Interview with Melissa Turner LeeFirst of all, thanks for letting me to interview you. Let us begin by talking about your book, The Earth Painter of which I found the story concept very intriguing and interesting. What was the inspiration behind the whole story?
My stories come to me through characters first. I was putting away clothes in my son’s room and saw a girl in an auditorium and a strange guy. And suddenly this normal girl was being asked to join a conflict going on right there in the school that no one there knew about.
How about the writing process? How did you plan out everything (plot, characters, setting. etc.) before you start?
I am a SOTP (Seat Of The Pants) writer. I have tried and tried to plot but I just can’t. I have the characters show up and I start asking them questions about who they are and what is going on. When those questions are answered, I sit down and start writing. It is after I work on making sure it all makes sense and is connected from start to finish.
Who was you favorite character and who does he/she remind you of in real life?
I’m assuming you mean from The Earth Painter. Hmm…Khai-Ree-Hloa-Theo reminds a bit of Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory.
The dynamic between the painters and the sciences reminds me of me and my husband. I’m all creativity and he is all logic. Makes for a very amusing life. J
How about your favorite scene? Does it represent any special moment of your life?
When Holly paints with Theo, that’s how writing feels for me. Like someone else is creating the story and I’m just the one typing it.
What was the biggest challenge you encounter so far as an author?
Finding time to write. My kids are young and demanding but now they are all 3 in school all day. But still there is laundry and dust and trips to the market and notes from the school looking for moms to volunteer.
Is writing something that comes out naturally to you?
Yes. I don’t think I could stop even if I wanted to. If I made so much money I never had to write again, I’d still write and donate the money to charity.
Books you wish you had written. Pick one out of all these choices (Harry Potter, Twilight or The Hunger Games). Why the book?
Twilight. It’s crazy but for years I wanted to write a vampire romance but was told I couldn’t because all vampire books were dark and no one would want a romantic one. And then Twilight came out and showed that there was an audience. Plus the Cullens reminded me of my in-laws. I really could have written something similar, but tore that manuscript up years ago because the idea of me writing a vampire novel upset my family so much.
Your favorite character(s) from any books you’ve read.
Scarlett O’Hara. She is terrible but a fighter. And like me she learns from her mistakes…eventually.
Find The Earth Painter on Amazon.