Thursday, September 20, 2012

Interview with YA paranormal/fantasy author Melissa Starr

Today, I get to introduce you to YA author Melissa Starr. She's currently touring her newest book Phoenix: Phoenix Elite Book 1. You can see the rest of her tour schedule here.

Melissa is giving away 3 e-copies of Phoenix. You'll find the details below.

Melissa Starr is a small town, country gal from deep in southern Oklahoma. Born in Altus and raised in Frederick, it only seemed right to put down roots there with her own family; a husband, two sons and two daughters. She resides and writes from her home where she frequently lets her inner child come out and play long enough to spin colorful words into novels.

Melissa is also a freelance photographer who enjoys camping and riding ATV’s when the weather permits and snapping a million and one pictures of her family and friends against much protest. *Smiles*

Please tell us about your current release. 
My current release, Phoenix is the first novel in a YA paranormal/romance series in which a teenage girl finds herself entangled in a world of danger and lies loosely based around Egyptian mythology and the mythological bird the Phoenix.

What inspired you to write this book? 
I'd have to say my inspiration just comes from my own idol writers. I fell in love with books in my genre as a child and equally love to write it. The idea for this particular series just happened to formulate one sunny afternoon while researching Egyptian mythology and cryptids ( I do this often thanks to my kids' imaginations and mine getting the better of us.)


A black, cloth was pulled over my head and I was flung effortlessly over someone’s shoulder in a fireman’s carry. I could tell my captor was jogging as I felt the jarring of his shoulder in my gut, I thought I might puke at any second and would’ve if I thought it’d stop my captor in his tracks, but I doubted it. I swallowed against the bile, juice and Pop Tart churning in my gut and tried to take a deep breath. He stopped abruptly and thrust me into the seat of a vehicle. Front or back seat, I wasn’t sure but the door closed behind me with a thud and that’s when I realized my hands were bound. I was so distracted and terrified I’d never even felt my captor bind me. Zip cord, I could feel the hard plastic cutting into my skin. I struggled to sit up but couldn’t see anything but the tiny fibers of my black hood. The light outside did very little in the way of penetrating the material.

“Where are you taking me?” I spat to whoever was listening. A slight shadow of movement caught my eye.

“In due time, Elora. You are in no danger.”

“I’ve been bound and abducted but I’m in no danger? I don’t know what tree you fell out of but where I come from it's called kidnapping and it carries a prison sentence in all fifty states!”

The man (I could tell my captor was a he, by his deep voice.) sighed and chuckled to himself as he made a left turn suddenly causing me to slide toward him. Okay, front seat. I tried to focus on how many turns he was making, left or right and how far he drove on each stretch of road but it was pointless, he was clearly trying to throw me off.

“Who are you?” I managed to sit up and turned my head in the direction I believed him to be seated.

“I am a senior at Frederick High and a Phoenix but you already knew that, didn’t you?”

“So, people do have reason to fear Phoenixes.” I breathed only a small sigh of relief that my abductor was a Phoenix. “Tell me, do all of the Phoenixes partake in the kidnapping of innocents?” My nerves were beginning to settle a bit now that I knew I wasn’t a victim of some deranged nutcase. At least he didn’t sound like a deranged nut. But I guessed insanity was no respecter of persons- was it?

“You are quite a handful aren’t you? I believe you were informed that you would be taking the Oath today, don’t play dumb Miss Gannon. You’ve been told who and what you are. And with that knowledge come secrets and the whereabouts of our headquarters will be kept secret from you until you’ve taken the vows.”

“It’s not like I was told I’d be kidnapped!” I growled. “And what happens if I refuse?”

“You will die.” A sick feeling washed over me and now I really did feel like vomiting. Maybe my captors really were deranged.

“Now the Phoenixes are involved in murder? Kidnapping and murder. Terrific, sucky birthday to this-”

“Don’t be stupid. We won’t kill you.” Memory of his voice surfaced but I couldn’t place-

“Who then?” I was afraid to find out. My breathing became shallow and I could feel myself beginning to hyperventilate.

“Are you okay?” The car slowed.

“No,” I croaked. “I feel sick. And it’s hard for me to breathe under this- stupid- THING!” I panted as I tried to slow my breathing. It wasn’t working. “It’s- not- everyday that a- person- finds out that they,” I took a deep breath, in, out, in, out, and began to gain control but now tears were welling in my eyes. “They must choose- to become a freak or die-” I finished. The dang dam broke and I began to sob.

What exciting story are you working on next? 
Ruhk's Rising; Phoenix Elite Book 2 is set to be released Feb-Mar 2013. And I will follow it with a third sometime later in the year. I am currently working on another series. The first book is a shape-shifter novel called Therian Cursed; Equinox Novel 1, which is also in the young adult paranormal/fantasy genre this time steeped in Irish legend.

When did you first consider yourself a writer? 
I wrote my first horror story sitting in Mrs. Barnett's 5th grade classroom. It was Halloween and we were asked to write a scary story. I don't recall what I wrote but that I was hooked and wanted to do it for the rest of my life. It was that or be a Marine biologist, lol. Two vastly different careers, I know and since I live nowhere near an ocean...I wrote short stories and poetry until high school which is when I started writing longer works. I think in high school was when I decided I was a writer.

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 way can I write full time! I find time between getting kids off to school, fixing lunch, picking kids up from school, fixing dinner and attending various sports activities all while trying to keep my house clean and orderly....*sigh*... maybe someday I can pay someone to do it for me so I can write full time, lol. :)

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk? 
I don't know about interesting but I definitely gotta have in order to write, so maybe it's more like a vice. Caffeine and music. Gots to have my soda and my rock music. Love me some Bullet, Godsmack, Staind, Art of Dying, Seether and a host of other.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? 
A writer, or a Marine Biologist. Although, I was fascinated for some reason by blood and could've easily been a Phlebotomist.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers? 
Just work hard and strive to reach your goals. No matter what anyone tells you, you are capable of achieving your dreams. Be great.

Thanks, Melissa. Happy touring! Readers, don't forget to enter below for a chance to win 1 of 3 e-copies of Phoenix.

Ways to connect with Melissa include:


Melissa Starr said...

Thank for having me, Lisa!!!
Melissa Starr

Lisa Haselton said...

It's a pleasure, Melissa :)

Unknown said...

Thank you for hosting Melissa :)