It’s the 1st of June and that means it’s release day, I have a cover reveal and special Meet The Author for you! Let’s get to know Paranormal Romance author A.C Melody’s style…
Hello nice to meet you! Tell us a bit about you where are you from and other than writing what else do you enjoy?
Hi, Kim! Thank you so much for inviting me here today. I live in the Pacific Northwest region of the U.S., it’s been my home since I was about six, but I’m originally from Hanau, Germany, the home town of the Brothers Grimm.
Other than writing, I’m a bit of a gamer and like binge-watching Netflix. I’m also the family genealogist, which is fun and a great way to meet distant relatives.
How did you start writing? What was your inspiration to create?
I started writing poems in my early teens as an outlet, then one of my closest friends got sent to southern California. She wrote about a dream she had and we somehow got this idea to embellish on it and started taking turns adding more and more to it, until she moved back. By then, I had already started writing other stories, inspired by this collaboration, and just never stopped.
Kim: wow, now that is a cool way to start writing. I also know the value of “pen friends” you write to abroad, I have a few myself.
Who is your favourite author, is there anyone out there that inspires you?
My all time favorite author is Anne Rice, but I’ve also been greatly inspired by authors like Gena Showalter, V.C. Andrews, Jacqueline Carey and Nora Roberts. Those are my ‘pre-internet’ inspirations, but I think I’m inspired in some way by every author I read, and my Indie list keeps growing!
Kim: Aww Nora Roberts is good.
How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
I started taking myself and my craft more seriously as a profession, rather than just a passion. Getting that publishing contract was like a confirmation that I wasn’t just delusional, but going through the publication process was a real eye opener to things I’d never considered before. Word count limits, blurbs, marketing, etc. I thought all I had to do was write the friggin’ book… Man, was I clueless!
Kim: Umm been there girlfriend, that eye opener can really wise you up to the industry and dealing with publishers. Good and bad experiences shape you.
So you’ve published a series, what is the series about?
This series–I hope–is about a unique kind of wolf shifter. Their species, the Úlfrinn, was created by Odin, because he wanted warriors in all worlds in preparation for Ragnarök. It deals with some other known and unknown (as in, I just made that sh*t up) supernatural beings from different cultures, too. The series follows the pack members, as they each find their mate while dealing with some personal demons and enemies along the way.
Kim: lol ” made up that sh*t” I love it … don’t we all!?
What was it like creating back to back stories that link?
I have such a hard time keeping things simple, so I tend to write more series than not. The greatest part is that it gives me time for world-building, wicked plot twists and fleshing out the characters. On the downside, it can be tricky keeping track of all the information, making sure I don’t lead readers down dead-end roads, forget to tie up loose ends or mix up details.
Kim: I really respect you paranormal writers, your creativity in what you call “world building” is really a talent.
What has been your most proud moment as an author?
When I finished my first novel. Up until then, I had spent years starting and never finishing countless manuscripts, but when I actually completed that one (5 years later), it knocked down whatever barrier I had built up in my own mind – that self-doubting one – and my writing took off from there. I just had to prove it to myself, first, and then there was nothing holding me back.
Kim: good job, I think as a writer the one thing you must have is confidence. Be your own cheerleader.
Was there ever a time you wanted to pick up your laptop, and then launch it out the window with frustration?
Oh yeah, so many times! Just wait, it might happen yet.
Are you a “plotter” or a fly by the seat of your pants “pantster” as a writer?
I’m one-hundred percent a ‘pantser.’ I never know what’s going to happen with my stories, even if I have a general idea in mind, my characters take complete control and go the way they want to. I usually don’t even know who my antagonists are, until my characters get closer to finding out. Once I’m well into a storyline, I do manage to get a rough sketch noted down of where I’d like things to go, or ideas for future events, but otherwise I’m just going with the flow.
Kim: Salute! I ‘m still learning to fly by my knickers, I’m hoping my weekly challenges with suspense author Didi Oviatt will help me drop them a bit… not literally … ya know what I mean. 🙂
Every writer has a word(s) that they always slip up on when they write, then slap their forehead when they notice their typo. For me it’s further and farther exit or exists- but hey I’m over it now. Do you have a word (s) that make you go blah! Go away not another damn typo.
Mine are ‘Peaked’ when it should be ‘Piqued’, or ‘It’s’ instead of ‘Its’, those are my worst and I know it’s not technically a typo, but I still can’t figure out the difference between affect and effect. Blah!
Kim: when I wrote A Stranger in France peaked and piqued tripped me up a too blah!
What three tips would you give any aspiring writer?
Tip #1 Be patient with yourself and your writing, don’t let the ‘rush’ of the social media realm make you feel like you’re flailing, you’re doing just fine and no matter how long it takes you to finish your book, that’s exactly the amount of time it needs.
Tip #2 Beta Readers are your best resource and your book’s greatest allies, take their advice as a crafting tool, not a personal attack – hearing how much someone loves your book feels amazing, but it won’t help you become a better writer.
Tip #3 Yes, I don’t care what anyone tells you, pay for a professional editor. All of your hard work is worth the investment! I have a tight budget, too, so I get it. But there are extremely talented, inexpensive editors out there for Indies, you just have to find the right match for you.
Kim: I back points #2 and 3# totally, great tips thanks.
What are you working on now? What will you release next?
Oh, boy! My muse has the attention span of a squirrel, so it’s impossible for me to sit down and write just one book at a time. I’m aware this is probably the worst writing practice ever, but that’s how my muse and I roll.
Currently, I’m wrapping up a Futuristic Crime Romance, the second in my Matron City trilogy, revising a Contemporary BDSM Romance, the second in my Dark Day Isle series, and writing a Paranormal Erotic Romance, the fourth in my Hell on Earth series.
Next on the release schedule is “Little Queen” coming July 1st – Book 2 of the Úlfrinn series after Hearthstone Alpha!
Kim *raises an eyebrow and pouts* crime,erotic romance… did you say BDSM? Keep us posted I like the sound of this.
So… where can we get your books?
My publisher distributes to all major retailers (Amazon, Barnes & Nobel, iBooks, etc.), and also sells books at a somewhat lower price on their website: http://eredsage.com/store/A_C._Melody.html
My self-published books are only available on Amazon, so they’re free for Kindle Unlimited members. You can find them all on my Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B011PTY1PO
What does “success” look like to you? When would you say “damn, I’ve made it baby!”
That’s a really good question! I kind of feel like I’ve already been there a couple of times. Maybe in writing, success is just as much an evolution as our craft? Right now, I think I’d feel that way if I ever reached like 100 reviews (and I’m a long way off from that!) or if I ever made some kind of best seller list. Then I’d just have to raise the success bar again and keep going.
Does a big ego help or hurt writers?
I think a little ego is natural, but it can be quite harmful if it’s too big. We want to protect and defend our work, and that’s good to a point. It’s after that point when the ego needs to be set aside in order to learn, otherwise we would never get any better at what we do. Writing, like any art form, should be something we always strive to get better at, a talent that needs to be nurtured and honed. There’s no way to do that, if we let our egos get in the way.
Kim: you sound like a wise owl, I like that… like it a lot.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
I research everything! I probably research more than I need to, but I like being as accurate as possible. Depending on what I’m writing, will depend on how much time I spend researching prior to starting a new manuscript, though I usually keep at it throughout the entire process.
For this series, I researched quite a bit beforehand and during. I had a general idea of where I wanted it to take place, but I’ve never been to Minneapolis before, so I spent a lot of time walking around the city virtually through Google Satellite and digging up information on the different neighborhoods. I also knew very little about real wolf behavior, Norse Mythology and nothing at all about the Icelandic language. I’d say that a good 90% of the story, itself, was inspired by my research not the other way around.
Kim: Good job. I like this part of our job the research.
What was your hardest scene to write?
In my first published novel, The Zen Lounge, I had a few different scenes where I had to crawl into the personality or mind of my antagonist, each one revealing a little more of the kind of sick, twisted man he was and those were all difficult to write. They’re probably mild for a writer of Thriller, like yourself, but they took me out of my comfort zone for the first time.
Kim: *lowers her lashes modestly* well, ya know that’s our thing as suspense /thriller writers. I’ve not done a real sick in the head kinda character as yet, but I got one in the pipe line. I’ve had her on ice since 2015 in a romantic thriller. I keep going over her to check I’ve got her just “psycho” enough for the story but it’s fun, I should crack on with writing her ready for 2018 🙂
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
My two closest author friends are Felicia Denise, author of “In the Best Interest of the Child” and Anna Adler, author of “His Hostage”. We’re like-minded when it comes to desiring brutal honesty over praise, and our friendship really strengthens that, rather than hindering it. We have too much respect for each other, and want to see each other succeed, to be anything other than honest. Plus, we laugh so much. This industry can be trying, so you have to find humor wherever you can and they’re brilliant. We bounce ideas off one another all the time, and it works really well.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
For the first rough draft, probably 2-3 months if the story is flowing like magic. My tougher novels, I would average about 6 months to a year, give or take.
It only seems like I write faster, because it can take 24-48 months for my publisher to actually get my books out on the market, so during that time, I self-publish, and then – BAM – I’ve got all these books coming out at once, when in reality, I’ve been gradually submitting them since 2013!
What music do you like?
It would be much easier to list the music I don’t like, LOL. My whole life has a soundtrack and I’m the daughter of a musician, so music’s my center, no matter what mood I’m in.
Where would you like to travel to and why?
The UK and Ireland, for many reasons. I have family in Wales I’ve never met in person, but am really close to, a friend in Essex I haven’t seen in a couple of years and through my genealogy research I’ve learned that a lot of my ancestors came from different areas of both countries and I’d love to visit those places.
Tell us about how you develop your characters?
It really depends on the book, but typically I start with a faint impression and then they just develop organically as I begin writing. Once a character finds their voice, or reveals it to me, I am incapable of changing it. On rare occasions, like with my character M.W. Kress from my Avarice trilogy, I know exactly what kind of personality they’re going to have before starting.
In that instance, his personality was the trigger for the story. I’d been reading an article on how crime shows were wrong to diagnose people as sociopaths and psychopaths, because those aren’t medically recognized diagnosis. They’re merely different degrees on the anti-social disorder spectrum and it went on to say that most CEO’s undoubtedly suffer from some degree of anti-social disorder, and that’s what allows them to be so successful. I was fascinated with the idea of exploring a character portraying anti-social behavior who wasn’t the antagonist, and thus, Avarice was born. I just didn’t know it was going to lead me so deep into the paranormal world at the time.
Which one of your characters is your favourite and why?
Each character is my favorite, especially while I’m writing them. Sometimes, I wish I could strangle them, yes, but I can’t choose just one. They’re all so unique in their own little ways – some in bigger ways.
Thanks A.C Melody, it has been great getting to know you and your books. Come back soon. I hope readers have enjoyed this special Meet The Author to celebrate A.C’s new release. Connect with her and check her books out below.
Next Month: July is packed with authors hailing from all corners of the writing genre. There is a little something for everyone lined up. Stay tuned! If you’re an author and you’d like a feature contact me here.
Book Information & Links
Title: Hearthstone Alpha (The Úlfrinn Series, Book 1)
Author: A.C. Melody
Publisher: Red Sage Publishing
Length: approx. 300 pages
Genre: Contemporary Paranormal Romance
Release Date: June 1, 2017
All Reyna Daniels wants is to secure her return home to Minneapolis to be with her family. The last thing she needs is to find her world completely inundated by the magnetizing, hostile Corbyn Bruschard and his group of male-model friends.
Corbyn’s not ashamed at being everywhere, since it’s his territory, and he’s certainly not going to apologize for trying to keep Reyna safe. Especially, when she’s his mate.
With all signs pointing to an old enemy’s return, Reyna’s going to have to suck it up and face her ancient Norse heritage fast, whether she’s ready to or not. That doesn’t mean she has to accept being mated to an Alpha who threatens all of her hard-earned independence.
“Sounds to me like your idea of compromising is completely one-sided,” she pointed out heatedly. “I have things to do, can I go now?”
The automatic locks engaged, as he stared at her. “You’re on vacation—”
“Not anymore,” she cut him off. “My boss is expecting me downtown this morning, and I have to go, unless I want to lose my job—which, I don’t.”
“Then Breton will take you,” Corbyn replied, his tone strangely hoarse, as if he were holding back a completely different emotion. “And pick you up when you’re done.”
Reyna’s jaw dropped, as she glared holes into his profile. “You can’t be serious!”
“Very,” he deadpanned, though his tone was somewhat calmer.
His silvery eyes roamed her freely now, rather than trying to penetrate into her bones.
“Won’t that leave Serena and Justin alone?”
“No,” he answered, leveling her with a stubborn stare. “You’re not going to win this argument, Reyna. There is no way in hell we’re leaving anything to chance, not with those who matter most to us. Now, get over here.”
Reyna scoffed. As if!
“Please,” he added gently.
It took Reyna about ten seconds to reluctantly scoot across the bench seat, still leaving a good arms length between them, because it appeared he wasn’t going anywhere until she did. If he thought she was done with her side of their little compromising barter, though, he was in for a big surprise! She inhaled sharply, when Corbyn hooked his arm around her waist, lifted her, and set her down across his lap. Her feet faced the passenger door, her back cradled in the crook of his left arm still clutching the steering wheel.
Desire unraveled in her veins, starting in her toes and working all of the way up to the roots of her hair. Every inch of her was once again hyper-aware of every inch of him, and she fought hard to keep her composure intact.
“Do you really think distance keeps you safe, falleg?” he asked softly, brushing her ponytail out from between the back of her head and his shoulder.
Fawk…what? “Did you just call me fugly?” she snapped.
“Not even close,” he replied. “Answer the question, Reyna. I’m onto your evasion tactics.”
Well, aren’t we clever? Reyna sulked, because the truth was yes. Distance should keep her safe, dammit, but, she could feel his heart pounding rapidly against her back, belying his calmness, just as he’d shown her the day before.
It made her desire burn brighter, hotter. In the confines of his arms, within the privacy of his truck, Reyna couldn’t lie.
“No,” she whispered.
“Good.” He smiled, pleased. “Now, whatever you do, don’t get any wild ideas about taking advantage of me while I’m driving.”
Goodreads / TBR Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35003050-hearthstone-alpha
A.C. Melody is a hybrid Author of Erotic Romance and its many sub-genres. Confessed javaholic, introverted geeky girl with a twisted sense of humor and a wretched muse.
She has a weakness for hard ass Alphas and the strong women who capture their hearts, without damaging their rough edges. No matter how submissive or demure, her female leads have a core of strength and a willingness to admit their own flaws and evolve, not just demand that of their men.
When it comes to gambling, A.C. admits she’s 100% guilty of placing all her money on the underdogs, anti-heroes, and shameless whores.
Sign up for A.C. Melody’s Author Newsletter today & get exclusive Cover Reveals, Excerpts, Character Interviews/Bios and join in giveaways (She promises not to spam!): http://eepurl.com/cb9D7H
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B011PTY1PO