|Melisse and Baxter|
Bio: Take a shy, chubby, Catholic schoolgirl bookworm from Montana. Hand her a stack of her much older brother’s Sci-Fi and fantasy novels, James Bond books and horror comics. Later, introduce Barbara Cartland and the world of romance fiction.
Get her a teaching job or two in authentic, one room Montana schools, ala Laura Ingalls Wilder.
Marry her off to a great guy, move her to a big city in Tornado Alley, then pop three daughters out of her in twenty two months(one set of identical twins).
Then, make her a jinx–every great genre TV show she loves gets the ax– Beauty and the Beast, Dark Angel–and Buffy and Spike NEVER have a happy ending! She gets upset about no romance in the world, and fires up to write her own stories with happy endings.
Throw this all together into a small house in Wyoming, along with a small bouncy dog named Baxter and too many cats, shake constantly and pour it out onto a computer keyboard. There! You have me, Melisse Aires.
Mary: We have your bio, so is it okay if we go a little deeper? You’ve told us about everyone you loved and did getting to this point about reading and television. But why did you decide you wanted to write it all down?
Melisse: I’ve been writing stories since childhood, so I don’t recall a specific decision to write fiction. In the eighties I wrote a child’s fantasy, in the nineties, more kid’s books, Ellery Queen Mysteries—all rejected. Then I started writing fanfic, which was just fun! Soon after Buffy ended I started looking for vampire fiction and found e-publishers, and started submitting work in 2004.
Mary: I’m a big fan of Joss Whedon especially his Firefly, doomed one season, series. And of course, Serenity. Though I never watched Angel or Buffy, the minute you mentioned them I thought, oh Joss! So, are your stories more Sci-Fi or paranormal?
Melisse: My Diaspora Worlds are Space Opera, Starlander’s Myth is a spacewestern steampunk and Refugees On Urloon is a planetary romance. I love all those worlds and would like to revisit Urloon and Starlander someday. Those are mostly scifi romance with perhaps a touch of paranormal(Starlander’s Myth Heroine is a shifter).
I do have other works that are paranormal and do plan to add to the vampire series one day.
After Book 4 of the Diaspora Worlds series comes out I plan to write and publish something not in the Diaspora Worlds but haven’t decided yet on the project. Paranormal is still high on my list of interests.
Mary: And now a question you’ve probably been asked before, where do you get your ideas for your stories?
Melisse: Hmm, I constantly look at things in the news etc and ask—What if? Then my brain skews something into a far future world or a Steampunk world and I start looking at a plot.
Mary: Do you have a day job? Or do you write full time? If you do have a day job, will you tell us a bit about your job and how you fit your writing in?
Melisse: I work full time in medical billing, and during my day I have no time to even think about writing! I usually read a book on my breaks. I have grown kids so don’t have the mom chores so my evenings and weekends are free for writing. Also, I am not that mobile, am looking at another surgery and long recovery before I will feel like running around in the evenings and on weekends. While that is not the best situation, it does free up computer time. I hope to graduate to a part time job or even full time writing in the next couple years.
Mary: This is a bit of a 2nd part of the question before this. Do you have a writing method? Or maybe a better word would be ritual? Can you tell us a bit about it?
Melisse: I do plot. I have a spark—an inciting incident. Then I do some back story writing no one sees but me. After that I write a synopsis, which might take a couple weeks. Though I just started using a plotting spreadsheet instead of the synopsis and love it—so visual since you can color code—group scenes as chapters, highlight POV etc.
I don’t have any rituals, though I do like coffee while writing. I’m one of those people that can tune things out when I am concentrating, which is handy for a writer. Annoys my dog though—he comes into the tiny nook where I write and gives one bark, which means, “Notice Me!”
Mary: Will you please tell us about your new book? And provide your new fans where they can find you-Web site, social media, etc. And don’t forget buy links.
Buy Link: Amazon
New Facebook Page I have a drawing for those who LIKE my page.
I’m @Melisse_Aires on twitter
Thanks for having me, Mary!
Thank you, Melisse, for joining us here in the garden. Please come and visit us again.