Today, I am both pleased and proud to have Melisa Hamling, author of Twenty Weeks, visit with us. Melisa is my Writing BFF. I cannot tell you how many times she has inspired me, encouraged me and MADE ME LAUGH!!!! Her emoticons are the bestest.
Why, thank you, Rachelle. You're pretty funny yourself and helped me too.
Rachelle: Yep, I guess we do egg each other on, don't we? So Melisa, tell us about your book, Twenty Weeks. What inspired you to write it?
Rachelle: Your book includes some controversial topics. How were you able to weave such a sweet and uplifting Young Adult romance into it?
You know you're forcing me to really think? Ha. I can tell you my original conflict and resolution wasn't such a happy one. As I wrote, more thoughts came to mind. I realized there are those who have no voice, who are in situations nearly impossible to get out of. Andrea's story formed from that knowledge and weaved in Maya and Andrea's friendship. The romance between Alex and Maya started out simple. Misunderstandings and lack of communication is a commonality in teens. Things go wrong and understandably so, but I'll leave it at that. Twenty Weeks has its own answers.
Rachelle: Twenty Weeks is an incredible book. You’ve given a voice to those who suffer in silence. It opens with a beautiful poem that sets the stage. I’m awed by both the message and the romance. You use the word Kaleidoscope in both the poem and the closing chapter. What is the deeper meaning?
Definition of Kaleidoscope: an optical toy consisting of a cylinder with mirrors and colored shapes inside that create shifting symmetrical patterns when the end is rotated
OR: A complex set of events or circumstances.
Life is like a kaleidoscope--bringing new shades of emotions, memorable moments, and a variety of shapes, each building new foundations at different stages of life.
Rachelle: So, what's next?
Of Love and Deception. My next WIP is an adult romantic suspense. After that, I plan on going back to my very first novel "Finding Forever", and rewriting/revising it. As part of a Trilogy, the second book in the series is written and part of the third.
Rachelle: I’m excited about the romantic suspense. Love and Deception often times go hand in hand. Why did you decide to try this genre?
Simple. I love romance; break-ups and make ups. Mostly the making up!
Rachelle: Tell us more about your first novel, the trilogy. What is it like?
To be honest... gosh! The first book is a mess right now, but the idea behind the story is one I could only imagine. Who wouldn’t want to find a perfect man? And live in his unique world? Even if your doctor pursed his lips, arranged himself at your bedside and said, "… these people and this place you conjured up is nothing more than a psychological retreat of your subconscious mind."
My main character has to determine if the good doctor is right or if the world she came to love, while in a coma, is real.
I tend to favor anything with romance. I do like in-depth character examination, but only if those characters are interesting or have something to offer to the story. I love twists that shock me and my assumptions backfire.
Rachelle: Okay, now for some fun questions. Describe your first kiss.
Seriously? My first kiss? Yuck. Sean and I sat outside at my friend’s house. I'm not sure how it started, but I do remember his lips being pressed against mine. I went with it, but it was wet and pretty lame. Not romatic like I had dreamed it would be. Ha. I didn't talk to him after that night. Boo-hoo. ;>
Rachelle: I honestly can’t even remember what mine was like. What was the most shocking thing you read and wished to erase from your memory?
I can't say I've ever wished to erase what I've read. I think Stephen King's "IT" was the most disturbing thing I had read. Scarred the crap out of me. A Child Called It really disturbed me. I guess it touched some familiar places in my own memory, but the extreme nature of what David Peltzer (the child) went through was so terrible. I had to put the book down several times because it made me cry.
The books I didn't like, I didn't finish. I won't say who the author is, but it's not an indie author.
Rachelle: Pick any author, someone you know or not. Name one thing you would tell to their face.
One author. Without mentioning a name (because I know her), I would have to say to this author that she created such a beautiful story, and it literally made my heart swell. Every possible emotion went through me and I wanted nothing more than to stay in her story because I couldn't get enough of it quick enough. And that is the truth! It's one of those stories you think about long after you've finished the novel. Not many books do that for me.
Another author, I will mention, Colleen Hoover. Her Slammed series took me by surprise. I love the freshness this author introduced in her Slammed and Point of Retreat novels. If you don't know what the title Slammed means, then I'd suggest you read it. Who knew such a thing would be so cool? And the love story is incredible in both books.
Well, it's been great to be had! Oh, wait, I mean thanks for inviting me, Rachelle. It's been a pleasure interviewing with you.
Twenty Weeks will be free July 25-29 on Amazon! Be sure to pick up your copy today! [Click HERE]
What have you got to lose? Nothing! It's free! Enjoy.