Thursdays of Sword & Sorceress 26 – the Melissa Mead interview

Today we are going to kick off our series of interviews with the contributors of Sword & Sorceress 26. Up first is Melissa Mead!

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1.) Tell us about yourself.

I’m a member of Codex and the Carpe Libris Writers Group: http://carpelibris.wordpress.com/ I live near Albany , NY with my husband and 2 cats.

2.) How did you get started writing?

I started writing as a child, and writing “seriously” after fellow Carpe Libris member Jennifer Schwabach talked me into going to Albacon 2002. (My first con.)

3.) Why write fantasy fiction?

Because where else can you ride ostriches one day, explore a labyrinth the next, and go on a safari in search of wild televisions after that? (Why yes, these are shameless plugs for other stories of mine. Can you spot them all? ;))

4.) There’s been considerable upheaval about ebooks within the publishing world. Do you think ebooks are good or bad for readers?

I don’t own an e-reader, but I imagine that if I travelled a lot or had limited book space I’d find one quite handy.

5.) Do you think ebooks are good or bad for writers?

Well, my novel Between Worlds, from Double Dragon Publishing, is an e-book, and I’m very pleased with how it came out. On the other hand, I still want to have a paper book on the shelves someday.

6.) Tell us about your S&S 26 story.

It started with ostriches. I forget why I wanted to write about ostriches, but the opening scene popped into my head, and I HAD to know what happened to Yama and Dara.

7.) Can you share a brief excerpt from your S&S Story?

Yama stood outside the thorn fence that circled the banjooli pen and called “Banjooli! Come, Banjooli-Yama!”

All around the dusty compound, what had looked like lumps of dark earth sprouted long necks with ostrich-like heads. All the heads turned toward Yama, watching her with identical blank expressions.

Yama sighed. With a mischievous smile, she called more softly, “Naa, Dara!” Come, Nothing!

One of the smaller messenger-birds rose, shook red dust from its shaggy feathers, and loped to the fence.

“Kee-ya,” said the bird. When Yama didn’t produce any food, the other birds went back to their napping and became lumps again.

“Kee-ya-ya-ya,” the small banjooli said.

“That’s my smart boy! You understand me, don’t you?” She twined one slender braid around a finger, and the banjooli pecked at the brown beads on the end.

“No, silly! You can’t eat my Rider’s beads,” said Yama, laughing, and the banjooli backed off, clucking.

“Did you just call that runt by name, farm-girl?” said a human voice. “And did it answer you?”

Yama whirled to face the older Rider. “I called it nothing, Keela Safara!”

8.) Recommend one other science fiction/fantasy book (other than your own).

Dark Winter, by fellow Carpe Libris member Jennifer Schwabach. http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/dark-winter/503427 (Yes, she who dragged me to my first con. Revenge is sweet. ;))

9.) Recommend one non-fantasy book.

Well, there are actually a few of these books, but after I watched the Victorian Farm series I bought the books: http://www.amazon.com/Victorian-Farm-Christmas-Ruth-Goodman/dp/1862058717/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1312407258&sr=1-2 It’s a great look into what it was like living on a 19th century British farm. I liked it both as research material and just for the fun of it.

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Thanks, Melissa, for your interview.

Check out our interviews with past S&S contributors – Sword & Sorceress 22, Sword & Sorceress 23, Sword & Sorceress 24, and Sword & Sorceress 25.

And my novels featuring my S&S character, spy and assassin Caina Amalas, are now available in all ebook formats: Child of the Ghosts and Ghost in the Flames.

-JM

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