Welcome to YA Books Central's "Indie Superstars" column. This event will spotlight the best and brightest of the indie community.
You don’t want to miss out on these talented authors
This week we’re interviewing Melissa A. Craven and M. Lynn, authors of the Queen of the Fae series
Welcome to YABC, Melissa and Michelle!
Caitlin Haines: Can you tell us a little about Fae’s Deception?
Melissa: It’s a twisty tale of romance and royal intrigue, and one girl’s journey into discovering the secrets of her past and the uncertainty of her future as she tries to find her place among the fae. (Riddled with Brea’s humor and a refusal to do what she’s told.)
Michelle: This book is SO. MUCH. FUN. Brea Robinson is sent to prison where a fae steals her away for reasons she doesn’t understand. From there, she ends up in the middle of a tug of war between three rulers and also a fight between two brothers. It’s full of lies and twists.
Caitlin: You have a couple contemporary series together, how did you decide to write a fantasy series this time?
Melissa: The idea for the Queens of the Fae series came to us after we bought the covers. Michelle messaged me and asked me to talk her out of buying them because she didn’t have a story for them. Like a good co-writer, I talked her into it lol. They were just too pretty to pass up. We have an amazing partnership. I suck at everything she’s good at and she sucks at everything I’m good at so we’re a perfect match. Fantasy was just our next step!
Michelle: I first met Melissa years and years ago when I was writing dystopian and she was writing UF. So it’s actually more strange we write contemporary together. LOL. But she’s AWFUL. She’s supposed to drag me back down to reality and remind me I can’t buy every pretty cover I see. Instead, she’s a terrible, terrible influence. But that decision birthed this series, so I’ll let it slide this time.
Caitlin: Fae books are pretty big in YA, were any specific stories inspirational to you? Was it daunting coming up with this new take on that type of story?
Melissa: That’s the real beauty of co-authoring. There is never a lack of ideas or originality. And we’re so similar in the way we write and plan that our ideas flow seamlessly together. A Court of Thorn and Roses and Cruel Prince were definitely inspirational for us. Fans of both series will love Queens of the Fae.
Michelle: I hadn’t read any fae books that I actually liked before writing these, but since we finished them, I’ve devoured the Cruel Prince series and also Evermore by Audrey Grey and the Lost Link by Michelle Bryan. I’m completely obsessed now and they’re inspiring me to write MORE fae.
Caitlin: In Fae’s Deception, there are three distinct kingdoms. Can you tell us a little about them and how you went about creating them?
Melissa: In Fargelsi it is always spring. A lush world of fairytale forests and rolling green hills, Queen Regan’s kingdom is just like her, perfect and beautiful … on the surface. Fargelsi is also home to those who draw their power from nature.
Eldur is hot and dry. A desert kingdom scattered with sparse forests, unforgiving climate, the occasional oasis, hot springs, volcanoes, fire plains, and the crowning jewel that is Radur City along the Dalur river canyon. Eldur is home to Queen Faolan and her subjects who wield day magic.
Iskalt is dark and cold. A land of ice and snow and a people who are as fierce as they are strong. Bordered by impossibly high mountains and frozen seas, Iskalt is home to King Callum and those who wield night magic.
Michelle: What Melissa said. Lol. That good enough? Basically, Fargelsi is a land of lies. Deceptive beauty and cunning people. Eldur is home to a family who will do anything for each other. And Iskalt is home to an ice king who cares little about his people.
Caitlin: If you were brought into Fargelsi, what would be your first reaction?
Melissa: This place is creepy! I think something’s following me…
Michelle: I must be dreaming.
Caitlin: As Brea is thrown into this new, magical world, she makes a lot of pop culture references such as those about Game of Thrones. Which was your favorite reference?
Melissa: My favorite quote…
“Ah, Loch.” Finn grinned as he turned to the other man. “Meet our newest Gelsi escapee, Breanne of Tarth.”
Lochlan’s dark eyes met hers. “If this is Breanne of Tarth, then I’m Jon Snow.”
Michelle: I love all the Harry Potter references that are used to show the big tough Lochlan is a giant nerd.
Caitlin: Do you have a favorite character or one you connect with more?
Melissa: I love so many of these characters it’s really hard to pick just one, but I think Lochlan is my favorite. And Brea. She’s a lot of fun to write. Griffin kind of breaks my heart too. See, I can’t choose just one!
Michelle: Griffin. He’s so conflicted. He’s our most complex character.
Melissa: But Myles…
Caitlin: Do you listen to music while writing? What are some songs that would be on the Fae’s Deception soundtrack if it existed?
Melissa: I do listen to music when I write, but I can’t listen to anything with lyrics or I’ll spend more time singing than writing. I usually listen to fast tempo instrumental music so I don’t fall asleep. The Nomad and Tabula Rasa by Calum Graham would definitely be featured on a Fae’s Deception playlist. (I’m your source for obscure instrumental music no one’s heard of lol)
Michelle: I always listen to Joshua Radin or someone like him while writing and he doesn’t fit this book so I’ll go with Melissa’s answer.
Caitlin: You’re rapid releasing all three books, and there’s a novella. How long did it take you to write it all and prepare for the releases?
Melissa: We have really honed our process and it’s kind of astounding what we can accomplish together. I think we drafted Fae’s Deception in ten days. Maybe twelve. Crazy, right? Once we have outlines for each chapter, we assign chapters. I write all the descriptive stuff and Michelle writes the emotional stuff, and we can both crush some serious dialogue scenes lol. We really are opposites in all the right ways! Michelle likes to write in the mornings and if I want what I write to make any sense, I write at night or late afternoons. We usually get two to four chapters drafted each day. And Michelle writes fast, y’all. FAST!
Michelle: Not long and too long. That make sense? It seems like we’ve been preparing these forever.
Caitlin: Can you give us a hint at what’s to come in the future books?
Melissa: Griffin’s story is only just getting started and I really can’t wait to delve into what’s next for him. Brea still has some trials ahead of her too. We’ll also be returning to Twin Rivers soon with a new contemporary series featuring Defiance Academy. Oh, and I have a new Fantasy series, Ascension of the Nine Realms releasing later this year. It’s based on Norse Mythology about a Valkyrie princess, a Warder princess, a Berserker princess and a Druid princess.
Michelle: A fae prison world!!! Can’t wait for that one. We’re going to torture our readers. Defiance Academy—finally the Wylder story everyone is asking for. Rockstars. Oh, and a Diva book in an AWESOME multi-author series this summer. I have way too many books coming… haha.
Melissa A. Craven writes Young Adult Urban Fantasy with crossover appeal to other genres and audiences of all ages. She believes in stories that make you think and she loves playing with foreshadowing, leaving clues and hints for the careful reader.
She draws inspiration from her background in architecture and interior design to help her with the small details in world building and scene settings. (Her degree in fine art also comes in handy.)
Melissa is also the indie manager and a staff reviewer at YABooksCentral.com. You can follow her reviews and her contributions to the YABC blog at the YABC site.
Melissa LOVES to hear from her readers. You can connect with her at her website MelissaACraven.com to find out more about upcoming Emerge releases, enter giveaways and download your free copy of Emerge: The Scholar.
M. Lynn has a brain that won't seem to quiet down, forcing her into many different genres to suit her various sides. Under the name Michelle Lynn, she writes romance and dystopian as well as upcoming fantasies. Running on Diet Coke and toddler hugs, she sleeps little - not due to overworking or important tasks - but only because she refuses to come back from the worlds in the books she reads. Reading, writing, aunting ... repeat.
Brea Robinson is a murderer.
That’s what everyone tells her when she’s accused of killing her best friend.
Her mother always claimed she belonged in a straitjacket. Turns out, she was right.
When the man with flashing violet eyes whisks her through a portal into a world beyond her imagination, a world vicious in its beauty and wicked in its lies, Brea begins to wonder if she was ever crazy at all.
Every hallucination she’s ever had is real, but this new world has its own set of lies and questions.
Why are three royals prepared to battle over her?
Who is Griffin O’Shea, and why did he abduct her?
And does falling in love with a man trapping her in this deadly land mean she really has lost her mind after all?
There is only one thing Brea knows: She can’t trust anything.
Not her mind.
Not her heart.
And certainly not the Fae who claims he’s trying to keep her safe.
Book one in Queens of the Fae series, click now to be transported into a world where lies abound, family can't always be trusted, and falling in love is the most dangerous deed of all.
The Queens of the Fae series:
- Fae's Deception
- Fae's Defiance
- Fae's Destruction
Alona Cahill is running out of time.
As the daughter of the Eldur Queen, she should be preparing to take over the kingdom.
Instead, her future is the life of a maid for a far away noblewoman.
Because Alona was born without magic, an offense that sends her to the serving class upon her eighteen birthday.
But what if there was another way?
In secret, she contacts one of the kingdom's enemies because only he can open a portal into the human realm. Only he can show her a different kind of life. She just has to take it.
From strange human girls to the lack of magic, she must decide if living free from Fae law is worth giving up everything she holds dear.
Five (5) winners will receive an ebook edition of Fae's Dielemma: A Queens of the Fae Novella
(US & International)