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Archive for the tag “Jennifer Melzer”

Real Neat Blog Award

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Though I’m sorry to say I haven’t had a lot of time for my blogs lately, due to long days of writing novels that I hope will help feed me in my even more advanced old age, I still love it when I have time to review a book or two here on Bookin’ It, or share with my fellow writers and friends on The Write Stuff. So I was especially pleased and grateful when Callum McLaughlin nominated me for the Real Neat Blog award. My heartfelt thanks, Callum! It’s nice to know I still qualify, even with fewer posts.

These are the questions Callum posed, along with my answers, such as they are. Read on, to find out more about me than you probably ever wanted to know.  

CALLUM: Physical book or eBook?

ME: I’m greedy! I want both. I see no need for this to be an either/or situation. I love collecting books and always have. In this house, I have a library with floor to ceiling bookshelves, and it’s my favorite room. There are books that I’ve had all my life and would never get rid of. There are series that I loved so much, I felt compelled to buy the entire set. There are books I bought because the cover art was irresistible. I have books stacked on end tables, and on bookshelves in other rooms. Books equal treasure! But when I sit down to read, I will choose my Kindle almost every time, even if the actual book is on my shelves. It’s more comfortable to hold, the lighting is perfect, and best of all, I can adjust the font for my tired old eyes.  I like being able to tap a word and have an instant definition pop up. I like highlighting without marring a print book. And best of all, I can finish a Book 1 and within sixty seconds, can buy, download, and start reading a Book 2, even at midnight, usually at a bargain price. You can’t beat that. 

CALLUM: Music or silence?

ME: Whether it’s reading or writing, I’ll always opt for silence. The voices in my head make their own music. In the car, I listen to everything from Celtic music, to classical, to classic rock, to Jimmy Buffet’s island songs, or movie and Broadway soundtracks. But at home, where I’m almost always to be found writing these days, it’s silence. Nothing to remind me anything exists beyond the page I’m working on. 

CALLUM: City or countryside?

ME: Hands down, countryside. I’d live in a cabin on a remote mountain in North Carolina, if I had my way. I’m most inspired by nature, wildlife, and gardens run amok.  

CALLUM: Factual or  Fantasy?

ME: Put me down for Fantasy, every time. There’s nothing I love more than escaping reality. As often as possible, preferably. I do still keep a pretty good library of books on nature and wildlife, and love learning about both, particularly where it concerns birding, butterflies, and my garden. 

CALLUM: Extravert or introvert?

ME: A weird mixture of both. Mostly, I’m pretty outgoing, often striking up conversations in grocery store lines. I’ve been told I never meet a stranger. However, having said that, if the situation makes me feel the tiniest bit uncomfortable or awkward, I tend to seek out a dark corner, and observe. When I was younger, I was so insecure, I wouldn’t even go to the grocery store without a friend riding along. I’m past that, now, but there are still those occasions when I find myself looking for a seat in the back of the room.

And that’s it for me. Now it’s my turn to nominate someone, which is pretty tricky, with all the wonderful bloggers I’ve met in the last couple of years. However, I’m going to go with my friend and editor, Caitlin Stern, who is a prodigious reader, in addition to writing some really wonderful poetry. And in addition to Caitlin, I’d like to nominate Jennifer Melzer, a newly acquired but greatly admired fellow writer and tea lover, who introduced me to Adagio teas, thus beginning my latest addiction. If you ladies decide to participate, I submit the following questions:

  • Your day’s writing is done. You escape to your Comfy Chair. Do you go for something completely different, and grab the remote, or bury yourself in even more words with the latest offering from your favorite author?
  • Vacation time comes round again. Sun-washed sand and sparkling surf? Or dappled mountain shade and fern-lined waterfalls?
  • Your book just rocketed to the top of the New York Times best-seller list. Champagne and caviar, or a week being pampered at a spa? Neither sufficiently celebratory for you? Tell us what is.
  • You simply must take a day away from the computer, before you find your limbs completely atrophied and useless. Power shopping at the mall? A stroll around an art gallery? A day at the zoo? An afternoon in your garden? None of the above?
  • Life is Good, because…

Once again, thank you, Callum, for nominating me, and thank you ladies, if you choose to participate, which IS, of course, strictly voluntary. There will be no repercussions if you choose not to. Honest. Probably.

 

Interviewed by Jennifer Melzer

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Loved doing this interview with Jennifer Melzer. Some questions really make you stop and think, and my last interview with Caitlin Stern, along with this one, both did just that. Check it out here: Jennifer Melzer Please feel free to share this with all your Peeps! Thanks!

Siren by Jennifer Melzer

siren
My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

Jennifer Melzer’s latest novel, Siren, is a fun, though certainly dramatic, romp through an ordinary world, where extraordinary things happen. Our heroine, Siren, spends much of the book convinced that she’s going crazy, especially when her beloved aunt and her best friend don’t understand what’s happening to her. And indeed, how could they? They’ve been manipulated to believe and feel exactly what Prince Less-Than-Charming wants them to.

I really enjoyed watching Siren finally come to terms with the terrible things that had happened to her, and make her stand beside the one person she’s always known she could trust. All she had to do was listen to her heart. And, oh yeah…to the talking cat, too. You romantic fantasy fans out there will love this, and I’d like to think there will be more to come, since Siren’s own powers have only just begun to show themselves. Check it out!

Siren

Today’s Guest Blogger: The Esteemed Mr. Pounce

 

Mr. Pounce

All right, fine.

I can’t believe my mistress talked me into this.

Blogging, I’ve never been party to a more absurd task in my thousand years, and yet here I am, blogging. Praise be to all the gods for this vocal recognition software, otherwise she’d be on her own. Imagine a post from me if she forced me to type. I assume it would appear quite a bit like this: EIT*(YE_PIJDFikop89)_#*)#*)@(Q!*)__+

While I’m sure there are some alien nations to whom that would make perfect sense, the less-than-civilized human race probably can’t make heads or tails of it at all.

And you call yourselves clever. Hmph.

Right, blogging.

Ugh, just saying that word out loud makes my teeth clench. I can’t believe I agreed to this. I don’t even know what I’m supposed to talk about here, or why any of you would even care what I, a once great sorcerer of the Midsummer Empire, have to say. That was so long ago, and I don’t like to talk about it, so don’t ask.

I don’t suppose you want to hear about the bird I watched in the bath for a three hours this morning, do you? It was lovely. Bright red, its wing black-tipped. Completely unaware of my dutiful inspection, I would have caught it had someone left the door open so I could slip out. Then again, maybe not. The master frightened it away with his triumphant bellow from the study.

He finished his novel. Whoop de doo. Maybe one of them will finally clean out my litter pan.

Now she’s staring over my shoulder, reading the words as they appear on the screen as if she can’t hear me speaking them. Snoop. Can’t a cat get any privacy? Out with you, vapid human. To the market for my sardines. I am blogging, and I can’t do it with you eavesdropping.

Ha! She’s offended. Good! It’s not like I ask to listen to all her telephone conversations. The least she can do is leave me alone while I’m broadcasting to the world.

Alone at last, I suppose I should finally tell you who I am, but I am loathe to speak those words aloud. I detest my name. For the last six years I’ve suffered beneath its playful implication, enduring the sing-song caterwaul as she scratches beneath my chin and asks, “What should we do today, Mr. Pounce? Would you like a ponytail holder to bat around the kitchen? Do you want to watch me paint my toenails?”

Because cats love nothing more than to sit around watching paint dry. Please.

Do not call me Mr. Pounce. I implore you. Who names a cat something so dreadful? Who?

If only she knew how absurd she was. How ridiculously insufferable… And yet, I adore her. Don’t tell her so, please. If she ever knew I felt this way about her, she’d never let me live it down. She’d be impossible to live with, always asking for cuddles and kisses, and while I do tend to enjoy the occasional snuggle (I can’t believe I just said that out loud, where is the delete-audio function on this thing?) it would only give her the wrong idea if she knew I actually liked her affections.

I suppose that’s why this curse, the one that forced me from my body into this dreadful feline form so long ago, is apropos. I once thrived on the affections of others; unfortunately those others did not always belong to me, and it was my own lack of self-control that landed me where I am today. Perhaps one day I will tell that story to the master, so he can write it down in one of his books, or maybe I’ll blog it.

Blog. Ugh.

I suppose this isn’t so bad, really. I do love the sound of my own voice, but you know what I’d love right now best of all? A nap. I think it’s time for me to take one. Yawn, and stretch, and all of that. Be gone with you, now, but don’t forget to indulge in the story about my mistress, Siren. Well, really it’s a story about yours truly. I am in it, therefore ‘tis about me, and that is what makes it a good story.

Go on now, off with you. There’s a nice stream of sunlight pouring through the dining room that’s going to be perfect for my snooze.

Mr

To find out more about Mr. Pounce pre-order a copy of Jennifer Melzer’s Siren from Amazon.com. You can also pre-order signed paperbacks from Jennifer Melzer.

Jennifer Melzer ap
Jennifer Melzer

Fantasy author Jennifer Melzer enjoys spinning elements of the fantastic with strands plucked from the heart. She spent most of her life denying the romantic overtones sewn into her fiction, but awoke one morning and realized every single tales she’d spun somehow revolved around the heart. She has since given into the whim, spinning yarns woven from heartstrings. 

She currently resides in Northeast Pennsylvania with her husband, daughter and a houseful of dragons she must train regularly to keep them from setting fire to the curtains. Nightly she dreams she is laying on the beach watching stars burst over the Atlantic Ocean.

Connect with Jennifer Melzer all over the ‘net!

Facebook
Twitter
Google+
Goodreads

 

 

 

Wednesday Author Interview: Jennifer Melzer

edgelanders

Today, Bookin’ It would like to welcome Fantasy author, Jennifer Melzer. So nice to have you here with us, Jennifer. Can you tell us a bit about how you became a writer? When did you decide that’s what you wanted to be, and what steps did you take to prepare for a writing career?

JM: When I was ten, I got a Fisher Price typewriter for my birthday. Before that, I made up extravagant lies about everything under the sun. After, I started typing the lies out and hiding them in a shoebox I kept under my bed. I don’t know why I hid them. Probably because my mom taught me that lying was morally wrong, but as I got older I started to realize there was so much more to it than lying. I was making up stories, living out little fantasies through these elaborate falsehoods I would never get to live out in any other way. By the time I was sixteen, I had dozens upon dozens of full notebooks of handwritten short stories and novels and I was relatively sure the only thing I would ever know how to do is tell stories. Eventually, I went to university and majored in English and creative writing, and experience I highly recommend.

BI: Well, hiding stories in a shoebox under the bed is a new one. Thanks for sharing that. I love it! Were you inspired by any particular authors, past or present, and what is it about their work that impresses you, or moves you? 

JM: Neil Gaiman has been one of the greatest inspirations throughout the course of my life. As a teenager, I was enraptured by the Sandman comics and absolutely fell in love with Neverwhere when it came out. One of the things that inspires me about his work is that Gaiman has never been afraid to take risks. Sometimes the more fantastic the risk, the better and no matter what kind of stories we tell. 

BI: I’m a big Neil Gaiman fan, myself, though I only discovered him recently. Still catching up with him and Terry Pratchett, another late discovery. What genres do you read most often for pleasure today, Jennifer…those books you gravitate toward the minute you walk into a bookstore? 

JM: Fantasy is my go-to genre of choice, followed by historical fiction centered around the Dark Ages and Medieval Period. Epic fantasy, urban fantasy… Dragons, sorcery, fairytales. I might be a bit of an escapist, but I love stories that take me out of this world. Historical fiction has the same appeal for me because it is a world we’ve already been to, and yet it seems so alien to the world we live in now. 

BI: Good point, about historical fiction being alien to our world today. I can see that. Do you have a dedicated workspace, and are you consistent with the amount of time you spend writing each day? 

JM: At the moment, I work in my bedroom, tucked away from the rest of the household for several hours a day. Consistency, however, depends highly on where I am with what I’m working on. If I’m fully absorbed, I can spend anywhere from five to ten hours a day writing, forgetting there is a world beyond my keyboard. If I’m struggling with a plot point or a character is giving me a hard time, I am far more easily distracted. 

BI: Makes sense to me. Those characters can really run amok with our minds. Do you use visual aids, like Inspiration Boards/Photos or maps of your book’s setting? What reference books or other material do you consult most frequently as you write? 

JM: It’s funny, but as a fantasy writer I have to use a lot more resources than one might think. I find myself consulting maps quite a bit, especially when constructing my own maps of the fantastical worlds I create. Linguistic resources come into play quite a bit, and so do mythology texts. Even when you’re making up monsters or fantastic beings unlike any the world has ever seen before, inspiration is often found in other mythological beasties and stories. 

BI: I can understand that, and I think good world-building would require a ton of research, to be sure it all works together like it should. Jennifer, when you have an idea for a new book, do you sit down and start typing, or do you start with an outline, and figure out all the major plot points first? In other words, is your working style structured and organized, or more organic and free flowing? 

JM: I am what is often referred to as a “pantser,” meaning I write from the seat of my pants. I struggle with outlines, their rigidity and structure making me feel like I’m suffocating. My first draft almost always turns out to be what others might consider their outline. I have tried being a good little plotter my whole life, but the more I plot and plan something, the less likely I am to finish it because I really do feel like I can’t breathe. 

BI: I’m a firm believer in “whatever works for you.” There’s more than one way to write, just like pretty much everything else in life. It’s good you’ve figured out your own approach. Let’s talk about reading again. Do you prefer eBooks, or print? Why? 

JM: I still prefer reading good old fashioned books. I love the way the smell, the way they feel in my hands and there’s no threat of your tablet or eReader battery dying just when you get to the really good parts. As much as I love traditional paper books, however, I tend to buy more eBooks these days because it’s easier and often less expensive. 

BI: I love both, myself, each for different reasons. Can you tell us about the books have you published, and where we can buy them? 

JM: My current project is The Serpent of Time series. The first book in the series, Edgelanders, came out in February, 2014, and is available in paperback and eBook formats. The audiobook, narrated by the incredibly talented Veronica Giguere, will be available by summer’s end. When Princess Lorelei of Leithe overhears her fiancé’s plot to murder her on the way to their wedding, she does the only smart thing: she runs.  Into the Edgelands, the savage, woodland home of the legendary U’lfer, a race of fierce wolves who walk as men, she knows she is as good as dead, but she would rather be torn apart by werewolves than die by Trystay’s hand.  A young U’lfer warrior named Finn catches her scent on the wind and finds himself possessed by an unnatural desire to shield and protect her from that which hunts her. From the moment he first sees her, Finn knows she is his. He feels her heartbeat, knows her soul, and he will do anything, even suffer exile from the Edgelands to be with her.  But there is more to Lorelei than meets the eye. She is like Finn; there is U’lfer blood in her veins, a beast beneath her skin she never knew was there. The answers she seeks lie south, in the frozen tundra of Rimian, where a village of people just like her have been waiting for Lorelei to come and save them since before she was even born. 

There is a page on my website with links to worldwide sales venues, as well as free samples of text and audio. 

BI: Great synopsis of the story line, and absolutely beautiful cover, too! Edgelanders sounds like something I’d enjoy. (Have added it to my TBR list). Are you currently working on a new book? When do you expect it to be available? 

JM: I am wrapping up edits on the second book in the Serpent of Time series: Sorrow’s Peak. It will be available in eBook and paperback formats by autumn 2014, but an exact release date has not been announced at this time. 

BI: You’ll have to keep us updated on that one. I’d like to know what you think is the best thing about being a writer? The worst? 

JM: I love everything about being a writer, and I always have. I love the stories and the characters, working through difficult plot points and coming out feeling as if I’ve only just returned from someplace incredible I can’t wait to share with others. As a storyteller, one has so much freedom and it’s a beautiful thing.   

One of the hardest things is often the amount of self-promotion one has to do in order to make noise in the void of competitive voices vying for reader attention. I love talking about my books, but I love writing them far more and often feel my attention would best be spent on that aspect. Sadly, I know that can’t always be the case. 

Thank you so much for being here with us today, Jennifer. I’m really looking forward to checking out Edgelanders, and I wish you the best of luck with the whole series. 

Jennifer Melzer ap

 Fantasy author Jennifer Melzer enjoys spinning elements of the fantastic with strands plucked from the heart. She spent most of her life denying the romantic overtones sewn into her fiction, but awoke one morning and realized every single tales she’d spun somehow revolved around the heart. She has since given into the whim, spinning yarns woven from heartstrings. 

She currently resides in Northeast Pennsylvania with her husband, daughter and a houseful of dragons she must train regularly to keep them from setting fire to the curtains. Nightly she dreams she is laying on the beach watching stars burst over the Atlantic Ocean. 

Connect with Jennifer Melzer all over the ‘net!

Facebook

Twitter

Google +

Goodreads

Tumblr

Wattpad

You can get a copy of Edgelanders from Jennifer’s own website, Jennifer Melzer, Author

Or from amazon.com: 

Edgelanders: Serpent of Time Book 1 

 

 

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