What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?
My name is Melissa Lee. I’m from Chesnee, SC and now live 15 minutes away in Boiling Springs, SC.
Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
In my life I have wanted to be a singer, an actress and a writer. But I don’t like people looking at me so a writer is the safest bet for that.
Do you work another job as well as your writing work?
I am a full time Mom of 3 little boys ages 8,6, and 4.
What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarise it in less than 20 words what would you say?
My book is The Earth Painter. I had someone say it is about a girl name Holly who has spent her life trying to stay out of the limelight only to find out that’s exactly where she belongs. Thanks to Theo, the Earth Painter who painted all the beauty of the land. He thinks Holly is beautiful too. And together they fight Fritz, the Water Painter hiding a secret under the high school.
Who is your publisher? or do you self publish?
Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly
How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
About 9 months. Just like my actual babies.
What can we expect from you in the future? ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
I have a book called Spark I’m developing. It’s about a little girl in the foster care system who sees what looks like a firefly land on her In Memorial candle for her mother. But it lights it. The spark is a shape shifting alien with some powers. He’s a warrior come to investigate an enemy infestation of earth but grows up with and falls for the girl as she grows up.
Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
The Man Painter is the sequel to The Earth Painter. It is due out November 2012
What genre would you place your books into?
YA Paranormal Romance
What made you decide to write that genre of book?
The teen years are magical. First love. All the possibilities in front of you. Anything can happen. You are either there or have been. It is relatable.
Do you gift books to readers to do reviews?
I’ve been known to do that.
Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?
Would you ever ask a reviewer to change their review if it was not all positive about your book/books?
No, I want honesty. Even if it hurts.
Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
The characters and titles just come. I don’t think about them much.
How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?
Characters show up in my head. Being nosey about who gets to live in my head, I start asking them questions. When I know enough about them I write it down. I feel more like a reporter than an author.
Do you basic plot/plan for your book, before you actually begin writing it out? Or do you let the writing flow and see where it takes the story?
I’m a total SOTP (Seat of the Pants) writer.
Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you?
The Earth Painter is set in Chesnee, where I’m from. The school was real. I took drama and found myself there. But my mom is wonderful, loving and encouraging. But there was a missing picture in my life that inspired the story too. I can’t say much or it will give the book away.
Are there any hidden messages or morals contained in your books? (Morals as in like Aesops Fables type of "The moral of this story is..")
I think that when you get to know your Maker and see how He sees you, you are forever changed. You discover your beauty and purpose.
Which format of book do you prefer, ebook,hardback, or paperback?
ebook. I have small children so taking them with me to look for a book is not fun. I can hide in the bathroom and browse my kindle for a book to read after they go to bed. I love it
Do you think books transfer to movies well? Which is you favourite/worst book to movie transfer?
Nothing transfers into a good movie these days.
What are you currently reading? Are you enjoying it? What format is it?(ebook, hardback or paperback)
I just read Clockwork Angel and Clockwork Prince
Do you think ebooks will ever totally replace printed books?
Possibly. Sort of like lots of people only have cell phones and no land line at all.
Do you think children at schools these days are encouraged enough to read? and/or do Imaginative writing?
My kids’ school stresses all of that. It’s wonderful.
Are there any New Authors you are interested in for us to watch out for? and Why should we watch out for them?
Gillian Joy I love her Guardian Series.
If you could invite three favourite writers to dinner, who would you invite and enjoy chatting with?
C.S. Lewis, Jane Austen, and Charlotte Bronte
Where can readers follow you?
On Facebook: Melissa Turner Lee