Welcome to Author Interview Thursday hosted by the Never Too Old for YA and NA Books group on Goodreads.
Today we welcome E.B. Hood!
Melanie Dare is a teenage girl. Drugs and abuse by her parents change all that. She is raped and murdered and finds herself awake in a new decade. Melanie becomes Melabeth the vampire, and she is thrust into events outside of her control. Meeting a small circle of friends - not all who can be trusted - she finds herself obsessed with revenge against her killers… but along the way finds love. Her battle for revenge has terrible, unintended consequences, and she will question, who, and what she is. Can her love survive her need for revenge? This is the first part of a three part series about forgiveness
Melabeth is relentless in her pursuit of revenge. David joins her; no one who has wronged them is safe. Will revenge triumph over their need for love? Melabeth still battles for her true heart's desire, when a new kind of foe arrives. A foe that is stronger and worst of all, what he wants he gets… and he wants her! Even with this new threat, she hunts down the rapists; one by one. In her victory, she terrorizes her most vulnerable victim and sees her plan come together flawlessly. Gradually an uneasy truth takes hold… the relief and peace Melabeth seeks, turns to dust. In the end, she will find the price for her revenge to be higher than she ever could imagine! With twist and turns you'll never see coming, this is the second installment of the Melabeth series
Take it away E.B.!
1. Did you always know you wanted to be a writer or did you want to be something else?
I couldn't tell you what I wanted to be, it’s a long list. I can tell you that a writer was never on that list of things I believed I might, or wanted to be. My brother was the would be writer. He died at thirty one from a brain tumor. It was in his memory that I decided to write a book. In that I found a passion and a talent I never knew.
2. How long does it take you to write a book from start to finish?
It has taken me eight months to write a hundred and twenty thousand word book. I have a full time job and three kids. If I could make enough income to be a full time writer I would cut that time in half. By the way, that’s without editing, it took a year to get my book to print.
3. How do you come up with themes for your stories?
I use themes, such as, forgiveness. The series I am writing right now is about forgiveness. I ask myself, how might I write a story to best illustrate what forgiveness is? Then I build a world and characters around that idea. My next theme is living a lie.
4. Do you have a schedule of when you write?
Yes, I try to write five hundred words every night. If I miss a night, I try to write a thousand the next. I find it best if I write every day, even if it is just a little bit.
5. How are you able to balance other aspects of your life with your writing?
I want to write and I find it gives me great joy. If I choose to do this and not rob my children and wife of their time, I must give up something of my time. I don’t watch TV, or sports. I watch a movie every other week, the time others spend in front of the boob tube; I use that time to write.
6. What elements do you think make a great story line?
Writing that might evoke emotion. If you can make me feel, you can make me care. A good writer can make you hate a character or love one. Of course that is the other element, characters. Characters can make or break a book. A weak storyline can survive if you have good characters, but a book becomes great when the story and the characters come together.
7. What was the hardest thing about writing a book?
Finding time to write. It is hard to find quiet time where someone isn't asking something of you. I also find it impossible to write when I am upset, so if something or someone is upsetting me, I can't write. Let us not forget… editing. I am awful with grammar and feel like the corrections take as long the book. I oversee all the corrections, so I am always sick of my own book by the time it's done.
8. How many books have you written so far? Do you have a favorite?
I've written two books so far. I can't say I have a favorite book, but I do have some favorite scenes in the books that I have written.
9. Do you have a favorite character?
Yes, that would be Alice. There are two reasons: First because she is the first character I have developed. I developed her years ago for my brother. Second, because she is so fun to write. Her character presents a question, "What is a child with no limitations?"
10. Where do you write?
Anywhere I can, but not in a car. You would think that it would be a great time to break out the netbook and get to work, but not for me. The minute I try to write in a car I get sick. I can drive for twelve hours straight and I am perfectly fine, but twenty minutes of writing and I feel like crap. I like to write in the evening.
11. When deciding on how to publish, what directed you to the route you took?
This is a hard question. It took a lot of research before I came up with what I believe is right for me. I think there are a lot of factors that go into that decision. The biggest deciding factors for me was: control of my work and the fact I was writing for me. No matter what, like my books or not, I wrote them as a personal challenge not a career move.
12. Have you gotten feedback from family about your book(s)? What do they think?
Yes I have. They think it is wonderful. This is the part of writing that I never seen coming. I have family all over the country and suddenly they are reading my book. Now I am talking to family members I haven't seen or heard from for over twenty years. My family is primarily of Christian faith, so when I wrote a vampire novel I thought I would be disowned. I have received nothing but support even by the members of my family who do not read. It's been really cool!
13. What kinds of things do you like to do outside of writing?
Outside of writing I am a huge PC nerd and even ran my own IT Company for three years. Blacksmithing, wood work and Reading a good book. Of course reading has always been a big pastime for me. My hobbies cover everything from rebuilding engines or makeing furniture, I love being creative. I’m an avid shooter and love water sports like wave runners. I like to say, "I am a jack of all trades and a master of none." I would add, writing has become one of my deepest passions.
14. What kinds of advice would you give to someone who wants to start writing?
Start writing, and get a few friends or family involved. You have to write everyday if you don’t you won't. Put yourself out there and let you friend or family member read your work. It will encourage you to keep writing and if they are honest it will help you grow. Most of all do it for you. Remember you cannot write a book for everyone, so write it for yourself first, others will love what you love.
15. What is your favorite book? favorite author? Do you have an author that inspired/inspires you to write?
My favorite books as a child were Alice in Wonderland and Dracula. When I got older I discovered The Lord of the Rings. J.R.R. Tolkien is one of my favorite authors, but it is to difficult for me to pick just one. I enjoy so many books and authors. The author that inspired me the most was my brother Nick Hood. He only finished one short story, that I proudly added to the end of my second book.
16. Do you have any go to people when writing a book that help you with your story lines as well as editing, beta reading and such?
Yes, I have five. Most are proof readers and beta readers. I send a few of them a chapter every month and since I don’t write a book in order, they have to view every chapter on its own merit. I have one that is kind of a co-story maker and that is my second son Cory. He really doesn’t write, but he will listen to me talk for hours. He is such a great sounding board and he is quick to remind me of plot points if my ideas begin to spin out of control. He is the only one who understands the whole series and all the mystery in its entirety.
17. Are you working on anything now?
Yes, the third and final book to my Melabeth series. I have other books in the works as well along with some spin off series. Unless this becomes a full time job. I have enough material for a decade.. I really hope that you might check out my book and give it a chance, you might find that you love it!
Thanks so much for stopping by today E.B! It was great to have you here!
I got married when I was 18, had two boys – Tyler in 1993, and Cory in 1996 – as a young father, I worked at Pizza Hut, until 1997; the same year my first wife and I were divorced.
I had the opportunity to help start a satellite plant in North Carolina for a micro connectors company, so I moved across the country to Salisbury. A year later I was offered a chance to become a tool and die apprentice, and worked as a tool and die maker for nearly nine years.
During these transitions I met the love of my life, Betsy, who is a school teacher. We were married 2003. We welcomed a baby girl, Sonja in 2007. I was unexpectedly laid off while my wife was pregnant. I then began working at a plastic company as a CNC programmer. Once again, after another lay-off in 2009, I decided to be a stay-at-home dad, and also started a computer repair business from home.
Another reason I didn’t return to work when I was laid off in 2009, was to help my parents with my brother, Nick, who was dying of a brain tumor. Nick was my baby brother, three years younger, and my best friend. It was always Nick’s dream to become a writer. I came up with a book idea for my brother to write years ago, but he became too sick, and the story was never written.
There have been a lot of changes in my life in the past five years – jobs, the loss of my brother, the birth of my daughter, and watching my sons grow up so, here I am trying to live out my brother’s dream, and it is to Nick whom I dedicate my first book. I do not consider myself to be a writer. I am, and always will be, a story teller. I have always made up stories in my head, and this is my first one that I wish to share with the world.
I am new to writing, but so far I love it and it has captured my attention completely. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I have enjoyed writing them