04 June 2013

Armored Hearts Tour: Interview w/Pauline Creeden and Melissa Turner Lee

Hey guys I know I haven't posted in forever but I definitely have been doing some reading so be expecting alot of book reviews soon.  I have started my comeback with a interview with the authors of the book Armored Hearts by Pauline Creeden and Melissa Turner Lee. Check it out below:

1. Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
Pauline: Both Melissa and I started as self-published authors. When I started a small press to help other authors gain recognition and put my publicizing talents to work, Missy became my first signed author. I had already learned the ins and outs of the publishing business, presently I’m working on greater distribution.

2.      Where do you get your ideas
Pauline: For my fiction, I tend to write better when I have a concept, a goal or a writing prompt. It’s the situation or the problem that intrigues me. Then I create a character who must deal with this problem.
Melissa: My stories always start with characters. They show up uninvited and I ask them who they are and what is going on. I’m nosy when it comes to people taking up residence in my head.

3.      What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
Pauline: In Armored Hearts, I really have a penchant for the beginning, when Gareth is only twelve. We structured and restructured that bit over and over again. So it became my favorite part for writing. Reading-wise, I love the balcony/proposal scene – but Melissa wrote that, so I can’t stake a claim to it.
Melissa: I’m no good with favorites. But if I had to pick, maybe the opening to the honeymoon where poor Gareth wants to be mad and resist, but he finds Jessamine’s ideas too interesting.

4.      How did you come up with the title?   
Melissa: Pauline and I had a brainstorming session where we through out all the words that reminded us of romance and steampunk and the story itself. We settled on Armored Hearts, because we felt that it helped sum up the theme of our story.

5.      Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult 
Pauline: Stephen King was my favorite author when I was in high school, and though I stopped reading his books after college, I still prefer a dark, character based tale. But when I became a writer, I kept had this fear niggling in the back of my mind that I was doing it wrong. I didn’t start with outlines. I didn’t plot it out. And I never new the ending when I started. It stifled me, and I couldn’t ever finish anything. Then I read Stephen King’s On Writing and found out that he writes in exactly the same manner as I did. My eyes were opened. I confidently strode to my laptop, and now have 4 finished novels and 3 that are more than half finished. If only I could get rid of my fear of editing…
Melissa: Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With The Wind. The story has such richness. There are no flat characters. Even Scarlett’s mom, whom Scarlett always viewed as a saint had a back story and skeletons. Not everyone’s storyline in it ties up happily and even the horrible characters like Scarlett and Rhett have qualities that make you pull for them or want to slap them as the story continues. It always felt like a real world to me, like if I crawled inside that book to live, I would discover more world beyond what was written. I try to create worlds like that.

6.      When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?
Pauline: When I was about nine, my father bought a typewriter for Christmas, because that was what I wanted. In elementary school I remember taking an aptitude test, and arranging my answers so that it would turn out that I should become a writer. In my college courses, we concentrated on short stories, but I’d always wanted to write a novel. I attempted to write at least 20 novels over the course of my life, but I never got past a chapter or two of any until 2011. In 2011, I had a miscarriage that led me to reevaluate my priorities and what I wanted to do with my life – and then I read On Writing. I broke through and finished my first novel in November 2011 – Catalyst – a story about a demon riddled space ship in the sky - which will be published later this year with Redeeming Tree Publishing.
Melissa: I wrote my first novel in 2008. I’d studied journalism in college and took creative writing and fiction writing as my electives, but I never could write a full story. I married, became a mom of 3 little boys in a span of 5 years and felt buried under laundry and diapers. My husband sent me off to have a day to myself (He is a wonderful man.) I left my house not knowing where to go for “me time”. I remembered that I used to like to read so I ended up at Barnes and Nobles, purchased a very large coffee (sleep deprived from 3 kids, 2 of which were still in diapers) and picked up a book I’d heard about called Twilight. I know people either hate that book or love it, but that day as I read it, I remembered that I used to be 17 , noticing that boy and wondering if he noticed me. I also remembered that I used to want to write books. I remembered me that day and that I needed care too. So even if Twilight is not the best example of writing, it will always be special to me. I started writing after reading the whole series and have completed 4 novels total.

7.      What do you do when you are not writing?  
Pauline:  My day job – I’m a horse trainer and have several state champion hunters and jumpers to my name. I teach riding lessons. The work around a farm is never done. I also read. A lot. And reviewing books is also one of my favorite hobbies.
Melissa: Laundry. Make little boys stop hitting each other and read as I find time.

8.      Will you have a new book coming out soon?  

Pauline:  Together we have another project besides AH2 – a Romantic/Suspense/Mystery set in Alaska. We’ve only had brainstorm sessions so far, so it will be a while before it comes to readable fruition.  This year, that little novel I mentioned above, Catalyst, will be released, and Sanctuary – Falling Skies meets The Walking Dead – which will be released through AltWit Press.

Melissa: I’m working on a time travel romance called Forever Layla with the bulk of it set in the 90s. 


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