Fiction Focus: Q&A with ‘Snow Whyte and the Queen of Mayhem’ author Melissa Lemon

Melissa Lemon’s “Snow Whyte and the Queen of Mayhem” was released on Dec. 11, 2012, but the positive buzz surrounding the book continues. You can buy the book in bookstores and on Amazon.com and BarnesAndNoble.com.

Lemon was kind enough to answer a few questions about herself and her writing style recently. Keep reading, some of her answers might surprise you.

CF: In 75 words or less, tell us what “Snow Whyte and the Queen of Mayhem” is about.

ML: Having narrowly escaped death as an infant, princess Katiyana grows up with no idea of who she really is or the spell that is watching over her. When her new home becomes a danger as well, Kat seeks refuge in Fluttering Forest with seven tiny (and also hilarious) men. When the queen learns that the daughter she thought dead is still alive, Katiyana will be forced to come face to face with her true identity.

CF: Which author(s) has motivated and influenced your writing style the most?

ML; Confession time: I’m not a big fan of reading. I know, it’s weird. I’ve loved writing as long as I can remember, and disliked reading as long as I can remember. I guess I can safely say that the influence is low. I think I’m still finding my style through trial and error.

CF: What book are you reading now or what is the last one you read?

ML; Although I’m not a big fan of reading, I belong to a book club so I do actually read sometimes. I just finished “Rules of Civility” by Amor Towles and “The Uses of Adversity” by Carlfred Broderick. I’ll be reviewing both of them on my blog this month. I’m also beta reading a couple of books for writing friends, because while I don’t enjoy reading that much, I do like editing.

CF: Favorite author outside your genre?

ML: I am a big fan of Melody Beattie.

CF: Who would play the main characters if “Snow Whyte” were turned into a movie?

ML: The lovely and talented Claire Foyas Katiyana.

CF: How do you juggle the demands of writing and everyday life?

ML: I don’t. Which is why my house is such a mess right now.

CF:Which genre, besides your own, would you consider tackling?

ML: I’m pretty fearless when it comes to genre. I’ve also written picture books, early readers, science fiction, romances and even have ideas for non-fiction. I think the genres I’m not ready to tackle are mystery and thriller. I’m easily frightened.

CF: What role does music play in your writing routine?

ML: Music plays a big role in my life in general since I play several musical instruments and teach lessons. But when it comes to writing, I really like silence. I do sometimes think a song reminds me of one of my books or one of my characters.

CF: Which songs get the most play time on your iPod?

ML: Right now I’m loving “I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz, “Yours Forever” by Dara McLean, and “Spotless” by Michael Gungor

CF: In 25 words or less, what advice would you give to aspiring novelists?

ML: Learn all you can, keep writing, hone your skills, don’t take rejection personally, keep writing, never give up, join a writing group, attend writing conferences, keep writing. Oops, that was more than 25!