Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Interview with MM Shelley

Can you tell readers a little bit about yourself and what inspired to write in this particular genre?

I grew up in a household full of boys, with four brothers in the house I was often out voted on what we would watch on TV. We grew up in La Puente, CA a Latino community. My writing, I believe, has been greatly influenced by the Latin heritage in which I was fortunate to grow up in. I enjoy reading YA and this seemed like a natural fit for me.

What is it about the paranormal, in particular vampires, that fascinates you so much?

With the paranormal there are so many possibilities and I enjoy discovering the unexpected.

What inspired you to write this book?

There is one scene in Murder on Mars where my central character, Ava arrives at the New Orleans airport and finds a band playing near the taxi and shuttle area. This actually happened to us, it was amazing and such a welcome. To hear music played with such soul I had to incorporate this experience into the story. It was the little things such as this that provided me with the inspiration for this story.

Please tell us about your latest release.

Murder on Mars is a mystery suspense, it begins with sixteen year old Ava Lopez arriving in New Orleans after learning that a good friend of hers has disappeared. She begins to track him down by piecing together what he had been doing the last few days before he disappeared; she discovers a hidden world within the city.

Do you have a special formula for creating characters' names? Do you try to match a name with a certain meaning to attributes of the character or do you search for names popular in certain time periods or regions?

I do like to use names that are from the area that I’m writing. For my Hawaiian series I matched the characters to names that had special meaning for each character and for Murder on Mars I didn’t want to use popular names from Louisiana, I wanted them to have a more authentic feel without being cliché.
Do you have a formula for developing characters? Like do you create a character sketch or list of attributes before you start writing or do you just let the character develop as you write?

I do create have a spread sheet for each character and I list everything about them and will often come back to it while I’m working on the story and add to it. I find that the more time I spend with them the more I learn about them and will have to go back to certain aspects of the story to blend that in.

Did you find anything really interesting while researching this or another book?

I discovered many interesting folklores while researching this book, one that will be the central mystery in the next book.

Do you write in different genres?

I would like to, but for now I’m going to stick with Paranormal.

Where can readers find you on the web?

My website: www.mmshelley.com

Would you like to leave readers with a little teaser or excerpt from the book?

New Orleans
They told her to never venture down alleyways on dark nights—not when the moon was hiding, too afraid to show itself. She was also told to never let her cell phone run low on its battery, so low in fact that a call could not be made on it. Her cell phone powered down on its own moments ago and was useless to her now.
A howl reverberated down the alleyway, at first it sounded far away, but it seemed to travel down the alley until the howl become deafening. Rosemary had to cover her ears as she quickly looked about for signs of the beast that made the noise. Chiding herself for being fearful she urged herself down the alley, drawing her arms close around her almost as if she meant to ward off evil spirits to keep her soul safe.
She had made her decision very late into the night; her mind had raced from one scenario to another. Seeking peace Rosemary grabbed her coat, still dressed in her nightgown she walked to Henry Davis’ home. He kept a residence in the Garden District, a residence he had assured her his own wife didn’t even know about.
A dark shadow blocked the light from a street light at the end of the alley.  Rosemary halted her steps, straining her eyes she tried to make out the form within the shadow. Squinting, her eyes unable to see, she took one step closer then gasped in fear. It was the last sound she made as an unseen blunt force struck her from behind dropping her to the ground. Rosemary’s breathing came to a stop and her eyes went missing from their sockets with the greatest of ease.
“No witness,” a raspy voice stated. “No witness,” it repeated once more. A shadow dropped down beside Rosemary as it searched through her pockets, they did not come away empty handed. Clutched within the shadowy grasp was a diary containing loose pictures, within seconds the shadow was gone leaving behind the remains of a fallen Rosemary.

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Murder on Mars
A New Orleans Mystery book 1
M.M. Shelley

Genre: Fantasy and Suspense

ISBN: 13: 978-1480250062

Number of pages: 365
Word Count: 59,734

Cover Artist: The Killion Group Inc.

Book Description:

A paranormal force has lured Ava to New Orleans, where shadows lurk behind every corner and an unknown power has yet to be unleashed.

There is darkness in New Orleans, one that has brought sixteen year old Ava Lopez to the city in search of her best friend, Dyson. A dark crime has been committed, and there are supernatural forces involved. Three sisters who whisper "fate" are awaiting the arrival of the Guardian.

Shadow People fiercely haunt the city, unchallenged, but Ava senses that Dyson may be involved with their crimes. She must discover the secret that the Shadows are so determined to keep hidden.

Ava will have to risk everything, because where the Fates are concerned there are no second chances.

About the Author:

M.M. Shelley is a storyteller, word smith and dreamer. She has traveled the world extensively in search of the magic which is often overlooked in every day life. M.M. Shelley is a native of southern California, and a student of mythology from which she gets much inspiration. Visit M.M. Shelley: www.mmshelley.com

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