Yes, that is right. The interviews are back. I’ll be posting them every Thursday until I run out of
Who are you? What’s your genre/history/etc?
Melissa: Hi! I’m Melissa Mead, writer of mostly fantasy, occasional SF, and even more occasional horror (usually on a dare.)
What’s your Race score?
Melissa: Aw, you caught me near the end of the month! I generally sub a batch of stories in the first week of a month. Right now, I’d say 12 “serious” points. (There are also some novel queries to agents who I’m assuming aren’t interested at this point.)
When did you “get serious” about being a writer?
Melissa: My seriousness has increased in waves. First, in 1997, I got serious enough to submit for publication. (Which happened in 1999) In 2002, I went to my first con, met Real Writers, and started sending to more than one or two places, and tracking my subs. In 2007, I started querying agents. I have a feeling that it’s about time to decide whether to catch the next wave or not.
What are your goals with your writing?
Melissa: Right now, I’d love to 1. Qualify for active SFWA membership. (This could happen soon!) 2. Sell a story to Realms of Fantasy, and 3. Sell a print novel to a major publisher.
Where do you see your career in 5 years?
Melissa: Depends if I catch that next wave of commitment or not. If I dare, maybe you’ll see that novel in a bookstore somewhere.
Do you have a particular story or idea you are dying to write? Or, if you could write a tie-in to any established universe/franchise, what would it be?
Melissa: I have a novel that’s been lurking in my brain for a few years. I’m not dying to write it just yet, but it hasn’t gone away, either. It starts with Snow White, and gets odd from there. As far as tie-ins go, I don’t play well in other people’s yards. Although my husband and I once did come up with a Star Trek story involving Voyager, the doctor’s mobile emitter, and STTNG’s Moriarty that I would’ve loved to watch.
What are your hobbies outside writing?
Melissa: There are hobbies outside of writing? Oh, reading, of course. Going on picnics with my husband. Turning my not-very-impressive photographs into artwork.
What’s your writing process like?
Melissa: Get idea. Write like crazy. Realize I don’t know where it’s going. Stare at screen. Surf the Net. Get another idea. Write like crazy. Get stuck. Eventually, browse among the various stuck beginnings, realize where one is going, and FINISH something: hooray, at last, ‘bout darn time. Repeat.
What’s been toughest about your journey so far as a writer? How do you keep yourself going?
Melissa: Lack of self confidence. And sometimes I don’t. (See the last question.) But there are always more ideas. If I don’t let them out, who will?
Any tips or tricks you’ve figured out for improving your writing?
Melissa: Write flash. Drabbles, even. Write stories of 1,500-2,000 words, and distil them to under 1,000. It’s great practice for packing the most story into the least space.
And finally, got anything you want to pimp?
Melissa: May I pimp my writers group? We’re here: http://carpelibris.wordpress.com/
Thanks for letting me do this!