Monday, 12 October 2009

Eleni-fest: chatting with Mel Teshco

Today my special guest is fellow RWA Paranormal group & Team Hearts Talk member, the delightful Mel Teshco. Her debut novella, Stone-Cold Lover was published by Ellora’s Cave in August right during our conference (what an excuse to celebrate further!).

Thanks for joining us Mel and welcome to Eleni-Fest!!

Congratulations on the release of Stone Cold Lover. Does it still feel surreal that you are a published author?  
Thanks Eleni. Yes, it really does still feel surreal! And to be honest, I hope that shiny feeling inside never goes away, never fades!

What attracted you to the world of gargoyles? How did Cray and Loretta’s story come about? 
I wanted to have a heroine who wasn’t virginal and goody-goody, a heroine who had everything given to her on a silver platter, and who to the outside world, truly did have *everything*. The hero gargoyle came about from a curse I played around with. And I liked the idea of having a hero who had an ability but was still flawed both physically and emotionally (yes he can glide, but he can’t fly, he’s not a superman character).

Can you tell us your Call story? How did you choose Ellora’s Cave? 
I’d written Stone-Cold Lover (which btw was originally Kissed by Stone) specifically for Nocturne Bites, and as all writers have experienced, I was rather crushed at the big R. (I really thought this story was ‘the one’!) On a bit of a whim I sent it to Ellora’s Cave, where it turned out the editor there loved it. Bless you Pamela!

The cover art of Stone Cold Lover is fantastic – did you have any input into how it would look? 
It is fantastic, thanks Eleni for saying so! I did have lots of input for the cover art. Part of the process is for the author to fill out a cover request form. I asked that the hero in his human form be looking into a mirror and seeing his gargoyle form, I also specifically asked that his wings be included – no easy task! Les Byerley did  a fabulous job for me =)

Um, the story is an erotica, and there is one scene that is truly unique – when Cray is in his gargoyle form (R rating! ) Was that something you did to spice it up for Ellora’s Cave?  
Yes! Originally there was just a little gentle foreplay. At my editor’s request I had to ramp all my scenes up, make them much more graphic, detailed and visual. She also asked for another sex scene. Phew! That is where my extra scene went! (and I’m quite happy I have to say, with the result )

What are you working on now? And what’s in the near future for Mel Teshco?
I’m working on Ice Cold Lover – the daughter of Cray and Loretta – who has her own body issues (with a set of wings she has to permanently hide). I’ve also just given my editor a contemporary short story about a stripper, so waiting to hear if that is a yes or a no. Apart from that I’m co-author on a single title called ‘Believe’, which is really deep and meaningful and rather chilling at times (in a good way), with much of it based loosely on real life happenings (think psychics, mental hospitals and spirits) which I’m extremely excited about!

‘Believe’ sounds fascinating. How are you finding the collaboration experience?
It's been such a learning curve for me (and no doubt for Kylie too!) and so very very different to my solo efforts. Believe is very indepth, so though I do the writing itself, Kylie does almost all the research, emails people for reference and helps to roughly plan out where the next chapter is heading (this shuttles back and forward between us until we have a happy medium). Kylie also helps to edit and remind me where I'm at - invaluable with the copious amounts of notes, ideas and general scribbles we have! Of course this process is much, much slower, but I 'believe' the manuscript is far more complex and 'real' (Kylie has first hand experience as a psychic herself). Of course, all we have to do now is finish it!

What attracted you to writing in a shorter format? 
I *love* writing in shorter format.  I find my voice and pacing style naturally suits the 20K mark and under.  I have written longer length (I finished Shadow Hunter some years ago, which I intend to take out, dust off and revise very soon!) and am still writing Believe – but it’s a much bigger ask of my ability as a writer. 

How do you think your writing groups and associations have helped you in your writing? 
I know for a fact I’d have been lost without them. There were a few years I wrote with no support, no network. I didn’t even know where to find other writers, who they were and what they wrote! It wasn’t until I moved to QLD and discovered RWA, that the proverbial ‘writing’ snowball started to  gather momentum – I soon met and was inspired by other writer’s like Rachel Bailey and Robyn Grady, joined and began to swap chapters with an online group – Claytons Critters, before finding some fantastic CP’s who also dreamed big.

You’re a wife, mum, live on a rural property with a lot of animals, and are a writer.  How do you fit it all in? Do you have a set routine? 
Routine!? Lol – what is that?? No, I guess I do have a routine of sorts. I check most of my emails etc in the morning while Miss two is having her breakfast and watching cartoons. The rest of the morning is the usual housework/mum/errands stuff. My next round of writing – which is usually blogs/promo/writing related stuff, is when Miss two has her afternoon nap. After that (I won’t bore you with my afternoon schedules) you can almost always find me writing between 8.30pm and midnight. Writing really is a BIG commitment when you think about it!

What or who inspires your writing? 
Think the question is, what doesn’t? I guess it’s bits and pieces from everything, everyone and everywhere – with a big dash of imagination.

What do you love about being a writer? 
I love that it’s *me* who is calling the shots, making up characters and plot. I love the freedom, the creativity and the fact that I’m doing something I’ve only ever dreamed I’d do!

Thanks Mel for your joining us.
Mel has kindly offered a giveaway of either a copy of her ebook, Stone-Cold Lover (must be over 18 to receive) OR a critique of your first chapter.

To enter, make a comment below by the end of the 18th October.

Comments are now closed. Congratulations Joder!

Please visit Mel's blog to read the blurb of Stone Cold Lover.

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