Q1: How did you decide to get into writing professionally?
A: I didn't decide so much as grow into it. I tried to stop once, but it wouldn't let me. Now I just want to write. If I had to depend on it for my living I'd be too stressed to write. (and broke to boot!)
Q2: How far back can you remember putting pen to paper?
A: I think there's something in my baby book from around age 5. That was around the same time my camp counselors gave me "The Imagination Award."
Q3: What was your first ever sale?
A: A short-short called "Wish I Weren't Here" It was sold to The First Line back in 1999.
Q4: What are your goals for writing in the future?
A: Finish the novel I'm writing on, and the sequel and possibly the prequel to Between Worlds. Meet the criteria for SFWA (the Science Fiction Writers of America.) Sell a book that my local Waldenbooks will carry. Oh, and a Hugo award would be nice too. (Joking! Mostly.)
Q5: How do you initially come up with your plot ideas?
A: Some little thing-a song, a new word, an odd fact-will set off a chain reaction in my brain, and the next thing I know I'm off and writing.
Q6: Do the characters in your book have any relevance to people you know?
A: I never borrow "whole people" but I sometimes give characters traits or quirks from people I know. (Ex, my Grandpa Mead used to like salt on grapefruit. I put in the peppered lemons as a tribute to him.) I do borrow real-life places. For example, Ilion, Olean and Avoca are towns near where my father grew up.
Q7: How long did it take you to write Between Worlds?
A: About 14 years, on and off. Writing the novel was intermittent-plus the story went through multiple versions and about half a dozen titles. The character Juliar didn't appear until the second to last version.
Q8: Will there be a sequel to Between Worlds?
A: Well, I've started one, but while I was looking for a publisher for Between Worlds I started an unrelated novel, and I want to finish that first. I'm hoping it doesn't take 14 years this time!
Q9: What else have you written, and where can it be found?
A: Everything from re-told fairy tales to SF to horror. Much of it's out there on the Web. (If you're curious about something specific, e-mail me at email@example.com and I'll try to help.)
Q10: What advice would you give to people trying to break in to print?
A: Write what you want to write, and then think about selling. Encourage your fellow authors. Read everything, and write often.
You can find Melissa Mead book for sale at Double Dragon Publishing
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