Today’s guest is Mechelle Morrison. She’s the author of the mature young adult novel, Painted Boots.
During her tour, Mechelle will be awarding a $25 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter and a unique, hand-crafted bookmark will be awarded to one randomly drawn commenter at each stop. If you’d like to be entered for a chance to win, leave a comment below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit other tour stops and leave comments there, too.
As a child, Mechelle filled her journals with someday-my-prince-will-come fantasies. Then one day her prince arrived, driving a silver Tundra, and they adopted a fine daughter. Life got busy—work, family, daily cooking—but she still spends her evenings giving voice to the stories inside her head. Only now, instead of locking them away, she publishes them.
Welcome, Mechelle. Please tell us about your current release.
Painted Boots is all about what happens to Aspen Brand when she moves to Wyoming after her mama dies--and there meets the boy of her dreams.
What inspired you to write this book?
Two things: my grandmother’s life in Wyoming and Hunger Games. A weird combo, I’ll grant you. As I wrote Painted Boots I was incensed over how the theme of killing is so prevalent in dystopian stories, and in particular the theme of kids killing kids. I’ll digress here and grant that historically, killing-as-entertainment is nothing new; the Romans did it, medieval cultures did it, just to name a few. We like to think we’re past it but we’re not … we watch killing-as-entertainment all the time in movies and TV shows. And I’d argue many among us are not past it in real life: I remember my parents freaking out over how many ‘volunteers’ showed up the day the Utah State Prison executed [by shooting] a prisoner some years back. The volunteers were hoping to be able to shoot the guy. Creepy.
Long-story-short I took the idea of killing-as-entertainment and let it be what it is: upsetting and horrible. In Painted Boots, Aspen’s love story is sweet, but as the stakes for her life get higher, her relationship is intensified by what she faces to keep it.
From Chapter Eight
A stray vampire wanders by and Dad asks, “You didn’t know to dress up today?”
“I am dressed up.” I smooth the black warmth of the wool dress I’m wearing. It’s a simple cut: straight and tight as Saran Wrap. The sleeves rest at my knuckles, the hem three inches below my knees, the deep scoop neck a perfect showcase for Mom’s looping strands of beads. I even painted the heels of my boots black, just for the occasion. It helps, I think, that I’ve been crying. My face is washed of color. My eyes feel too big.
“Lily Munster?” he asks.
“An old TV character.” Dad raises his eyebrows. “It was a guess.”
“I’m invisible,” I say. “You know. Nothing to draw attention. Get it?”
What exciting story are you working on next?
My next book is called Being. I love this story … it’s fabulous! It’s a different kind of ghost story about memory, the universe, and just how messed up things can get when love lasts forever.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Hmmm. For me, writing is ‘painting with words’. I’ve always viewed it that way, and I write for two hours at least, every day, in hopes of perfecting my craft. But I don’t know that I consider myself a ‘writer’ … yet.
Do you write full-time?
What do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
During the day I’m a graphic designer, a mom, a wife. I write in the evening and on weekends.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
When it comes to writing everything about me has to be comfortable … jammies, slippers, my favorite throw-blanket, a cup of tea, a quiet house.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Happy! I was an intense kid, and a perfectionist. I had to learn that happiness has lots of flavors, and each one is worth enjoying.
Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
First, thanks for hosting Painted Boots! And to the readers, thanks for taking the time to find out a bit more about my work.
Thanks, Mechelle. Readers, don't forget to leave a comment if you'd like a chance to win either of the giveaways!