Today I spoke with a woman who has the goal of ten books in five years. (I need to learn her secret!) Meet Claudette Melanson…
IDI – Let’s begin with what’s going on in your world currently. What are you working on now? Can we get a peek, an excerpt maybe to tickle our taste buds?
CM – Right now, I’m working on the third book in the Maura DeLuca trilogy, Riptide. This book starts out with Maura being left all alone after making some very bad choices. Please see an excerpt below:
I could see Aldiva’s cold fire dampen a bit with the arrival of this newcomer, who made her way over to me so she could lift my chin with her cool finger gauging my looks with that confident gaze of hers. “There,” she traced the fading wound with her other fingertip, “you’re almost as good as new. My, my, my but you do favor Maxwell.” She smiled at me—a reaction I wasn’t expecting—and the terror permeating my bones eased off just a touch.
She turned away from me and wagged her finger at Aldiva. “No, no, no, Aldiva. You will bring no harm to Maura.” The Romanian flair to their words still lingered in all three. It made me feel like maybe I wasn’t in Vancouver anymore, my head was so full of light and fluffy already…far too much excitement of a brand I did not enjoy. A voice that was becoming all too familiar these days whispered a reminder that I deserved any malice that came my way.
“Come, come, Maura.” I couldn’t help but shiver at the cold touch of the hands that lifted me so easily from my puddled state upon the uneven shoreline. Millicent appeared to be a friend; I hoped she wouldn’t take offense.
“I suppose Elias is right behind you?” Gregor huffed.
“Unlike you, dear Gregor, I am not so easily followed.” She chuckled darkly once more. Gregor simply rolled his eyes. Even if she hadn’t defended me against Aldiva, I found Millicent impossible not to like, immediately.
IDI – You’ve received word that you will be included in a new book of original quotes on writing to be published next year. What quote do you contribute?
CM – “The world grows weary of ‘I will,” but is incited by “I did.”
IDI – Do you have a blog and if so, what types of posts would a visitor find on it?
CM – I do indeed. My blog is a mix of things. One time you might find an interview with my very talented cover illustrator, another, a post about how I used diet to (mostly) cure my Rheumatoid Arthritis. I like to give me readers a glimpse into who I am the whole way around, so I don’t limit my topics. My last post, at this time, included a couple of Twitter tips for authors and other Twitter users. I like to help other authors out, so as I go along and learn, I’m sure there will be more posts about tips and tricks with all aspects of being an author.
IDI – I’ll have to check that out.
Everyone has visions of where they see themselves in the future, be it a year or five. Where do you see yourself in five years? Where did you see yourself five years ago? Did you make it there?
CM – In five years I hope to have at least another ten books published. That’s two a year, and I feel it’s a realistic goal. Right now, I’m trying to pick up more editing jobs, so I can work from home and gain more writing time, at the same time. My big goal is to make a living income as an author, and I’ll work toward that with everything I’ve got! I also plan to cure my RA entirely by continuing to adjust my diet. I have also set my eyes on moving back out west. I used to live in Vancouver and miss it far more than I thought I would. Ontario hasn’t been a good place for me for several reasons and I’d love more than anything to give Whitehorse in the Yukon Territories a try. I am definitely planning to move there in the next few years. Would be a stellar place to write
Five years ago, I was working on Rising Tide (it took me six years to finish it!) and hoping to get it published. I was offered a publishing contract, but didn’t like the term and lack of freedom concerning MY own work. I was the one who made it. I knew how I wanted it to come out from cover to content. I decided to go Indie all the way and am still very happy to have made that decision. I wish I could have written more books than I have now in those years, but I wrote Undertow in nine months, so I’m getting faster. Quality, however, is my priority over speed—and always will be.
IDI – What do you do when you’re not writing?
CM – I have four adorable little bunny babies. They get a lot of play time when I’m not writing. I love to get down in the floor with them and we toss around all the wooden chew toys. On a day off from writing or editing from other authors, I love to go to Canada’s Wonderland—I’m a coaster addict! We have one of the five giga coasters in the world; that’s one with a top height of 300 – 399 feet, which runs a full course. I almost chickened out the first time, but was so glad I rode it. Huge thrill! I love horror movies and reads and another favorite activity is going to the Halloween Haunt at Wonderland or Halloween Horror Nights at Universal in Florida.
IDI – Can you tell us three interesting things about you that you’re sure we don’t already know?
CM – In college, I was the biggest workaholic, both in the area of study and service. I was president of every club in the English department and in my senior year, the English department gave me an award in my name. The Claudette [Melanson] Senior Service Award. Now, that made me cry
My English honor fraternity beat out all the social fraternities one year at the alcohol-free mix off and took the huge trophy for Best of Show. Our them was Death’s Angst—death was angry because no one was driving drunk and could be claimed by him that night. We had a graveyard with names on the stones like Danny Drovedrunk and wrote a poem that we hung up, which the school kept because it captured the idea of the event so well.
I used to waitress at a restaurant called The Italian Oven in college. We had to write our name upside down (from our vantage point) in crayon when we went up to the table. Do you have any idea how hard it is to learn how to write CLAUDETTE upside down???
IDI – Hands down, bar none, all-time favorite book.
CM – Twilight. And I know some people are so critical of that book. For some reason it spoke to me like no other. I love the way Stephenie Meyer didn’t have to rely on sex or violence to sell books. What appealed to so many people, I think, whether they realized it or not was the simplicity of that relationship. Edward didn’t want anything from Bella. He just wanted to be with her and to protect her. She didn’t need to sleep with him or have to go to extraordinary measures to please him. I thought it was a great love story and it captivated me so much, it was painful to put it down. I have no idea why so many people hated on it, especially some who loved it to begin with. But I’m proud to say I love those books…and there’s a reason they sold so many copies and spawned five movies J.
IDI – Tell us, what is an ordinary day in the life of Claudette (fill in your name)
CM – I’m always up at 6:00 AM or before. I can never sleep in. The first thing I do is cut up a banana for my four bun babies so they won’t riot and murder me. If it’s a Monday-Thursday, I’ll check some of my social media for an hour or so before going to my day job. There, I do AP/AR from 9:00 – 3:00. Once I get home I spend my evenings connecting with readers and authors on social media a touch before editing for other authors until it’s time for bed. I usually read for an hour or so at that time.
If it’s a weekend, that is when I will write along with doing the other two things. My life is all about books in every spare moment I have in one form or another, but I love it.
IDI – Do you have any events coming up we should know about?
CM – Oh, life is so busy right now! Both Rising Tide and Undertow are being made into audiobooks at the moment by Beacon Audio Books. The narrator is reading away as I type!
On September 4th, I’ll have my first radio interview with the Writestream Radio Network with S. Evan Townsend on the Speculative Fiction Cantina, which airs Friday nights at 6:00 EST. More details can be found on their website: http://writestreamradio.com/
September 17-20, I will be attending the InD’Scribe Writer’s Conference in Palm Springs, California. I will be sharing a signing table there with author, J.C. Brennan, as well as attending some of the exciting author sessions. Rising Tide is a finalist this year for a RONE Award for the category YA Paranormal. I hope to be taking home the trophy for the category overall, but will be extremely happy to display the finalist trophy, no matter what happens. More information on the conference can be found here: http://www.indscribe.com/.
IDI – You have an exciting giveaway coming up. Can you tell us more about it?
CM – I love being an author, but at one time I wanted to be an English Teacher. I studied at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and earned my Secondary English Education degree, along with a Masters in Literature.
My student teaching assignment was completed at Altoona Area High School in Altoona, PA. I was disappointed with the reading material for my classes. It was a book that wasn’t relevant to their lives or the issues they faced. I believe reading should be an adventure and should be enjoyable. I want to give back and would like to do so for the classroom, its students and its teachers, who go too often unnoticed.
I’m announcing a contest open to all Middle and High school, as well as colleges in the US and Canada. I will donate signed copies of my bestselling YA Paranormal novel, Rising Tide, to a classroom and will also come to pay a visit so we can discuss books and writing.
Contest is open to teachers, students, and parents–all can feel free to enter using the Rafflecopter. There are many entry options and one winner will be drawn at random. Contest runs August 16 – February 29, 2016. Date of visit and material covered during is to be determined by the classroom teacher. Entries can be made here: http://bit.ly/1Pt4Ez2
IDI – That sounds exciting. I wish you the best with it and you’ll have to come back and let us know the outcome. Thank you for appearing with me Claudette.
CM – Thanks for having me.
Connect with Claudette!