The latest book in the Love and Light series is Samskaras, Book 2. This one was harder to write than the first because I'm weaving together the threads that will lead to the inevitable conclusion in Book 3, Samadhi, schedule to release this November 2013. The Love and Light series is really about finding yourself and trusting your purpose, even if you don't know what that is. The main characters, Loti and Wolf, are brought together by karma or fate or maybe just circumstances, but its just the beginning. These two have a lot to learn about who they really are and what fate has in store for them. Loti is what I call a "Light Walker", possibly the ultimate energetic healer on the planet--or in the universe. Wolf, a vampire, is her bond mate. He's 500 years old and been searching for proof that the Light Walker legends were based on truth, and he found it in Loti. In the first book, they come up against an ancient, insane vampire who has also been searching for a Light Walker. In this book the battle continues in new, strange ways. And the secrets of the past start to unravel, revealing strange truths that neither Loti nor Wolf are quite ready to deal with.
Where did the idea of your (latest) book come from?
Mostly from the idea that soulmates exist and that there maybe more ways to love than our culture allows. Also, I play with the concept of karma and reincarnation in this series because I've always been fascinated by the possibility that life is a great wheel that circles back on us. And that the people we bond with are somehow part of our cosmic family.
Who and what inspires you to write your books?
My family, my friends. Love. Oh, and light..
Each author has her own fascinating journey. How did you begin writing?
When I was six years old, my first grade teacher gave me my first writing assignment. I was delighted by the idea that I could write my own stories. You see, I was already in love with books by then. My mom read to me every night and, to her exasperation, I followed her around the house toting my favorites begging her to read them, again, and again...and again. lol
And when I got my paper back from my teacher, she had written on it, "Some day, you're going to be a writer." That was it. I was over the moon and never looked back. However, it took my grandmother passing away early 2012 to kick my butt in gear and decide to self-publish. Life is short and we have no guarantees about tomorrow, do we? So here I am! Two books and one short story later and I have tons of ideas and a publishing schedule and great friends who cheer me on.
What has been the most pleasant surprise about being a writer? How about the most unexpected downside?
Afternoon naps! Ahahahhaha. But seriously, I think its the people I've been meeting along the way. I thought life as a professional writer was going to be a bit lonely and that I'd have to make an effort to get out and stay in touch. Nope. I have made amazing writer friends and even a few *gulp* fan-like friends.
Do you have any particular writing routines or rituals?
It's summer now, so I've had to change my routine a little. The kids are home from school and my husband has taken a few months off before he launches a new career as a consultant. Ummm, yeah. It's a busy household and I find it easy to get up before them--they are in sleep-in mode and my body just can't sleep past 7 am, even with a few glasses of wine in me the night before. So I get up when the house is quiet and go out to my yurt*, where I meditate, practice a little yoga and then grab some coffee and my laptop and start writing. I write until around 11 am, when the rest of the family is anxious to go somewhere and do something. No, there's nothing magical about my routine, but its comforting and works for all of us. I get my writing time and the family gets mom-time. lol ;-)
*a yurt is a round tent-like building fashioned after the Mongolian homes
Do you write in order?
Mostly. However, I will sometimes get inspirations for certain scenes I know are coming. Its usually midnight and I have to boot up the lappy and type furiously for a couple of hours. Later, when my writing catches up with that part of the story, I will usually have to rework the scene to make it fit just right. Is it bad to say these inspirations are usually love scenes? Sometimes crucial turning point scenes, but, um, no. Mostly sex scenes. *giggles nervously*
What is on your playlist when you write?
I am laughing out loud as I type this. This is a joke amongst my friends. I swear my life has a playlist going. Right now? The World Spins Madly On by the Weepies, Like It or Not by Madonna, Low Light Buddy of Mine by Iron & Wine, and Something I can Never Have by NIN. Shall I go on..and on...and on?
Favorite writing snack?
Sartori's BellaVitano Raspberry Merlot cheese with a glass of Petite Petit. Yum.
Where do you like to write?
Nowadays, in my yurt.
Do you have any advice for authors wanting to publish?
I know it's a personal thing, whether you self-publish or go the traditional route. I oscillated before my grandmother died. Do what your heart tells you to do, but be patient if you choose the traditional publishing venue.
As far as writing advice, be honest. Be yourself. Write every day, even if its just a journal entry. Fine tune your craft, read a ton and trust yourself. Close the door to your writing den, be willing to strip away the social veils and write from your gut. Learn the writing "rules", the grammar, and the punctuation so when you need to break the rules to tell the story, there will be no doubt that it was your choice, not ignorance.
Are you currently working on anything else?
Ahahahhahahaha!! Oh, you were serious? Yes, I am working on book 3, a new novella series for next year, a contemporary romance and a historical one. Oh, and a short story I plan on giving away free at Christmas.
Who is your favorite character and why?
Oh, man, this is hard. I am in love with all my characters right now. Christian is probably my favorite favorite at the moment, as I am working on his story in book 3. You'll find out why he is the way he is, how he came to be tangled up with Modore and maybe even fall in love with him.Favorite book of all time?
I think breakfast says a lot about a person. What is your perfect breakfast?
I have two: My banana-blueberry-coconut protein bread with almond butter OR cottage cheese with blueberries, crushed almonds, oat bran, and cinnamon. And the most important part: Island Coconut Coffee with cream.
Stalk Melissa here: