16 Nov 2013

One of my favourite YA authors is here.... it's Melissa Pearl!

She's one of my all time favourite YA authors - I've read practically every book of she's written and I just can't get enough. It's Melissa Pearl, everyone!! :D

Because this site is called Fiction Dreams, I'd like to know if dreams inspire your writing? What did you last dream about?
Yes - sometimes they do. I remember having a very vivid dream once about a man with white blonde hair and piercing blue eyes. He was pulling a small boat through the water. I ended up creating two entire books from that one image. I haven't written them yet, but I'm looking forward to it one day :)

When did you first start writing? And when were you first published?
I started playing with writing in 2001.
I didn't published Golden Blood until 2011. I had so much to learn and didn't really have the chance to properly pursue my dream until I had my first baby in 2007.

I'm a HUGE fan, having read pretty much every one of your books and I can't wait to read more, what are your plans for the future?
Ooooo - I have so many!!
Thank you so much for your support of my work. You're amazing. I love sharing my work with you :)
I have a new book coming out in December, which is the start of a 4-book series being published with Evatopia Press. It's called The Masks Series and follows a girl who is gifted the ability to read people's emotions. Kind of like a teenage mentalist :)
The other three books will be coming out over 2014-2015.
I also have a two book series being released in 2014 with Evatopia Press entitled the "I Know Lucy Series". These will be YA romantic thrillers - I think that's the best description :)
Brenda and I are also hoping to release Forbidden Waters (Mica and Lexy #2) in early 2014, plus I have two other stories I want to publish under my own steam - my first NA contemporary romance (not smexy as that's just not my style) and a sweet YA contemporary romance.
It's going to be a busy year - but so much fun!!!
OMG WOW... I can't wait, Melissa!!!!!!

What is it about the YA genre that appeals to you the most? Do you read other genres? If so, which? Do you think you'll every write in another genre?
I read across the board, but always find myself coming back to YA/NA romance. I just love reading coming of age type stories and I love reading about teens, especially older teens.
My favourite types of books are those with a heavy romantic bent as well as a sense of danger. I love there to be a thrill factor or some survival type adventure. I like the MC's life to be in danger at some point or other :)
The NA contemporary I mentioned above is possibly the start of a contemporary romance series that will shift into adult fiction as the characters get older, but I'm still deciding on that. They will all be stand alone novels, but the characters of the previous books might feature as minor characters.
I definitely have some stories written about adult characters that I really want to write one day. I don't want to be locked into YA forever, but I'm having so much fun with it at the moment, that I'll stick with it for now :)
I'm hoping readers will see me as an author that can supply them with a variety of reads. Some people will like all my stuff, others might only like my YA stuff, but I want to stay fresh with my writing and never want to get stuck in a rut, which is why I want to write in a range of genres :)

Can you tell the readers about your latest release?
Beyond has just come out. It is a novella that concludes the Betwixt Series. Betwixt was left with a few loose threads that I wanted to tie up and this was a really fun way of doing it. I never intended to write Before or Beyond (the two novellas sandwiching Betwixt), but I had so many readers requesting more of Nicole and Dale that I came up with these two stories and I have LOVED writing them. Nicole and Dale really are awesome and I loved writing all their interactions in Beyond. It is a sweet, romantic story…hopefully leaving readers with a sweet taste in their mouths :)
Yep... these books do exactly that, Melissa. I LOVED them!!

What inspired you to write it?
As I mentioned above - I was totally pressured by my fans. LOL :D
The story just came to me one day and I thought - yes, that'll work.

Have you ever spotted anyone reading your books anywhere?
Yes - and it's like the biggest thrill ever! I saw a picture on Facebook just last week. My son's school teacher had snapped some shots of her family on holiday. In one of them, her daughter is reading one of my books. It was a squee moment :)

Who designs your covers?
I've used many different designers - Brenda Howson from Zealous Design, Eden Crane Designs, Kelly Walker from Indie-spired and Amanda Crane from Creative with the Cranes. I'm not sure who Evatopia Press is using for my upcoming book, but I can't wait to see who it is :)

If your latest book was made into a film, who would you cast?
Dale would be played by Penn Badgley and Nicole would be played by Mila Kunis :)

Are you a fan of Chick Lit?
Yes and no.
I really love the odd Chick Lit, but I get over it pretty quickly too. I prefer a more intense read. Chick Lit is like eating a bowl of yummy ice cream. It's delicious, but I don't want to eat it all the time :)

What's your favourite Chick Lit book that made it to the big screen?
Hmmmm - probably Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks…although is that Chick Lit? It's probably got too much of a danger factor - right?
In that case "Confessions of a Shopaholic" I LOVE that series, although I found the movie a touch disappointing.

What were the last two books you read? And did you enjoy them?
I read Wide Awake by Shelly Crane, which is really enjoyed so much.
And Dead Chaos by T. G. Ayer - I was lucky enough to read an early edition. It's releasing next month. It was really good :)

Name one female author who you think deserves to be better known.
Anna Cruise.
I love her work so much.
Oh - and Taylor Longford, she's another favourite of mine that I don't think enough people know about :)

Where do you write? Do you ever wish you could write elsewhere?
I write in my office or on my bed :)
Both places get a lot of light and that's all I really need.
I like a quiet, private space to work in, so writing outside is never a goer for me. It'd be too embarrassing when I started saying all these lines out loud. I get kind of emotional when I'm writing :)

You currently live in China - what's it like to live there? Do you miss New Zealand?
I really miss NZ, like a lot.
But China is okay and it's only for a season. My boys are happy at school, my husband loves his teaching job and I'm getting more and more used to living here. Writing keeps me sane and I will never regret being able to say - yeah, we lived in China :D

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
An actor :)
My imagination was so vivid, but I was too shy to go up on stage. It took me years to work out that I didn't want to be the actor, I wanted to be the one who created the stories the actors could act out!

In the movie of your life, who would play you?
Image courtesy: Angela George
Oooo - nice question.
Hmmmm - not sure.
Sandra Bullock is probably one of my favourite actresses of all time. I think she could pull me off :)
lol... I'd choose her too!

Speed Round...
Top drink to make you tipsy? 
Don't drink, actually. I just haven't acquired a taste for it. Freshly squeezed fruit juice is always a favourite of mine - with a TON of ice :)
Shopaholic or shopadon't? Shopadon't - definitely!!!!
Sky high heels or closer to the ground? Closer to the ground :)
E.L. James or Jilly Cooper? I haven't read either, but probably Jilly Cooper
Cry baby or tough cookie? Depends on the situation - when it comes to watching soppy movies - total cry baby. But having kids has turned me into a tougher cookie :)
Exotic beach or enchanted forest? Oooooo - um…I'd have to go enchanted forest :)

Melissa Pearl was born in Auckland, New Zealand, but has spent much of her life abroad, living in countries such as Jordan, Cyprus and Pakistan... not to mention a nine month road trip around North America with her husband. "Best. Year. Ever!!" She now lives in China with her husband and two sons. She is a trained elementary teacher, but writing is her passion. Since becoming a full time mother she has had the opportunity to pursue this dream and her debut novel hit the internet in November 2011. Since then she has produced seven more books. Her latest release is a YA fantasy trilogy - The Elements Trilogy. She is now working on the rest of the Betwixt Series - due for release Sept & Oct this year.
"I am passionate about writing. It stirs a fire in my soul that I never knew I had. I want to be the best writer I can possibly be and transport my readers into another world where they can laugh, cry and fall in love."
Blogs: http://melissapearl.blogspot.com/ and http://yalicious.blogspot.com/
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