Author Melissa Snark took some time out of her busy schedule to chat with us for a little bit. Find out more about her and her latest book 'Hunger Moon.' Be sure to leave her your own questions and comments!
The snowcapped Sierra Nevada Mountains provided the inspiration behind my Norse werewolf series, Loki's Wolves. My family visits Lake Tahoe every winter on an annual ski vacation. The mountains are starkly beautiful in the dead of winter. Some of the last historical accounts of wolves in California date to the 1920s. The rugged country struck me as the perfect setting for a story about werewolves. I combined my choice of setting with my interest in Norse mythology to come up with a unique werewolf origin story. Victoria and the Storm Pack were born from the combination of the two.What makes Victoria Storm such a desirable character?
Gosh, that's a difficult question. I don't think of my characters in terms of desirability. Victoria is a character who speaks to me, who has a story to tell. I hear her voice, relating her goals and motivations, her hopes and dreams. She's a lot of fun to write, but she's also a tortured individual. Of course, she's attractive but how many heroines are there who aren't? Desirability also goes to characterization and an author's ability to portray their character's charisma in a favorable light. I hope I'm doing both well, but I'm always striving to acquire the skills that will make me a better writer.Which other characters were fun to write?
I had the most fun writing Logan Koenig and Morena.This book is the second in the Loki's Wolves series. How many more do you anticipate? When can we expect the next one?
Logan is a twenty-year old werewolf who is accused of having murdered his own mother. By werewolf law, he's forced to live subjugated to the will of his Alpha father. Despite his joyless existence, he copes in ways outside the norm. He's sarcastic and contrary, and I love that about him. He says things that others would be thinking. He's a risk-taker and a tormented soul.
Morena is a teenage werewolf who lost her entire family to hunters. Originally, she started out as a character utilized for comedy relief and as a foil to Victoria. But Morena has really taken on a life of her own as the series has progressed. There's a great deal of vulnerability and yearning beneath her clownish exterior and I'm looking forward to watching the character develop further.
I have the next two books in the series planned out. Battle Cry, the sequel to Hunger Moon, is another Victoria Storm novel. She returns to Arizona to confront the hunters responsible for killing most of her pack. The book following Battle Cry is going to be from Logan Koenig's perspective. Right now I don't have a final title but its nickname is "Run Logan Run." Lol. All total, I envision six books in the series. I'd love to have Battle Cry release by spring 2014.Please tell us about the first book in the series.
The Child Thief is a short story I wrote to introduce Victoria, the rest of the Storm Pack, and my mythology to my readers. The story serves as the starting point for my series. Readers are able to get a feel for my style before they commit to buying a full length novel. The Child Thief is available for free download on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, Smashwords and All Romance Ebooks.What is the appeal of shifters, for both writers and readers?
I believe shifters appeal to writers for the same reasons they charm readers. Shape changers are transformative and primal. They open up a world of possibilities to explore, especially the dual-nature of a man and beast. Werewolves can be even more exciting because they take the adventure one step further and allow the imagination to cross boundaries between men and monsters.When did you know that you wanted to be a writer?
I think it must have been in 4th or 5th grade when I first discovered my lifelong love of reading. Creative fiction assignments gave me my first taste and I've been writing ever since. I've gone through stages in life where I wrote more or wrote less, but I've never stopped writing entirely.What is the best piece of writing advice you have ever received?
Allow me to quote Stephen King, On Writing:What is a genre you would like to try, but haven't yet written?
“Write with the door closed, rewrite with the door open.”
Hard core science fiction. I have tons of ideas but not enough technical knowledge. Maybe someday I'll have time to develop a thorough plot outline AND pick the hubby's brain for facts. (He's a physics and math guy.)What is one of your guilty pleasures?
Salted chocolate gelato.What can you be found doing when not reading or writing?
Chasing children, herding cats, housework, bike riding, reading, cooking, playing games, gardening, and watching paranormal, sci-fi and cooking shows!What is something readers may be surprised to learn about you?
I've had chicken pox twice. I had a very mild case of it when I was four and a terrible bout at fifteen that took me three weeks to fully recover from.Is there anything else you would like to add?
Yes, thank you so much for having me as a guest on your today. It's been wonderful!Thank you so much for your time!
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
A friend asked me once how I chose my pen name. I told her the following: "Melissa, because when people mix up my first name, it's the most common goof up. Snark, because it amuses me. A) I love the word 'snarky' and B) I love Lewis Carroll."
As an individual, I'm sarcastic, stubborn and blunt to a fault. I have a strange sense of humor and I like to laugh (usually at my husband or children), but also at myself. I'm not particularly extroverted, although I do enjoy time with my family and close friends a great deal. At the moment, I'm a stay at home mom who writes in my spare time. I've got a B.S. from Arizona State University in Business, and I've worked a variety of different jobs, including as a medical device documentation specialist, a technical writer, and an auto liability adjuster.
I live in the San Francisco East Bay of Northern California with my husband, three kids, and three cats. My hobbies include roleplaying, cooking and reading.
I maintain a blog, which I update regularly at http://melissasnark.blogspot.com/
I enjoy hearing from my readers, so please drop me a line at MelissaSnark at gmail dot com.
Where to find Melissa on the Internet:
Amazon Author Page [http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B0076EEQIU]
by Melissa Snark
Valkyrie Victoria Storm desires nothing more than to provide her wolf pack with a safe haven, but her position as priestess to the Goddess Freya also brings with it certain… obligations. Not War with the Barrett family resulted in the deaths of her parents and most of her pack. Now, hunters are hot on the trail of the remaining pack members. Sawyer Barrett, a human hunter hell bent on revenge, is convinced that Victoria murdered his brother. He will stop at nothing to see Victoria must defend the survivors and somehow lead them to safety. Months on the run has weakened the pack, and there are newborn pups to protect, making swift travel impossible. Ahead, the promise of refuge beckons.
Their best chance for survival lies in Sierra Pines, California: Arik Koenig, a powerful, dominant male wolf. He promises to protect and provide for the pack, something Victoria knows the pack needs for survival. His mysterious past is riddled with violence and death, including the slaughter of his entire family twenty years before. His wife died under mysterious circumstances and his son, Logan, is rumored to be her killer.
What is truth? Who can she trust? The desperate spirit of Arik’s murdered wife calls out for help, and Logan begs for assistance in clearing his name. Victoria must solve a murder that has pitted father against son, rooted in a mystery reaching back two decades. Her quest starts her on a journey from the human world to Odin’s Valhalla and back again.
Victoria will find salvation or face destruction beneath the Hunger Moon…
Read an excerpt:
Victoria felt him before she saw him. His power washed over her with the force of an incoming tide, as dark, mysterious and unstoppable as the ocean. Her wolf rose to answer his in instinctive response, defiant and determined. She challenged his power and altered the irresistible flow so it passed around rather than over her. Before she reached the office entrance, the male werewolf responded to her presence and surged to his feet. He rounded the desk, demonstrating extraordinary grace and strength, and she braced for a physical confrontation. He dwarfed her in both height and weight.
As soon as their gazes met, they locked in a dominance contest. His narrowed eyes pierced hers; the light-pigmented brown irises were the color of honey and eclipsed the whites and round black pupils. Wolf eyes.
Victoria did not approach with her head low or avert her gaze. Instead, she challenged him outright, radiating defiance, posture stiff and erect. While they faced off, she regretted the tactical error, but it was too late to rescind. Her stubborn pride permitted no retreat, and it went against her nature to submit.
"Let's take this outside where there are no humans to bear witness," he said in a deep, resonant voice she found appealing.
Aroused, her wolf took an immediate interest in him as a fine, fit male animal. For the first time, Victoria noticed his physical appearance, and her wolf found him more than acceptable. She estimated his age as being in his late thirties. He in no way suffered for the smattering of silver hairs that peppered his dark head. He was a perfect specimen of a man.
Distracted, Victoria broke eye contact, but not to submit. She ran her gaze over his body with blatant approval, lingering on his broad shoulders and chest, muscular arms and legs. He wore a tailored navy suit with a light shirt and dark blue tie. From the way his clothing fit, there was not an ounce of spare fat anywhere on him.
His features possessed splendid symmetry, though a silver scar on his right cheek marred his perfection. The shape of his brow, nose, and lower face hinted at a distant Roman heritage. High cheekbones alluded to his Nordic blood. He cleared his throat, and Victoria scented both his arousal and amusement.
"Did you come to challenge me, or do you have something else in mind?"
His devilish smile hinted at a sense of humor, and Victoria seized on the opening. A ballsy gamble carried inherent risk, but her initial inept blundering had left her with no other graceful out. Her eyes rose to meet his once again.
"I am Victoria, daughter of Adair and Katherine, High Priestess of Freya, Lady Valkyrie, shaman, and healer," she said, making her boast. "I am also the Alpha of my pack, and I am seeking a mate. I have come to assess whether you would make an acceptable suitor."
"You're kidding." He registered surprise and disbelief.
Victoria arched her brow. "I am not."
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Thank you for hostingReplyDelete
Great excerpt. I really love the story line. I intend to obtain The Child Thief.ReplyDelete
I did not know you could get chicken pox twice.
Either did I or I'd never have babysat for the child I contracted it from the second time! :D
Thanks for commenting. I hope you enjoy The Child Thief. :)
Good morning, Andi. Thank you for having me as your guest today. :-)ReplyDelete
Interesting interview, thank you.ReplyDelete
Thank you for stopping by today. :)
Sounds like a great read!!ReplyDelete
Thanks for the chance to win!
natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com
Thanks for dropping in and commenting. :)
thanks for this awesome Q&A jenpsht at gmail.comReplyDelete
Thanks, Jennie! :)Delete
Yikes! Two cases of chicken pox? That's nearing unheard of! I had it when I was nine-- huge pox about the size of pencil eracers.ReplyDelete
Enjoyed the interview!
Thanks for sharing the Q&A and the excerpt. Sounds like a great book. Thanks for sharing the giveaway. evamillien at gmail dot comReplyDelete
I do like your pen name. Thank you for the interview.ReplyDelete
Loved the excerpt,,,sounds amazing :)))ReplyDelete
vals_hemi at yahoo dot com
Love the excerpt and interview!ReplyDelete