Interview with Melody Taylor

What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Writing. Period, end of story. If I am not writing regularly, getting out of bed is a chore for me. If I am writing regularly, I spring out of bed and rush to my computer, excited to get a pot of coffee brewing and get to work on the next scene.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I love experiencing things and learning new skills and information. I currently belly dance and own a horse, but in the past I have learned hypnotism, played drums in a local band, learned to draw, studied herbalism, taught a basic dog obedience class, learned to sing, AND I read tarot cards. I also love to swim, hike and camp. And read. I am a voracious reader. I just learned that the earth may experience something called crustal displacement, causing the continents to sort of twist in and out of polar regions, meaning that Antarctica may once have been "Atlantis." (Meaning home to an advanced, "prehistoric" civilization, not that people with psychic powers ruled the Earth!)
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I browse. If I like a cover or title, I'll check out the book description. If I like that, I'll read the first few pages. If I like that, I'll buy. I'll be honest, typos or misused commas or run-on sentences in a book description will kill it for me every time. Or if the title sounds like one kind of book, but the description sounds like something different. I get very huffy if I feel misled.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Oh, yes. It was awful. Let us never speak of it again.
What is your writing process?
I tried not to be the writer who uses an outline, but I discovered that the process without an outline is drawn out and messy. First I get an idea, usually starting with a character and a basic story arc. The ideas come from all sorts of random places, but often I dream them. The final story generally looks nothing like the original dream. I work out the kinks, flesh out the characters, decide why this might be interesting, how it might be made more interesting, and how it will play. Then I lay down a character bio and a basic outline, which gets fleshed out in chunks as I go. Then I edit and edit and edit some more.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The Chronicles of Narnia. I said to my mom,"Is that what's in all books? Stories about people and weird stuff happening? Like a movie?" She said, "Yep, pretty much." I was hooked from that moment on. If I don't have a book I'm reading, I feel sort of empty.
How do you approach cover design?
I come up with a few suggestions and throw them to my cover designer. He comes back with some options, which I refine, he comes back with some more, which I refine again, and that's usually all it takes. I couldn't design a cover if my life depended on it. Having someone who knows what he's doing is awesome.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Catspaw by Joan D. Vinge, Dreams Underfoot by Charles deLint, The Dark Sleep by P.N. Elrod, War for the Oaks by Emma Bull, The Woodwife by Terri Windling, and Sandman by Neil Gaiman. (I know that's six, but too bad). These are all masterful stories told by people who've worked hard at what they do. Believable, complex characters, plots that have you begging for more, worlds that act and react so much like our own, happy endings, sad endings, but all believable endings. I re-read these CONSTANTLY.
What do you read for pleasure?
Lots. I prefer urban fantasy, although I will read the odd off-world fantasy. I like a little sci-fi. And non-fiction on many topics, although anthroplogy, cosmology, linguistics and human development are favorite topics. I really don't like romance or horror.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have a basic Kindle and it does the job nicely. I thought it would be weird to read on screen, but it's just the right size, easy to use, and the battery lasts quite a while. Can't say I've tried others, I'm happy with what I've got.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I'll share that when I figure some out!
Describe your desk
Functional but messy.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
Wisconsin, and I use the word "crap" too much.
When did you first start writing?
When my best friend at the time did. She had me read a story about this guy in the late eighties who wants to be a hippie named B.J. Hip. He and his friends find a VW bus that is actually a time machine, and they go back to the sixties to meet the Beatles and Led Zeppelin and visit Haight Ashbury, and then they get lost in time and Jimmie Page almost gets eaten by a T. Rex. I was like, "You can write that crap?" I ran straight home and started writing.
Published 2013-10-19.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Jacked Up
Series: Night Eternal Companion, Book 2. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 14,710. Language: English. Published: June 29, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary, Fiction » Fantasy » Urban
Sex, blood, rock n' roll! A kick-ass metal band, a hot boyfriend, fangs, and PTSD. Who says a girl can't have it all?
Dead of Night
Series: Night Eternal, Book 3. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 103,580. Language: English. Published: April 1, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Urban
Ian is losing her grip. In the midst of battling her inner demons, a visit from her older brother is one more problem she can't deal with. Even worse, Alec has brought trouble with him -- deadly trouble. And despite Ian's struggle to avoid becoming a monster, she may wind up forced to kill again.
After Dark
Series: Night Eternal, Book 2. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 143,850. Language: English. Published: April 8, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Urban, Fiction » Fantasy » Urban
When Ian and Amanda make a trip home to visit their parents, a simple visit quickly becomes complicated. The local resident vampire does not want them in his city, and when Ian finds herself tangled in a nightmare of blackmail and greed, she will wish she never tried to come home.
A Dark and Twisting Road
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 156,760. Language: English. Published: September 1, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Urban, Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary
Alexa is one of the lucky ones. When the faeries kidnapped and tortured her, she managed to escape. Not everyone who's been taken does, and even if they do make their way back to Earth, they aren't always sane. Alexa doesn't always feel sane herself. When Alexa's best friend suddenly disappears, Alexa knows she is the only one who can brave the twisting paths of Faerie to get her friend back.
Before the Dark
Series: Night Eternal Companion, Book 1. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 18,100. Language: English. Published: November 22, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary, Fiction » Fantasy » Urban
Girl Meets Vampire . . . Meet Jennifer Tamereaux, a teenage girl just starting her art degree in Seattle. She's healing from a broken heart, having a hard time making friends, and about to have her life changed in ways she could not have imagined when she first left home . . .
In the Dark
Series: Night Eternal, Book 1. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 123,850. Language: English. Published: October 6, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Urban
Ian is a young woman who has only been a vampire for a few short years. Sebastian has been a successful assassin and thief for centuries. Ian finds Sebastian terrifying and cold. Sebastian considers Ian naive and too close to her humanity. Somehow, they will have to find a way to cooperate and face the one thing they do have in common: Someone wants them both dead.