Thanks so much for agreeing to be with us today, Melissa!
What 5 things should readers know about you?
- I LOVE watching movies. I get so inspired and emotionally charged watching stories unfold on screen.
- Music revives my soul. I love to sing and when I’m not writing, I will often have music playing.
- I’m a little embarrassed about this one, but I sometimes act out my scenes during the writing process. I get so caught up in the scenes that I find myself saying the dialogue aloud, sometimes crying or shouting, depending on what my characters are doing. That’s why I always write in the privacy of my office. LOL 😀
- I did a two year writing course online and have spent hours reading books on writing well, story structure and character development. It’s the first time in my life I’ve absolutely loved studying.
- I have a very supportive, amazing family who have helped me pursue this dream of writing. I’m not sure I could have done this without their awesome cheerleading.
Tell us all about your main characters—who are they? What makes them tick? What one thing would they need to have with them if stranded on a desert isle?
My main character Caitlyn Davis is a very easy-going person who doesn’t like to ruffle any feathers. She’s kind of in the cool group by default as her best friend since Grade 1 made it in and dragged her along for the ride. She doesn’t mind it, but would probably be just as happy hanging out with other students at school. She just likes to cruise and keep everyone happy. As you can imagine, when she gets empowered with this new gift of sight it really throws her. She doesn’t want to be challenged or pushed out of her comfort zone, but it’s exactly what she needs to pull her out of a complacent life that will get her nowhere.
Caitlyn isn’t very materialistic so could probably survive quite happily on a desert island with just her next door neighbor, Eric…who she’s just a little bit in love with 🙂
Ah, young love. That’s all you need, then 😉
If your book were being cast as a movie, who would you want to play the main characters?
I’ve actually just put up a board on Pinterest with who I think my characters look like, if you want to check it out: http://www.pinterest.com/melissapearlg/true-colors/
To be honest, I don’t know who I’d cast as Caitlyn. Maybe, Olivia Thirlby. And for Eric, that’s crystal clear…Taylor Kitsch all the way 🙂
Pinterest–so addicting! I will head right over and check it out!
How long have you been writing, and what (or who) inspired you to start?
I’ve been writing seriously for about 12 years now. My friend told me I needed to stop just telling her about the stories in my head and actually write one down so she could read it. I thought, why not? I started and fell in love. I didn’t have time to properly pursue it until 6 years ago when I became a fulltime mother. During my son’s naptimes I got into it, studying the craft and writing furiously. After my second son was born nearly 4 years later, I finally decided to take the plunge and publish what I had been working on and I’m SO glad I did 🙂
Naptime! Used to be my favorite time of the day…though I wasn’t nearly as productive. I actually napped a lot too…
What do you like best about being a writer?
Getting caught up in a different world with these cool characters. I love walking the journey with them and feeling all the things they feel. My first full read through after I’ve finished my first draft is my favorite stage of a book’s journey. It’s so cool to see it all come together 🙂
What is the most challenging part of being a writer?
Marketing!! It’s so hard to get your work out there and get people excited about it without being annoying and in their face. I NEVER want to be one of those authors that promotes my stuff to death and puts everybody off. I do love the connections I make with readers. That part is AWESOME, but trying to get people to buy your work can be really hard.
And time consuming, I imagine…
What are you working on right now? What can readers look for from you in the next year?
I have just finished the 1st draft of a two book series that will be coming out in April & May. I’ve had SO much fun working on these two stories and I really love the cast of characters. It’s a YA romantic suspense. I am also branching out this year and starting my first NA contemporary romance series – The Songbird Series. I wanted to start writing about older characters, but I’m going to make it clean enough so that mature YA readers will still be able to enjoy it. Fever – the 1st book – will be coming out in June. And then I also have the rest of the Masks Series coming out later in the year. Yay!
Sounds great! You’ve been busy!
What authors and/or books have inspired you?
I love Anna Cruise. She writes great stories that I get lost in. I find her work really inspiring, same with Simone Elkeles and Sarah Alderson. Three brilliant writers who I really enjoy reading. I have also been inspired by Chris Vogler and Robert McKee. Both these men have written two of the best books on writing I have ever read.
Love Simone Elkeles! I have her latest calling my name right now…
What are you currently reading? What are your thoughts about it so far?
I am reading two books – How I sold 30000 ebooks by Martin Crosbie. It’s his publication journey as an indie author and I’m finding it really fascinating. It’s great to be reading text and thinking – oh cool. I do that already! I’ve also picked up a few really good pointers that I will be implementing in my next book.
The other book I’m reading is a light contemporary romance by A. O. Peart called Almost Matched. It’s pretty funny. I’m looking forward to seeing the romance bloom amidst the antics of this main character.
I’ve got Almost Matched on my TBR! Can’t wait to get to it myself 🙂
Please share a favorite scene from your books with our readers.
This is a scene from True Colors. Caitlyn has been empowered with the ability to see behind people’s masks and she’s reeling, unable to cope with the onslaught of truth she can suddenly see on people’s faces. She’s just found out that her boyfriend and best friend are not really as genuine as she used to think and she’s walking home feeling edgy and stressed…then she bumps into Eric, her secret crush and the guy who has never been over friendly to her.
I jolted at the friendly greeting and couldn’t help looking up.
Eric? Why was he talking to me? I stared at his friendly smile and waited…waited for it to slide away and be replaced with something else…like anger or frustration. But nothing. His smile stayed in place only transitioning slightly to a look of genuine concern.
“Hey, are you okay?” He pushed his surfboard into the sand and held it to his side.
“No.” I have no idea what compelled me to be honest. I think it was utter confusion at the friendly expression on his face.
“What’s up?” He tipped his head, his expression and voice matching perfectly.
I squinted up at him, my sore eyes and head making me unaware of his luscious form. Maybe I was imagining Chase and Stella’s reactions to me. Maybe I was just projecting.
No, wait a sec. That doesn’t work. If today was normal then Eric Shore would not be looking at me as if he were interested in what I had to say.
“You’re not an asshole.” I shook my head, rubbing at my aching temples.
“Um…” He frowned, but not a mean one, more like a confused, comical one. “Okay, uh thank you? I think.” His brows dipped together and he grinned. “How am I supposed to respond to that?”
“You’re not.” I waved my hand, feeling out of it. “It’s just…why are you being nice to me?”
His hazel eyes softened. “Because I’ve never seen you look so pale. Plus I’m a nice guy.” He shrugged, putting on a nonchalant air, but I saw straight through it. Was he blushing?
“No, you’re not a nice guy.” What did I just say? Where was this honesty coming from? “You’re always ignoring me.”
He pursed his lips and looked out to the ocean, wrinkling his nose. “That’s only because you’re always with your friends…and your friends seem to make a past time of drooling over me. I’m not a huge fan of being mentally undressed every time I step out my front door.”
I loved his answer and if I hadn’t been feeling so sick I would have smiled and no doubt giggled like his little sister always does. Instead I went for sarcasm and rolled my eyes. “It must suck being so good looking.”
“Well, you should know.” He grinned.
I don’t know how I remained standing. Was he flirting with me right now? My eyes must have been totally bugging out, because he kind of snickered and looked to the ground, trying to hide the fact he’d just blown his cover, but I saw it. He thought I was cute.
Eric Shore thought I was cute!
“This day could not get any weirder,” I mumbled.
His steady gazed pierced me, his concern obvious. I didn’t think he’d be that interested in me explaining it all and to be honest, I didn’t even know if I could. I had no idea what was going on. I was freaked out, tired, aching and confused. I just wanted to crawl into bed and forget this day had even started.
I turned to leave, not even bothering with a goodbye, which was so unlike me. My parents were all about the manners.
“Hey, Caitlyn.” Eric’s soft voice was consistent with his tender touch on my arm. “Seriously, if you do ever need someone to talk to, I’m here, okay?”
I could barely comprehend what he was saying, so I just nodded like an idiot. His smile was sweet and true as he tucked his surfboard under his arm. With a short wave, he headed back towards the ocean. Normally I would have stayed and watched his divine body hit the water, and admire the way his arms moved as he paddled out past the break. But today was not a normal day, so instead, I crossed my arms and headed home.
Thanks so much, Melissa! Everyone, keep reading–there’s more! True Colors releases on 2/16 with a Facebook Party, and all attendees can pick up a copy for just 99 cents! Oh–and there’s a giveaway below too!
Melissa Pearl was born in Auckland, New Zealand, but has spent much of her life abroad, living in countries such as Jordan, Cyprus and Pakistan… not to mention a nine month road trip around North America with her husband. “Best. Year. Ever!!” She now lives in China with her husband and two sons. She is a trained elementary teacher, but writing is her passion. Since becoming a full time mother she has had the opportunity to pursue this dream and her debut novel hit the internet in November 2011. Since then she has continued to produce a steady stream of books. Recently she signed with Evatopia Press and her first Evatopia book is coming out in February 2014 – True Colors, The Masks Series #1. She is very excited to be trying out new things this year while continuing to publish under her own name as well. She has six books planned for 2014 and is excited about writing each and every one of them.
“I am passionate about writing. It stirs a fire in my soul that I never knew I had. I want to be the best writer I can possibly be and transport my readers into another world where they can laugh, cry and fall in love.”
Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/melissapearlauthor
Amazon Author Page: amazon.com/author/melissapearl
Goodreads Author Page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5314516.Melissa_Pearl
Smashwords Author Page: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/melissapearl
Newsletter subscription: http://eepurl.com/p3g8v
Other Titles by Melissa Pearl:
The Time Spirit Trilogy
Golden Blood – Black Blood – Pure Blood
The Betwixt Series
Betwixt – Before – Beyond
The Mica & Lexy Series
Forbidden Waters (due for release: 2014)
The Masks Series
Book 2 (due for release: 2014)
Book 3 (due for release: 2014)
Book 4 (due for release: 2015)
I Know Lucy Series
I Know Lucy (due for release: 2014)
Set Me Free (due for release: 2014)
The Song Bird Series
Fever (due for release: June 2014)
Caitlyn Davis always cruised through life, not being the type to ruffle feathers or involve herself in high school drama…until a chance encounter with a strange, homeless man changes everything.
Suddenly, Caitlyn has the ability to see behind people’s masks. She discovers that her life isn’t as simple as she imagined and her high school is filled with secrets…some very sinister ones.
Unable to ignore her new gift, Caitlyn embarks on a mission to learn why one of her friends now appears terrified, but masks her fear behind a bright, smiling veneer. Will Caitlyn’s new ability lead her into hot water? Or is her new found vision a blessing that will expose her friends’ true colors?
Her quest will lead Caitlyn to lose friends, stand up for those in need, and even find love.
At PalisadesHigh School every face tells a story…
The True Colors Masquerade Ball is happening on February 16th to celebrate the release of True Colors. All party-goers will be entitled to purchase a copy of True Colors for only 99c. There will also be competitions, giveaways and guest appearances from other authors who will be unveiling their own secrets. So come and join in the fun and help us welcome True Colors into the world with style.