Today we have a guest blogger with us, author Melissa Lemon. I hope you enjoy getting to know more about her latest book Snow Whyte and the Queen of Mayhem from Cedar Fort Publishing. I’ve been in a writing group with Melissa for several years now. She has wonderful ideas and they must be inspired because they are amazing. She is a great beta reader and editor. Melissa’s books are perfect for 3rd grade and older and they appeal to both boys and girls. She always has a wonderful message inside too.
Where do the ideas for your books come from? Hmmm, let’s see. Dreams, words, billboards, the things people say, the things people do, my kids. I’m an avid and enthusiastic people watcher and every once in a while an idea will just pop into my head when I see or hear something. I also get book ideas from life experience on occasion. The world is full of ideas if we just open our eyes to them!
What is one book that you feel changed your life as a reader? I’d have to say Harry Potter. Up until reading the HP series, most of the books I had read were required reading in some English class. It took me until adulthood, but the Harry Potter books taught me that reading could be more than just trying to get a good grade.
What is your favorite space to write in?Every once in a while I will write in the mountains. That is my favorite, even thought it isn’t practical and doesn’t take place very often (especially in winter).
What are three words that describe how you feel about writing? JOY. THERAPEUTIC. FUN.
How did the idea for Snow Whyte and the Queen of Mayhem come about? The idea for Snow Whyte came from a dream. You can read about it here.
What is the overall message in Snow Whyte and the Queen of Mayhem that you want the reader to take away with them? No matter what happens to us, we can handle it. We can learn and grow and take care of ourselves, trusting in ourselves to make good decisions and provide for our own happiness.
Is it hard finding a new twist on a classic fairy tale? Nope. The hard part is having time.
Will you ever look at other fairy tales from other countries? Maybe. Right now I have a few more that I would like to do and then I want to move onto something else for a while.
Retelling fairy tales has been your focus so far, but are there other genres you would like to focus on? I’d like to focus on some early chapter readers. I also have a MG Science Fiction and a YA Science Fiction that I’m excited to work on eventually.
Can you give us a sneak peak into the new fairy tale you might be writing this year? Sure. The main character lives in a glass house on an island. She sleeps a lot.
Was it easier the second time around having a book published? Can you share some of your observations with us? It was a little easier because I knew what to expect for the most part. For me, the hardest thing the first time around was not knowing what to expect. Would my editor contact me in a week, a month, or more? What should I do to market my book? How soon should I start working on something else? How are these book signings going to go? How in the heck do I get endorsements? (This still eludes me.) I guess it’s like anything else in life. The more you do it, the easier it becomes. Unfortunately, I don’t think publishing will ever truly be easy. I wish! But experience will help pave the road so it’s a little smoother.
Now that you’ve published several novels, what advice do you have for those of us who are trying to get their first publication?It is a long, hard road, but DON’T GIVE UP. Keep working on your craft and story ideas while you wait for that blessed offer. You will have to be patient or you will go crazy. Stay busy doing other things. If writing is what you love, KEEP WRITING. If you start to hate it, maybe a career as an author isn’t for you.
What has influenced your life the most as a writer? I would have to say my high school English teacher. He taught me more about writing than all my college professors combined. And I’m not even exaggerating. Not even close. I am so grateful for him.
Snow Whyte and the Queen of Mayhem is currently available in hard back.
Description: Stuck in her family’s apple orchards, Kat’s got plenty of work to do and only pesky Jeremy to help. But when Jeremy convinces her to run away, Kat will discover that nothing—and no one—in her life is quite what it seems. Wonderfully reimagined, this is the magical tale of Snow White as you’ve never read it before!
Melissa also has another novel called Cinder and Ella that was published in 2011.