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Archive for the ‘Meljean Brook’ Category

dn150.jpg***Edited to add… I’ll draw a winner either Tuesday evening or Wednesday morning. Winner’s name will be posted here.***


Meljean Brook
is joining us today!

And she brought a prize to give away. One lucky commenter is going to win an ARC of Demon Night. Details on how to win down below… but make sure you read the contest disclaimer here on the blog. Remember, we want to keep it fair for all.

And onto Meljean’s guestblog…

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Thank you so much to Shiloh and the rest of the Vamps & Scamps crew for inviting me to talk with you all today! It’s been one of those crazy months, with my little girl coming down with one cold, fever, and earache after another, and needing Mommy to snuggle with her. Which means that most of my writing is getting done late at night (and not much sleeping!) because I can’t manage a laptop and a little girl at the same time. But the upside is that I can read most of my research sources while she’s cuddling with me, and sneak in a category romance now and then.

There’s been some discussion of research and romances around the web lately, but this isn’t meant to bring up that debate. What struck me while I was stuck on the sofa (aside from realizing how easy kids pick up bugs from one another, and at one point: “oh my God, it’s December?!”) was how much I’ve actually picked up because of romances.

One of those categories I re-read was an early-80s Harlequin Presents. I’m not sure if anyone else remembers these, but the Presents line used to have an “Extra” at the end, which was usually a page-long note about something within the story: an item of history, a bit of trivia regarding the setting (usually an exotic one), a quick biography of an historical figure or artist.

I loved those Extras, and many times they sent me to the library, to look up and research more about the topic.

Now, it’s easier to hop online and look up something that catches my interest while I’m reading–it might only be a passing mention of a minor historical event, but chances are that if I don’t have any idea about it, I’ll go look it up when I’ve finished the book.

Over the years, I’ve picked up a lot this way–researching some items deeper than others. And when I’m writing, the same things crop up. For DEMON ANGEL, looking through the history of Rome, I ran across the fate of Dionysus I of Syracuse, who–after some poetry he’d written won an award–engaged in a “debauch that proved fatal” (from Wikipedia).

Now, that wasn’t something that ever showed up in the novel, but just the fun kind of information that I run across and file away for everyday conversations. For DEMON NIGHT, a throwaway description in the prologue like “He’d seen rolls of barbed wire less tightly wound” requires checking that in 1886, barbed wire had a) been invented and b) came in rolls — but it was also something that I was already pretty sure of before I wrote it (thanks to plenty of westerns and western historical romances).

So I’m wondering: what have you learned from romances, and have you been driven to find out them in more depth? Do you have a favorite bit of trivia, something that you’ve used at party conversation, or have you run across anything that surprised you?

And if you’re a writer, do you have any fun items from your research to share that might never have made it into your novels?

Everyone who comments has a chance to win an ARC of my February release, DEMON NIGHT. It’s the third single-title in my Guardians series, and it features Drifter, an outlaw from the Old West turned Guardian–and Charlie, who has been through her own personal hell, worked her way back, and is completely unprepared for the vampires who are determined to transform her.

~From Meljean Brook

http://meljeanbrook.com/

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It’s me (shiloh) again. All you have to do is join in the discussion below. From those who join in, I’ll draw one name to win the ARC.

Remember, I draw by the IP addy and every IP gets tossed into the hat one time.

Discuss as much as you like, wander off topic…and make sure you admire the cover. It’s a good one.

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V&S: Other than paranormal, do you see yourself writing for other genres? Do you enjoy reading other genres?

Meljean: I don’t think that I could write anything that didn’t have an element of the weird in it. The closest I could come in romance is — maybe — a gothic historical romance; straight contemporary isn’t for me, but I think the tone of a gothic might be fun. And I’ve been dying to try my hand a steampunk-flavored romance for a while.

And I’m a huge reader in and outside of romance — and I’ll go for any kind of sub-genre in romance, from suspense to a fluffy historical. It all depends on my mood.

V&S: When did your fascination for superheroes begin?

Meljean: Oh, wow — when I was three or four, easily. I blame Saturday morning cartoons, and shows like Superfriends, Spider-man and friends, He-Man and Voltron. It’s always been there — so I think it was natural that I lean toward writing and reading stories containing characters with super-human powers, from vampires to witches to angels.

And what has always interested me in those stories is the human core of it — not necessarily the “super” part (which is great fun), but the part that anchors them and makes them relatable to a reader, and someone that we want to cheer on. Whatever it is that, despite the superpowers, still makes them human at the core … and that plays really well in romance.

V&S: What won’t we see in a Meljean Brook story?

Meljean: This is a tough one — I’m willing to do just about anything if it fits the story. I probably won’t ever have the hero/heroine sleep with another character during the course of the book. I probably won’t have many big misunderstandings, just because my characters seem to talk a lot. I won’t ever NOT have a happily-ever-after (happy endings are just wired into me, like superheroes.)

V&S: Who are some of your other favorite authors to read?

Meljean: Oh, wow. I wish I had time to read. I have a huge to-be-read pile on my shelves right now, and it’s full of names like J.D. Robb, Marjorie Liu (superheroes!), Linnea Sinclair, Lora Leigh, your Hunters: Heart and Soul. Lots of historicals, from Kleypas to Carla Kelly. Other names that I really love are Anne Bishop and Jacqueline Carey, Neil Gaiman … okay, this is becoming a huge paragraph.

If it’s dark and sexy, I probably want to read it.

V&S: Do you have a set schedule for writing or do you just go with the flow?

Meljean: I have a set schedule, but my brain doesn’t always follow it. There are times in the day when I sit down to write and not much comes out; then I’ll be trying to fix dinner or something, and I’m like: oh my gosh, that’s what I was going for! and then have a few pages come out smooth.

I burn dinner a lot.

V&S: What was the inspiration behind the Guardian series?

Meljean: There were a couple of different inspirations that led directly into the Guardians — one was Batman and Wonder Woman. I’d been writing fanfiction about them, but was growing tired of using other characters, so I was thinking of writing an alternate-universe fic where I flipped their roles around.

I’d also read Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman to death; I love that book, but my favorite part was the interaction between the demon and the angel. It wasn’t a romance, but it was a strange sort of friendship that really intrigued me.

And I was also taking classes on Milton, and so that just got really deep in my head. Taken all together, it just kind of mixed with some ideas that I’d been playing with for a while, and came out as a really fun, kick-ass demon heroine, and kind of a long-suffering fallen angel hero who just can’t help himself around her. But the world was bigger than they were, and gave me lots of stuff to play with — I’ll be playing for a while, I hope. I’m just having way too much fun.

V&S: Who is your favorite superhero?

Meljean: Wonder Woman — it’s the lasso.

V&S: Thanks for joining us, Meljean.
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You can visit Meljean’s site here. I can tell you from experience, she’s got some yummy Guardians.

If you have other questions for Meljean, please ask away… she’ll drop by the blog when she can!

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Updated to add….
Meljean has offered to do a book giveaway. All you need to do to win is drop a comment below. You can comment as much as you want, HOWEVER your name(s) will only be entered once into the drawing for the prize.
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UPDATED again to add… the contest part of the comments has closed. A winner’s name to be posted shortly. Feel free to continue asking or commenting… Meljean will come answer questions, promise.

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