Interview with C. N. Melotti

Who are your favorite authors?
Patrick Rothfuss, Brandon Sanderson, Scott Lynch amongst a list of others!

I try not to stick too much to one genre to keep open to other styles and stories too!
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
LIFE!!!

I work as a Marketing Manager in a medical company, I write books, I write music, I conduct a local orchestra, I study...

I cannot get enough out of getting enough out of life!
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Well, I have a tonne of hobbies, but I love watching educational videos on YouTube (I'm a little obsessed with philosophy at present... no clue why), I love a good TV series (Breaking Bad, The Terminator Series, The Big Bang Theory, etc), I enjoy pretty much every social event possible, I love going out on dates..

... am I getting too personal now?! Argh!
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Hmmm I basically Google what's popular and start there, if I'm personally honest.

I also really like audiobooks- they're not given enough credit. There is nothing like absorbing a good story whilst at the gym or taking a long drive. Stop giving audiobooks a bad name! They're awesome.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Well, yes and no. It has kind of morphed into another story which takes elements from another plot I have, and so on

... I have a journal of plots on a to-do list and more enter almost everyday; I just can't keep up. But, it gives me time to process them all, add them together and come up with a refined plot which I can actually work with.

I try and make the most out of my time by moulding each plot and wacking them up online for people to enjoy! :)
What is your writing process?
I'm one of those shamanistic panster writers. I have a basic outline of the plot, characters and setting, and then through them into my imagination and write to see what happens.

I tried planning once and it was so unmotivating. It felt like I had already spolied the ending and no longer felt like writing it! How crazy is that?! So no, I just keep planning to a minimum and see where the story ends up- it's far more organic that way.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The Power Of One by Bryce Courtenay as a young teenager. I never enjoyed reading before that.

I really loved that book and my mother gave it to me for my birthday.

It started my love of reading and started to make me want to explore my creativity. I was thankful for that experience.
How do you approach cover design?
I'm a creative person, so I LOVE designing and I can visualise what I want.

The problem is, I'm not an artist so often, I involve my friends, like Brendan McGrath from Jabberworks Art to help me bring my concept to life. The rest I enjoy sitting on Illustrator or Photoshop and playing with colours and effects.

I'm a marketer, so I believe good cover art is vital!
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Definitely Number One and Two are from The King Killer Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss, called "The Name Of The Wind" and "A Wise Man's Fear".

I absolutely loved reading these, despite how long they are!! (I usually get suspicious of lengthy novels as a lot of it tends to be annoying filler!!). But, yes definitely recommend these two.

As for the rest, I can't really choose. I enjoyed "The Mistborn Series" by Brandon Sanderson, and obviously, The Lord Of The Rings and Harry Potter series
What do you read for pleasure?
All kinds of books, fiction and non-fiction alike (nerdy ey?!).

I enjoy articles and books on business, law, philosophy and marketing as these industries change so rapidly that it's nice to hear what organisations are doing differently and keep up-to-date with the newer developments in these areas.

I enjoy romance fiction to be honest, and books with a twist, such as Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.

But usually, I search for the latest fantasy and sci-fi books for adults and plough my way through. It's useful to read as you write as you can find inspiration as well as work out what to avoid in story telling.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
iPad, but that's because it's the only one I really use.

I have a smart phone, but prefer the bigger screen of my iPad.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Social media works quite well.

Also, don't underestimate a good cover design, using price penetration techniques, a good bio, a good synopsis and... it should go without saying: a good story. Word of mouth is very powerful so if you have a good story without the waffle, people will start to talk.

With so many books out there, it's very tough, I will admit. But writing is a passion- if you write well, people will find you.
Describe your desk
I have four computer screens, two for my MAC and two for my PC.

It's fairly tidy :) ....for a guy I guess.

I have books, notes and paper, every where, complimented by tonnes of stationery... i LOVE stationery!
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
Sydney, Australia.

Hmmm I don't really have an elaborate story... I'm more that person that was told "You can't write a book", so I immersed myself into it and loved it so much that now, I can't stop!

I have a supportive, loving family, and had a great education, so I guess that helped. But it really comes down to personality over location!
When did you first start writing?
I've been writing for AGES but serious writing, perhaps 2010?

Unfortunately, it's a long road of rejections and harsh feedback before you get anything worth people's time reading. But, I love the learning process so I see it as a positive experience that got me here so I'm not complaining!!

If it was easy, it wouldn't be worth doing!!
What's the story behind your latest book?
Urban fantasy mixed with the Alien-UFO theories in science.

I dont particularly believe in aliens, per se, however I am ABSOLUTELY FASCINATED by tv docos like "Ancient Aliens" that talk about aliens visiting Earth in our ancient past.

I believe in writing stories that intregue you, so I combined Charmed, Supernatural and Buffy with elements of UFO/Alien stories, and we have my Forefront Series!
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Freedom.

I believe my writing style is easy and pleasing to read, and I am very strict with my editing, so that out of the way, I believe being an indie author by-passes the need for approval by a giant publisher.

Even when I was writing music, I disliked the music label I was signed by as they wanted one thing and I wanted another. These days with social media, it's awesome to be able to create and share content you enjoy!
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I've only just joined, so time will tell!!!! :)

But I cannot wait. It was recommended to me by my writing mentors and, well it was such a great, open option that I jumped at it!
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
People reading it!

I get such a rush when I get feedback (hopefully good!). I like to see people actually have a copy of my book on their eReaders as it makes it ALL worth it.

To a writer, your readers are EVERYTHING. If you don't have them, you aren't a writer.
What do your fans mean to you?
See my previous question. EVERYTHING.

Fans make or break you. You must must must look after them!!

To have fans would be awesome. I think it's too early in the game for me, but hopefully in the future, people will love my stuff! (Fingers crossed).
What are you working on next?
I have started with episodic series of books- this way, people aren't so intimidated by massive novels... so more and more of those!
Published 2014-03-05.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.