I’m so thrilled to have my fellow CoLoNY member, Melissa Crispin, for an author interview on my blog today! Melissa just released her debut YA fantasy novel, COLLIDE, and it looks sooo good! Read on to find out more about Melissa and her writing–you won’t be disappointed. 😀
Welcome, Melissa! Let’s get right to it and tell us about your latest release.
My debut novel, COLLIDE, is a young adult fantasy with strong romantic elements. There are larger than life stakes, with a good old-fashioned love triangle in the middle of the chaos.
Kayla Reynolds is a high school senior that plans to ditch town at the end of the year and pursue becoming a ballerina. Her boyfriend, Luke, is planning to come with her and they have this happily ever after already formed in their minds. But, bumping into this other guy named Alec awakens knowledge Kayla had tucked away in her subconscious mind. Alec has the ability to meet her in her dreams and take her to Afterlife, where she’s reunited with her deceased father. This changes everything.
Her newfound knowledge isn’t all kittens and rainbows though. She finds herself in a situation where the balance between Earth, Afterlife, and Heaven are at stake, and if the evil forces succeed, Earth and Afterlife will cease to exist.
That’s sounds fantastic! Love the idea of the dream rendezvous. What was the hardest thing about writing this book? The easiest?
Prior to writing this book, everything I had tackled was geared toward adults. When I started the first draft, I held back a little with the voices in my head. I feared that too much cursing or perceived inappropriate behavior would not be well-received in YA. I still do fear this a little, to be honest. I think the trepidation was evident in the earlier drafts, and at some point I decided to let go, and let the words fly. I came to the realization that kids in high school do all kinds of things adults deem inappropriate. I told myself to stop being such a crochety old lady and to just go for it.
The easiest part about writing this book was writing from Kayla’s point of view. I was working on a different project when her character started whispering in my ear, and she just wouldn’t shut up. Her story demanded my attention, and I eventually shelved the project I was working on in favor of this one.
I can totally understand your trepidation, but I know I was a punk ass kid in high school and had my fair share of trouble, LOL. It seems a lot of concepts that work in adult fiction can certainly fit into YA (even more so, sometimes). If you could bring one of your characters (villain or hero) to life, who would you chose? Why?
I would choose Kayla’s boyfriend, Luke. He’s a good mix of boy next door and badass which makes him well-rounded in my opinion. 🙂
Now that’s a mix I like! 😉 Paramount Pictures wants to make a movie about your latest novel. Who plays the main characters?
Wouldn’t that be nice! 😛
For Kayla, I would choose Elle Fanning. I loved her as Princess Aurora in Maleficent and I could picture her in a role as an aspiring ballerina.
For Alec, I think a younger version of Scott Eastwood would be perfect. Okay, so he’s not in high school, but neither am I, so you’ll have to work with me on that one. 😉 He strikes me as a swoon worthy guy who would be good at protecting his lady. Check out this article where he sneaks in a shirtless workout. Go ahead. I’ll wait. You won’t be sorry! http://www.people.com/article/scott-eastwood-shirtless-workout-pictures
I’d love to see Theo James, Four, from the Divergent movies, play Luke. Again, not of high school age so it would have to be a younger version of him, but I love how he shows both a tough side and a gentle side in those movies, which is a lot like Luke.
Great choices! I’d definitely watch that movie. 😉 So tell us a little about yourself.
I work full-time, and I’m married with two kids. I squeeze in time to write whenever I can, which can be challenging, but definitely worth the effort. Oh, and two years ago, our family rescued a Siberian Husky who hated me at first and now is constantly by my side.
Siberian Huskies are gorgeous dogs! And I definitely get the difficulty in balancing writing time with everything else. But we all manage, don’t we? 😉 Tell us one thing about yourself your readers may not know about you.
I have a soft spot for old-school 80’s hair metal music. If you name a band from that era, I probably had their album on tape (yes, I said tape) and there’s a good chance they’re on my phone too. 🙂 Motley Crue, Poison, Bon Jovi, Whitesnake, the list goes on and on…What ever happened to the power ballad, people?
Oh my God, I’m totally with you! I’ve been listening to Poison lately and my hubby thinks I’m nuts, LOL. Anywho, what are you working on now?
I’m working on a new adult, sci-fi romance. The President’s daughter falls in love with a galactic garbage man, only to find out that he’s the son of a powerful mob leader. They end up in the middle of some shady dealings between their fathers, but find time for some heated scenes in between.
And since I’ve read a little bit of this already, I’m excited to read the rest! Thanks so much for stopping by, Melissa, and sharing a bit of yourself and your stories with us. Where else can we find you?
More about COLLIDE:
When the balance between Earth, Afterlife, and Heaven are threatened, the fate of the universe falls on a selfish girl who must sacrifice everything to save it.
Kayla has a plan. She’s moving to the city after graduation and Luke’s coming with her. He’ll eventually become a doctor, she’ll be a ballerina—and they’ll live happily ever after. That’s what she thinks, until dark forces, led by a sister she never knew existed, start hunting her down for a power she never knew she had.
When Kayla starts working with a boy named Alec to learn how to defend herself and to stop the evil from eliminating the worlds, she finds herself falling for him. Hard. Torn between two loves and struggling to do what’s right for Earth and Afterlife, Kayla must decide if she’s fighting to keep her life together, or letting it go to save everyone else’s.
BUY LINK AMAZON: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01CZ2WPHQ
EVERNIGHT TEEN: http://www.evernightteen.com/collide-by-melissa-j-crispin
Add to your shelf on Goodreads:
Luke nodded. “Let me get this straight. So, this guy, he can heal your leg, protect you from something that isn’t yet clear to me, and bring you to some otherworldly place, where you’re reunited with your father?”
“Yeah.” There was that word again.
He pulled his hand out of mine and ran his fingers through his hair. “Well, that’s pretty damn hard to compete with.”
“Luke, this isn’t a competition. This is my life. He’s already saved me once.”
“And I’ll do it again,” Alec said.
Luke pointed a finger at Alec. “I don’t care what you can do. I don’t like you. You stole my girl, who’s pregnant with my baby.” Luke stepped around me and got in Alec’s face. “She will always have a part of me in her life.”
Alec slowly shook his head. “Not new news, and for the record, you stole her from me. So, you don’t get to play that card.”
The tension thickened in the air until the hairs stood on the back of my neck.
“She never said a word to you before all this weird shit started to go down.” Luke poked Alec in the chest. “You’re a liar.”
“It’s true,” I whispered.
Luke whirled around. “What?”
“Before us. It was him.”
Luke opened his mouth, as if to say something, but snapped it shut. He finally spoke after a long moment. “You said I was your first boyfriend. Your first kiss. Your first everything with a guy. You lied to me?”
“At the time, I thought that was true. He finds me in my dreams and takes me to Afterlife. That’s how we met. I never even knew he was real. I thought he was a boy in some recurring dream. I never even remembered until I barreled him over in the hallway one day by accident. His touch jarred my memory.”
Luke’s eyes were wild. “Do me a favor. Do not talk about touching him, ever, in my presence.”
“I’m sorry, Luke. That’s why this is so difficult. I’m only now remembering things that happened before us. It’s … confusing.”
“You were with him? Actually with him, before me?”
I swallowed. “We were sort of dating.”
“That’s not what I meant.” A muscle ticked in Luke’s jaw, and realization dawned on me.
“Oh, no. We didn’t.” I cleared my throat. “Not that…”
“I don’t know what you’re so pissed about. You’re the one who got to have a real relationship with her,” Alec said.
“Shut up. Just shut the hell up.” Luke gently brushed me to the side, leaving him and Alec staring each other down. “You’re an asshole.”
“Hate me, if you want. Call me whatever you want. But that girl right there?” He pointed to me. “She needs me. I swore to protect her, and I don’t give a shit about what you think. I’m her best shot at survival. Your baby’s, too. So, next time you get in my face, remember their lives are at stake and that your guns can’t fight off the shit that’s coming.”
“Asshole,” Luke muttered.
“Douche,” Alec said under his breath.
“Stop fighting,” I said from behind Luke’s back.
“You’re a loser. A loser, with no friends and no life, who came in and stole my girlfriend. Even if she chooses you, you’ll have to help her with my baby. Every time you look at our kid, you’ll be reminded of who was there first.”
I took a step outward to try to get between them, but Alec swung before I could, and as his fist connected with Luke’s face, Luke charged him, sending them both tumbling toward the ground.
Fists flew and grunts sounded in the scuffle as they rolled, each trying to get the upper hand.
“Stop!” I yelled.
More about Melissa:
Melissa J. Crispin lives in Connecticut with her husband, two kids, and an adorable Siberian Husky. She spends her days in the corporate world, and pursues her passion for writing in the late nights and early mornings.
From micro-fiction to novels, Melissa loves to write stories in varying lengths. But, no matter the story, it’s almost always about the romance.