Keira: You have a story that just came out through Hellfire Publishing entitled ‘Adversarius, Shadow of the Rose, Book One’. What is that about?
Mel: Well, it’s about a long standing war between two kingdoms and what one of the ruling families is willing to do for peace. A marriage is arranged between the only heir of one kingdom to the daughter of the other. Problem is, the man’s father refuses to allow the union and orders an attack on the intended bride. She ends up losing her memory and it seems like the whole world tries to help get her home where she belongs.
Keira: Is writing your only talent?
Mel: No. I have an Associate’s Degree in Advertising Art. So, I like to draw when I have the supplies and opportunity. I am doing character drawings for my books. I’m also pretty skilled in people. In general, that is. I’ve worked customer service for almost 20 years and have learned to read people well. I use that in my writing when creating characters. I also love to cook/bake.
Keira: Where in the Hell did you find time to write?
Mel: I wish I could tell you! I have a great deal of time in the long winters of Alaska. I think if I didn’t have internet or my imagination, I’d go stir crazy. Picture ‘The Shining’...
Keira: Why are you a writer?
Mel: I love books. I love fantasy in particular. I have always enjoyed writing down little stories since I was a teenager and worked on some fan-fic with a friend. I knew, though, I had my own story inside me and over the years, I have had dozens of ideas and no patience to work on just one at a time. But I did!
Keira: Please share a particular detail about one of characters, please.
Mel: The pyrate in my books, Sorcha Lilanthroe, is actually based on my pirate persona from the SCA. (Society for Creative Anachronism) It is a medieval recreation group that has chapters all over the world. You have to research your name and device (coat of arms) and submit them to the College of Heralds. Everyone’s name and device should be unique (if possible) but also needs to be a name from the era you have chosen. You also have to research your history and come up with a viable story. My persona is Sorcha MacGregor from 17th century Scotland, who turned pirate.
Keira: What advice would you give to an unpublished writer?
Mel: Hmm... I would say, write, write and re-write. When you think you’ve got it all polished up and pretty, edit it again. Don’t give up! If you choose to go the route of becoming a self-published author, spend the money on an editor. It is worth every penny and your book will stand out that much more!
Let’s get personal…
Keira: What is your guilty Pleasure?
Mel: Guilty pleasure... I’d have to say Slippery Nipples...
The drink! Buttershots, Bailey’s Irish Cream and milk. Mmm!!
Keira: What is your favorite Smell?
Mel: Easy! The smell of rain before a storm in the desert.
Keira: What is your favorite favorite animal?
Mel: Wolves, hands down. I have a wolf tattoo on my right ankle.
Keira: Can you tell us a secret?
Mel: Not much of a secret, but not something very well known, either. Don’t know what this will do to my sales, but I failed English all through high school. ~Blushes~ I had the skills and the knowledge. My teachers even encouraged me to write, but I just didn’t apply myself.
Keira: Can you share your blurb and excerpt with us?
Mel: Of course.
Two kingdoms, two goals.
The king of Relavia is determined to wipe out his warring neighbors in Paridzule, a worthy adversary for over five hundred years. News of an arranged marriage between his son and the daughter of his lifelong enemy has fueled the temper of Relavia's tyrannical king. What he doesn't realize is the true measure of his son's honor and how far he is willing to go to gain peace.
Adversarius Excerpt ~
Captain Sorcha Lilanthroe pushed her spyglass back in upon itself and leaned on the railing of the quarterdeck. She chewed the inside of her cheek, trying to make a decision.
“Fromas,” she finally beckoned her bosun and brother-in-law to her. She passed him the spyglass and lifted her chin in the direction she had been studying. “What does that look like to you? Two points off the port bow,” she directed.
Fromas lifted the contraption to his eye and surveyed the horizon. The suns shone onto his bald head. After a moment, he lowered the spyglass. He tilted his head slightly as he looked at his captain.
“Looks tae be the remains of a ship,” he confirmed her suspicions. “Hard tae tell, but by the color of the sails, might be a warship. Possibly from Paridzule.” Smoke billowed up over the wreckage and as they sailed closer, flotsam appeared in the water. The wake of her ship, the Blue Drake, pushed it easily aside. Sorcha lifted her chin again, indicating another point off the opposite railing for him to inspect.
“And what do you make of that? Four points starboard.” He lifted the glass to his eye once more and whistled softly.
“That looks tae be a survivor,” he passed the spyglass back to Sorcha.
“Indeed it does.”
“What be your orders, Cap'n?”
“Prepare to bring them aboard.”
“Man overboard!” Fromas bellowed, and the crew below them on the main deck relayed the order and prepared to pull the person from the water. One of the crewmen grabbed the gaff, leaning over the railing with the long pole. He made sure to hook the wreckage the person floated on—not flesh. Some of Sorcha's crew pulled on a rope attached to a pulley, sending a man sitting on a plank with a rope tied to each end like a swing, high into the air. Another pull of the rope and he swung beyond the railing as they lowered him into the water. As the man wrapped his arms around the unconscious form, he gave a shout and the men on deck pulled again, lifting both people out of the water and on to the deck, water spraying everyone in a wide arc.
Sorcha left the quarterdeck, going down the stairs to where her crew gathered around the still figure. She jabbed them with her elbows, shoving them roughly aside.
“Someone go fetch Percy. Move!” She shoved several more of her men out of the way and knelt down, pressing two fingers to the cool skin of the girl's neck. Life pulsed there, weak, but life nonetheless. She grabbed first one hand, then the other, looking for something specific. Sorcha found it on the right hand, slipped it off of the unconscious girl's finger and deftly stuck it in her pocket. “All of ye get back to yer stations!” she hollered. Most of the men frowned down at the girl lying on the deck but knew better than to disobey their captain.
You can find M.L. Chesley at:
You can find Adversarius, Shadow of the Rose: Book One on Amazon
Thank you Savannah for having us on your awesome blog today :)