The alignment of the stars at Marie Mancini's birth warned that although she would be gifted at divination, she was destined to disgrace her family. Ignoring the dark warnings of his sister and astrologers, Cardinal Mazarin brings his niece to the French court, where the forbidden occult arts thrive in secret. In France, Marie learns her uncle has become the power behind the throne by using her sister Olympia to hold the Sun King, Louis XIV, in thrall.
Desperate to avoid her mother's dying wish that she spend her life in a convent, Marie burns her grimoire, trading Italian superstitions for polite sophistication. But as her star rises, King Louis becomes enchanted by Marie's charm. Sensing a chance to grasp even greater glory, Cardinal Mazarin pits the sisters against each other, showering Marie with diamonds and silks in exchange for bending King Louis to his will.
Disgusted by Mazarin's ruthlessness, Marie rebels. She sacrifices everything, but exposing Mazarin's deepest secret threatens to tear France apart. When even King Louis's love fails to protect Marie, she must summon her forbidden powers of divination to shield her family, protect France, and help the Sun King fulfill his destiny.
Check out my PSYCHOLOGICAL ANALYSIS of Marci Jefferson HERE, and don’t forget to ENTER to WIN a finished copy of the Enchantress of Paris at the end of the review!
“Fraught with conspiracy and passion, the Sun King’s opulent court is brought to vivid life in this captivating tale about a woman whose love was more powerful than magic.”
COULD ANYONE ASK FOR ANYTHING MORE IN AN HISTORICAL NOVEL?!
Some opulent scenery from King Louis XIV’s Versailles Palace
I loved Marci Jefferson’s Girl on the Golden Coin which focuses on Frances Stuart so I already had high expectations for Enchantress of Paris. BUT FOR THE LOVE OF LOUIS, this book surpassed my expectations a hundred fold.
As a musician, I sometimes come across a book that reads like music to me. Full of the kind of lyricism and glorious texture that sweeps me up with all the verve and passion of a symphony piece. There’s the side of my brain that wanted to stop and dissect the anatomy of this novel. What makes it so magical and pitch perfect? But the side of my brain that prefers to be swept up in such a composition won.
Gah! Is there anything more satisfying for a Historical Fiction lover or Historian than being introduced to a Historical Figure that you didn’t even know existed?! I knew nothing about Marie Mancini before the Enchantress of Paris and now I want to know EVERYTHING about her. Marie is the kind of hypnotic female protagonist that will be haunting the halls of your brain for weeks to come after reading this novel. She is clever and strong, defiant and demanding- all the things that make a captivating heroine.
Marci Jefferson’s storytelling is a full sensory experience. I swear, it’s like Marci tapped into some kind of ”powers that be” to craft such a rich and fascinating story. The mysticism that infuses Marie’s narrative was such an unexpected dimension to this story and added such an exciting and exotic feel to this European tale. Every aspect of the culture of the time period is touched upon in the Enchantress of Paris, and I adore Marci for giving some great historical detail about Jean-Baptiste Lully, the Sun King’s personal composer and court musician.
Here’s an entertaining scene from the film about King Louis XIV, Le Roi Danse, featuring a Soprano singing an aria written by Lully:
As I’ve come to expect from Marci’s writing, the world building and characterization are equally brilliant and transcendent. The balance between historical detail and narrative is perfect. The ill-fated romance between Marie and Louis XIV was engrossing and infuriating at the same time- such a perfect combination. Marci really knows how to stir the blood with intimate scenes and clandestine dalliances.
We could hardly see so far from the lights of the palais. But we sensed each other and fell into each other’s arms.
“Did you come here to read the heavens?” he asked.
I glanced up and searched for the constellation Virgo, the virgin. But she had not yet ascended to the early spring sky. Instead I saw a shooting star sweep across the heavens. A sign of change? I chose to believe it meant we would overcome the odds. “You know I came for you.”
He ran a hand inside my cloak, feeling my satins. “You’ll be cold in this.”
“Not with the Sun King to warm me.”
“Look at us, forced to meet in the dark. What will happen to us, Marie.”
“You will shine, ” I whispered, “and darkness will flee.”
There, under stars tossed like silver against a velvet sky, our lips met.
Lets just face it. Marci Jefferson was born to write Historical Fiction. With the face of an angel and the brain of a she-devil, Marci Jefferson has made me a mega-fan with her second novel. I can’t wait to eat read the pages of the next thing she writes.
For your viewing pleasure, here’s an entertaining montage from the film Les Roi Danse featuring the best dance numbers in the film. (LOL)
Aaaand, just for fun:
If you are the type of reader who likes to listen to soundtracks with their novels, try Patricia Petibon’sFrench Baroque Arias which features music from Lully and other artists of the period.
Marci Jefferson’s passion for history was sparked while living in Yorktown, Virginia, where locals still tell Revolutionary War tales. She now writes about remarkable women in history who dared to defy powerful men. – See more at: http://marcijefferson.com/#sthash.JK0bvgtM.dpuf
Marci Jefferson’s debut novel Girl on the Golden Coin caught my eye earlier this year and after reading it, I had some pressing questions about her mental state. I thought on them for a while and considered reaching out to Marci and offering her a psyche-eval pro bono but, after the release of her latest novel, Enchantress of Paris, St. Martin’s reached out to me in the hopes that I could make sure Marci’s brain was ready for the tremendous amount of fame and success Enchantress of Paris would garner her. I was more than happy to oblige and felt that Marci might benefit from this totally sneaky completely legit psychological evaluation. Remember- I’m sharing this classified information with you for learning purposes only! You can read Marci’s responses to my specifically formulated questions below. Proceed with caution.
1. What female historical figure would you have been in a past life?Edith Cavell, the British nurse who defied the Germans occupying Belgium during World War One by helping allied soldiers escape. I’ve been a nurse for seventeen years, and I can only aspire to be as selfless as Edith was, though I certainly am as stubborn.2. Do you find men in Colonial dress or Edwardian dress more attractive?
Colonial Man Edwardian ManAs pretty as a Colonial Man is in his lace and tights, an Edwardian man is—well—more manly!3. One of my guilty pleasures is jumping out from behind things and scaring people. What’s one of yours? (Please be candid. Your secret is safe with me!)70% dark chocolate. At least one square. Every. Day.4. If BBC hired you to write an episode for Doctor Who, what would it be like?Considering I write novels set in vicious royal courts, my episode might end up looking like a romp through the period costume gown department of a theater company. But in all seriousness, I’d use the TARDIS to intervene in some of the witchcraft persecutions of the past centuries.5. So far, you have written about two strong, often overlooked, women in European History. Will you venture across the pond in an upcoming novel and write about an American woman?I would love to write about an American, and actually have some ideas…top secret though!6. Have you ever sniffed the pages of a book or magazine in a public place?Oh yes, I’ve totally done that! How did you know?7. If your significant other was harboring an epic secret, would you prefer it to be that they were a Vampire or a Werewolf?If it is not possible to hybridize the Vampire/Werewolf here, a la Klaus from The Originals, I’m going to invent a door number three and say…Warlock.8. What is one monumental choice you would have made differently than Marie Mancini, your heroine in the Enchantress of Paris?I admit that in Marie’s place I would have been very tempted to jilt my Roman Prince at the altar and stay behind in France as the Sun King’s mistress (I mean, come on, he’s the most iconic king in history!). But Marie left King Louis because she believed his love for her wasn’t strong enough. You’ve got to respect a woman who respects herself!
9. Do you ever read Young Adult fiction and if so, would you ever consider writing a Young Adult novel?
I do, and I would!
10. If Betty Crocker asked you to create your very own signature frosting flavor for their brand, what would it be?
Salted chocolate caramel.
11. Are you a “by the seat of your pants’’ writer or a very methodical, “strict writing schedule” kind of writer?
I hate to admit that I still don’t know which I am. I do plot and plan and research a ton (perhaps more than I ought). But I write when, where, and however I must.
12. It’s 1776 in the Colonies and you find yourself struggling to flee the fire that has engulfed your farmhouse. When you make it outside, Ian Somerhalder, as a Colonial Rebel, and Chris Hemsworth, as a British Redcoat, are both reaching out their hands to you, offering you a ride to safety on their horses.
Who. Do You. CHOOSE?
Rebel Ian Red Coat Chris
This has to be the hardest interview question I’ve ever been asked! Considering that I lived in Yorktown most of my childhood and am a rebel myself, I would probably opt for Ian Somerhalder. But I would do my darnedest to turn Chris Hemsworth to my side!
Now, it’s time for the Speed Round section of the interview. Please answer with the first word or phrase that comes to mind after reading each word/phrase. Ready? Set. Go!
I started reading Anne Rice when I was in 7th grade. Louis and Lestat were my Edward and Bella.
Ding! Ding! Ding! Time’s up. Thanks so much for participating.
After much inebriated and sanctimonious deliberation, I’ve gained much insight into the mysterious mind of Marci Jefferson. It is clear to me that she misses her childhood days practicing Wiccan Magic in her attic and her obsession with wild Historical women points to the Freudian-esque conclusion that she narrowly escaped having to go to Catholic school as a teenager. Marci’s interest in blood and anatomical ailments leads me to believe that she is outraged by how many times Kim Kardashion has gone under the knife, and that she is likely to have a barn of stray black cats in the future. Despite these troubling factors, Marci’s salty and sweet taste preferences and her willingness to admit getting high on book pages in public gives me hope for her extremely talented condition. I do not see Marci as a threat to society and believe that she will be able to keep her page sniffing and caramel eating propensities under control in the event of her mounting fame and success. I APPROVE Marci’s competency to continue writing about Historical women.
Stop by tomorrow, Tuesday, August 18, 2015 for my review of Enchantress of Paris and an GIVEAWAY!
You can check out my other Author Psych-Files HERE.
Marci grew up in a nomadic Air Force family, inspiring her interest in culture and travel. But her passion for history sparked while living in Yorktown, Virginia, where locals still tell Revolutionary War tales.
Her friends found it odd when she was the only one who didn’t complain on field-trips to Jamestown colony, and collecting headstone rubbings wasn’t exactly considered a cool hobby. She’ll never admit to hopping the wall at the Colonial Williamsburg Governor’s Mansion after dark just to explore the moonlit gardens, but she did spend days roaming battlefields and visiting forgotten plantation homes.
Moving from place to place through the years, she kept a love of writing and scores of short stories to herself, eventually setting them aside to pursue the more “practical” path of becoming a Registered Nurse.
Marci survived learning drip-calculations and care-planning, graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University, then applied her writing skills to hospital documentation. Soon she immersed herself in a Quality Assurance nursing career and wrote dry Policy and Procedure manuals. Years and a few children later, she decided such writing lacked the sweeping adventure she longed for.
Marci now writes about remarkable women in history who dared to defy powerful men. She resides in the Midwest with her husband and two children in a house full of books and toys.
– See more at: http://marcijefferson.com/about-marci/#sthash.TaG4PEHn.dpuf
Haven’t read Salt and Stone by Victoria Scott yet? WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU?! Now’s your chance! Join me and some other amazing blogs for a Galley Giveaway of Salt and Stone! Enter below to WIN a copy, and visit the other blogs linked up at the bottom of this post for more chances to WIN!
So here’s the deal. I’ve been working closely with Victoria Scott over the past six months, and I recently realized that she might be the perfect candidate for a thorough psychoanalysis. Her recent strange behaviors such as becoming a mother and purchasing a car for her husband have led me to believe that there are some psychological issues with Victoria that need to be addressed, and that she might benefit from a totally sneaky completely legit psychological evaluation. Remember- I’m sharing this classified information with you for learning purposes only! You can read Victoria’s responses to my specifically formulated questions below in the BOLD print. Proceed with caution.
Do you have any secret tattoos?
No, but my husband has my name on his bicep. I know. Classy.
What was your first date?
It was to a shady restaurant with a dude who insisted I call him Vin, after Vin Diesel. He had a buy-one-get-one coupon. Also classy.
Do you have any strange writing rituals?
I look off into space a lot when I’m imagining characters’ reactions. Does that count?
If you were Tella in Salt and Stone, what would you have done differently than her?
I never would have made it to Salt & Stone. Never.
I know you use some quotes from The Divine Comedy to open a few chapters in the Dante Walker trilogy, but have you ever read Dante Alighieri’s masterpiece? And if so, was it inspiration for Dante Walker?
I’ve only ever read Inferno, the first section. I borrowed a nugget about ice being used for torture from that fine piece of work.
For all of us aspiring authors out there- How do you get over the feeling that your book idea might be ”dumb”?
Ugh. You don’t? I’m working on line edits for a book now, and every day I think to myself, “Dumb. Dumb. Dumber. Also, maybe a little classy.”
How long did it take you to write the first Fire and Flood book once you conceived the idea and interest was expressed by the publisher?
It took about four months from plotting to turning in a first draft.
If you had auditioned to be in Saved By the Bell back in the day, I have a feeling you would have been Kelly Kapowski- Do you agree?
Kelly for the win. I guess I would’ve been since we were both cheerleaders and all.
What television show have you recently binge watched or are obsessed with?
Vikings. OMG, Vikings!
I know your mom and other family members read your books. Is it embarrassing or awkward knowing they are going to read the LOVE SCENES you wrote?! I must confess- as an aspiring author, I worry about this, LOL.
YES! Not so much for my family members to read those scenes, because we’re a pretty open family. But for my mother-in-law? Kill me.
Okay, time for the speed round. This part is sorta like the Family Feud speed round. I’ll ask a question/state a phrase/word, and you answer the first thing that pops into your head. Ready? Set. Go!
Damon or Stefan?
Spandex or Polyester?
Editing or Changing diapers?
Italian food or Mexican food?
Cowboys or Texans?
If you had to choose one to be your love slave: Dante or Guy?!
Dante, of course!
If you had to binge watch one or the other: Toddlers and Tiaras, Dance Moms, or Honey Boo Boo?
Edward or Jacob?
Color of your soul?
Black, obviously. Yellow when I’m feelin’ it.
Freud or Jung?
Who the hell is Jung? *Googles* Okay, going with Freud. He seems classier.
DING, DING, DING! Times up! Thanks so much for participating in my interview. 🙂
After extensive inebriated analysis of Victoria’s answers to my deceptively shallow questions, I realized my worst fears about her psyche were, indeed, warranted. It is clear to me that Victoria suffers from early childhood exposure to Godfather’s Pizza and Michael Jackson music videos. Her obsession with the television show Vikings reveals an underlying desire to sing opera and change her name to Brunhilde. The fact that she can write such successful novels is truly perplexing. It is evident from daily observation that she is constantly fighting a glitter-pink demon inside that wishes to decorate stranger’s houses in rainbows and skulls. Writing her first Dante Walker novel helped calm this aspect of her personality.
Final Prognosis: Victoria is too cool for school. But only because she already went to school and discovered she was much cooler as an adult who writes Young Adult novels. I do not believe Victoria is an immediate threat to society.
Victoria Scott is a teen fiction writer represented by Sara Crowe of the Harvey-Klinger Literary Agency. She’s the author of the FIRE & FLOOD series published by Scholastic, and the DANTE WALKER trilogy published by Entangled Teen. Her first stand-alone young adult title, TITANS, will be published by Scholastic in spring 2016.
Victoria’s books have been bought and translated in eleven foreign markets including the UK, Turkey, China, Poland, Israel, Germany, Australia, Brazil, Taiwan, New Zealand, and the Netherlands. She currently lives in Dallas, and hearts cotton candy something fierce.
Two years ago, the aliens made contact. Now Cara Sweeney is going to be sharing a bathroom with one of them.
Handpicked to host the first-ever L’eihr exchange student, Cara thinks her future is set. Not only does she get a free ride to her dream college, she’ll have inside information about the mysterious L’eihrs that every journalist would kill for. Cara’s blog following is about to skyrocket.
Still, Cara isn’t sure what to think when she meets Aelyx. Humans and L’eihrs have nearly identical DNA, but cold, infuriatingly brilliant Aelyx couldn’t seem more alien. She’s certain about one thing, though: no human boy is this good-looking.
But when Cara's classmates get swept up by anti-L'eihr paranoia, Midtown High School suddenly isn't safe anymore. Threatening notes appear in Cara's locker, and a police officer has to escort her and Aelyx to class.
Cara finds support in the last person she expected. She realizes that Aelyx isn’t just her only friend; she's fallen hard for him. But Aelyx has been hiding the truth about the purpose of his exchange, and its potentially deadly consequences. Soon Cara will be in for the fight of her life—not just for herself and the boy she loves, but for the future of her planet.
[sc_embed_player fileurl=”http://mereadalot.net/muzak/Britney%20Spears%20-%20Alien.mp3″] <-Click the play button for this review’s theme song. (Alien by Britney Spears)
“A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.” -Bill Sweeny, Alienated
Check out my psychological analysis of interview with Melissa here.
From a distance, he’d seemed unremarkable, but up close, his appearance intimidated her. Taller than any of Midtown’s athletes, his fitted uniform outlined every solid curve of muscle in his chest and arms, the fabric straining visibly against his broad shoulders. One strand of honey-brown hair had escaped his clasp and fallen against the outside of his angular jaw, and when he glanced at Cara, her stomach dropped to the floor. It was his eyes that’d left her stunned- not brown like the rest of him, but the most exquisite shade of silvery gray. Holy crap, did they selectively breed for looks, too?
Aelyx (pronounced A-licks- Yes, that’s right.) is our main extraterrestrial hottie in Alienated. He’s a L’eihr participating in the exchange program and his Earthling guide is Cara Sweeny.
Aelyx’s kind believe they are light years ahead of the human race in every way, and he enters this exchange program with ulterior motives.
Despite being an alien Adonis in the looks department, Aelyx’s hot appearance and superiority complex give Cara the chills. Their first meeting gets off to an interesting start, and Melissa Lander’s humor and wit shine and dazzle from the pages of this book as Aelyx begins to warm up to Cara and her human ways.
An involuntary smile curved Aelyx’s mouth. Leaping gods, there it was again–though he found nothing particularly entertaining about the girl, she’d already elicited this reaction in him several times, starting with the moment she’d removed her undergarments and revealed her bare, round bottom. Her skin was even paler than he’d thought possible, so translucent it practically illuminated the darkness, and he’d finally understood why humans called the act mooning.
(I’m flippin’ obsessed with Amy Pond from Doctor Who and think she would be a great Cara!)
Cara Sweeny is a firecracker. She’s at the top of her class and the top of her game when it comes to the debate team and juggling her home and social life. She’s a well rounded individual and was chosen to be Aelyx’s host based on these merits.
Initially hesitant to take on this new role, Cara quickly out weighed the cons with pros despite the problems it might cause with her long-time boyfriend and closest gal pal. The majority of Cara’s school and town are against this friendly ”alien invasion” . What Cara’s contemporaries don’t know about Aelyx and his race scares them, but Cara hopes to neutralize most people’s hate and fear towards the L’eihrs through blogging about the whole experience.
Just when I thought Alienated was going to fall short in the romantic department, Melissa Landers shocked my socks off with one of the hottest scenes I’ve read in a YA Sci-Fi novel. It’s the kind of steamy and sexy that’s twice as effective because everybody still has their clothes on. It spiked my pulse and it was something different and refreshing than any romantic scene I’ve read in a while.
He gazed at Cara–sunset hair framing her scarlet-flushed cheeks, lips parted, eyes closed, lost in the moment. By the gods, she was exquisite. His heart swelled inside his chest. This human had captivated him, and her body’s response gave him hope that she felt the same way.
Alienated is Science Fiction and social commentary at its best– cleverly cloaked in one of THE COOLEST FRIGGIN BOOK COVERS I’ve ever seen. Alienated is the kind of book that you take to the restroom with you (Ughhhh. Yes. I just wrote that out-loud); you won’t want to put it down. Melissa Lander’s witty writing style and smart humor drive this book home in Tardis-style fashion. It’s just a book but there is SO much more to it than that. Alienated will have you laughing out loud one minute and questioning your social norms the next.
The world and character building are as vivid as the cover. Aelyx and Cara are as likeable and exciting as main characters get, and forget about your formulaic ”stock characters” – there’s nothing ”stock” about Melissa’s colorful cast of friends, family, and antagonists in this story. They are as brilliant as the MC’s and make for a fantastic and engaging reading experience.
If you didn’t already jump up and leave to buy a copy of this book in the middle of my review, than you can hop on over to YABooksCentral. Those lucky bastards got the coveted spot of ”cover reveal” for the second book in the Alienated series titled Invaded, and they are featuring a giveaway. Click on the cover for the deets.
Aliens are making their way back into mainstream media in a BIG WAY. The CW recently aired the pilot of a new show called Star-Crossed starring Aimee Teegarden and Matt Lanter. The beginning of this show was reminiscent of Alienated but had a darker tone.
Jump back 15 years and Star-Crossed reminds all of us alien enthusiasts of the Roswell High books by Melinda Metz and the beloved television show Roswell which still has a dedicated cult following.
And of course, we can’t forget the Lux aliens introduced to us by Jennifer Armentrout a couple of years ago. How do you feel about aliens? Do you prefer them to Vampires and Werewolves?
Cristin Terrill is a young adult author and aspiring grown-up. She grew up semi-nomadic and graduated from Vassar College with a degree in drama. After getting her masters in Shakespeare Studies from the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon, she lived in London, Austin, Boston, and Washington, DC while working as a theatrical stage manager. Now she writes and leads creative writing workshops for DC-area kids and teens. All Our Yesterdays is her first novel.
Cristin Terrill’s highly anticipated debut novel, All Our Yesterdays, was released in September, and I’m probably the only blogger on the planet that could forget to post my interview with her. So, this interview and giveaway are for those scant few who have yet to read her book.
Unbeknownst to Cristin, I was given the chance to pick her brain for a psyche test. Because of the nature of a writer’s work, I find it is imperative to do a psychological analysis of each author I come across. I’m sharing this classified information with you for learning purposes only!
What inspired the unusual spelling of your first name?
My parents, bless them, didn’t realize at the time that they were condemning me to a life of spelling my name out and being called “Christine” anyway. I was named for my uncle Crisler (who, let’s face it, got a rawer deal than I did), so that’s where the spelling comes from.
Did you like the television show Sliders starring Jerry O’Connell when you were younger?
I actually never watched Sliders as a kid; I think it was a little TK before my time. But I did watch MANY reruns of Quantum Leap thanks to my sister’s mad crush on Scott Bakula.
All Our Yesterdays is one of the best, if not THE best book I have read all year. Is it a story that you have been writing in your head for a while, or did it just come to you on the fly and get written and published very quickly?
It was a little bit of both. I wrote a short story with the bones that would become All Our Yesterdays many years ago, but the story kept rolling around in the back of my head, becoming bigger and more complex. When I finally sat down to make it a novel, all the years of preparation I’d done in my brain meant I was able to write it quite quickly. I started the first draft in April of 2011 and we sold it in February of 2012.
Is there more in store for Finn and Marina? If so, when will the next book come out?
There is another book in the All Our Yesterdays universe, but that’s all I’m going to say about it! Barring any major hiccups, it should come out about a year after the first does, so probably Fall 2014.
Is reading AOY like reading your diary? Is there a lot of you in it, or are you completely separate from the characters?
There are definitely pieces of the characters, thoughts they have, experiences they go through, that are very personal to me, though I don’t know if anyone else would be able to pick them out. Occasionally a friend or family member will point out a line of dialogue that just jumped out at them as something I would say and made them remember it was me writing the book (usually it’s Finn). None of the characters are like me, although there are bits of me in each of them, which I think is probably unavoidable for any writer.
What’s your favorite Terminator movie?
Tough one. It’s hard not to love the first, because it was just such a new and unique premise for a plot (to me, at least, it’s pretty apparent now that James Cameron totally ripped off TK). And I also find Kyle Reese to be a really fascinating character, and we don’t see him again until number four. But how can you beat Terminator 2 really?
I saw you lived in Austin, Texas for a while. What brought you to Texas and how did you like it?
I grew up mostly in Texas, although not the Austin area. I moved to Austin after leaving the UK because I was a bit lost in life and wasn’t ready to move to a strange new city on my own to try to restart my career. So I moved into the apartment above my dad’s garage and got a job with the US Census, which was one of the more bizarre jobs of my life, while I regrouped. Austin is a great city that I’ve always loved visiting, but I couldn’t stand the heat permanently!
Did you know you wanted to be a writer when you were studying Drama and Shakespeare, or did it just happen?
Being a professional writer was never an ambition of mine. I wrote short stories and fan fiction for fun but never expected to do anything more than that. My dream was to be a theatrical stage manager, which I was up until recently. I did my masters in Shakespeare on a bit of a whim. I’ve always loved Shakespeare, I was desperate to get back to the UK, and a part of me wondered if what I actually wanted to be was an academic. But doing my masters convinced me I didn’t! I spent a year studying something I loved and seeing plays a few times a week at the Royal Shakespeare Company down the street, and I got an extra three years in England out of it!
When developing a story, do you approach your book characters much like you do your acting?
Luckily for us all, I was never an actor, but I do think my drama training has helped me as a writer. The combination of studying drama in an academic setting and actually producing it in a theatre has given me a good eye for structure, motivation, subtext, blocking, and other things that are important in writing as well.
Do you like Opera? If so, what’s your favorite one?
I love opera! I stage-managed quite a few operas, and they were some of my favorite things to work on. I especially love the German expressionists, particularly Wagner and Strauss. But my absolute favorite is an under-appreciated modern opera by Jonathon Dove called Flight.
Tough one. My longtime favorite from childhood was Les Miserables, but my new favorite is probably Spring Awakening.
When you first knew you were going to be published, did the idea of all the touring and publicity that comes with being a famous author now-a-days scare you, or were you looking forward to it?
Well, I’m extremely not famous, so I’m not doing the whirlwind book tour or anything like that (although I am traveling more than I anticipated I would be, including a trip back to the homeland-of-my-heart,London, for the launch of the British edition, which is both tiring and really fun!). I was definitely a bit intimidated by the idea of marketing a book because of all the pressure and expectations, but luckily I have a great team around me who’s really helping me shoulder that burden. I think it’s both harder and more fun that I was expecting when I sold the book.
Okay, time for the speed round! This part is meant to be sorta like the Family Feud speed round. I will say a word/phrase/question, and you answer with the first thing that pops into your head. Ready? Set. Go!
Christian Bale or Chris Hemsworth? Bale
London or Texas? London
Favorite book The Giver
Baby giraffes Cute
Italian or Chinese? Italian
Ding, ding, ding! Time’s up! Thank you so much for participating in this psyche analysis interview!
I twiddled my thumbs for a while over this diagnosis. Cristin’s brain seems to be a complicated maze of conundrums. After thorough analysis, it is apparent that Cristin has a fetish with cyborgs that has driven her to bury her true feelings for Arnold Schwarzenegger. She clearly has unresolved issues with Puck from a Midsummer Night’s Dream, and her love of London, Strauss and Wagner suggest repressed feelings of sovereignty. After assessing her speed-round answers, I have come to the conclusion that Cristin has a dependence on rum and coke, and could quite possibly be a threat to society if she chooses to run for Congress. (NOTE: This analysis was conducted in June, and Cristin’s issues may have rapidly evolved, thus voiding this diagnosis as non-threatening.)
Magan Vernon is a Young Adult and New Adult writer who lives with her family in the insurance capital of the world. She is in a very serious, fake relationship with Adam Lambert and constantly asks her husband to wear guyliner. He still refuses. She also believes her husband is secretly an alien, disguised as a southern gentleman.
Her first book was independently published through an author cooperative in 2011; a YA Science Fiction book called How to Date an Alien that has consistently ranked int he top 100 in Amazon for Teen Science Fiction and Romance. Her first New Adult book, My Paper Heart, was published in 2012 and shot up the top of the Amazon best seller charts and surpassed expectations from all the people in 2009 that told her “A college aged character won’t sell.” Her next release is titled The Only Exception, coming in April of 2013. It’s political, New Adult, and everything that makes a girl swoon.
Magan Vernon, or Mags as I like to call her, just might be the most famous person that you don’t know about. She’s been on the government’s radar since 2010 after possibly marrying an alien, but hasn’t let that keep her from writing some out-of-this-world fiction. Unbeknownst to Mags, I was given the chance to pick her brain for a psyche test. Because of the nature of a writer’s work, I find it is imperative to do a psychological analysis of each author I come across. I’m sharing this classified information with you for learning purposes only!
Have you ever been abducted by aliens?
OMG. I’m deathly afraid of aliens. I slept with a night-light until middle school for this exact reason. Luckily none of them found me and my night-light protected me.
What inspired you to write the My Alien Romance series?
I was walking around Borders with my cousin in 2010. There were a lot of vampires and werewolves in the paranormal books, but nothing different. I said, “I haven’t read a good alien book in a while.” “She goes “Me neither.” So I said, “I’ll write one!” And I took the things I feared and somehow made them smexy.
Haha. My Alien Romance series=MARs. Am I really clever, or did you plan that?
I totes planned that. I have a fifth sense.
What character are you most like from MARs?
Alex Bianchi has a lot of my attributes. I’m not as kick butt as her, but I have the whole Sicilian, quirky girl thing going for me.
Is there a specific reason you named Circe after the greek goddess of Magic?
In The Odyssey, Circe was the god that seduced Odysseus and kept him away for his family for so long and hidden. Circe is supposed to be a place to keep aliens hidden and if there is seduction involved…
Did you a lot of research for this series, or is most of the technical stuff b.s.?
A ton, actually. There was a lot of watching Roswell, of course, for alien and human chemistry, but then there was technical research. I had to figure out what one would need at Circe for it survive as an alien operations center, how it should be laid out, and all of those details.
Do you have an extensive troll doll collection from your childhood?
I despise trolls, too. They need to put some shirts on.
Have you developed a full Caltian language/alphabet?
Not really. Most of the Caltian words are derived from Italian words or names of my family members. “Calta” is actually short for Caltagerone, which is a family name.
When did your obsession with ”guyliner” start?
That one is hard to say. It probably was when I first saw Adam wearing it on American Idol…and the leather jacket with the spikes…and him singing Queen. Oh…um…sorry I need to be alone for a few minutes.
Would you still love Adam Lambert if he refused to dye his hair black, and left it red?
Me and Adam broke up recently. It’s been a very sad few months. He just never loved me back after I loved…or stalked…him for years. I’m with the Zesty Guy now.
I know that you’re a fan of the Roswell TV show. I was recently watching the episode The White Room (season 1, episode 21) where Isabel contacts Max telepathically and it seems as though she’s asleep when she does this. Did this episode inspire the “Sleep Creep” that your female Caltian are capable of doing in the Alien Romance books?
The sleep creep was actually inspired by Hunger Games. Katniss had all those nightmares that brought her to Peeta’s bed and I had this crazy idea like “what if the capital was actually controlling her nightmares?”
I know How To Marry An Alien is ”edgier” than the rest of the books in the series, but have you considered writing an all NA Alien themed series?
This has been suggested MANY times. There was actually a full-fledged “love scene” between Alex and Ace that was cut. And another heavy petting scene. I have a lot of young readers and I had to still keep it in that realm. That said, there may or may not be an Ace novella that would be New Adult.
What inspired the ”world’s worst rapper dream” in How To Break Up With An Alien?
Justin Bieber. I think that’s what he dreams about.
Do you think Aliens wear preppy clothes on their home planets, or does that just happen when they come to Earth?
In my head, Ace is always naked when at home…I need a few minutes again.
How many licks ’til you get to the center of a blow pop?
I never get that far. I’m a biter.
Have you read any of the recent YA alien themed books?
I feel like my own books get compared to them too much and that bugs, so I have not. Well, no, I take that back. I read I am Number Four a few years back.
Do you think Jason Behr would look hot with ‘guyliner”?
This image requires me to spend a few minutes by myself. Carry On.
Would you like to see MARs turned into a television series or film franchise?
I think it would be cool to see some alien kick buttness on the big screen. If someone wants to make that happen I do have an entertainment lawyer, so hit me up!
If you were just now writing MARs, what would you do differently?
I think I would go full-fledged science fiction, New Adult and make Alex in college like I originally planned her to be. When I wrote the book NO ONE wanted NA (that’s why my Paper Heart was shelved), so I couldn’t do that.
Ok, time for the speed round! This part is meant to be sort of like the Family Feud speed round. I will say a word or ask a question and you answer with the first thing that pops in your head. Ready? Set. GO!
Pelican BreifTOM CRUISE
The 1990’sI DON’T CARE I LOVE IT.
Jason Behr or Adam Lambert?MAKE A MAGAN SANDWICH
Blue SpandexBELLY BUTTON
Star Trek or Star Wars?CHRIS PINE
Chinese or Italian? ITALIAN
Gosh, I’m awkward, sorry about my awkward responses.
Ding, ding, ding! Times up! Thank you so much for participating in this psyche analysis interview!
*Twiddles thumbs. Looks around office…Throws glasses on desk, and slams fist down on patient file. Runs hand through hair, and sighs* Out of all my case studies, this one has perplexed me the most. How can someone who is so obviously crazy, be secretly famous and attractive!? Magan Vernon is a mystery of science. According to her analysis, she buries her desire to work as a celebrity make-up artist, under her desire to sell cars, under her desire to interview male models! Her flamboyant fascination with attractive men, alien smexy times, and artificial light suggest she believes that ITALIANS do it better. Whatever “it” may be. This patient could be a possible danger because her results indicate that she tackles things. Writing books, and metro-sexual males included. In conclusion, as long as Magan is permitted to play out the strange and aggressive workings of her mind with pen and paper, she poses no immediate threat to society. I hope you enjoyed our last diagnosis interview for Aliens Abducting August! We are closing this EPIC month with an even more EPIC Giveaway. ENTER TO WIN below for a signed set of Magan’s My Alien Romance series. And don’t forget to check out our Guest Reviewer, Meredith’s, reviews of the entire My Alien Romance series!
Melissa Landers is a former teacher who left the classroom to pursue other worlds. A proud sci-fi geek, she isn’t afraid to wear her Princess Leia costume in public—just ask her husband and three kids. She lives just outside Cincinnati and writes adult contemporary romance as Macy Beckett.
If you haven’t heard of Melissa Landers yet, don’t feel dumb. Melissa’s highly anticipated debut YA novel, Alienated, is set to release February 4, 2014. The mystical horse-shoe of luck must have been in my favor, because I received an ARC of Alienated a few months ago, and have had a hard time keeping mum about it. The cover of Alienated is so pretty, I want to eat it. I definitely devoured the pages of this book, and I can’t wait for more of this series. As requested by Disney Hyperion, I won’t be posting my review of Alienated until closer to the release date, but I was given the green light to post this psyche-file interview and giveaway! Unbeknownst to Melissa, I was given the chance to pick her brain for a psyche test. Because of the nature of a writer’s work, I find it is imperative to do a psychological analysis of each author I come across. I’m sharing this classified information with you for learning purposes only!
Have you ever been abducted by Aliens?
Only in my dreams, sadly.
What was your initial inspiration for Alienated?
It was October 2009, and I was brainstorming ideas for my very first NaNoWriMo. A few plots came to me, but I dismissed them because they were boring or they’d been done before. Then a thought hit me: “What if a high school senior had to host an alien exchange student?” Bam! ALIENATED was conceived.
Did you know you wanted the book to be funny from the beginning, or is it something that happened along the way?
The manuscript got a little bit funnier with each rewrite as I worked to draw out Cara’s “voice.”
Are you a fan of the old-school T.V. show Mork and Mindy?
I watched that as a little girl, but I don’t remember anything except “Nanu Nanu!”
Who have been your biggest influences in the Sci-Fi genre?
I lived and breathed Star Wars throughout my childhood. In fact, I still have my big, gold C-3PO carrying case with my action figures inside it.
What was your writing process like for Alienated? Did you do a lot of research for this book?
More than anything, I researched nanotechnology to make sure the events that unfold toward the end of the book are plausible. Fortunately, my neighbors are both scientists with colleagues who specialize in such things, so the information was easy to access.
Have you developed a full alphabet/language for the L’eihrs?
No, but I wish I’d kept a list of L’eihr words. Then I wouldn’t have to keep referring to my manuscript for book 1 while writing book 2.
Do you believe Aliens communicate with Snow Owls?
Psh! Everyone knows chipmunks are the aliens’ favorite.
Do you feel like Alienated has ”Big Screen” potential, and would you like the idea of your books being made into films?
I’d love that! A lot of early readers have told me ALIENATED would make a good TV show, too.
Do you have an ideal cast for Cara, Tori, Eric, Aelyx, Eron, Syrine, Stepha if optioned for film?
Nope. It’s too hard finding real people to match the pretend people in my head. Have you ever seen the late ’90s/early 2000’s television show, Roswell?
No, but I really want to.
While writing Alienated, did you imagine yourself as Cara?
No, but Cara and I have some similar characteristics. I’m ridiculously competitive and a little hot-tempered.
Would you participate in an Alien exchange program?
I loved the contemporary aspect to Alienated. There’s a lot to be learned about love, tolerance, and human/foreign relations from this book. Do you think humans would indeed act hostile toward Aliens, even if they looked much like humans?
Absolutely. Look at how we treat other humans. All you have to do is turn on the news and you’ll see enough examples of prejudice and intolerance to make you want to change the channel. If that’s how we treat each other, why would aliens fare any better?
Have you always wanted to be a writer,or was it a default career choice?
It was an unexpected career change for me. I’d never wanted to write, but after spending a few years at home with my young children, I needed a creative outlet. That’s when I decided to give NaNoWriMo a try. I fell in love with fiction writing, and never looked back.
What advice would you give to book bloggers like me, that entertain the idea of writing a YA novel?
Writers write. Dabblers dabble. But you won’t sell a book by dabbling in the craft. If you want to be an author, you have to go all-in and write every day–no excuses–even when it’s hard and you feel like everything you produce is garbage.
Okay, time for the speed round. This part is sorta like the Family Feud speed round. I’ll ask a question/state a phrase/word, and you answer the first thing that pops into your head. Ready? Set. Go!
Psyllium husks: Cornhuskers
Henry Cavill or Jason Behr? Yes!
Red: Bull gives you wings
Daemon or Dante? Double yes!
Encino Man: Eminem (I have no clue why this popped into my head.)
Angels: And Demons
Ding, ding, ding! Times up! Thank you so much for participating in Aliens Abducting August on MEReadALot. I LOVED Alienated, and can’t wait for all of my friends to read it when it officially releases! Book two will be on my ”highly anticipated sequels list”.
Thanks for including me. This was fun! 🙂
Diagnosis: It is clear after thorough analysis that Melissa is blocking memories of a past life on an alien planet. Her answers indicate a possible fixation with small, fuzzy creatures, and a propensity to climb trees. It is highly likely that she masks a desire to be a lawyer, or director for Amnesty International with fictionalizing her past life experiences in her manuscripts. In conclusion, Melissa is clearly intelligent beyond the scope of the human intellect.
You can add Alienated to your Goodreads list here, and you can ENTER TO WIN a copy of Alienated below. The book will be shipped to the winner when it officially releases.
Jennifer L. Armentrout is the USA TODAY Bestselling author of the adult romance Gamble Brothers’ series, the young adult Lux Series and award winning Covenant Series. She pretty much writes everything—contemporary, paranormal, and fantasy. All of her books have one thing in common no matter the name or genre: kissing… and stuff. When she’s not busy writing, which is never, she’s usually hanging out with dog Loki, watching reruns of The Walking Dead, or procrastinating on the Internet.
Jennifer Armentrout. We all know her as the chick who wrote the Lux series and the Covenant series, but what else do we know about this strange specimen of a woman? Unbeknownst to Jennifer, I was given the chance to pick her brain for a psyche test. Because of the nature of a writer’s work, I find it is imperative to do a psychological analysis of each author I come across. I’m sharing this classified information with you for learning purposes only!
Have you ever been abducted by aliens?
Yes, yes, I have been abducted by aliens.
Do you believe extraterrestrials are out there?
Absolutely. Since I’ve been abducted by aliens I have firsthand knowledge of extraterrestrials. But, seriously, I think there is definitely a possibility that aliens exist.
Which Lux book has been your favorite to write so far? I think Obsidian was probably my favorite since it was the first book in the series and I was introducing Katy, Daemon and the Luxen to readers for the first time.
Did you feel like you were cheating on the Lux when you wrote about the Arum?
I didn’t really feel like I was cheating because the Lux series is YA and Obsession is for adults. If Obsession was a YA book, then I might have felt a little guilty writing about Hunter instead of Daemon. But their characters are in very different places in their lives, so writing the two guys was vastly different.
If Daemon and Hunter were in a fight to the death, who would win?
I’m going to go with Hunter just because he is older and more experienced than Daemon.
Will Shadows ever be published in paperback form?
There aren’t any plans to publish Shadows in paperback right now. That decision is made by the publisher, so it’s possible that it could be released in paperback at some point.
Did you plan on writing a story about the Arum (Obsession) from the beginning, or did it recently come to you?
I actually decided to write Obsession after I started getting requests to rewrite the Lux series for adults. I didn’t want to rewrite Daemon and Katy’s story, so I decided to write about an Arum. I liked the idea of writing in the same world, but giving it a different spin by showing another side to the story of the Luxen and the Arum.
Is there more in store for Hunter and Serena in the future for your fans?
Obsession is a standalone novel, so there won’t be any more Arum books. However, there is always the possibility that Hunter and/or Serena will make an appearance in the Lux series.
When I read the Lux series, I imagined a teenage version of you as Katy. Do you imagine yourself as Katy when writing the Lux books?
I didn’t imagine myself as Katy when I was writing the books, but I do tend to be sarcastic like Katy. That’s probably the biggest similarity between the two of us.
After meeting you and Pepe Toth at the Houston Daemon Invasion last year, I had a feeling that Pepe was secretly in love with you. Is this true!? (We won’t let your hubs read this interview)
Oh, that’s funny. No, Pepe isn’t in love with me. But, he is a genuinely nice guy. He’s also a hottie. I was so excited to have him at the release party with me because I think the readers enjoyed the opportunity to meet him.
If Daemon and Victoria Scott’s Dante Walker ever met in real life, would they be friends or foes?
I think that Daemon and Dante could respect each other, but there would always be competition between them just because of their cocky and sarcastic personalities.
If enemies, who would win in a fight?
When you officially became a published writer, were you scared of all the publicity/touring work that came with it, or did you look forward to it?
I wasn’t scared of all of the publicity and touring, but I was anxious to travel by myself at first. Now, it doesn’t bother me because I’ve done it so much.
Do you ever act out dialogue scenes you have written with your husband or Loki to see if they flow right?
No, I haven’t even tried because I don’t think my husband or Loki would be very cooperative.
Ok, time for the speed round! This part is meant to be sort of like the Family Feud speed round. I will say a word or ask a question and you answer with the first thing that pops in your head. Ready? Set. GO!
Robert Pattinson or Henry Cavil—Henry Cavill
Favorite Movie–don’t have one
Thanks for asking me to do the interview. 😉
Ding, ding, ding! Times up! Thank you so much for participating in this psyche analysis interview!
This diagnosis was difficult. I have been mentally debating over the outcome for two months now, and felt it was imperative to share the test and results with you because Origin, the fourth book in the Lux series, is coming out on August 27, 2013. Of course, in retrospect, there are many more questions I would like to have asked to determine the state of Jennifer’s psyche, but I will commence with the information I have already collected.
Diagnosis: Jennifer has quirky and curious tendencies that have led her to Borderline Bad-Ass disorder. It is obvious from the test results that she has strange taste in men, and would have been close friends with Albert Einstein. The name of her dog, Loki, is an indicator that she has a dark side, and could quite possibly sympathize with those who are interested in invading and taking over Earth. Let’s hope Jennifer continues to use her cognitive functions for good, and keeps all world domination plotting to her novels.
Melinda Metz is the author of more than 60 books for kids and teens, including the Echoes series, and the Roswell High series, basis of the TV show Roswell. Her latest book, Sacrifice, a collaboration with oft-time writing partner, Laura J. Burns, came out in September 2011. With Laura, Melinda was on the writing staff of two TV shows, Roswell and Missing, and sold two TV pilots. Before becoming a writer, She was an editor, first with Berkley Publishing, then with Parachute Publishing. She’s had experience editing romances, mysteries, and thrillers for adults, as well as young adult and middle-grade fiction. Recently, She’s begun teaching creative writing.
Melinda Metz is the author of one of my favorite YA series of all time: Roswell High. Without her books, we wouldn’t have three seasons of the awesome show that we all love. The Roswell television series and Roswell High books continue to gain fans all over the world, every year. It is a testament to the quality and originality of Melinda’s writing. Because of the nature of a writer’s work, I find it is imperative to do a psychological analysis of each author. Melinda has been one of the top people on my list to test and diagnose. I’m sharing this classified information with you for learning purposes only!
How did you end up writing the Roswell High series?
Pocket Books wanted to do a series about teen aliens in high school and hired the book packager 17th Street Productions (now Alloy) to develop one for them. Laura J. Burns worked up an awesome proposal, and when it came time to look for a writer, I was one of the people she had write sample chapters to show Pocket. I was the second choice, but by a twist of fate the first person dropped out, and I got the job. Yay!
Do you believe in Aliens?
I’m not sure. (Why would I be sure, right?) I think there definitely could be some other beings out there.
I really enjoyed the way you describe Max connecting with Liz to heal her, and how you described how things were happening inside her on a cellular level. Do you think the magic of that translated well to the show?
I did think it translated really well. While I got to describe the cellular stuff and Liz’s aura dimming, I thought the music and the expression on Max’s face and the images that Max gets from Liz in the TV version worked great.
Could you have written more books for the series?
If Pocket had wanted more Roswell Highs, I’m sure I could have come up with more stories–with the help of my fabulous editor and later writing partner, Laura J. Burns. (Who was my friend before any of that stuff.) I was actually only signed up to write 6 at first and was able to come up with story for 4 more without a problem.
What was your favorite scene, out of all ten books, for you to write?
Wow. Hard question. That first scene where Max heals Liz is the scene I wrote as my “audition” chapter, so that one is definitely special to me. I also really wanted to give Max and Liz the most romantic ending I could envision, so that scene almost at the end of book 10 too. I also loved writing scenes where the kids were just hanging, making jokes, goofing around.
Do you ever plan on writing another YA Sci-Fi series?
Laura and I are actually about to start writing a (at least) 2-book YA thriller duo that has some Sci-Fi elements.
If a Roswell movie were made, would you be interested in helping develop it?
I don’t own the rights, but if someone who did wanted me to help develop the movie, then of course!
What’s your favorite BOOK out of the whole Roswell High series?
Another hard question. I think I’ll go with Book 1, just because that’s where I came up with so many details that I continued through the other books.
Have you read the spin-off books? If so, what did you think about them?
I haven’t read any of the spin-offs! That’s just wrong (especially since Laura wrote one!) I’m going to say hers is my favorite any way.
If fans petitioned for you to write more Roswell books, would you?
I don’t control the rights, but if Pocket/Alloy wanted me to write more, then yes.
What’s your favorite Sci-Fi film?
The Empire Strikes Back.
Do you have a favorite YA author or series?
Clearly I have a hard time making choices, because this is also a hard question. I’m loving the Divergent series. I can’t wait to read the third Daughter of Smoke and Bone book. I’m also eager for the next Raven Boys. I’ll stop now.
Have you read any of the recent YA alien-themed novels that have been written? (The Lux series by Jennifer Armentrout, The Taking series by Melissa West) If so, what did you think about them?
I haven’t read those, but I will. I love reading YA, which is part of why I love writing it.
Did you have a say in casting for the Roswell television show?
I didn’t have a say. But Laura and I were on the writing staff for season three, and it was great to get to know all the people who worked on the show.
How did you feel about the guys cast as Max, Michael, and Alex looking much different from what you had written?
It didn’t bother me at all. All three actors felt like the characters to me (Max so soulful and romantic, Michael tough, yet wounded, Alex goofy, with a core of strength), and that was a lot more important to me than what they looked like. (Although I did enjoy looking at Michael’s spiky hair, which made it from book to TV.) They were all awesome, in my opinion. I did kinda wish Liz had stayed Hispanic at first, but that would have meant no Shiri, and at this point it’s pretty much impossible to imagine a different Liz.
Is there anything different you would do with the Roswell series if you could go back and write it again?
I’m sure there are. I’d have to read through them all and think it through. I have to say, I always felt a sort of writerly jealous over the scene Jason Katims created in the pilot where Max, Isabel, and Michael are watching the reenactment of the crash and it’s so clear they are feeling something different from everyone around them. They are watching a reenactment of their parents’ deaths, and everyone else is all “whoo!” I also loved the way Sheriff Valenti was deepened in the show by the addition of the back story about his father being ridiculed for his belief in aliens.
How did you feel about the little things that were changed from book to show, like who Nickolas was, and the story with Ray?
I pretty much looked at the show as an alternate universe to the books. It was awesome to watch the pilot and see how close it stayed to book one. (I still remember thinking–they kept the cupcake dress! They kept that joke my editor cut!) And it was fun to see what other writers did with the same main characters and starting point. Ray Iburg was named after the wonderful father of my high school best friend, so it would have been cool to hear that name on the show. Another small thing I’d have liked to have seen was Liz having a sister who’d died, cause I like what it added to her character.
Who is your favorite Roswell High character?
Okay, you keep asking questions that feel like Sophie’s choice. I can’t pick between the main six. I think my favorite minor character was Liz’s dad.
No matter how many times I read the books or watch the show, it never gets old. I love your writing and the way you developed the Roswell High world. Do you feel like Roswell was ahead of it’s time, and would have aired longer if it came out present day?
Maybe, since YA is so hot right now.
Are there any connections or references between the Roswell book and show that fans always miss?
I don’t think so.
Did you ever do a cameo in the show that fans have never noticed?
If a movie were made next year, who would your dream cast be besides the original cast? (I really, really, REALLY hope you answer this question. :p)
Okay, for the casting question, I’m just doing the main six. (Kyle had a much smaller part in the books.) I ended up casting mostly “Hollywood teens,” which means right at this moment they are under 25! I’m sure there are tons of awesome actors that I don’t know anything about.
Okay, time for the speed round! This next part of the interview is meant to be kinda like the Family Feud speed round. I will list some phrases/words, and you answer with the first thing that pops into your head. Ready? Set. Go!
Opal All My Children
Purple Kool-Aid Tom Wolfe
Egyptians Zilpha Keatley Snyder
The 1940’s The 1940s Depression (I know I should have said the Roswell Incident, but I’m giving you my actual first thoughts, many of which make me seem old–as old as I actually am.)
Jason Behr or Henry Cavill? Jason Behr
Enchiladas My mom.
Ding, ding, ding! Times up! Thank you so much for participating in our Roswell Read-A-Long and Aliens Abducting August on our blog! We really appreciate your involvement with the fans.
The questions asked of Melinda 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:
Melinda’s brain functions at higher levels than your average human. There are underlying traits to her personality that lead me to believe one thing: Melinda is quite possibly, an Extraterrestrial.
ENTER TO WIN A SIGNED BOX SET OF THE FIRST FIVE ROSWELL HIGH BOOKS
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. 🙂
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? 😉
Ha! Jackson. No question. 🙂
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 possible—for 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 Ari—though 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. 🙂
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. 🙂
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? 🙂
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!
Blue My daughter’s eyes
The 1970’s Great clothes.
Jersey Shore Tacky
Christian Bale or Henry Cavill? Bale
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. 🙂
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.