Thursday, March 1, 2012

Author Interview: Melanie Cusick Jones

Please give a warm welcome to Melanie Cusick-Jones!
Thanks for having me on your site today. I’m Mel (unless you’re my parents), 32, average height, brown hair and almost green eyes. I like cooking – mainly following recipes, I’m not a creative cook; reading – obviously; and spending time with interesting people.
3LB: Who or what inspired you to write? Do you have any role models, whether in writing or life in general?
I think at the most basic level my desire to write has come from my love of reading and it was my mum who really gave me a love of books – even now I think she has more than I do! In terms of role models there’s no one in particular, but I’ve always loved meeting people that I can learn from, whether at work or in my personal life.
3LB: Describe Hope’s Daughter in 5 words or less.
Girl discovers things, nightmare unfolds.
3LB: There are many other sci-fi, futuristic books out there. What makes Hope’s Daughter stand out from the rest of them?
I would like to think that the story is primarily character-driven and so the sci-fi part is secondary. However, in relation to the science side of things aside from the ‘living on a space station’ part, I tried to ensure that all aspects of the technology in the book are based on things that exist now or are being worked on. I was looking for an end of the world and situation that closely reflected what could very well become real.
3LB: If you were stranded in an area with lots and lots AND lots of snow, which one of your book characters would you want there with you?
Balik – absolutely – he’s much fitter than I am so he could do physical things well, plus he’s an exceptional engineer and so I’d be expecting a fully spec’d ice house. And if all else fails, he’s very handsome, so he could keep me warm.
3LB: Have you ever had writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
It does come on occasionally and I’ve found that the only way around it is to start writing. If I’m feeling like this I can type two or three pages of absolute rubbish that I’ll later delete, but by doing that I get to a part that I really want to write and everything starts moving again.
3LB: What writing plans do you have for the future?
I’ve got the sequel to Hope’s Daughter to complete, which I’m working on at the moment. I think once I’m done with the Ambrosia Sequence books I’d like to go back and finish The Elementals series, which I began way back in 2003. The outlines for those books are pretty clear – they just need writing.
3LB: Can you…
Use chopsticks? Yes, but not very well.  
Dance? I might be able to get high scores on Just Dance, but I don’t think I look that good getting them.
Do a cartwheel? Used to be able to – let’s check - *goes outside to do a very poor, bent-legged cartwheel in the garden* OK – the answer is ‘yes’ but not a good one.
Speak another language? Basic Spanish and German.
3LB: Name one guilty pleasure you have.
I don’t do much TV but will sneakily watch Undercover Boss – the USA version is a lot better than the UK one I find. Also, Undercover Millionaire often gets me.
3  LB: Time travel: Future or past? And where and when would you go to?
I think backwards - maybe New York or Chicago in the roaring twenties when so much was changing in the way people lived.
   3LB: If you were to go live on an island and could only choose 5 books to take with you, what would you choose? 
I’d take the ones I’ve read the most often I think, they’re not always the greatest from a literary point of view, but I obviously like them as I keep going back. So… Alice in Wonderland, Human Is?, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Twilight and Brave New World.
3LB: Tell us five interesting things about yourself. 
  1. I am very uncoordinated – to the point I would make Bella Swan appear graceful
  2. I like to try new things in the interest of just seeing what things are like – so have done a basic reiki qualification, tried past life regression and indoor parachuting.
  3. I love films almost as much as I do books – so I find it very hard in the film vs book debates as I see the positives in both
  4. I’m quite self-conscious and so am really struggling to think of more ‘interesting things’ about myself
  5. Checked with my hubby for one last one – he says I’m a supermum :)
Thank you, Melanie! For more information about Ms. Cusick-Jones and her books, visit: Purchase Hope's Daughter, available now!


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