Monday, February 11, 2013

Meeting Mell

Good Morning everyone! Today, I would like to welcome Mell Eight for a feature in our Author Spotlight! 

Before I start answering all of Summer Michaels' questions, I wanted to thank her for giving me this opportunity to share some fun facts about myself and about my writing.  I really appreciate Summer giving me a plug in her blog and giving Stealing the Dragon a bit of extra spotlight.  It means a lot to me to have others in the m/m genre compliment my work. 

About You: The Person

Where do you call home?

I currently live in Upstate New York.  It's a whopping five degrees outside right now (without wind-chill) so I'm questioning the intelligence of continuing to live here, but it's home so I can't complain too much.  

Do you have any siblings?

Yes, I have two younger sisters and the cutest puppy ever! 

Favorite place traveled?

This is a hard question.  I've visited so many awesome places on five of the seven continents.  I'm going to have to choose Israel, although Egypt and Italy are very close seconds. 

Besides writing, what do you do in your free time?

I am taking an amazing martial art called Krav Maga.  It's the same martial art Israel uses in their army, so it's intense, but very gratifying.  A warning for any males looking to take the course, the rumors are true: I have so far learned about 500 different ways to make a man cry and I'm only in level two.  

About You: The Author

What was the first book you ever published?
Purchase Here

The first book I ever published was Finding the Wolf, the first book of the Dragon's Hoard Series. 

What made you decide to write in the MM genre?

You shouldn't even have to ask!  Boys are smexy.  Two boys just doubles the fun!  Now I can put my own wicked imaginings onto paper to share with everyone! 

Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

Most of the ideas for my books come to me when I'm in the shower.  There's something soothing about letting your mind go and only focusing on the mundane act of bathing that really lets the ideas flow.  It's not so good for my computer, though, because wet hands and dripping hair on a keyboard don't really work out well in the end. 

I do a heck of a lot of research to back up those ideas.  The Dragon's Hoard Series, for example, required that I look up a lot of information on dragons so my characters would be realistic.  Stealing the Dragon, book three, required research on medieval marketplaces, armies, and basic shop keeping.  You can never have a good book if you don't have the research to back up what you're writing, so I try my best to be factual even in the most fantastical of books. 

Who or what influences your writing?

My likes and dislikes influence my writing a lot!  I love dragons and werewolves, so Finding the Wolf had both creatures.  My educational background is in counter-terrorism and homeland security, so I've written a couple stories focused there too.  I also spend much of my time reading fantasy and paranormal stories written by amazing authors.  I know my writing can't compare, but I enjoy the challenge to reach their level. 

What current WIP are you working on?

I've found that it's impossible for me to work solely on just one story.  I think it's the ADHD or something, but I spend my writing time hopscotching between stories, writing a little here and a little there before moving on.  Therefore, I am currently working on at least three separate, tentatively titled, stories:
The Oracle's Flame is for LT3's If You're Reading This call.  It's about missing princes, pirates, and saving the world.  I'm still fleshing out the story, but I'm hoping it turns out all right!

The Red Apple Spell is for LT3's Fairytales serial.  That's a very tentative title, since I don’t think there will be a poisoned red apple in the story.  It's a mix of a bunch of different fairytales.  Hansel and Gretel and Snow White are the two I've introduced so far, but there are at least two more I'm planning to incorporate as well. 

Road to Home is the sequel to Road to Revenge, which will arrive in stores July 3rd.  Road to Revenge is a spy thriller fighting terrorism in Israel.  Road to Home will also be fighting against terrorists, but it will be set in Venice and Cairo.  I've a lot of work still to do on this story. 

A Bell Jar Moment you will never forget as an author?

My Bell Jar Moment would probably be the very first time I had a story rejected by a publisher.  It hurt and it really, really sucked, but the trade off in learning was so large that I try to remember what I felt and how I grew as a person and as a writer because of it.  You can get a little arrogant or complacent about your work if you haven't had to struggle even the littlest bit to get your stories published, so I really appreciate the experience. 

Mell's next release is Stealing the Dragon which will be released by Less Than Three Press. Mell has been kind enough to bring an excerpt along with her!! Here's a taste of Stealing the Dragon!!

Jerney looked down at what An'tatori was holding and gasped. It was a silver necklace with a delicate blue teardrop topaz hanging suspended in an intricate silver net. The topaz itself was such a clear light blue color that Jerney could see An'tatori's hand through the stone. It was beautiful.

"I can't accept this," Jerney said with a shake of his head. "It's beautiful, but I don't want to take a part of your hoard."

An'tatori held up the gem near Jerney's face. "It matches your eyes," the dragon said softly. "I want you to have it because I want you to be my friend."

"Your friend?" Jerney asked, incredulous. An'tatori wanted to be his friend after his spells had allowed for the hatching gem to be stolen? Jerney was a thief and a witch, which wasn't exactly friend material for a baby dragon.

"My big brother Nyle is friends with a wolf, so why can't I be friends with a witch?"

Jerney swallowed at the casual reminder that lovers Dragon Lord An'nanyle and Prince Leon were related to An'tatori. He thought An'tatori's logic was a bit off, but he was insistent.

"My name is Tori and I want you to be my friend," An'tatori said firmly, holding the necklace out again.

"My name is Jerney," he said softly as he reached out and took the necklace from Tori, "and I would be honored to be your friend."

"Good," Tori said with a happy smile. "Now put the spells on that necklace so you won't lose it!" Tori grabbed Jerney's hands and led him over to his bed. Jerney sat down across from Tori and set the necklace onto the blanket in front of them.

Tori was watching the necklace intently, one hand still clutching the ruby gem around his neck, as Jerney studied how serious the dragon really was. There was no indication that Tori was at all upset about how the night had gone—the tear tracks had all vanished from his cheeks and his gold eyes glinted with a child-like excitement that reminded Jerney again of his siblings when they were young and had found some new and exciting toy.

Jerney reminded himself that children could be fickle. There was every possibility that in a few days Tori would be at his door asking for the necklace back. But at that moment, Tori wanted his new friend to have it, so Jerney would oblige Tori for as long as the excitement would last.

Jerney prepared the spells in his mind, envisioning clearly the potion ingredients and the steps to brew it. Once he had a picture of the bottled potion in his mind, he lifted his hand and passed it over the necklace. A glance up at the dragon showed that Tori was biting his lip and wiggling in place in excitement, so Jerney added some sparkle and a flash of light to his spell.

The dragon jumped and giggled before reaching out to touch the necklace. "No one will steal it from you now?" he asked as he pushed the necklace towards Jerney.

"No one," Jerney affirmed. He picked the necklace up and clasped it around his neck. It settled there comfortably, with the teardrop landing just below the hollow of his throat.

"Good," Tori said with a nod. Tori yawned and shook his head. "We'll have to play more later," he said as Jerney got up off his bed. 

Want your chance to win Stealing the Dragon? Hop on over to Mell's blog and enter her giveaway! You can also win a copy of Finding the Wolf. You don't want to miss out! 

Thank you so much Mell for stopping by! I can't wait to explore the world of Dragon's Hoard. 

Thanks again to Summer Michaels for giving me a few moments on her blog!  Stealing the Dragon arrived in stores on February 6th.  Please go check it out!  


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