IAM15 Interview…with Mel Cusick-Jones

IAM 2015 - TopperHello! Welcome to our fourth annual Indie Author Month on Aside from Writing – I hope you enjoy what we have coming up over the next few weeks in July and get to meet some great new authors, seeing their thoughts and experiences on what it is like to be an indie writer these days.

As you’ll probably know, I’m one of the main bloggers for the site, along with my author buddy Tony Talbot. This year, we decided that one of us would open the event as the ‘author of the day’, with the other closing the event at the end of the month.

One thing I realised we’d never done on here, was actually interview ourselves. We’ve interviewed loads of authors over the last few years, particularly during the Indie Author event months, but neither Tony nor I had ever featured in a ‘proper’ interview on the blog. So, for my first feature of the day, I’m doing a snapshot interview with myself 🙂 It’s a lot more normal than it sounds and not at all Taxi Driver scary. Promise.

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A genie grants you three writing-related wishes: what would you wish for and why?

Firstly, I would wish for the little writing cave of my dreams…a cosy little room, with the walls all lined with bookshelves. There would be a nice, comfy couch for my dog to lie on and snooze the hours away as I work. There are some french windows in the room that lead to a garden outside and my desk in next to it… silly items and knick-knacks from my current mini-cave would be on the wall above my desk, to keep inspiring me as I day dream looking out of the window.

My second ‘big’ wish would be, that when I talk through scenes and dialogue in my head, that they magically appear in a notebook ready to use. I can’t count how many good things I’ve thought of and not remembered because I couldn’t write them down at the time. I’ve tried using a dictaphone, but something goes wrong between my head and my mouth and what gets recorded is just a terrible, flat version of what I was thinking of originally!

Final wish would be for an editing fairy…someone else that perfectly edits and finalises my finished work! That’s always the longest part of the project for me.

How do you react to a bad review?

It’s feedback, so generally I try to take any learning points from what’s said and apply that to my work. There’s several improvements (I think) I’ve made to my writing style and editing over the last few years since I started getting reviews of my books. Without the feedback, which wasn’t always given in the nicest of ways, I might not have seen the issue and improved. If you get a ranty review, you might not get anything that useful from it for improving your work, and in those cases I just kind of shrug and get on with something else. Everyone likes different things and I’ve had my share of DNF books that I’ve not enjoyed, so I can understand it from the reader side of things too.

Cirque de la Nuit coverWhat are you working on at the moment – do you have any other books in the works?

My current project is outside the ‘Ambrosia Sequence’ series, which I’ve been working on for the last few years and released the first two books so far – although I am about two-thirds of the way through the third book ‘Outlanders’ and I need to get back to working on it at some point! At the moment, I’m focusing on writing a stand-alone YA paranormal mystery ‘Cirque de la Nuit’ about a uni student who finds herself in the middle of supernatural gang warfare, after a visit to the mysterious Cirque de la Nuit. A bit of change from sci-fi related dystopian, but hopefully people will enjoy it when it’s ready to release.

What inspired you to want to become a writer?

The main inspiration is that I’ve always loved reading and disappearing off into other people’s stories. Because of that, I’ve always dabbled with writing: short stories, couple of plays (don’t ask!) and then when I finished studying English at uni, I started writing as a hobby. The first few things I wrote were really terrible and it took a lot of practice to actually write a full book with beginning, middle, end…sounds daft, but ask most authors and they’ll tell you that they didn’t just sit down and run off a perfect first draft. The first few books I wrote still sit in my laptop and may (with lots of revision) some day be worthy of release…

Who is your favourite character from Cirque de la Nuit and why?

At the moment, my favourite character is Alexander – the vampire ringmaster who gets Beth (the main character whose POV we read the story in) involved in the first place. He is probably the character, aside from Beth, who changes the most during the story. That said, I really like Mikhail, especially when you get him and Beth sparring off one another – I love sarcastic banter!

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Mel Cusick-JonesWant to know more? Check out the links!

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Melanie-Cusick-Jones/214124072009513

Twitter @melabupa     Author Blog http://melcj.com/

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5395324.Melanie_Cusick_Jones

IAM Cover Reveal…Outlanders by Mel Cusick-Jones

OUTLANDERS - Cover

Outlanders by Melanie Cusick-Jones

Due for release in late 2013, Outlanders is the third novel from The Ambrosia Sequence. 

I’m really excited to share – for the VERY FIRST TIME – the cover and synopsis for Outlanders…And to be doing this as the first feature of Indie Author Month 2013 is even better! This book has been coming for a long while, as I’ve written a lot of it alongside The Rainbow Maker’s Tale, and been planning the final two books in the Ambrosia Sequence so that everything fits together.

To be so close to releasing this has been a big step forward for me, and I did commit to 2013 being a ‘writing’ year and less of a ‘reading and blogging’ one – because everything takes time and I needed to focus on the writing if I ever want to be finished!

Well, I’ll let you take a look at the synopsis now – there’s also a brand new book trailer for Outlanders that you might want to check out:

YOUTUBE – http://youtu.be/_BL61bUWng8

And now, I need to get back to writing 🙂
Mel x

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OUTLANDERS 

Life on the Space Station Hope was simple: grow up, fall in love and die — quickly. But life does not always do what you expect.

Escaping to Earth was supposed to be a new beginning for Cassie and Balik, but when their craft is shot-down Cassie finds herself alone in the ruins of the former United Kingdom, known colloquially now as The Island.

Whilst Islanders live by the rules of the government, some people choose to exist outside government control, fending for themselves: Outlanders. Badly injured in the crash, Cassie is taken in and protected by an Outlander group, despite their suspicions about this mysterious stranger. And on The Island, you do need protection, because the government military is not the worse thing out there… Goblins are the outcasts no one wanted: the people with no skills to make them productive Islanders, or the criminals who had once been punished as part of the old society. Now they govern themselves and the only principles they respect are violence and power.

In this harsh new world Cassie realises that her fight for survival on the SS Hope was just the beginning. The choices she has to make now will challenge her ability to weigh survival against humanity, and balance life over love.

Preview samples and more info available at http://cusick-jones.com

Remember…you could win an ARC of  Outlanders in the event giveaway, as well as the first books in the series: Hope’s Daughter and The Rainbow Maker’s Tale, so make sure you’ve entered to win! Follow us on Facebook / Twitter and get vocal on the Indie Author Event comments to earn yourself additional entry points 🙂 

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 Gimme 10 – Author Mini-Interview

Please answer each question in 10 words or less – that’s what makes it tough but fun! 🙂

Where do you find your inspiration? All types of people, books, life, films, family and love.

What is your favourite aspect of The Rainbow Maker’s TaleI love seeing things from Balik’s POV

Who is your favourite character from The Rainbow Maker’s Tale and why? It has to be Balik (this time) it’s his turn

What are you working on now? Finalising the Rainbow Maker’s Tale for the summer release and then working on Outlanders, which is Book 3 in the series.

What do you love about most about writing? Solving character’s problems – the freedom to go wherever you want

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About the Author

Melanie is one of the main bloggers for Aside from Writing, and set up the blog in early 2012.

 After graduating from The University of Sheffield with an English Literature Masters in 2003, Melanie has been writing fiction – time permitting – ever since.

The Ambrosia Sequence (started in 2008) and The Elementals (begun in 2004) are both ongoing, extended projects each containing several novels, aimed primarily at young adults and hover somewhere in the middle of sci-fi, futuristic and fantasy genres. Hope’s Daughter, released in December 2011, was her debut novel and the first of The Ambrosia Sequence, with the sequel – Outlanders – due in late 2013.

When she’s not writing Melanie enjoys the wet weather of the north of England with her dog or disappearing into a book for a few hours (no surprise there then). Unfortunately, all too often the ‘day job’ gets in the way of the nicer things in life!

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Want to know more? Check out the links!

Find the author:

Website – http://cusick-jones.com

Blog – http://melcj.wordpress.com and Aside from Writing!

Facebook – Hope’s Daughter and Mel Cusick-Jones

Twitter @melabupa