Welcome Text

Welcome! Books, movies, music, original stories, interviews, writing, libraries, literacy, humor –all with the YA reader in mind, are just a few of the topics you’ll find here. New to the blog? Say hi! Like it? Follow away! Thanks for visiting.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Author Interview: Melissa Turner Lee

Melissa Turner Lee is the author of The Earth Painter, released September first of this year.

Five stars on amazon.com

This is a dynamic book, full of surprises, young romance, and determination. I loved reading along as Holly finds her place in a new school, makes a few friends, and develops a crush on a boy who just happens to be unable to experience true emotion (including love). Holly's character drew me into this book immediately. I could empathize with her emotional struggles, and her determination to make her way in difficult circumstances. I can see that author Melissa T. Lee spend time and effort to develop her characters and her story. I recommend this book to young teen through adult readers. Make sure to check out Melissa Turner Lee's other books, especially "The Difference Between Night and Day".

She has also authored The Difference Between Night and Day, which reviewed similarly well.

Her blog, MelissaTurnerLee is a great source of content from the author.


If you woke up tomorrow and could be one person for one day, who is it and why?

A Doctor Who Companion. Ummm...traveling through time and space...hello.

Best show on TV?

Doctor Who.

Harry Potter or Lord of The rings? (yes, you must pick one)


Tell me about your writing environment. Do they use a pen and paper, laptop? Quiet room, music or what? Dog at their feet? Cat on the desk? Just whatever makes it comfortable to be productive.

I find a song that has the tone of the characters or the scene and I pace while listening. Then I turn it off and write. I write in quiet and alone.

What do you think of what's happening with the publishing industry right now? Any speculation as to where it is heading?

I think it's good and not good. Anybody can publish--Good. ANYBODY can publish--Not Good. You know what I mean. You buy a few downloads that make you want your $0.99 back and you stop buying them. But if you are willing to work and prove yourself, you can get the attention of agents and editors who thought there was no market for your work.

Do you have any funny stories involving a creative project you've worked on?

I had a huge crush on Mr. Spock as a child and grew up to marry him. Well not exactly but my husband is super logical and has found me laughing in the shower only to learn it was because the people in my head were having a funny conversation. He walked away declaring my shower already crowded.

What makes you laugh?

My kids. My husband. My characters. Life. 

Do you, like your characters, have any supernatural powers we should know about?

Yes, I can make messes disappear when I'm writing by pointing my laptop in the other direction. My husband does not care for this supernatural ability.

Biggest influence on your writing? Could be a book, person, pet turtle, whatever.

I think my prose and style are different from hers, but Stephenie Meyer. She woke up my desire to write and made me feel and believe her story world. The Bible. To me it is a supernatural love story.

You released The Earth Painter on September 1st. How did it go? How was the lead-up? Stressful, fun, insane?

Yes to all of that.

You do a lot of give-aways, do you find that an effective marketing tool?

It's too early to tell. I'm hoping those people read it, like it, post reviews and then people shopping who don't know my page go buy it. (Fingers crossed)

Have you managed to make peace with all the social media marketing required to get your name out there as an author or do you feel overwhelmed by it? How do you find a balance between 'working' that market and being creative (writing). I find it easy to get sucked into everything and completely distracted from writing. How do you cope?

Simple really. I don't. I do more networking than writing. I majored in journalism and marketing so I love both. I can network in a house full of noisy boys (I'm the only girl in my little house.) I cannot write in all that.

What is the scariest thing you've ever done?

Putting my work out there despite the rejections I'd already received.

Favorite movie?

At the moment, Breaking Dawn Part 1.

What do you think of Once Upon a Time? (if you've seen it)

Have not decided yet. I feel like it needs more heart. There is a story there but it's characters people tune in for, not just what happens next. I need to fall in love with the characters and care. That hasn't happened for me yet. 

So, you're working on the sequel to The Earth Painter -when can we expect its release?

Hoping for January, no later than March 2012

What do you enjoy most about writing?

The characters in my head bug me to death until I make them real by writing them down. I have to write to get peace.

What do you enjoy least?

Sitting still.

The Earth Painter is reviewing quite well. Relieved?

Yes, but there's always a part of me that wonders if they are just being nice. I could believe bad reviews a little better. But I'm never happy with my work.

did you experience the most momentum in book sales and are you able to attribute that to anything?

Right after giveaways I will have a bump.

Your concept is extremely unique. Can you credit anything for its inspiration (other than your highly creative mind?)

Let's see. I don't want to give too much away. I'm from Chesnee so the high school that is in the story is real...or was. I was a shy girl reading books in drama, so that inspired it. And my husband had a picture of me hanging in his room that he drew for his art class, but...he drew it before we ever met. It disappeared when we got married and we've never seen it since. So that inspired me too.

Both The Difference Between Night and Day and The Earth Painter are available at Amazon for $0.99. A steal!  The Man Painter is releasing soon!


  1. More good stuff, I love that she knew the answer to the "W" question!
    Yes, in smartass/cynical mode, which I am sure is going to add at least one extra hill tomorrow!