Today I have the privilege of interviewing the debut author of Shadow's Gray, Melyssa Williams here on my blog. I have been following Melyssa on her blog (Daze of Us) for quite a while, and she has such a fun and enchanting writing style, even though I haven't had the opportunity to read her novel yet, I just know it will be an amazing read. But, let's get started!
1. Hi Melyssa, and welcome! Why don't we get things rolling by having you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got into writing.
Well, my name is Melyssa and I live in Southern Oregon with my pretty awesome family. They consist of one husband, one dog, three children, and as of next week, a handful of chickens. I've been, in no particular order: a professional contemporary dancer, a barista, a homeschool graduate, a homeschool mommy, a magazine columnist, a mother to seven inner city teenage youths (yep, they lived with me), a ballet teacher, a bread baker, a butcher, a baker, a candlestick maker. Not really on the candle sticks or the butchering. I have always loved writing. I love everything from plotting story lines, naming characters (almost as good as picking out baby names!), doodling in the margins, finding a good sharpie, or picking out a good font. I used to fill up Trapper Keepers with dismal stories and gloomy poetry. I decided I wanted to write a book by the time I turned sixteen, so I did. I'm kind of goal oriented that way. I still have it, though I haven't looked at it in years and years and, um years. I stopped writing when dancing got to be so full time and I had to commit. I didn't write a word really until my third child was six months old. We had just moved away from my family for the first time ever and I decided to start a blog. My husband freaked because he was certain I would break his computer. It started getting a lot of nice comments and I remembered how therapeutic the art of stringing together words was for me. Last year was a terrible year for our family and I decided, while we were broke and jobless and essentially homeless, that if I was going to write a book, now was the time! So I went for it.
2. Your novel, Shadows Gray, has generated some amazing reviews on Amazon. Can you us a little bit about it and answer the review question about whether or not it will be the first in a series of books by you?
Thanks! It will be a series. Well, I think it will. Yes, it will. Maybe. No really, it will to the best of my ability! I have the whole first two paragraphs of the second novel already written. Yaaah, me!
3. Would you be willing to tell us a little bit about your writing life? Do you have a writing schedule, or a specific place that you like to go to write, anything like that?
I'd love to have a specific place and time for writing. The reality though is, I write in tiny snippets of time while a toddler "styles" my hair, I play one handed Rummy, the dog sits on my feet, the phone won't stop ringing, the laundry piles up, and the rice boils over. It's lovely chaos!
4. You self published your novel, why did you decide to go that rout? Would you go that way again if you had to do it all over again?
I went that route because honestly I didn't have the guts or the confidence to send it off to numerous publishers, only to be lost in their slush pile. I know that's not a very good answer, but it's honest! I was excited to learn about self publishing and about how it made such a lofty ideal of seeing your book hit the market, doable. As far as doing it again - I suppose you'd have to ask me in a year or so, when I know if I was "successful" or not! I don't see why not. I had nothing to lose, and that's really what sold it for me.
5. If you could give other writers in the making one piece of advice what would it be?
Start! Don't wait for the perfect time. There's great support in your family and friends and even the online community of writers. If it is constantly in your head and in your heart, itching to be born on paper, then write it!
6. Do you have a favorite book or website for authors that you would recommend to us?
I'm am so preoccupied with the fact that my four year old was literally chewing on my hair mere seconds ago...what did you ask???
7. Thank you so much for your time, Melyssa! In closing, can you tell us how we can connect with you online? (Blog, Amazon, Twitter, etc.)
I am an unfortunate woman in that I don't do the Twitter thingy yet, but you can find me on Facebook here http://www.facebook.com/ShadowsGray
My blog here http://thedazeofus.blogspot.com
Amazon here http://www.amazon.com/Shadows-Gray-ebook/dp/B007NC8DN4/ref=sr_1_8?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1332429562&sr=1-8
And Goodreads here http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13562007-shadows-gray
I would love to hear from you!
Thanks again, Melyssa! I look forward to hearing more about your next book.