Great Summer Reads; Storm Child by Melanie Mason

Melanie is an author, designer, photographer, and flight attendant all rolled into one. She has told stories all her life and finds her passion in sharing the plots that spin through her head. She now lives in Portland, Oregon, with her two dachshund-chihuahua dogs. She loves the beauty of the Pacific Northwest that feeds her imagination.

When no one is listening, Melanie loves to belt Broadway songs in her living room and car. Someday she hopes to be on a flight where someone is reading her book.

To escape capture by Imperial soldiers, 16-year-old Eridale Storm leaves the only home she’s ever known and drags her younger sister into the wilds of Mericon—the Empire that formed when America collapsed. Hoping to find safety with their mother who disappeared when Eridale was three, the girls follow clues that lead them across the country, but the empire hounds their every step.

The journey draws Eridale deeper into the conflict between the Empire and the rebel Freedom Fighters, producing questions about Eridale’s heritage, questions no one wants to answer.

Caught between the threads of deception, rebellion, and betrayal, Eridale struggles to find out who she is. The answers she finds could lead the country back to freedom or shackle them under the imperial throne forever.

This is book 1 of a 4 book series and not a stand-alone book.

Q&A With the Author:

1.  What do you like to do when you're not writing?

            I like to read, hike, go to the beach and relax, sew, bake sweets (way more than I should), and once in a while I get caught up in jewelry making.

2. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

            I don’t plan out any of my stories. That being said, sometimes I really am surprised by what I am inspired to write. It’s like I’m reading the book for the first time, but it’s in my head.

3. Do you have any suggestions to help budding authors become better writers? If so, what are they?

            Write. Write. Write. Write stories about your day, write anecdotes about your experience at the store or on a drive, share stories with your friends and family. If you like writing fiction, practice making stuff up. And please, please, please, learn proper sentence structure. It will help you in the long run to have a lot less to edit.

4. Where do you get information and ideas for your books?

            The ideas I get are inspiration. I feel that nothing is born simply of my genius. All of my experiences in life, in work, in reading, in church, in relationships comes to play in the birth of a new idea. When it comes to information such as historical facts, locations, and modern views of different subjects, I really like Wikipedia. Google Maps and I are also very good friends.

5. What do you think makes a good story?

            I alway say that if a story can make me forget the outside world and feel the entire gamut of emotion then it is a great story. The stories I remember the most are the ones that make me mad, sad, happy, jealous, ache for the character or their situation, cry, or thrill at their wins.

6. Tell us about your favorite summer vacation? Or what do you like to do in the summer?

            My favorite summer vacation was actually when I was younger. We would always go camping in the summer. I loved it. Now that I’m older and don’t like to be cold, I love sitting on a warm beach (so not the Oregon coast). What I usually end up doing in the summer is reading—a lot, editing, hiking the amazing trails in the Columbia River Gorge, and spending time in my back yard soaking up the rays while I read a good book.

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