An Interview with Young Adult Author Melissa Buell

I am excited to welcome Young Adult author Melissa Buell to the Tearoom to talk YA, fairy tales, and romance!

Melissa Buell

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.

The Seveth BlessingJess:  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).

grahamwardle

Graham Wardle

Carter Oosterhouse

Carter Oosterhouse

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.

book3donovan

Ryan McPartlin

Thanks so much to Melissa for stopping by Teatime Romance to chat with us!  For more information on Melissa and her books visit her website or follow her on Twitter.

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?

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11 thoughts on “An Interview with Young Adult Author Melissa Buell

  1. I would create a heroine whose beauty could only be seen by those looking at more than the outside. Not that she wouldn’t be outwardly beautiful too, just that people wouldn’t be able to see it if they were only looking at her as a pretty face and and not the kick ass woman that she is!

  2. I think any heroine needs to be able to stand on her own two feet when faced with adversity. Look at Bella Swan. She would lose herself every time Edward was around, but the minute he left, she seemed to come back to life. I think that is why I preferred Book 2 in the Twilight series. They were apart for most of the book. Great interview. I am not sure how old Nolan is supposed to be, but Carter Oosterhouse would be my choice. I loved him since his Trading Spaces days.

  3. I do like tomboyish heroines. Pretty princesses having perfect stories and snagging the guy are so boring. I’d like a story where the girl is her own knight in shining armor.

  4. I believe every heroine needs to have a very keen sense of people, a firm grasp of language and wit. Also, she can be sure of herself and not second guess herself when making a decision.

  5. Wow, strong heroines seems to be the theme! For sure I’d want a woman who could take things into her own hands – someone active, not passive. She sees something that needs to be done and she does it. Someone who takes care of the people around her. Someone who fights for what she believes in and knows what she is worth, even without a man. But interestingly, I think my heroine would also need flaws. Because how else could she grow?

  6. Well of course, a true heroine must have a thorough knowledge of music, singing, drawing, dancing, and the modern languages to deserve the word. (Thank you, Jane…)

    In truth, I think a heroine needs to be herself. That may mean she’s beautiful and the kind of lady that typified the era, but if it does, then she has to be that person because that’s who she is, not because it’s what others expect of her. I enjoy reading about atypical heroines, but I don’t enjoy the idea that a heroine has to be atypical to really deserve to be a heroine.

    “This above all: to thine own self be true.” (and thank you, Shakespeare)

  7. An inner strength, wit and humor…..intelligent and kind….beauty is in the eye of the beholder so physical appearance would mean little…a tom-boy….a good example would be SCARLET by A C Gaughen…a re-telling of the Robin Hood story…

  8. If I could take an existing fairytale heroine and remake her, I would actually go a different route. I’d probably try something like they did with the stage play “Wicked” and flip a fairytale on its ear. I would try taking the villain in a traditional fairytale like Maleficent and see if I could turn her into a heroine somehow.

  9. Thanks for all the comments! I’ll use random.org to pick a winner for a signed paperback copy of your choice of THE SEVENTH BLESSING or THE HIDDEN BLESSING. All commenters will receive a PDF of your choice of the above books. 🙂

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