In the Spotlight feature kicked off in April 2015 and is an opportunity for authors, editors and publishers (basically anyone in the book industry (yes, even bloggers!)) to connect with fans. There is an option to do an interview, guest post, feature a book sale or book release or a cover reveal. Best of all, it’s free! All you need to do is click on the image to reserve your spot!
Now on with the show!
In the Spotlight with Melissa Christopherson
Welcome to Second Run Reviews, Melissa! Thank you for being In the Spotlight. I appreciate you stopping by and answering a few questions. So let’s get things started.
In a tweet (140 characters or less), tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m a multigenre author who leans a bit more toward fantasy. I have published three books: The Balancer, Dragon Called, and Gryphon Bound.
I have one of your books on my TBR pile. I hope I get to it this year!
Please tell a bit about your journey to becoming a published author. What’s been the best things about it and the worst?
Wow, okay. Well, let’s start with the best things. By far, the best things about becoming a published author was the support I received from friends and family, especially for my first book, The Balancer. It’s also been incredible meeting so many other authors at events, and having the chance to really network and connect with people who just understand and get me, and why I write.
By far the worst things have been reviews, and marketing. It is so disheartening to pour your heart into a book, and have almost no one review it. Reviews are wonderful things—they tell me what a person enjoyed about my book and also what they didn’t. A well-written bad review is 100% as valuable to an author as a positive review—the well-written bad reviews tell us what to pay more attention to as we write/publish the next book.
As for marketing…well, no one really warns you how difficult it is, and how challenging it can be to figure out what to do, and how. It’s difficult, and a constant learning process.
I’m still figuring out how to market Second Run Reviews. It’s a learning process and trying to find time to do it between everything else going on can be quite frustrating!
Tell us a bit about your latest release. What inspired you to write it? Why should fans of Second Run Reviews consider reading it.
Gryphon Bound is about a gryphon swordsman named TherimᾹwho also appeared in Dragon Called#&8212;and his journey to find out who framed him for murder and kidnapping. He wants to find the children kidnapped, and avenge their family’s deaths, but his desire to right the wrong blinds him a little to some terrible truths. Some familiar characters from Dragon Called reappear in bits of Gryphon Bound, but by and large it’s about Therim. We also get introduced to some new characters, and mysteries that were left unsolved in Dragon Called get hinted at, or pieces of new information revealed.
You might have already guessed it’s fantasy!
While I was writing Dragon Called, I knew there was too much story I wanted to tell. I knew pretty much from the first day that it would be a series, which was where Gryphon Bound came into play: it’s book two of the Remnants of the Past saga, of which Dragon Called is the first. When I had sat down to write The Balancer, I didn’t do any planning, I just wrote. I had wanted to write a fantasy novel then…and that’s just not how it ended up working out! So when I wrote Dragon Called, I planned. A lot. Originally there were only going to be three books total for the series – but by the time I was done writing Dragon Called, I knew there would be four.
Gryphon Bound is a book I’m proud of, and even people who haven’t reviewed the book have at least told me in person they enjoyed it! Don’t just take it from me, however, take a peek at the reviews on Goodreads!
It’s amazing how stories are connect and come together for authors as they write and explore the journeys of their characters.
What types of books do you enjoy reading the most? What three books to you find yourself recommending to your fans over and over?
I read almost everything fiction – with the exception of sex-in-the-book romances. I’m not a big romance person – I don’t write it, and I rarely read it. There are a few other sub-genres I don’t read much of, but other than the above…I’ll give pretty much anything a try once!
I’m too much of a book lover to just recommend a single set of books over and over! I do have three series I always recommend to people, depending on their interests.
The first is Anne McCaffery’s Dragonriders of Pern series. She passed away a few years ago, but her books are still fantastic, and I find myself rereading them often.
The second is Piers Anthony’s Xanth novels. As a young woman they really appealed to me, and I enjoyed the feel of them – so much that if I come across one I haven’t read, I buy it and go straight home to read it!
Finally, I recommend Harry Potter. It might seem a bit silly – but it’s yet another series I still love, that I grew up with. You’re never too old for a little magic!
I can get behind Harry Potter. One of my favorite series. I actually own Harry Potter socks and a Harry Potter tie.
What is your current obsession? Any secret obsessions you would like to share?
My current obsession… I’m going to assume you mean in the terms of writing? My current “obsession” is book three in the Remnants of the Past series, Unicorn Saved! I’m really loving how the book is turning out, though it’s been a long journey to get it where it needs to goᾰlonger than I originally intended it to be.
As for other obsessions…well, right now I think I have an unhealthy relationship with coffee! Specifically, Dunkin’ Donuts’ chocolate coffee K-Cups with Peppermint Mocha creamer. Mmmm. I think I better go make another cup.
There is NO such thing as an unhealthy obsession with coffee. I do love Peppermint Mochas. I’ll have to keep an eye out for the Dunkin’ Donuts Chocolate coffee and get Peppermint Mocha creamer. That combo sounds DIVINE!
What is one question you wish I would have asked, that I haven’t?
I guess the only question I could think of that you haven’t asked, is:
The answer is simple, really. I write because I have stories in my head. I write to get them down, because once they’re down – unless there’s more the characters have to tell – I can focus on a different one. I write because I love sharing stories with others. I write for the thrill of it: the feel of a book you wrote in your hands is something you’ll never forget. I write because I love it.
I write because at heart, I have always been an author.
What a beautiful sentiment, Melissa. Not all authors necessarily feel that way, I think.
Any last thoughts or wise words you want to pass along?
I think the only thing I really have left to say today is for people out there who have a story in their head, too.
If you have a story in your head, that little feeling that won’t stop spinning new ideas… Don’t tell yourself no one will read them. That was what I had thought about my books – I had thought no one would read them, no one would be interested…I was wrong. You are too. Being an author is hard work, but just because you have a story in your head doesn’t mean you have to be an author! Maybe it’s fanfiction in your head. Just don’t limit yourself.
And if you’re not someone with stories spinning in your head — that’s okay too! The world needs all kinds of people, and you are no less special if you don’t have stories that won’t stop talking. Each and every one of you is special in your own way.
Thank you for reading this! And if you happen to pick up one of my books, please let me know what you think. Have a wonderful year!
Thank you so much for being In the Spotlight, Melissa. I hope you’ll come back and let us know about Unicorn Saved once it has been released. I would love to hear more about it!
Synopsis: Wracked by terror caused by an ill-fated betrothal to a violent king, Liliana would do nearly anything to escape. Even become a dragon. Catapulted into a world of magic, she finds herself with a quest she must fulfill before King Rannak’s blood thirst takes the lives of all those she holds dear.