The Bawdy Book Blog is pleased to host author Melanie Nilles! Melanie, author of the A Turn of Curses and Legend of the White Dragon, is a 2011 EPIC eBook Awards Finalist (aka EPPY) for her novel, Starfire Angels. Born and raised in North Dakota, Melanie is also a wife, mother and equine enthusiast, currently training her warmblood to show in dressage.
Q: When/how did you first know you were an author?
A: When my first book was released. But if you mean when did I want to be an author, that goes back to elementary school.
Q: What inspired your first book?
A: The first book I ever wrote was inspired by Star Wars, but that one will never see the light of day. The first book I ever wrote and self-published was A TURN OF CURSES, inspired by my horses.
Q: Why did you write about angels? A: I’m Catholic and believe angels are all around us and guiding us invisibly. We just have to listen. I also always loved the idea of flying and the pictures of seraphim. But when it came to Starfire Angels, that was a rewrite of novella I wrote in college, which had been inspired by the animated show Gargoyles. However, the rewrite was inspired by DNAngel, a Japanese anime I liked. Something about it snapped everything into place for a story I adored from the onset. I also wanted to do something totally unique and not just another angel story, so I decided that what we see as angels in artwork are really aliens who have been guiding humanity.
Q: If you could be any one of your characters, which one would you be? A: Do you have to ask? Raea, of course. She gets Elis, and she gets to fly 😉
Q: Who’s your favorite literary leading man of all time? A: Not sure about that. There are so many good and good bad ones 😉
Q: If you could impart one message to your readers from your Starfire Angels series, what would that be? A: Not everything is what it seems.
Q: What kind of research did you do for your Starfire Angels books? A: I researched angel beliefs in the different religions and bird flight and feathers. I had to make it all plausible for the world I wanted to set up.
Q: What are some upcoming releases you are excited to read? A: I hate to say it but I don’t keep up much with upcoming releases. I have enough work catching up on my TBR pile and writing my own stories.
Q: Who’s your favorite author? A: I don’t have any one favorite author. I tend to like several, mostly science fiction authors.
Q: Pretend this is Twitter; pitch your upcoming novel, Crystal Tomb, to me in 140 characters or less. A: If Raea doesn’t unlock the mystery of an ancient civilization, she may lose more than the Starfire…
Q: You have two new books coming out in The Dark Angel Chronicles series. Do you have plans for more? A: Certainly!
Q: What are your favorite spare-time activities? A: Dressage. When I’m not writing, I’m consumed by it, which is why I don’t get much fiction reading done (I get most of my reading done on a treadmill at the gym). I’m usually reading non-fiction of any topic, but most often dressage training books and magazines. My horse is my other Beau 😉 (seriously, that’s his nickname, shortened from Beauregarde but it’s fun to give it a double meaning)
Q: You are self-published. How easy (or hard) is it to self-publish and why did you choose that route? A: It’s easy to put a book up as an ebook, but that’s after all the work of writing, editing, editing, editing, editing…oh, and did I mention editing?…and formatting. The hard part after that is marketing, finding the target audience who would be most likely to buy and (hopefully) enjoy your work. I chose that route for Starfire Angels because I believed it was a great book, I’d been writing and workshopping for eighteen years, I broke with a small publisher because of how they handled the only book I left with them, and Starfire Angels wasn’t “marketable” enough for agents to take on. I was tired of waiting. You can spend your whole life waiting, but sooner or later, you have to take things into your own hands. I did. I believed my book was worth reading, and apparently strangers do too, because it is selling, which is encouraging me to continue the series. Thanks, Jenn, for the opportunity to visit with you.
I think that’s it. Melanie, thanks for sitting down to chat with me and giving readers an insight into the balance of your work and life. I look forward to reading the rest of your books!
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Jennifer is both a book nerd and professional photographer. That means she lives in the fantasy world all the time, whether of her making, or someone else's.
She collects books like the Duggar family collects kids, and began waiting for her Hogwarts letter at the tender age of 33.