Today I’m interviewing author Melanie Tomlin … that would be me! I’m not sure whether to sit a mirror on the couch next to me, or to hot-swap seats, from the interviewer position to the interviewee position. Confused? I know I am, and the interview hasn’t even started yet! So, I shall start by thanking myself for taking the time to chat with myself, and sitting down to get comfortable before I begin.
About Melanie Tomlin
Melanie Tomlin was born in Beeston, England. At the age of three her family moved to suburban Melbourne, Australia, where she has lived ever since. When she was twelve her parents bought her a typewriter, and she wrote her first novel that very same year. She still has the typewriter, which is somewhat worse for wear, but that first manuscript is now nothing but a distant memory.
Her first published book, Angel’s Kiss, was released in 2015. The second and third instalments in the ‘Angel Series’ — Angel’s Curse and Angel’s Messiah — were released in February 2016 and June 2016 respectively.
For a change of pace, and something a little different, Melanie has recently finished work on a book of poetry called Twisted Poems of a Warped Mind and a children’s picture book called Lucy Vampoosy: The Little Vampire Dog.
What’s the name of your new book?
Angel’s Body (Book 4 of the Angel Series)
Tell us a bit about your book
One body, two souls …
Helena is possessed by a demon, and those who matter most to her are blind to her plight. She’s trapped in a body that she no longer controls, her soul in a constant state of torment.
Desperate to take back what is hers, Helena tries time and again to overcome the deranged demonic spirit that is using her body to wreak havoc in the mortal world.
The demon, furious at Helena’s attempts to thwart it and regain control, seeks an exorcist to cast her out. The time has come for Helena to take a final stand and fight for her freedom.
Only one of them can survive, but which one?
What do you think of book trailers? Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book?
I’ve seen some awesome trailers for books and as I like to try new things, I decided to make my own. I’m probably a better writer than ‘film’ maker, but I’ve had a lot of fun making trailers and have learned (and am still learning) new skills, which is always a good thing. I haven’t started work on the trailer for Angel’s Body yet. This is going to be my most challenging trailer to date, given the subject matter.
What is your least favourite part of the writing / publishing process?
Marketing, which I think is the least favourite part for most authors. As an introvert it’s difficult to put yourself out there, even in a time when social media makes it seemingly easy to connect with people.
How long does it usually take you to write the first draft of a book?
Time permitting, it used to be four weeks (in the days before I published my first book), though it meant I didn’t have a life! Now that I’m out of the shadows and in the light, four week is only realistic when I’m on holidays, given that I:
a) have a website to maintain
b) try to be active on social media
c) need to constantly engage in promoting and marketing my brand and books
d) still have a day job to help pay the bills.
What are you working on now?
I’m finalising book four in the Angel Series, which is due to be released on Valentine’s Day. I have quite a warped sense of humour, so that’s why I chose that release date. A book about demonic possession is hardly going to be romantic!
Can you give us a few tasty morsels from your work-in-progress?
My body continued to tingle, from within this time, as though something had managed to crawl inside me and was clinging to me as if its life depended on it. The tingling increased and transformed into thousands of agonisingly sharp pinpricks. I was sure something was growing inside me, expanding to fit to the shape of my body. As the feeling grew I began to sense a spark. Something evil and sinister was trying to take hold. In my mind I could see it taking shape. I trembled at what I saw, only now realising the leaves had not been talking to me — it was disembodied spirits that had talked, their rushing through the trees causing the leaves to rustle wildly. How many hundreds had there been, and who had won the right to invade my body?
What’s something you’re really good at that few people know about?
This is really only my personal opinion, but I think I’m getting pretty good at drawing. I started taking fortnightly art classes back in August 2015 and I’m sure I’ve improved. If you’d like to see my art work, visit my art page.
Do you have a day job in addition to being a writer? If so, what do you do during the day?
I’m a business analyst and technical writer, so my day job involves a lot of writing, though it’s all very dry, logical stuff that most people would find boring. If you’re an insomniac, it might just help you get to sleep! I also do system testing on occasion, when I want to verify that the required functionality as per my specifications has been built and working as expected.
Of all the characters you have created, which is your favourite and why?
Definitely Gina, from Angel’s Messiah. She was such a fun character to write for — an optimist in a pessimistic world, naïve, yet knowledgeable. Being a child in a woman’s body and not really knowing what life was all about, she sometimes asked the most embarrassing questions. Gina is a kind and considerate soul who only wants peace and harmony for all of mankind. I wish there were more people like her.
When you’re writing, do you listen to music or do you need silence?
It depends what I’m writing. I listen to Depeche Mode on shuffle for the Angel Series. Any album from Violator onward captures the many moods of my books. And as fate would have it, the right song usually starts playing when it needs to.
Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than others?
Of course there is. Any authors who says otherwise are kidding themselves. For me, it’s the death of a character who is close to my heart. In the second book, Angel’s Curse, I was crying my eyes out as I was writing the death scene of an important character whom I loved. I made so many typos in the first draft of that scene because the tears were blurring my vision and I couldn’t see what I was typing. Even now, when I read that scene I’ll cry.
Available formats: ebook and paperback