Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Author interview with debut author Mella Reese
Mella is a survivor of Cushing's Disease--a debilitating condition generally caused by a tumor on the pituitary gland. She dedicated her first novel, Nia, in part, to the three doctors who diagnosed and treated her condition.
About the book: Nia has struggled with the fact that she is a princess and not taken seriously as an acceptable choice to become heir to the throne of Brychan. She is just a "woman" after all. To keep herself busy, she has taken on the roll of "healer" (following in her Mother's footsteps) & is preparing to marry her love Andras. When her father - a King who loves war - accepts a "gift" on her behalf, Nia's world is turned around. Her "gift", and now constant guard, Garreth helps her discover friendship, a sense of worth and responsibility to learn more about her kingdom and herself. Your heart can't help but go out to her. It's a roller coaster of emotions and you won't want to put it down! (Amazon book review)
I had the opportunity to interview Mella and learn more about her path to publication and her inspiration for "Nia."
Tell us about your path to publication.
Nia was never actually meant to be published. Writing a novel was on my list of things to do before I died; I did not have any ambitions of being published. Yet after my husband read the manuscript he urged me to do so.
I found the website Preditors and Editors and made a big list of who was accepting manuscripts. Then I narrowed that list down to who would accept electronic queries or manuscripts and chose the first twelve to query. Looking back I can see that my query really stunk. For those who are looking for query help, I would reccomend visiting www.queryshark.blogspot.com.
After a couple of weeks Black Rose Writing requested my manuscript to review---and they wanted it in word. Nia was written in wordperfect. After a few moments of sheer panic, I emailed the entire manuscript to my brother who lives across the country and he converted it to word and sent it to the publisher. (Whew)! Within a few days after that I was sent an offer for publication which I gladly accepted.
Nia was released March 3rd of this year and it seems my life has become stuck in fast-forward since then. (But it's a good kind of fast-forward).
What was your inspiration for "Nia"?
Would you believe I do not know where the idea for the book came from? The story had been blowing around in my head for about 5 years before I penned it out. Interestingly, I had actually planned on writing an entirely different book but it was Nia that came out.
I did base a bit of the main character, Nia, after my great-great-grandmother, Elizabeth Vaughan Hunt. Her mother was a well-known and respected doctor in the then-budding West. After her marriage at the age of 15---uh huh, 15, Elizabeth moved away from where her mother practiced medicine. Once folks found out her mother was a doctor, they pestered her with all their medicinal needs in hopes she could help. Elizabeth absolutely despised this, but helped all she could anyway. In this capacity she helped bring over 100 babies into the world.
Nia has also been taught healing ways by her own mother, but, just like Elizabeth Vaughan Hunt, despises every bit of it. Yet just like Elizabeth, she does not possess the power to not help those in need.
What is your secret to writing suspense?
I love to create a situation where it appears there is absolutely no hope of an acceptable resolution. I do all I can to immerse the reader in the intense emotion of the character in the novel. In this way it is my hope the reader will become so engrossed in the problem, that they themselves will begin thinking of ways to remedy the trouble and thus become a sort of character in the book themselves.
This is the first of three books. What can readers expect from the rest of the series?
Action, drama, suspense and just a little bit of romance. It was my goal to develop the main characters so completely that the reader would truly feel a kinship towards them. I felt it took a lot of the ink in Nia to establish these characters and their relationships with each other. So in the next two books there is ample room for some serious craziness....things the reader will never expect---at least that's the hope!
A lot of people have asked if Nia and Garreth will end up together; I always give the same answer: I cannot make any promises. The end of the third book will give resolution to all questions and a happy ending for most of the characters.
To learn more about Mella Reese and Nia, please visit her official website.
Additional Information:Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Black Rose Writing (March 3, 2011)