Interview With Melinda Kucsera


Welcome to another edition of my bi-weekly writer interview series. Today I have interviewed the fascinating and lovely, science-fiction and fantasy writer Melinda Kucsera. You can visit here blog here: www.melindakucsera.com


 

Melinda Kucsera
Melinda Kucsera

1. Melinda, Please Tell Us About Yourself?

I’m an IT project manager for an academic journal publisher by day. By night, I write fantasy books, science-fiction books, and short stories. Then, I post them to me blog: www.melindakucsera.com


2. When did you start writing and blogging?

I started building my own world, when I was small and fleshed out a fantasy world for my characters to live in. Originally, my world only had one country called Shayari. But my world grew to include other countries as well as extensions into other worlds and realms.

I used to tell stories about Shayari and its people to my siblings, the kids I babysat, (etc). But I didn’t write my stories down until I was in middle school and even then, I spent more time writing about my created world and its peculiarities than its people.

Around the age of sixteen-years-old, I came across the bookThe Winds of Fate by Mercedes Lackey at my local library. It was the first fantasy book I’d ever come into contact with and it gave me the idea to write down the stories I had been imagining. I thought, if readers liked Lackey’s fantasy world, then they’d like mine too. So, I began writing all my stories down. And I don’t have to tell you, writing for me is pure joy. I’d rather write than do anything else.

I started blogging a year ago in 2015 because everyone kept telling me I should do it. Blogging seemed like a good way to start fulfilling my sister’s last request. She asked that I publish the stories she grew-up loving so that other people could enjoy them as well.


” . . .I began writing all my stories down. And I don’t have to tell you, writing for me is pure joy. I’d rather writer than do anything else . . . Blogging seemed like a good way to start fulfilling my sister’s last request. She asked that I publish the stories she grew-up loving so that other people could enjoy them as well.” – Melinda Kucsera


3. What Does Writing Mean to You? Why Do You Write?

I write for the joy of it and because I can’t not write. There’s an ever expanding number of characters walking in and out of my imagination, demanding that I capture their life in words. I want to write these character’s stories. Their stories are compelling and they always show me tantalizing bits which make me want to know more!


4. Where Do You Find Your Inspiration and Motivation to Write?

Writing is the first and last thing I think about every day. In fact, every other thought I have is about a story in progress, or a character, or an idea for a character for a story. My imagination has no off switch. It never takes a vacation and it doesn’t sleep. It’s always working away in the background, no matter what I am doing and I wouldn’t have it any other way. There’s no logic to what my imagination latches onto and spins into a story or character.


“My imagination has no off switch. It never takes a vacation and it doesn’t sleep. It’s always working away in the background, no matter what I am doing and I wouldn’t have it any other way. There’s no logic to what my imagination latches onto and spins into a story or character.” – Melinda Kucsera


5. Do You Find There is a Time of Day You Most Enjoy to Write?

No, I steal time for writing whenever and wherever I can. I have a demanding day job which keeps me busy for eleven to twelve hours-a-day, five-days a week, if you factor in my commute time to and from work. Additionally, I’m a fitness and health nut and I walk anywhere from one to three hours each day. Thank God for smartphones, they allow me to write, edit, and walk at the same time.


6. What Are Your Most Current Writing Projects? Do You Have Any Hopeful Projects?

I have too many projects! I love working on multiple projects at the same time, hence, my day job as a project manager.My most current projects are:

1.Curse Breaker: Enchanted, which is on sale on Amazon at http://bit.ly/CurseMK. Sarn must find out why a child was murdered in the enchanted forest before the same fate befalls him or his son. (It’s a heartwarming fantasy tale). I’m finalizing the Kindle version and will start the print edition hopefully, the week following.

 2. Curse Breaker: Faceted, which is the sequel to Curse Breaker: Enchanted, (Dec 2016/Jan 2017 release). It’s already written and I only need to edit the novel. In this book, odd events happen around an old tower which only Sarn can remember seeing. These occurrences are building up to something and Sarn wants nothing to do with it. But he can’t escape what’s coming…

3.Curse Breaker: Jousted, book three of the Curse Breaker Saga (March/April 2017 release). Sarn and his family take in a joust which takes a deadly turn when extinct creatures show up. Who will survive the hunter’s game?

4.Curse Breaker: Trapped, book four of the Curse Breaker Saga (June/July 2017 release). Sarn’s luck has finally run out. The silence that hid his son for the last four years now dooms him when an old enemy shows up to even the score. Sarn’s two lives collide and his son hangs in the balance.

5. I’m also working on several other novels and extensions for the short stories readers have requested. And I publish a short story a day on my blog so yeah, I’m also working on blogging short stories as well.


” . . . I walk anywhere from one to three hours each day. Thank God for smartphones. They allow me to talk, edit, and walk at the same time.” – Melinda Kucsera


7.  Are You Planning to Publish More Works of Writing in the Future? Do You Have Other Published Works Besides What You Are Currently Working On?

Yes, I am planning to publish my stories. My sister asked me to publish my stories before her death in 2014; it is one promise, I intend to keep.

I published Stars and Angels Sing in January of 2016 as well as Curse Breaker: Enchanted, is on sale right now on Amazon. (See the second link to purchase Melinda’s first book in Sarn’s journey.)


Curse breaker Enchanted Melinda
http://www.amazon.com

Additionally, as stated above, I plan to publish the first four books of the Curse Breaker Saga: Curse Breaker: Enchanted (9/27/2016); Curse Breaker: Faceted (December 2016/early January); Curse Breaker: Jousted (March/April 2017); and Curse Breaker: Trapped (June/July 2017). I haven’t figured out which book will follow book four, possibly a book book five; but I’m not sure yet.


8. Can you Briefly Describe the Process You Are Going Through to Publish Your Curse Breaker Series of Books?

Sure, though I’m making this up as I go along. Consider yourself forewarned. I couldn’t afford an editor so I’m doing all editing myself. For me this means:

1. I submit each chapter to The Hemingway App which is a fantastic writer’s tool. It highlights uses of passive voice, wordiness, hard to read sentences, adverbs, words that can be simplified,(etc). I edit my chapter based on The Hemingway App suggestions and until I’m satisfied with my editing.

2. I also, use an app an on my android phone called Voice Reader. It essentially, reads my word document of my manuscript to me and I edit my book while I walk. I listen to each section in my book two-times.

3. I spell and grammar check my entire manuscript in MS Word as well as double-check the meanings of words to ensure I am using them correctly. To ensure I’m using words correctly, I use:  Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary

4. After completing the appropriate steps to self-edit a group of chaptersI send them to my beta reader and wait for feedback while I work on the next group of chapters requiring editing.

5. Once, everything is edited to my satisfaction from self-editing and the comments of my beta reader, I will listen to the entire book one last time, to be certain I’ve caught any missed mistakes.

6. I designed the covers for the Curse Breaker Saga since I know my way around Photoshop. But first, I researched. I browsed audio books and ogled a lot of book covers. I may have bought a bunch of those books. I asked my cube-mate fro, work, who is the web designer from my day job, for feedback on the covers but she didn’t have any.

7. Next, I formatted my book for Kindle which required me to apply some styles in MS Word, slap in a hyperlinked TOC, and I was done.

8. After, I created a new MS Word document and set it up for print. I cut and pasted chapter by chapter, following basic design rules (chapter heads always start on the right hand page etc.) I always chose the ‘paste as plain text’ option AND THEN  I applied the new styles. If the document is set up right this process is boring but painless.

9.  I submitted two documents using self-publishing, one to Amazon and one to a printer to proof and print/put up for sale.


9. How Does Your Writing Process Work? Do Prefer Certain Areas or Genres of Writing and Reading?

I write whenever I can steal a few minutes to do so. I always have pages of my writing, clawing its way out of my head. Also, I love audio books. They are the only books I read anymore. As for genres, I love fantasy and science-fiction. Reading science-fiction, I especially enjoy military, speculative, and hard science-fiction. I also like to read whatever else catches my eye when I feel like reading.


” I submit each chapter to The Hemingway App which is a fantastic writer’s tool [for editing] . . . I also, use an app an on my android phone called Voice Reader . . . I edit my book while I walk. I listen to each section in my book two-times.” – Melinda Kucsera


10. Do You Have Any Helpful Advice For Other Writers Or Anything Else You’d Like To Share Related To Writing or Yourself?

Write because you love writing; write for yourself not for others. Read a lot and if you’re busy, listen to a lot of audio-books while you do other work. Hearing great writing in your ear and thinking about it in your mind is vital. So read, hear, think, about writing, however, you can.

Write On!


11. Please Share With Us a Few Links from Your Blog With Some of Your Favorite Pieces? 

Curse Breaker: Enchanted blurb:

“SARN indentured himself four years ago to pay for his brother’s education. It was a desperate bid to help his brother escape the cycle of poverty. For him there was never any hope, not while his body brims with illegal magic that just so happens to fuel the perpetual glow of his green eyes.

THE BARGAIN…The terms of his indenture landed him a stint with the Rangers who patrol the enchanted forest until a party of travelers is attacked in the forest’s midst and killed. Everything changes when that first drop of blood is spilled, waking the forest’s ire.

THE MYSTERY… Sarn tries to stay out of sight and trouble but one of the Rangers has plans for him. And the ghost of a child murdered in the forest haunts him—a green-eyed child just like his own son. Who killed this boy and the party he traveled with and why? The answer might cost his sanity but to find it, he risks losing the son he’s kept a secret for four years. Not finding the answer might damn his son to share that murdered boy’s fate.

As conflicting plans collide beneath enchanted boughs, one thing is certain. If Sarn can’t get his magic under control, he’ll never find the answers that he seeks. But how far is he willing to go to find those answers? The search might cost more than his sanity; it might cost his life.”


12. Here are Some Short Excerpts of Curse Breaker: Enchanted Below from Melinda’s Blog:

1. Queen Of All Trees

2. Curse Breaker: Kaulayaw

3.The Trouble With Marahuyo


Thank you so much Melinda for agreeing to be interviewed and providing such a thorough description of your publishing process and the exciting book series you are publishing. Here is the link to Melinda Kucsera’s Blog again and the link on Amazon to purchase her amazing first book!


Hope you enjoyed today’s interview. I know I did 🙂 If you would like to share about yourself and your writing in my bi-weekly interview series, please reach-out to me through my Contact Page here. Thanks for reading!


©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

 

 

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A Bit of Everything


www.people.bu.edu
http://www.people.bu.edu

It’s a Thursday morning and there is much to do. I have an assignment to copyedit. I need to go through the newsletter a couple more times to catch all the mistakes. And then I have a 3rd assignment to start. I would like to have it done by the end of February. The assignment is a letter advocating for your client (the author) to your editor or publisher. There is a lot of reading left in Chapter 5 of the Study Guide, in the Appendix, and in the textbook. I just keep on going, hoping I can finish this course before the next one starts and that I have enough ‘good days’ that I can work on my class.

But in-between that I am reading the 3rd book by Sylvain Renard, Gabriel’s Redemption,

www.en.wikipedia.org
http://www.en.wikipedia.org

and you know when you get hooked in a series of books that you just have to finish them. Especially when you get to the 3rd book in the series. And next I am thinking of an interesting undertaking. Since so much of this series from Sylvain was based upon Dante’s Inferno and it is probably free on Kobo, I am thinking that I must read that. I had heard of it in English class, heard that Milton’s Paradise Lost that I studied somewhat related, so I am excited to be reading some classic literature again, in the English version, not the Italian version of course.

photoshopI think that I am not quite done talking about weight and body issues. The problem is I read an article on it and I think how ridiculous it is especially to the extent in which magazines, companies, etc. are photoshopping their models. Now, I’ve always felt that a little photoshopping is good. Enhancing the beauty of the model that is already there, there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with that except that the media has different standards of beauty. Maybe we just need to try to leave models looking the way they look without photoshop except for obvious flaws that no one would like showing such as acne or a tattoo in certain pictures. But sometimes it is too much. I recently saw on an entertainment show a spread for Nicole Kidman who is not young anymore. She looked like she was 22 years old when I’m pretty sure is or is nearly double that age. There is something wrong with that because that is not an attainable look for anyone, including Nicole Kidman. And she is beautiful just the way she is at the age she is. I also watched a slide show where a plus size model was thinned down from her size 12 or so silhouette to a size 4. There was nothing wrong with the way the model looked before, she just looked normal, so why would you change her?

I have never wanted to model before really. It has to do with being in the spotlight. But after some special professional pictures for

www.returnofkings.com
http://www.returnofkings.com

my boyfriend and myself, and some portraits for family and relatives I decided it was actually really fun. I could see how I looked in the pictures the photographers took on the camera and I looked good. Friends told me I looked good. And the strangest thought crossed my mind that if I was tall enough and young enough I would consider plus size modeling because I really think that women and girls need to see what a real woman looks like with little computer perfecting besides blemishes, shiny skin, and bad lighting. Some people would probably say you should show those too but I believe there are good uses for photoshop. But more than that, I believe that we need to as a society step out of that box where we adore thin woman and start showing an ideal that is normal size healthy woman. I have spoken of it so much before and maybe too much. But it saddens me that people would have so much conversation on this subject and that there would be so little change. Dove had the right idea a few years back, even though those commercials annoyed me. Anyways there is one magazine online that I wanted to share with you that I think is great for showing plus sized models while maintaining the look and feel of a magazine like Instyle. The magazine is called DARE and it’s an online magazine that you can take a look at here: http://daremag.uberflip.com/i/126563 .

But that’s all I have to say on that I promise for a good long while. I am watching Team Canada Men’s vs. Norway now on CBC. I am excited to say we are up 2-0. Hopefully, that will be an easy win for us but surprisingly, we are not scoring as easily as I thought. But I hope you are enjoying the Olympics for whatever country you might be from. I love the Winter Olympics, for Canada they are the most exciting!

Also, decided to give up Pepsi for good. The only exception will be once a week when I start my night class as I can’t stay awake without it. Otherwise, I’ve been drinking water and following my diet exactly. I have lost 2 lbs in 3 days so that it pretty exciting. It takes 21 days they say for you to get into the habit of doing something so I’m hoping I can stay in this habit. I have drunk a lot of water which I needed to do before but didn’t really do and I have 1 treat a day now a low-fat granola bar that has chocolate on the outside.

www.carrentalworld.net
http://www.carrentalworld.net

Otherwise, I have dealt with a car rental issue my boyfriend and I had a car rental place. They claimed these little scratches under the car that you had to lean over to see, and were from winter like ice, something no one can help in Edmonton, were damage. The manager was so rude to my boyfriend and I and A refused to sign for the damages. The manager wouldn’t give us a ride home, she told us to walk away and get out of the store. She said she didn’t know anything about cars but that the plastic part of the bumper underneath of the car needed painting and she wouldn’t rent the car out to us even though she had said she would before on the phone, because she couldn’t trust us not to damage the car. As if we did whatever invisible damage she saw on purpose. I have never dealt with someone so un-customer-serviced oriented especially dealing with a client of 2 years. Her tone, her mannerism, was angry and defensive. I was not impressed at all and we had to pay $40.00 cab to get back to my boyfriends apartment.

So up’s and downs this week. But overall pretty good! So two beauty blogs coming out soon for some more LUSH and Benefit and products. Also, maybe I will share with you some of the hair videos I like that are great for easy everyday styles you can do with your hair that take minutes. Take care