Friday, December 21, 2012

Happy Holidays!! Looking Into the New Year on the Last Day of Planet Earth

I am not planning on the end of the world. I am planning on a fabulous coming year of blogging goodness and I hope you'll join me. Beginning in January, I am adding some spunk, flavor, and consistency to the blog. Here is a look at what is to come.

Mondays will feature author interviews. I will introduce you to some fabulous authors and their books.

Wednesdays will be devoted to the writing process from beginning a novel all the way to marketing a book successfully.

And of course, you can expect a bit of randomness in there as well. I like random. Random makes me happy. I'm also looking forward to working on some new projects (including a fairy tale or two) and self-publishing a book early next year. (Think romance. The civilized kind.) I'm excited to share all my writing ventures with you.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Saturday, December 15, 2012


The winner of the Countdown to Launch party and 2 copies of Snow Whyte and the Queen of Mayhem is................................................................................................................................................................


This woman had five entries so I guess it pays to keep entering. I'll be contacting you soon.

Thanks for your randomness!

A whopping thanks to everyone who came out to the launch party. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing you and talking with you. Happy reading!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Lost, Buried Secrets of Snow Whyte and the Queen of Mayhem (Which I Will Proceed to Dig Up and Reveal) Part 4

Where did I come up with the names for the seven dwarfs?

Good question, right? And it's a fun story. At least, I think it is. I tried to think of what names would fit well with seven little men. In the end, I just looked up the word "short" in as many languages I needed to until I found seven I liked. Here are the results. And I can't remember what languages they all are, so if you know one, let us know.


Snow Whyte and the Queen of Mayhme officially launched 2 days ago, and I've had a couple of signings already, but I am SO TOTALLY EXCITED for the launch party tomorrow night! Are you coming? I hope to see you there!

You can enter my Countdown to Launch contest here. You can also enter by sharing this post on facebook or twitter. Just be sure to include my twitter name (Melissa_Lemon) or facebook profile (Melissa Lemon) so I can find it.

If you haven't spammed your friends with Snow Whyte craziness yet, now is the time. :)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Interview with Katiyana from Snow Whyte and the Queen of Mayhem

What was it like growing up on an orchard?

Growing up on the orchard was so peaceful. I loved running around outside, pretending the apple trees were all my playmates. It frustrated me that Barney never let me go to Mischief Market with him, but I was never lonely. Not with the trees and my drawings and stories.

What is your favorite memory of your Uncle Barney?

I remember one afternoon I came upon him as he spoke with his horse. He whispered a story to him, asked him questions, and listened for answers. I watched and heard the whole encounter. He loved his animals.

Tell us a deep dark secret about Jeremy Simkins.

Jeremy Simkins could never pick as many apples as I could. My record in a day is 920. His record is 351. The large difference is due greatly to the fact that Jeremy never stopped talking and he couldn’t talk and work at the same time.

What was it like facing the queen?

It all happened so fast—first the strange woman in the cave, and then that crazy storm. Iden caught me completely off guard, and I couldn't hear him very well anyway with all that wind and snow. Then I looked at the woman. It still gives me chills when I think of those dark eyes coming after me. Then, poof! Everything went black. Black and cold. That’s really all I can remember.

Tell us about becoming the new Queen of Mayhem. What were the first changes you made?

Oh goodness! I would be lying if I didn't tell you how much I fell in love with all my new clothes. I was nervous. Nervous and scared. I wondered if I could actually do such a grand thing given my humble upbringing. But here I am. The first changes we made involved the government. We created new positions so that future kings and queens would always be kept in check. The king and queen of Mischief were very willing to be involved in the process and offer their advice. I just can’t understand why they insisted on smashing chocolate cream pies into the faces of my advisers.

What is your favorite food?

Roast chicken with boiled potatoes flavored with rosemary. I miss Jalb’s stew, but I love the castle menu!

What is your favorite animal?

While I lived in Fluttering Forest with Kurz and the others, I grew fond of the squirrels and chipmunks that ran about, scurrying up the trees and into hidden holes underneath rocks.

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Lost, Buried Secrets of Snow Whyte and the Queen of Mayhem (Which I Will Proceed to Dig Up and Reveal) Part 3

Do you ever wonder how a book evolves during the writing process? Well, Snow Whyte and the Queen of Mayhem had quite the evolutionary process. Here are just a few things that changed from original drafts.

When I first began writing the story, it had only one dwarf. This dwarf came in the form of a baby that had been abandoned at the edges of the orchard where Kat grows up. There was something different about this baby. Not only did he have severe dwarfism, but osteogenesis imperfecta as well. In these drafts, Kat does not find seven dwarfs in the forest. Rather, she escapes her dangerous circumstances with the baby dwarf she has discovered and finds an old woman in the forest to live with who becomes her teacher and mentor. I didn't like Kat as much in these drafts. (And my writing group didn't either.) She was extremely ignorant from being raised in total isolation. Barney was not as kind during her childhood in these versions.

I do miss the old woman, however, and regret that her character did not get developed at all. But because I loved the idea of her so much, she was the inspiration for the story of how the seven dwarfs came to live together in the first place. In Snow Whyte and the Queen of Mayhem, she is only mentioned briefly, and is referred to as "Mother Dwarf."

My favorite twist in the story was not planned originally, and it is one of my favorite things about the story. That is one of the things I love about writing. It is such a thrilling adventure to write a book and see where the story leads you, as if it has its own plans and agendas. The spell put on the princess, and the connection to the snow and the weather as a form of protection for her was also not originally in the plot and is also one of my favorite things about the story. And I can't imagine it without all seven dwarfs, whose characteristics and personalities I really grew to love throughout the process. I did still give one of the dwarfs Osteogenesis imperfecta. Mean, I know. And two of the dwarfs are conjoined twins.

So many changes took place while writing this book that sometimes it's hard to believe it all came from the same place. If you missed my post about the dream that gave me the idea in the first place, you can read it here.

You can enter my Countdown to Launch contest here. You can also enter by sharing this post on facebook or twitter. Just be sure to include my twitter name (Melissa_Lemon) or facebook profile (Melissa Lemon) so I can find it.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Lost, Buried Secrets of Snow Whyte and the Queen of Mayhem (Which I Will Proceed to Dig Up and Reveal) Part 2

Where did the name Snow Whyte and the Queen of Mayhem come from? That is a LOADED question.

From the very beginning, I wanted the book to be called "White as the Driven Snow." That is what all 10 first drafts are saved under. I'm not a novice when it comes to book titles. I want my books to have original titles. So, I do research. On Amazon. After researching that name, I learned that it was fairly original, but it did bring up a few books with religious context. The search never brought up any fairy tales. I saw this as a bit of a problem. Snow Whyte doesn't have a lot of religion in it, and I worried that people searching for retellings or fairy tales in general would never find it. My publishing company didn't like it either. They asked for a few more suggestions and I obliged, giving them the following:

White as Snow
Snow White and Queen Radiance
Snow White and the Queen of Mayhem
and the ever original, Snow White

None of these ideas seemed to impress anyone either. My publishing company asked me if I had strong objections to the title Fairest of them All: A Snow White Story. And I did. I hope this doesn't disappoint anybody, but image doesn't play an important role in the book. I get so sick of hearing about image! It makes me want to scream sometimes. Anyway, sorry about that little tangent. Back to the drawing board and the one that took the prize was Snow White and the Queen of Mayhem. A while later, I was asked if I had objections to spelling White differently. I didn't. Now, I can't imagine having it spelled any other way, and I am in love with the title, even if it is a little long. I even read a review where somebody complained about the length of the title. I thought, 'Really? You aren't the one who has to type it over and over again. Do you hear me complaining?' Okay, maybe I complain a little. :)

You can enter my Countdown to Launch contest here. You can also enter by sharing this post on facebook or twitter. Just be sure to include my twitter name (Melissa_Lemon) or facebook profile (Melissa Lemon) so I can find it.

What is your favorite book title?

Monday, December 3, 2012

The Lost, Buried Secrets of Snow Whyte and the Queen of Mayhem (Which I Will Proceed to Dig Up and Reveal) Part 1

To celebrate the launch of Snow Whyte and the Queen of Mayhem, I thought it would be fun to share some nitty gritty secrets about the book--how it came to be, what the process was like, how it got its name, etc.

I dedicated this book to dreams. Not the aspiration kind of dreams, but the ones that visit us during sleep. The reason for this is that many of my book ideas come from dreams that are so vivid I know I will never get them out of my head. They are so piercing I feel as though they are otherworldly. I heard recently that we don't dream about people that we don't know, and I am here to tell you: that is completely NOT the truth. Maybe to an unimaginative person that is true. And I've had dreams where people I know in real life are substituted into the places and faces of people I dream about, but with the dream that got me brainstorming a plot for Snow Whyte, I saw two distinct people I had never before seen or heard of.

With rain pouring down, a man walked across a rocky piece of land that was spotted with trees. He moved deliberately, with great purpose, searching for someone, when suddenly there she was. They nearly ran into each other. Something covered her head, shielding her from the rain as she looked into his eyes. They stood under the branch of a tree as he told her he loved her, something he had never said to her before. Something that came as a bit of a surprise to her. But he had to leave. She watched him turn and run, but as he did, she realized she loved him too. She ran after him, following him all the way to a train station where he boarded and rode away. The girl stared after him, watching the train shrink until it disappeared. Fog swirled all around her. The end.

At the time, I had just finished Cinder and Ella and had been thinking of other fairy tales I could twist. I woke from this dream, wrote it down, and began to brainstorm. It didn't take long before I realized it would work for a Snow White twist.

And that is where the idea for Snow Whyte and the Queen of Mayhem came from. The only difference in the book (aside from a lot of added detail and back story) is that Jeremy leaves on foot. It had been a horse at one point, but I just couldn't bring myself to use a train in Medieval Fantasy. :)

You can enter my Countdown to Launch contest here. You can also enter by sharing this post on facebook or twitter. Just be sure to include my twitter name (Melissa_Lemon) or facebook profile (Melissa Lemon) so I can find it.

Here's to launching another fairy tale!

Have you ever had a book idea from a dream?