Melissa Turner Lee writes young adult paranormal romance. Her new book, The Earth Painter, is out as of May 1, so I thought this was a good chance to sit down with a pot of tea and have a chat. But first, let’s have a look at the trailer:
Kristen: Thanks for joining us, Melissa. How long did it take you to write The Earth Painter?
Melissa: About nine months
K: Are you a plot-first or character-first writer?
M: Character usually, but I’m not sure with The Earth Painter.
K: What element of the book came to you first?
M: I was putting away clothes in my son’s room and suddenly saw a high school girl being asked to get involved in a supernatural battle at her high school. That was the beginning.
K: Do you outline, or not?
M: No, I’ve tried but I just can’t.
K: If The Earth Painter were made into a movie, whom would you cast in the main roles?
M: Karen Gillan of Doctor Who as Holly and Liam Hemsworth of The Hunger Games as Theo
K: How did you originally contact your publisher, Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing?
M: A writer friend of mine had her book accepted by them and suggested I submit. I did and was accepted December 2011.
K: Can you pull back the curtain a bit and give us a behind-the-scenes description of the editorial process at CH & BB?
M: They are brand new and super cool. No changes were made beyond editing for grammar and the like.
K: What do you do when you’re not writing?
M: Laundry. I’m a mom of three messy little boys, LOL.
K: What lifestyle changes did you make to give yourself time for writing?
M: I’m ashamed to say not many changes so far. I’ve got a third of the sequel left to write, so I need to make some of those changes soon.
K: What kind of music, if any, do you listen to when writing?
M: I can’t listen while writing but I listen before I start. I listened to “Iris” by The Goo Goo Dolls, “Come Undone” by Duran Duran, “Mirror Mirror” by Barlow Girl, and “Sing My Love” by Jesus Culture. Rock or alternative rock is my favorite.
K: Any thoughts you would like to share with our readers?
M: Just that I hope they give The Earth Painter a shot and enjoy it.
K: What message do you hope readers get from The Earth Painter?
M: I hope they feel like they have purpose, were planned, and feel loved.