Site Meter Vamps and Scamps: Interview with Meljean Brook...

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Interview with Meljean Brook...

V&S: Other than paranormal, do you see yourself writing for other genres? Do you enjoy reading other genres?

Meljean: I don’t think that I could write anything that didn’t have an element of the weird in it. The closest I could come in romance is -- maybe -- a gothic historical romance; straight contemporary isn’t for me, but I think the tone of a gothic might be fun. And I’ve been dying to try my hand a steampunk-flavored romance for a while.

And I’m a huge reader in and outside of romance -- and I’ll go for any kind of sub-genre in romance, from suspense to a fluffy historical. It all depends on my mood.

V&S: When did your fascination for superheroes begin?

Meljean: Oh, wow -- when I was three or four, easily. I blame Saturday morning cartoons, and shows like Superfriends, Spider-man and friends, He-Man and Voltron. It’s always been there -- so I think it was natural that I lean toward writing and reading stories containing characters with super-human powers, from vampires to witches to angels.

And what has always interested me in those stories is the human core of it -- not necessarily the “super” part (which is great fun), but the part that anchors them and makes them relatable to a reader, and someone that we want to cheer on. Whatever it is that, despite the superpowers, still makes them human at the core ... and that plays really well in romance.

V&S: What won't we see in a Meljean Brook story?

Meljean: This is a tough one -- I’m willing to do just about anything if it fits the story. I probably won’t ever have the hero/heroine sleep with another character during the course of the book. I probably won’t have many big misunderstandings, just because my characters seem to talk a lot. I won’t ever NOT have a happily-ever-after (happy endings are just wired into me, like superheroes.)

V&S: Who are some of your other favorite authors to read?

Meljean: Oh, wow. I wish I had time to read. I have a huge to-be-read pile on my shelves right now, and it’s full of names like J.D. Robb, Marjorie Liu (superheroes!), Linnea Sinclair, Lora Leigh, your Hunters: Heart and Soul. Lots of historicals, from Kleypas to Carla Kelly. Other names that I really love are Anne Bishop and Jacqueline Carey, Neil Gaiman ... okay, this is becoming a huge paragraph.

If it’s dark and sexy, I probably want to read it.

V&S: Do you have a set schedule for writing or do you just go with the flow?

Meljean: I have a set schedule, but my brain doesn’t always follow it. There are times in the day when I sit down to write and not much comes out; then I’ll be trying to fix dinner or something, and I’m like: oh my gosh, that’s what I was going for! and then have a few pages come out smooth.

I burn dinner a lot.

V&S: What was the inspiration behind the Guardian series?

Meljean: There were a couple of different inspirations that led directly into the Guardians -- one was Batman and Wonder Woman. I’d been writing fanfiction about them, but was growing tired of using other characters, so I was thinking of writing an alternate-universe fic where I flipped their roles around.

I’d also read Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman to death; I love that book, but my favorite part was the interaction between the demon and the angel. It wasn’t a romance, but it was a strange sort of friendship that really intrigued me.

And I was also taking classes on Milton, and so that just got really deep in my head. Taken all together, it just kind of mixed with some ideas that I’d been playing with for a while, and came out as a really fun, kick-ass demon heroine, and kind of a long-suffering fallen angel hero who just can’t help himself around her. But the world was bigger than they were, and gave me lots of stuff to play with -- I’ll be playing for a while, I hope. I’m just having way too much fun.

V&S: Who is your favorite superhero?

Meljean: Wonder Woman -- it’s the lasso.

V&S: Thanks for joining us, Meljean.
You can visit Meljean's site here. I can tell you from experience, she's got some yummy Guardians.

If you have other questions for Meljean, please ask away... she'll drop by the blog when she can!
Updated to add....
Meljean has offered to do a book giveaway. All you need to do to win is drop a comment below. You can comment as much as you want, HOWEVER your name(s) will only be entered once into the drawing for the prize.
UPDATED again to add... the contest part of the comments has closed. A winner's name to be posted shortly. Feel free to continue asking or commenting... Meljean will come answer questions, promise.


Shiloh Walker said...

testing.... :o)

Jodi said...

As someone who has never read your books, what is the one that you would recommend to start with?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the interview with Meljean!

Meljean I was wondering who is your favorite Jacqueline Carey character and why?

Terri W.

KIm B. said...

Thanks for an interesting interview! I was also a fan of the Superfriends growing up! And thank you for saying you'll avoid writing misunderstandings between your characters; it's a plot device that frustrates me to no end.
Your books sound great!

Stacy~ said...

Okay the S&V group have been good to me so I ask not to be entered into the contest (and I have your books already and plan to read them soon).

Loved the interview Meljean, and your take on superheroes & heroines. I remember watching those shows as a kid and pretending I was Wonder Woman.

Have you always been a writer, scribbling down scenes or ideas, or it just something that culminated from your love of the superheroes you love so much?

Billie Jo said...

Hi Ya Meljean!!

It is really good to see you here!

You know I love your work. And I am anxiously awaiting the one you were teasing me with.

Great interview. Have fun here, this is a great bunch of people.

(Please don't enter me in the contest either, I have all of her books and just wanted to say howdy to one of my favorite authors)

Billie Jo

Stefanie D. said...

I haven't read one of your books yet, but they sound amazing. Superheroes, everlasting love, ... All the ingredients I love are in your book.
Btw, have you read J.R. Ward yet? I think that you would love her books.

CrystalG said...

Great interview. I love your story in Wild Thing.

ilona said...

Thaks for a very interesting interview. I have no questions for Meljean but I would highly reccomend that she gets around to reading Marjorie M Liu's Books - MML is an excellent writer of superheroes :) Take it from a superhero addict LOL

Anonymous said...

Just dropping my name into the hat =)
Although i did love watching saturday morning cartoons too.

Ayla said...

Oops! i forgot to put my name in, (i'm the one who said about the dropping of name in hat)

Pamk said...

I read your your book in the anthology Over the moon I think that was the anthology this was in and loved it. I've since bought the next one. And I liked superheroes too especially the justice league.

anne said...

Great interview which introduced me to your writing and would love to read your books.

ellie said...

Your books sounds great! Enjoyable interview which gave me more info and that is great.

jenna said...

Interesting interview. Your books sound appealing.

diane said...

Your fascinating books and interesting interview has peaked a great interest in your unique books.

sharon said...

I enjoyed this special interview. Your books and characters sound captivating.

Amy S. said...

Great interview! If you could have one superpower, what would you want it to be?

Sue A. said...

Great interview, my only complaint is it was too short.

meljean brook said...

Hi Jodi!

The "official" series order is Falling for Anthony, a story in HOT SPELL (Shiloh's in that anthology, too!), then DEMON ANGEL, which is a single title, then "Paradise", which is in the WILD THING anthology, then DEMON MOON.

"Paradise" probably stands alone the least of all the stories -- but you can hop on with any of the others, I think (at least, I've had readers say it for each of the other stories -- several people recently read DEMON MOON without having read DEMON ANGEL, and said they weren't lost ... however, several people who read DEMON ANGEL first really recommend starting there, so ... lol, I'm not sure.)

Terri W -- Although I think that Phedre and Joscelin are absolutely fascinating, Melisande is the one I'd absolutely LOVE to read more about. She's so wonderfully complex and powerful -- and I have to admit I love female characters with a bit of bad to them.

kim b -- it frustrates me too, when a simple misunderstanding can be cleared up with just a "no, that was my sister you saw me with" type of statement. I think the book I just finished comes a little closer to it, in that my characters talk a lot, and are really trying to solve things, but they both have different ways of communicating that leads to a bit of heartache. I can deal with that, because then I feel it's two people learning something about the other, and really falling in love ... but just a misunderstanding for the sake of it? Blah. (Although, okay, I've probably got some favorites on the shelf that have exactly that "I saw you with your sister!" scenario.) :-D

meljean brook said...

Stacy -- Thank you so much, and I do hope you enjoy them! I've always been a writer, making up stories ... and I really think that role-playing superheroes when I was a kid helped a lot with that (just as any role-playing likely does, whether with a pen or a Barbie.)

Billie Jo! -- Hi! And the book I teased you with has been on my editor's desk for about a month now -- I hope to have ARCs, soon! :-D

stefanie -- I was a latecomer to JR Ward's work -- I picked her up when the first book came out, but her voice was SO strong that I had to put her down, for fear of it bleeding into my own work. I finally got a chance to read books 2-4 this spring (my sister had the first one down at her house, so I'll read that one after my next deadline) and am very, very eagerly awaiting the next in the series. She's addictive.

Crystal -- Thank you! I'm very glad you enjoyed it (and you'd be the perfect person for Jodi to ask if that might be a good story as an intro to the series or not) :)

meljean brook said...

ilona -- I see that you won the copy of Demon Moon, and congratulations! I do hope you enjoy it.

And I'm a HUGE fan of Marjorie's! :-D I was lucky enough to be in an anthology with her -- and she's blurbed both of my books! The current one on my TBR pile is SOUL SONG; I can't wait to get to it.

Hi Ayla -- I still watch Saturday morning cartoons on Boomerang. I just can't help myself, *g*

Hi Pam -- Oh, man, I love the Justice League. I was part of a huge JL community when I was writing fanfiction ... and that Batman/Wonder Woman action? *melts into a puddle on the floor*

meljean brook said...

Anne -- Thank you! :-)

Ellie -- Thank you as well!

Jenna -- Now I sound repetitive, but thank you, too!

Diane -- Thank you :) They are fun books, I think; and they each have a different feel.

Sharon -- I do love the characters -- as I mentioned above, they really are so much fun to work with, and I hope that translates well to reading them! :)

For those interested in reading, I would categorize them like this:

Falling for Anthony is kind of a sweeter, simpler story, and it's set during the Regency period.

DEMON ANGEL has kind of an epic feel, and it spans a thousand years. The heroine is kind of hard-ass demon, the hero grows from an innocent boy to kind of a world-weary man -- and their romance is difficult, as is everything surrounding them. This is definitely the book that has the most worldbuilding and kicks the series into high gear.

Paradise is more straightforward in the plot, shorter, and has an unusual Guardian heroine and a vampire hero. It's short, but it does draw on a lot of the events of DEMON ANGEL -- for some it stands alone, and for some it doesn't, I think.

DEMON MOON is, to me, just pure fun. It's a vain vampire hero and a human woman, and they've got great chemistry even though he's SUCH an ass *g* But their romance is so sweet ... *happy sigh*

meljean brook said...

Amy S -- telekenesis ... because then you can do so many things with it. I'd totally be like Jean Grey, changing my clothes looking great all of the time.

Sue A -- lol! trust me, that's the only thing I've ever done that's short :-)