Friday, October 18, 2013

The Reluctant Guardian by Melissa J. Cunningham: Interview



Welcome Melissa!  I'm stepping in for Dalene today because her computer is broken.  I'm super excited that my readers and I will get to know more about you via Dalene's interview.  So let's begin....

First, tell us about yourself – where you live, your family, and those sorts of details. 

I live in northern Utah, in the country. I have horses, goats, chickens, cats and dogs! I love it here where it is so peaceful you can hear the wind whisper.


How long have you been writing? 

I have been writing for five years. Yep. That's it. No formal education. I've attended many seminars and I took a writing course online, but that is it!


Do you have a favorite place to write? 

I write the only place I can. In my bedroom at my desktop. I love my ergonomically correct keyboard, and I make too many mistakes on my laptop's teeny tiny keyboard, to make it fun. LOL


Why did you decide to write Reluctant Guardian? 

It wasn't really a decision. It was more of a compulsion. It was just the next idea in my mind. Most writers understand this. It wasn't for anyone else. Just me. I wanted to write so bad, so I did. That's it.


Who is your favorite character in your book and why? 

I don't have a favorite. I love them all because they are my fantasy land children. I love the good ones and evil ones alike. They all have their own personalities that fascinate me.


How about your least favorite character? What makes them less appealing to you? 

Don't have one. If I don't like them, they get cut! LOL I love them all and all their little idiosyncrasies.


Do you proofread/edit your own books or do you get someone to do that for you? 

I absolutely do it myself. But I have a critique group also, and their input is vital. Any author who doesn't let others edit their work is not a very good writer in my opinion. Please kill me if I ever get to the point where I think I know everything and that my opinion is the only one that matters! LOL


What do you like to do when you’re not writing? 

I love long, hot baths. I love to read. Not a day goes boy where I don't read. Ever. I love being outdoors. I love hiking and camping, animals. I just love living life, which is so precious to me especially now.


Do you read much and if so, who are your favorite authors? 

I answered the first part of that question already, and I have a few favorites. I really like Maggie Stiefvater, Stephanie Meyer, James Dashner, Jeff Savage, Allie Condie... oh there are so many more that I like just as well as these, I just can't name them all. LOL I really like James Patterson, but mostly when he teams up with other authors. I really like Stephen King, but I like his earlier work better than his more recent books. I think it's easier to ask what my favorite books are rather than my favorite authors. LOL Check out my blog and Goodreads. It's all there.

What question do you wish that someone would ask about your book, but nobody has? 

Why a book about suicide and the afterlife? Because I absolutely believe in an afterlife, and I wanted teens who entertain thoughts about suicide to know that it will get better. That if you hold on, whatever it is you're hurting about, will pass. You are loved, truly, and your life makes a huge impact on others, more than you think. You have value, you are invaluable.


Title:  Reluctant Guardian
Author:   Melissa J. Cunningham
Published:  September 20th, 2013 by Clean Teen Publishing
Word Count: approx. 82,000
Genre:  YA Mature Paranormal Romance
Content Warning:  Topics such as suicide and sexual abuse implied but not described
Recommended Age:  14+
Synopsis: Guarding Brecken Shaefer—a dark and dangerous rebel—is harder than it looks.
Death was nothing like sixteen-year-old Alisa Callahan thought it would be. Resting on pink, fluffy clouds for eternity with her gram and best friend sounded like a dream come true. After all, enduring one torturous experience after another in her short life deserved some kind of reward, right? Unfortunately, eternal rewards aren’t given out so freely when you take your own life.
Required to pay the debt for committing suicide, Alisa must become a guardian. It sounds easy enough, but not when the boy she is forced to protect has a dangerous secret and wants absolutely nothing to do with her.
Brecken Shaefer isn’t any normal teenager. He has special gifts that are sure to make Alisa’s afterlife miserable. When feelings develop between them, everything spins out of control. Not only must Alisa face her own demons— but to protect Brecken, she must face an evil so heinous that it threatens to destroy their souls completely. Alisa is tired of hiding from her past. When the easiest thing to do is run, can Brecken give her the strength to stay?
Amazon | Amazon UK | Goodreads


I should have realized that suicide was not my best option. But like most teenage girls, I hadn't planned ahead. I never pictured my parents and brothers picking up the pieces of my broken life, or the empty hole I would leave in my wake.
I honestly didn't think anyone cared that much.
The medication I'd been taking hadn't helped matters either. My doctor prescribed it after the death of my beloved grandmother who'd lived with us since I was a baby. Three months later, my best friend Natasha, died from a brain tumor. Nothing could have shattered me more. Not just because Natty and I were closer than Siamese twins, but because we shared a dark, horrifying secret.
Something I'd never told anyone. Not even my parents. Once she was gone I didn't know how to shoulder that weight on my own. I was drowning in sorrow. I'd fallen into a dark pit and had every right to take that antidepressant. My parents thought it would help too.
I should have been more open about my feelings. I should have confided in my mom and dad. Explained that the medication wasn't working. That in reality I felt worse. But I didn't. I didn't realize the drug was affecting me adversely . . . until it was too late.
The only thing I wanted that night was to not feel anymore, to not have my heart ripping in two, and to not cry so hard that my whole body ached.
Would it be painful if I rammed my car into the tall pine at the curve of the road? Would it do the trick or just turn me into a vegetable for the rest of my life?
I gambled. I took a chance and got what I wanted. Death.
Melissa J. Cunningham began writing five years ago when she decided, out of the blue, to enter a community writing contest and won first place. From that moment on she had a new love: Writing. Melissa is a member of the League of Utah Writers. Her past publication experience includes a recurring opinion column called Writing Reality, for her local newspaper: The Leader

Melissa's first novel: Reluctant Guardian, was accepted for publication through Clean Teen Publishing in August 2013.

When Melissa is not writing you can find her spending time with her family and her horses, cats, dogs and chickens or reading. Melissa is also a local music teacher.

Clean Teen Publishing Links:

Giveaway Details:
There is an international tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:
GRAND PRIZE: A digital copy of Reluctant Guardian, a bookmark, and reader’s choice of any Clean Teen Publishing digital book and a $10 Amazon gift card. 



1 comment:

Melissa J. Cunningham said...

Thank you for having my on your blog and thank you so much for the shout out! Truly appreciated!