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Author Spotlight and Excerpt: Melody Steiner

I am proud and excited to introduce Melody Steiner. Over the next six weeks, you’ll be seeing several guest posts (and even a bundle GIVEAWAY) from Melody. So enjoy this first installment and get to know Melody Steiner! Be sure you check out a “Scorch,” a short story set in the world of Slither at the bottom of this post.

Who is Melody Steiner?

Melody Steiner is a novelist, librarian, warrior woman, and a mother. She grew up in a home where science fiction and fantasy were staples of the imagination. Her earliest novels were written in elementary school and involved rocket ships to the moon, alien life, and gumdrop kingdoms at war with other invading candy nations.
Over the years, she found herself drawn to fantasy stories that empower female characters and particularly women of color. Currently, she’s based near Columbus, Ohio, along with her husband and the wild things they call “children.”
Her recent work, Slither, is a traditional fantasy about a young woman who is enslaved by a herd of dragons. You can find her at http://twitter.com/melody_steiner or on her author facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MelodySteinerAuthor/.

What motivated you to write your first novel?

More generally–I think the love of fantasy stories and the desire to create and “sit” in a fantasy world for a while was my initial motivations for writing my first novel. I would not say I had much knowledge of craft or much of a writing network at the time, so my first novel was really more of an exercise than it was a good story. Then I wrote several other novels, developed a network, and began the business of writing in earnest.

 What strange things do you do when you write? Do you listen to music? Watch television? Eat Cheetos?

I enjoy piano music when I write. It is energetic enough that I can really get into it during exciting scenes—almost like a soundtrack. But with no words put to the music, I’m able to focus on the writing. Ludovici Einaudi is my favorite.

 What was your greatest challenge writing this story and how did you overcome it?

It’s been so long since I wrote the story, I barely remember! I wrote it over ten years ago, in college, over one summer when I worked in the school library. At that time, I suppose, the greatest challenge was finding time. But as you get older you have more and more demands on your time. So I guess you just push through the time issues just as I must have done then.

If you could spend the day with one of the characters in this book, who would you choose and what would you do?

Patience, because she’s amazing. She can do anything she sets her mind to. She’s the most capable person in the story, she doesn’t take crap from anyone, and she’s a good friend.

What’s next for you and your writing career?

I’m hoping to release my newest book based in the world of “Slither”. I have a saga mapped out, featuring different magical races in this kingdom, and the intersections are so much fun! I’ve got other novels, too, a science fiction and a YA urban fantasy, but I’m really enjoying the Slither world.

What inspires you? Where do you get your ideas?

Life. I’m also a mother and a librarian. I enjoy books, although these days it is easier to turn on a Netflix movie than try to focus on a book since I’m often interrupted by children. I’m very inspired by stories that feature people of color and strong women. I’d love to write a fantasy story set in a Caribbean-inspired world featuring a tough warrior woman.

 What is something you are not good at doing?

Cleaning my house. Also, feeling put together.

 What message do you want readers to get from reading the book?

This book is thematically all about monsters and humanity. How monsters sometimes do good things, and how humans, at times, do not.

 What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I enjoy being around my little wild children, my husband, and the imaginary kitty I’m not allowed to have due to allergies in the family.

 What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received?

Try to quit. If you can’t quit it, just give in and be a writer already.

 What are your favorite characters that you have created?

I LOVE Patience. She was latecomer to the story, but I am so glad she is there. When I wrote the book, years ago, I was influenced by what I saw in fantasy at that time—namely very European settings and characters. Patience is my shift away from these things, for many reasons. In a sequel, I’ll happily dive more into the unique qualities she has to bring to the table.

 What is one piece of advice you would give to your teenage self?

“The bully from high school will want to become friends with you on FB, and you will hit the ignore button without blinking. Because you don’t need toxic people like that in your life, sweetie.”


Connect with Melody

www.melodysteiner.com

@melody_steiner

https://www.facebook.com/MelodySteinerAuthor/

 Click cover to read Scorch FREE!
Click cover to purchase Slither.
 

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