Paranormal urban fantasy author Melissa Snark is in the house today. She’s on a virtual book tour for the second book in her Victoria Storm Norse Werewolves series, Hunger Moon.
Melissa will be awarding (2) two $25 gift cards (winner's choice of Amazon or BN.com) to (2) two randomly drawn commenters during the tour. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, visit other tour stops and enter there, too.
A friend asked me once how I chose my pen name. I told her the following: "Melissa, because when people mix up my first name, it's the most common goof up. Snark, because it amuses me. A) I love the word 'snarky' and B) I love Lewis Carroll."
As an individual, I'm sarcastic, stubborn and blunt to a fault. I have a strange sense of humor and I like to laugh (usually at my husband or children), but also at myself. I'm not particularly extroverted, although I do enjoy time with my family and close friends a great deal.
At the moment, I'm a stay-at-home mom who writes in my spare time. I've got a B.S. from Arizona State University in Business, and I've worked a variety of different jobs, including as a medical device documentation specialist, a technical writer, and an auto liability adjuster. I live in the San Francisco East Bay of Northern California with my husband, three kids, and three cats. My hobbies include roleplaying, cooking and reading.
Readers can watch for The Mating Game, an erotic paranormal novel published via The Wild Rose Press, to appear in 2014.
I maintain a blog, which I update regularly at http://melissasnark.blogspot.com/. I enjoy hearing from my readers, so please drop me a line at MelissaSnark at gmail dot com.
Please tell us about your current release.
When I decided to write paranormal fantasy, I wanted to come up with a fresh angle on the werewolf origin story. Hopefully, something that hadn’t been done before. I stumbled into the idea for modern day Viking werewolves due to my love of Norse mythology and history. According to Norse myths, the great wolf, Fenrir, is descended from the God Loki. I simply extrapolated—what if Fenrir had sired descendants able to change forms the same as Loki? They became the werewolves of my Loki's Wolves series. My origin story went on to encompass Viking colonies along the coast of North America prior to the arrival of Christopher Columbus. My werewolves were driven from the Norselands and settled in the New World. Many mated with Native Americans, so many of the werewolves in my series have a mixed heritage of Norse and Native American blood.
What inspired you to write this book?
Lake Tahoe in the winter. My family goes up there every January or February on a ski vacation. The snow covered mountains and lake are simply breathtaking. My imagination conjured the beginning of Hunger Moon during a ski there about four years ago.
She caught the scent of a male wolf behind her. Her hackles rose when his whiskey voice mocked her. "Fie, foh, and fum, I smell the blood of a tiny woman."
Victoria spun to face the offending male wolf intruder. Her upper lip peeled back to reveal her canines and a rumbling snarl issued from her throat. He towered over her, standing at least a foot and a half taller, and had at least a hundred pounds of lean muscle on her. He wore a short-sleeve tan shirt featuring a Chinese dragon, faded blue jeans, and black Doc Martens.
She assumed a defensive stance, extending her right hand to reach for her dagger, when he caught her gaze. She found no threat in his amber eyes, only naked lust and wicked humor. His generous mouth twisted into a smirk. In her assessment, he did not present an immediate physical threat.
"Well, halloo, Blondie. Has daddy found himself a new playmate?"
She modified her snarl into a cold smile. They might be wolves, but they were also human. She was a guest in his home. Relaxing her guard, she assessed him with an appreciative glance.
"You must be Logan."
"I must be." He regarded her with a lascivious leer.
Victoria rolled her eyes. She had no doubt. The physical resemblance to Arik became apparent upon consideration. Father and son shared the same high forehead, strong thin-profiled nose, cheekbones and jaw. The boy wore his light-brown hair in a spiky style and lacked his father's sturdy build. Broad shoulders, long limbs, and a narrow waist kept with his youth. In time, he would fill out. She could tell he'd be huge once he reached maturity.
A quick glance over her shoulder revealed that the woman among the trees had vanished. With a shrug, Victoria dismissed the incident.
"You have me at a disadvantage. What's your name?" Logan stepped forward, invading her personal space even more. He tilted his head back, mocking the surrender of his throat.
She refused to give ground, so they were almost touching. "Victoria Storm."
"Victoria—sounds like an old lady," Logan said. "Can I call you Vicky?"
"Do so and die." Victoria glared. She expected he got away with murder, thanks to an uncanny beauty that even a distinct lack of charm failed to eradicate.
Logan threw back his head and laughed, further exposing his throat. He oozed arrogance from every pore. "Are you always so defensive, Vic?"
Her fists clenched, and she reined in the impulse to pummel him. "Does that facile charm work with the little high school girls? Do they call you Wolverine and swoon when you walk by?"
"Ouch." He smirked. "You know, they do. Swoon. But I'm long out of high school and good ol' dad is to blame for my namesake. Is it my fault he's a secret comic book fan boy?"
"Our parents' literary tastes are never our fault." She felt his heat on her skin and longed to wrap her mouth around the thick column of his throat. He smelled delicious.
"The real question is whether it’s your fault that you're a bitter disappointment to your father?" She delivered the final cut with a cruel smile.
A facial tick in his jaw showed she had scored a direct hit. His glib tongue formed a quick reply. "It's always easier to slip under my father's bar than to try to go over it."
What exciting story are you working on next?
Currently, I have two works in progress. Hell on High Heels is a contemporary romance and the sequel to Learning to Fly. The story follows the relationship between a wealthy heiress with a shoe fetish and a cool CIA agent over the course of three-and-a-half-years, weaving together present day sequences with flashbacks. The second WIP is Battle Cry, which is a sequel to Hunger Moon. Victoria finally faces her past and returns to Arizona to avenge her dead lover.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Going back, I guess I came to the realization in 4th grade that I wanted to write. It's been a lifelong pursuit and there have been times when I was unable to write due to other constraints but it is the one thing I have always returned to. Without a doubt, I'd consider it my calling.
Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
No. I'm a full-time mom. I write during those in-between times when I can grab a few moments to myself. Some days, I don't have time to write at all but most days I manage an hour. On good days, I write for two or three hours, but it usually means that I sacrifice something else that I should (or would like) to be doing.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
My most interesting quirk is that some of my most pivotal scenes are the product of dreams. There are times when an important development in my story will enter my head as a result of a dream. If the idea really sticks, then I'll add it into the story. There have been a couple inconvenient moments when dream sequences altered the course of the story, but more often than not, those scenes prove to be helpful. Dreams have helped me get past writer's block when I'm stuck and even given me the ending of stories.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
As a child, I never wanted to grow up but I planned to become an author once I got too big to live at home any longer. My parents encouraged me to become something practical such as an accountant, and so I spent my first three years at Arizona State University majoring in accounting. As it happened, I despised accounting with a fiery passion. This unfortunate discovery resulted in a change of major and an extra year in college, but I eventually graduated with a Business degree. Since graduation, I've worked in a variety of different professions, including medical device documentation clerk, technical writer, and claims adjuster for auto insurance. I'm currently lucky enough to be doing the two things I always dreamed about doing: mom and author. Author mom. Those two titles cover a great many hats.
Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Yes! Thank you so much for dropping in today and sticking with me through the entire interview! And thank you, Lisa, for having me as your guest today.
Where to find Melissa on the Internet:
Hunger Moon Buy Links: