Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Melanie Nilles Interview

Kipp Poe Speicher VS. Melanie Nilles

1: What is the most productive time of the day for you to write?

--Since I'm a stay-at-home mom (and home daycare provider), my days are busy. Naptime is one of my most productive times—peace and quiet…for a half hour, more if I'm lucky. I need my wind-down time before I can really sit and focus on writing, but I get there. I also squeeze in some time right before bed, after the kids are down for the night.

2: Do you start your projects writing with paper and pen or is it all on the computer?

--I do everything on the computer. My laptop can go anywhere in the house. Unfortunately, we have wifi, so the internet goes with me. I don't have the willpower to turn it off.

3: What do you draw inspiration from?


4: Do you set yourself goals when you sit down to write such as word count?

--I have writing session goals, such as getting through a scene or a word count, but I try to set a daily goal of at least 500 words. I've been known to hash out 2K in a half an hour. Doesn't happen often, but I love when it flows like that!

5: Being a self published author how do you come up with your cover art?

--I have an idea of what I want, which isn't always what would work with what I can afford and so far that has just been stock images. I use Paint Shop Pro and put it all together into something. So far, my covers have all been pretty simple. Since right now I have two series going, I've tried to keep cover themes running with each.

If you look on, you'll see that the base image for all of the LEGEND OF THE WHITE DRAGON ebooks use the same base image (which is a pic of storm clouds I took a couple years ago, flipped, colored, and applied special effects to). The dragons on parts 1 and 2 (LEGENDS and LEGACIES, respectively) are from a stock image site and modified to fit into the clouds as if they're part of the setting.

For my STARFIRE ANGELS novels, I kept it very simple also with the feather motif on the first book and adding to that in the second. On the third, I don't plan to use a feather but something else. The illumination against the black background will be there, though, to highlight the central piece.

For WHEN ANGELS CRY, the prequel novella to the STARFIRE ANGELS series, I saw an image on a stock photo site and it just felt right for that. Since WAC is actually a prequel, a novella (as opposed to a novel like the rest of the series books), and is more of an add-on for those who want a little more in the series, I didn't mind going with something different. But I added the feather to tie it together.

When I'm ready for the latest fantasy stories to be released, I may end up using an actual artist to create those covers. I have an idea of what I want for each of those, and I can't do that with stock images and Paint Shop Pro.

6: What drives you to chose the career of being a writer?

--I've always been a writer, since elementary school. I've always loved fantasy and science fiction and wanted to tell my own stories. It's not a choice but a calling. A true writer can't not write.

7: Do you own an ebook reading devise?

--Not a dedicated device, but do a laptop, Motorola Droid, and handheld computer count? I'd like to buy a good ereader in the next year, but I'm waiting for prices to drop and/or color screens to be an option.

8: Who are some of your favorite authors and What are you reading now?

--I don't read books by author but by series most often. I like the Harry Potter series (obviously all one author, as some series are) but may not read any other books by JKR, the Halo books (tie-in novels by various authors), and the Star Wars extended universe books (also by various authors) to name a few.

9: What do you think of book trailers and do you have any plans to have any?

--I made a book trailer for STARFIRE ANGELS, using stock photos and music, but I don't think much of trailers, unless they're more like movies. I certainly don't have the cash to dish out to have something like that made. Would be a nice dream, though…

10: What are you working on now that you can talk about?

--I'm editing a couple different books to release into the public this year, in the LEGEND OF THE WHITE DRAGON epic fantasy series and the second in the STARFIRE ANGELS series, while writing my third book in the SA series. I just finished the first of (what I hope will be) a new fantasy series a couple of months ago and will work on editing that later this year, along with some rewriting and prep work on another fantasy story tied into the world and timeline of the LOTWD series that is a stand-alone and a horse-centric book. (Anyone who really knows me is aware that I've trained horses most of my life, so this one is of a particular interest to me ;) Busy, busy, busy!

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