstrates optimum brain function.
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