Friday, 6 April 2012

Crave Blog Tour - Q&A with Melissa Darnell

Today I'm excited to welcome Melissa Darnell to the blog. She has kindly agreed to answer some of my questions to celebrate the release of her debut novel. Crave is the first book in Melissa's paranormal romance series and is full of forbidden love and family secrets. I'll be posting my review later so make sure you come back to read it.

Bloodlust. Magic.
Forbidden secrets.

Savannah Colbert is back at Taylorsville High after a life-threatening illness, feeling more like a freak than ever. People are looking at her differently, staring and giggling. Except golden boy Tristan Coleman, who suddenly can't keep away. Savannah's falling under his spell.

But the mysterious Clann, a group of witches with unknowable power and an unbreakable bond to Tristan, are watching.

Star-crossed by history, Savannah and Tristan have been forbidden since birth. Their love could endanger everyone and everything they know. But the craving has started and can't be denied...

The Clann Series:
Crave
Covet (Release date TBC)
Consume (Release date TBC)

Visit Melissa Darnell's website or The Clann website for more information.

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Now I'd like you all to give a warm welcome to Melissa! Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions!

Melissa Darnell

1. As a debut author how do you feel seeing your hard work out in the hands of the readers? Are you nervous or excited about the reactions?

At first I was totally nervous about readers' reactions, and I read every single review. The negative reviews killed me, and the positive reviews sent me soaring. Then I began to compare those reviews and realized the exact same things that one person loves about Crave another reader hates. One reviewer will say its pacing is absolutely perfect, and another will say it was too slow or too fast. I've also seen readers of other books say they hated a novel at first, then reread it and loved it. I've come to the conclusion that you really can't try to please everyone or even half the people out there, because whether a reader enjoys a story is based on so many things...

-- the reader's mindset and personal issues going in their life at the moment they read your story (which will affect whether they want a story filled primarily with external action or internal conflict, as well as whether they're wanting romance, suspense, action, horror, etc., and even down to whether they agree with the characters' opinions and decisions)

-- the reader's expectations for that story, which can sometimes be set too high or too low by others' reviews of that novel, publisher advertising, and even the cover design

-- whether the reader has time to read a story in one sitting or only in interrupted short bursts

As an author, I can't control any of that. All I can do is write the best story I can, stay committed to constantly learning by reading nonfiction books about writing as well as fiction by a variety of other authors in lots of different genres, and listen to the more objective advice and perspective of my editors and my agent.

2. Can you tell us about the series in your own words? What is the main thing you want readers to take from the story?

Tristan and Savannah's story is a love story, but it's also more than that. It's about how one couple tries to overcome prejudices and hatred and fear to be together, and how the chances they take end up changing the paranormal worlds that they know.

Each book in the series has its own theme or takeaway, which then work together to tell an overarching lesson. Book #1 Crave's focus is about breaking the rules. Book #2 Covet is about following the rules. And Book #3 Consume is about growing up and learning how to tell which rules should be followed or broken and why.

But if readers get nothing more than the following from Crave, I'll be thrilled...

Quit worrying about what others think! Your peers are just as lost as you are, regardless of age or money or how well they make everyone think they're doing. Find something nondestructive to do with your life that makes you happy, hopefully without hurting others, and go for it! Savannah couldn't be a dancer on the dance team, but she found another way to keep that love in her life without hurting others. (And yes, I'm still working on this one personally. That doesn't make me a hypocrite! We're ALL works in progress!)

Also, don't ever feel alone. No matter what you're going through in life, it is a guarantee that somebody somewhere on this planet has or is going through the same thing. Even Savannah, caught between two paranormal worlds, isn't as alone as she thinks (something she'll discover for herself eventually).

3. I understand that the series will be a trilogy, how far have you plotted the story? Do you know the ending?

I have already written book #2 Covet, plotted book #3 Consume, and am now writing Consume's rough draft. So the ending for Tristan and Savannah is all planned out.

4. You tell the story from both Savannah and Tristan's points of view, did you find one of them easier to write than the other?

Not really. I enjoy writing from both their points of view because they have such different takes on the same issues.

5. Did any of the characters surprise you by taking the story in a direction you weren't expecting it to go in?

Emily surprised me big time in Covet by totally throwing a twist into the plot that I had not expected while writing Crave. This plot twist ends up being key to Covet and ultimately the ending of the entire saga for Tristan and Savannah.

Please feel free to visit my sites at www.TheClannSeries and www.melissadarnell.com to learn even more about the history of Savannah's race of vampires and the Clann, listen to each Clann Series book's playlist online, contact me with any additional questions you or your readers may have, and much more!

And a HUGE thank you for featuring me on your blog today!

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Thanks so much Melissa, I really enjoyed Crave and am looking forward to reading Covet and Consume. You've made me very curious about what Emily has been getting up to and how that has changed things for Tristan and Savannah!

Don't forget to visit the other stops on the Crave blog tour:

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