I am excited to welcome Young Adult author Melissa Buell to the Tearoom to talk YA, fairy tales, and romance!
Jess: Why do you write Young Adult (besides the obvious “because it is freaking awesome!”)?
Melissa: Hi Jess! Thanks for having me! I write Young Adult because I remember what it was like to be young and unsure of myself and the world around me, trying to figure out who I was, comparing myself to others, all of those awkward moments it seems we have to go through. I want to reassure young people it’s okay to be awkward and weird and different because you’re actually awesome and original! Well, now this is sounding like a Hallmark card.
Jess: The heroine in your first book The Seventh Blessing is not a traditional “fairy tale princess.” Tell us about Samantha and why you wrote her the way you did.
Melissa: I had just finished a book series that had a shell of a female main character. I complained to my husband, “If I wrote a book, I’d do this and this and this…” He gave me a journal and said, “I think you can write a book. Write down all of those thoughts.” I started writing the characteristics I wanted Samantha to have. She’s a tomboy who does occasionally wear dresses. She likes to ride horses and joust and knows how to swing a sword. She’s pretty much everything I wish I could be! (wink)
Jess: How much focus do you put on romance in your books?
Melissa: I know I have some younger readers so I don’t put too much romance in my books but there needs to be some amount of kissing. Or at least some angst about being in love with someone and wanting to kiss him.
Jess: Here at Teatime Romance we love hot heroes. If you had to pick between the heroes in your books could you? And who would you pick?
Melissa: I’m rather partial to Nolan from THE SEVENTH BLESSING. He’s not always a perfect gentleman with his words but I love his sarcastic joking and the way he defends those he cares about. He also has a swoonworthy smile. (Kinda like Flynn Rider from “Tangled”. “Here comes the smolder.”) If I had to pick an actor to play Nolan in a movie, I’d pick either Graham Wardle (from “Heartland”) or Carter Oosterhouse (HGTV carpenter).
Jess: What’s in store for the third book in your Tales of Gymandrol series?
Melissa: Book 3, THE CURSED BLESSING, is about Holly: princess, tomboy and archer. She has to go on a quest with Prince Donovan, and she is very aware of how good looking he is. Being on a quest with ten men is aggravating at times but Holly is great at rolling with the punches. (And there are some punches!) There’s a mystery to solve, a princess to save, and, of course, some fairy tale worthy kisses.
Ryan McPartlin could play Donovan. Yep. He sure could.
And now for the audience participation part of this post! I asked Melissa about creating a non-traditional fairy tale heroine and now I’d love your input. If you could take an existing heroine and change her (or create your own new fairy tale heroine out of whole cloth), what characteristics would you give her?