Guest Authors Melinda Metz & Laura J. Burns + Giveaway!
They’ve written novelizations for a lot of famous TV shows such as Buffy, Everwood, and Charmed. They were both staff writers on the TV show Roswell and Melinda’s YA series Roswell High was even the basis for the show! Laura writes the YA series called the Chloe Gamble Series and together they are an unstoppable team!
Shay has always been different—and she is about to find out why.
Shay could never do the things her friends could—never try out for sports, never go to parties, never fall in love. Because of the mysterious and incurable blood disorder she was born with, she can barely make it through three days of school a week.
But now, her doctor-turned-stepfather has a brand-new treatment that he thinks will change everything. And it does. As soon as the new blood starts pumping into Shay’s veins, she has visions of a different life…Gabriel’s life. She sees an orphanage, loss, fangs, blood, and lust that she can’t explain.
Is Gabriel real? And if he is, could he really be what she thinks he is?
Welcome Melinda and Laura!
1. Please tell us about your new co-authored YA paranormal novel Crave?
LJB: Crave is a vampire romance, but we went in a slightly different direction with it. Our heroine is introduced to the vampire world in an unusual way, through blood transfusions. She's been sick all her life, and is basically being kept alive by other people's blood. When she begins having visions during a new type of transfusion, she thinks it's probably just a side effect, a hallucination.
MM: Those visions she starts having—they're of the life of a vampire. She sees through his eyes, feels his emotions, and the power of his body. When the transfusions end, she continues to have his strength for a little while, and she's able to live more fully than she ever has before.
2. How did you come up with the idea for this novel?
MM: We both have a love of vampires, and we kept looking for a way to put a spin on a vampire romance. We got intrigued by the idea of a girl falling for a vampire by seeing his life through visions—visions that might or might not be true.
LJB: We also liked examining the personality of a chronically ill teen—people have always treated Shay as if she is fragile and sweet, as if she should be handled carefully, when all she really wants is to be strong and normal, and to do the regular (and not necessarily smart) things that her friends do.
3. How did you go about writing this book together?
LJB: We've been writing together for years, so we have our method down pretty well! At the beginning, we spent a lot of time just talking about CRAVE--about Shay, our heroine, and what her life has been like. About Gabriel, our vampire, and his history. We figured out the things that they want, what their personalities are, that sort of thing. Once we felt as if we knew them, we outlined the book together. Only when we know everything that's going to happen do we split up. Each of us writes about half the book, then we edit each other's halves.
MM: We do talk a huge amount before we start writing any book! Some of it on topic, a lot of it off, as we slowly piece together the story.
LJB: By the time we’re done writing and re-writing, we never know anymore who wrote which part.
4. What made you decide on the YA genre? What is it that you like about writing YA books versus Adult books?
LJB: We were both YA book editors before we became writers. It's a genre that we feel very comfortable in. Personally, I don't see much difference in writing for teens versus for adults. Teen characters are every bit as complex and interesting as adult characters, and teen readers are, too. I think it's more of a distinction in the way books are sold than in the way they're written.
MM: I think I like writing about teen characters because they are going through so many things (falling in love with a vampire, for example) for the first time.
5. Who are some of your favorite authors? Did any of them inspire you to write?
LJB: I always tell people my two favorite authors are Jane Austen and J.R.R. Tolkien, and everyone acts like that's weird! I think, as a paranormal writer, I learned the absolute most important lesson from Tolkien's books--to make sure that the mythology of the world you've created is rich, textured, and fully thought-out. It's the details that really make a fantasy book great.
MM: Stephen King is one of my faves. I must have read The Stand six or seven times when I was a teenager. I don't think he inspired me to write exactly. But I admire the way his "bad" characters don't become cartoons of evilness. Like in Cujo, you never forgot that down deep, Cujo was a good dog. His layered characters (even the animal ones) inspire me.
6. Is Crave going to become a series? How many books are projected for it?
LJB: It's always been planned as a two book project. We're working on the second one now.
MM: We're all done with the plotting and on to the writing. We left Shay and Gabriel in a pretty horrible place in the first book. I think we managed to get them out in an interesting way. But then things quickly got bad for them again!
7. What are you currently working on?
LJB: The second CRAVE book--we don't have a title yet--and a new paranormal book proposal.
MM: We have a new policy where we devote one day a week to working on our proposal. We're so psyched about it, it's hard not to let it take over the whole week.
8. If you had to pitch Crave to readers in one sentence, what would you say?
MM: Transfusions of vampire blood give a dying girl a second chance at life—but a life that's nothing like she ever imagined.
LJB: Hey, that’s pretty good!
9. What was it like writing for all of those famous TV shows?
MM: It was fun—and kind of surreal. Laura and I shared a trailer on the Paramount lot when we were on the writing staff of Roswell. It was right near the fake New York street, which made us feel right at home, because we'd both just moved from NYC to L.A. to work on the show. At one point, the opening musical number for Austen Powers 3 was being filmed right next to us, so close there was an elephant in the next trailer over. Also, in case you're wondering, those cute Roswell actor guys? Even cuter in person.
LJB: It’s basically about as much fun as you can imagine a job being.
10. If Crave was to become a movie, who would you have play your characters?
LJB: I picture Ellen Page as Shay, but I guess she's too old!
MM: Maybe Mia Wasikowska for Shay. Love her! And for Gabriel—well, the model on the cover looks a LOT like Jonathan Rhys Meyers. Why not just go with him? ;) He's not too old to play a vampire.
LJB: Or we can just find the model from the cover, and get him to do it!
11. If you could run away with any hero from any YA paranormal novel, who would it be and why him?
LJB: Have you ever read the Vampire Diaries books? I'd run away with Stefan, because he's so passionate!
MM: I'd run off with Pudge from Looking for Alaska. Okay, he's not from a paranormal novel. He has no paranormal powers, except that he's able to keep all those "last words" quotes in his head. But he's smart, funny, and willing to think about the really big life questions. Also, he's romantic. Um, he'd have to be older than 15, though, or I'd have to be younger, otherwise there would be, at the very least, some legal and moral questions.
12. Is there anything else you’d like to share with readers?
MM: Ben and Jerry's New York Super Fudge Chunk ice cream is realllly good.
LJB: I can’t argue with that.
Melinda and Laura are giving away one copy of Crave to a lucky reader. Contest is open WORLDWIDE so everyone is elgible to enter. Please leave a comment or question to be entered. Also leave an email address so I have a way of contacting you if you win. Contest will end on August 9th at 7:00 pm EST.
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Rachael has written over 300 reviews for various publications online. She started Enchanted by Books to have the chance to showcase a large variety of different genres. Never satisfied with just one type of book she reads them all. Romance, chick lit, paranormal, urban fantasy, mysteries, young adult, memoirs, self help, the variety is endless. Rachael lives in New Jersey and loves meeting new people to chat books with online. Please leave a comment and share your opinion!