What is the one thing you wish you had known before setting out to be an indie author?
I underestimated how much time it takes to promote a novel...and how much money I'd need to go as big as I originally wanted. I still haven't gone as big as I wanted...yet.
What inspired you to have twins in your novel?
Honestly, I just knew Oliver and Alexander were twins. There was never any question in my mind. Can you imagine them NOT being twins? lol What I didn't know when I "discovered" them was that they looked so very much alike. Because they are so different personality wise, I thought there would be bigger differences, but they're very nearly physically indistinguishable. That took me awhile to figure out, actually, and when I did, I realized how much it bothered them both that some people couldn't acknowledge that they are two very different people. Hence, their hatred for the term "identical twins" and their preference for "mono-zygotic twins". In the end, their being twins added a lot to the story, I think. But I didn't plan it that way. It's just the way it was.
How do you find time to write?
I find time to write when I ignore all my responsibilities, children, husband, cats, ferrets, shut off my phone, disconnect the internet and sit in a corner with my headphones on. I try to look really, really angry while I'm at it, to deter any interruption. hee. Just joking. I'm told I look really, really angry when I'm writing. It's true, when I'm concentrating or thinking, I scowl.
Do you have a favorite place where you write?
Right now, I sit in the corner of the living room beside the space heater. I like to write where it's warm. I don't know why, but sitting cross legged in a recliner (anywhere) with a blanket and a laptop balanced between my knees puts me into some kind of meditational state where I can channel inter-dimensional beings. I just relax, sit, listen to the disembodied voices, and type as fast as I can.
Do you use Beta readers? If so, what type of feedback do you feel is the most helpful?
I think any kind of feedback is good, as long as it isn't dumb. But I'm stubborn and I don't change much because of what people tell me. I mean, sometimes, like if they want more of a particular character or more of a particular part of the story. But I won't change the "truth" of what happens in a book because somebody thought that a female character should have been with a different male character or something like that. I'm there to tell the character's story more than please somebody's idea of what the character should have done. (I hope that makes sense.)
One of my favorite scenes from After Forever Ends was the muffin scene. With out giving too much away for anyone who has not read AFE yet what inspired that scene?
Ah! The infamous "Muffin" scene! The inspiration for that was pretty simple. Family dynamics are interesting and they're fun to watch from a distance, especially when things get heated. Not when you're caught in the middle, mind, but Silvia was telling that story looking back from far into the future, so she was able to laugh about it. Families can spin out of control at any given second and that scene was one of those times that got out of hand. I knew what had happened, so I just wound them up and let them go. haha! It was Oliver that set that situation up for chaos, though, the way he nonchalantly dropped such a huge bombshell over tea. Poor Ed and Ana! All they ever wanted was the best for their children and they were stuck with, as Ed put it, "Those two toxic demons", Oliver and Alexander. Nobody ever knew what they were going to do next, but that particular decision...that one was huge. (I can't say what Oliver did. Spoilers, you know?) Basically, Ed was so angry with and confused by what his son, Oliver, had done, that he jumped to the nearest conclusion to make his choice make sense. But since his mind was so scrambled, instead of saying "She has a bun in the oven!", he said, "She's baking a muffin!" And to make it even funnier, he was wrong, Oliver had no idea what he was talking about, and Silvia completely lost any composure she might have had before he said it.
Do you have a favorite writing snack? If so, please dish
I will eat just about anything! But I really love pretzels when I'm writing. You know, so the crumbs can fall on the keyboard and I can spend an extra 45 minutes mashing the bits down by pressing on the "M" key really hard and then blowing on the keys?
I know you are a big reader, what are your three all time favorite books?
That's hard to quantify. I have so many favorite books, but there have been a few that stand out the most in my mind as "important" books. The first "important" book to me was probably "The Outsiders" by S.E. Hinton. I read that in like 4th grade and it made an deep impression on me. "The DragonLance Chronicles" were HUGE in helping me learn how important character development is in a story. It was the first book where I literally fell in love with characters and felt like they were my friends. And a third book? That's tough, honestly. All the good ones take a place in my heart and just stay there.
Lastly, do you have a current work in progress? If so, what's it about? And when do you hope to release it?
I have been poking around at two or three things, but none of them are flowing as freely as I'd like. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks things will settle down and then I'll be able to really get down to writing something worth reading. :)
Here is my review of After Forever Ends:
Some books stay with you, long after you've finished them. For me, this is one of those books. I follow Melodie on Twitter and honestly bought the book because she is a doll. I also remember seeing a review on Amazon that had plucked out some quotes from the book. The quotes read like lyrics or poetry, they were absolutely beautiful. The story of Silvia Cotton pulled me right in, the contrast of her loneliness to the love and friendship she found in Oliver and Alexander. This beautiful book made me laugh till my husband told me if I woke up the kids I had to deal with them, and it made me sob like my heart was breaking. I read a lot, this is my new favorite book. I want my mom, sisters, and my girlfriends to read this book. I want my daughter, when she is older, to read this book. This book will stay with you, in the most wonderful way.
To Follow Melodie on Twitter
And Her Blog
And to buy her book