Melanie’s third novel The Green-Eyed Monster is out now. It’s the first in the Crucifox series following Sky and Brandon and their band. It’s published by Storm Moon Press. Check out all of Melanie’s books on her site: melanietushmore.co.uk.
I fired a bunch of random questions at Melanie to answer whichever ones took her fancy. Check them out, and keep scrolling for more info about The Green-Eyed Monster!
Q1. Have you ever stopped writing?
After finishing college I had a whirlwind few years of music & performance industry work, and general larking about. This was pretty much my twenties. By the time 2010 came around, I was all partied out, was sick of the sight of bands, and generally anything music related, and went off on my own to try a different career path. I started writing again, because I can only do so in peace and quiet, and –typically– once I was out of the situation, I started writing about bands, music, pubs and bars, and weird n’ wacky characters that I’d met on my travels.
Q2. Which book gave you the most trouble to get right?
I’m not sure about ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ but sometimes it can take me a while to get on the right ‘path’ with a story. Crucifox was like a naughty animal that kept straying from the path, and needed a stern hand –thank you, April!– to keep things together.
Not that much different to managing a real life band, really; need to keep a tight rein on everybody.
Q3. Which characters from standalone books or completed series are still hanging around in your brain?
At the moment, I’m in band-fiction city! There’s so many bands and rockstars, I could host a fictional festival.
Er, other than rockstars, I’m trying to keep my WIP folder free. I’m writing a fantasy series about goblins, which I’d like to finish. It’s my first historical anything, and I’m taking ages on it because I research lots, and comb over the whole language to make sure it fits. Recently I panicked about using ‘tea’ and ‘jam’ because they weren’t commonplace in medieval times. Though it’s hard to find solid evidence of nitty gritty details in ‘medieval times’ anyway. I’ve done some fun research trips to woods, and The London Dungeon.
I’m probably the slowest writer in the world.
Q4. Who is your favourite of your characters?
At the moment, I’m very much with Brandon and Sky. I feel as though I’ve stepped out of Sky now, and have put my Brandon head on as I ‘perculate’ over his rewrites. They’re both a lot of fun to write, though Brandon poses the extra challenge of being Glaswegian, so I have to take more time with everything he says as it’s not my natural way of speaking. I’ve been lucky with my Scottish helpers, who put up with my annoying and random questions. I’ve found out some interesting things. Apparently ‘stander’ means ‘erection’.
Q5. Do your characters feel like they have minds of their own, or are they putty in your hands?
Depends on the story. I’ve poured a lot of blood, sweat and tears into Crucifox, and it was hard to keep these guys on track, because they all had a lot to say. I never set out to write a series (I hate cliff hangers!) but once I’d picked a band theme to write with, my subconsious must have commanded ‘release the kracken’, because a tidal wave of story, ideas, and emotions poured forth. I’m please I wrote it, I’ll be even more pleased when the second book is under my belt, and I can move on completely. I’ve said before, these stories are really part homage, and part revenge, to the part of my life that I spent with bands.
Q6. Which of your covers do you like most?
So far, I’ve been lucky to have had the very talented Ria Chantler do *all* of my artwork so far, including logos, and extras. I’ve loved all my book covers, but I’m especially loving the new one for Crucifox. I want to stroke it. Also, we’ve been working on some cute extras, like Crucifox comic strips!
Thank you for having me.
Sky Somers is an ex-traveller; the son of a folk musician and a new age hippy. Sky’s form of rebellion is electric guitars, and he wants his own band. His desire is to set the world to rights through music. Brandon Cruikshank is new to London, recently arrived from Glasgow. Charismatic, charming; a natural born performer. Brandon is openly bisexual, with a penchant for dressing in women’s clothes. His desire is to be adored.
From the moment Sky meets Brandon, he knows he has to have him. Brandon, in turn, wants Sky. But that’s when it becomes clear they both have very different desires in mind. Brandon wants Sky as a lover, yet Sky only wants Brandon as a singer in his band. Misunderstanding set aside—or apparently so—Brandon and Sky become firm friends. To escape equally troubled pasts and families, they change their names. Now, Brandon Fox and Sky St. Clair are ready to take over the world.
As the years roll on, Brandon’s desire for Sky still simmers, waiting. Then a chance night sharing a hotel room sparks the desire between them, and this time, Brandon wants it all. Sky has never explored his desires before. Now, the passion and jealousy Brandon has unleashed in him threatens to shake the whole band apart.