Claudette Melanson lives in Guelph, Ontario, with her husband Ron and four bun babies: Tegan, Pepper, Butters & Beckett. She was born in Bristol, Tennessee and graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a BA in English and an MA in Literature. Vampires have been a passion since age five. She hopes to one day work full time as an author, since there are many, many books living inside her head.In her spare time she enjoys watching Japanese Anime and reading vampire stories….along with other great fiction. She is also very interested in good health and is an advocate of Ketogenic eating, using whole and natural foods. Future dreams include writing many more books, spending more time with her son, Jacob and sister, Susie. She hopes to take them and her nieces Maggie, Sadie and Sophie to Disneyworld with the proceeds from the first novel. A Rabbit Rescue fanatic, she also hopes to help rescues all over the world save many innocent lives.
What inspires you to write?
My head was filled with so many stories growing up—I’m extremely lucky I had a mother who read to me every day. All of those stories inspire me to create stories of my own. I watch a lot of movies and still read everything I can get my hands on, and that helps, because the elements of a good story you like, you’ll pick up and try to transfer to the stories you create. I listen to music when I write. It can set the tone and mood of a scene and drive you to produce more. The people around me inspire me too. Sometimes I turn them into characters in my head, adding on to the impressions I already have of them and saving them for future works.
Tell us about your writing process.
I am definitely a seat of the pants writer. I sit down in front of the computer and something most always comes out. I dream about my characters and they talk to me and weave their stories in my head at all times. I like to write most in the morning, which researchers say is the best time to be creative, ironically, but late at night works too. I like to have my bunnies around and either music playing or a scary movie in the background when I write.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I listen to and talk with my characters all the time. Maura begs for her story to be written and won’t leave me alone! I dream about her a lot too. Most of the time the conversations are between two or more characters in the story and I’m like an outside observer at times. The biggest challenge is to remember what they’re saying so I can get to the computer and write it down, especially for those times when stopping to write is impossible.
What advice would you give other writers?
YES! Keep writing…no matter what!! Never give up; never stop trying. Accept constructive criticism but forget every word uttered by the haters. Unkind words usually come from a place of inadequacy, jealousy or self-loathing. Don’t let those steal your dream or deflate your balloon, instead feel sorry for them. It is very sad when a person’s only recourse is to lash out at what they wish to become, instead of working very hard to build their own dream in a positive way. Always believe in yourself, keep moving forward, and you cannot fail.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
Self-publishing is a must! Going the traditional routes, I’ve read an author has about a one in ten thousand—yes ten thousand—chance of getting published. Those are very bleak odds to say the least. There are so many wonderful authors out there who would never be given a chance to ever see their books in print. And why? Because an infinitesimal few of the entire human population say their work isn’t good enough? Do we even know if they give all the works they are offered a solid chance? Or are they so overwhelmed by the sheer volume of submissions, most are just tossed aside with nothing more than a quick onceover? I never really trusted any of the agents I queried to give my work a real chance.
I’m much more comfortable placing my book’s success in my own hands. No one will ever care about all those hours spent, painstakingly, writing and editing like I do. And I love having control over my book’s content and the cover artwork. It is my book after all and the whole thing is my vision, inside and out. I gave myself a chance and I love the idea that anyone who wants to do the work has the same opportunity. Taking charge of our own lives is empowering and self-publishing allows us to do what we love and have no one, except the all-important readers, have the chance to tell us, no we can’t.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Self publishing is the wave of the future. The Write Life published an article that reveals 37% of all books published now are self-published and state that the number will soon rise to 50%. I believe this to be true. The traditional houses are killing themselves by passing over so many great books–they only take 1 in 10,000–as I stated above. So, not only are they ignoring great new authors, but the picks are also of limited opinion, as it’s just a couple of people in that house choosing what they think millions will want to read. I believe the readers want to make that choice for themselves and self-publishers can offer that freedom of choice. Amazon & others make it easy and affordable to get your book out there, and Createspace allows print on demand, so it’s never been easier or more economically advantageous to publish your own book.
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer
What genres do you write?
YA, Vampires, Horror, Paranormal, Romance, Contemporary
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print