~ Interview & Give Away ~ E. J. Mellow 'The Dreamer'

Friday, 5 June 2015

Interview with Jacqueline


I have been extremely lucky and managed to snag the opportunity to ask E. J Mellows some interesting questions that have been playing on my mind ever since reviewing 'The Dreamer'. 

For those of you who have not read the book, my review on it can be found here and is one of my 2015 recommendation! You can purchase it here..

On top of agreeing to answer my (not always so) simple questions, she has also been very generous and offered a fantastic prize to give away to our readers!


Can you introduce yourself to us? Where are you from, and what is your background?
I certainly can, Sam! I’m the writer behind the NA contemporary fantasy “The Dreamer,” which is the first book in The Dreamland Series. I grew up in the US of A, Delaware to be exact, but now live in Brooklyn, New York, where I do freelance work in advertising to help support my writing. I’m traditionally trained in art and design, but have always loved the written word and first “seriously” tried my hand in storytelling after taking a high school English class that concentrated in fairy tales. It blew my teenage mind! And I’ve been writing make-believe ever since. 

1. Was this book something that has been playing in your mind for a long time, or did it pop up and get written down fairly swiftly? What made you choose to write it?  

2. Clearly, dreams are an important aspect of ‘The Dreamer.’ Is this also the case in your real life? Have you ever had recurring dreams or feel like you can pick out something useful of them?
So I’m going to combine questions 1 and 2 because my answers to each have to do with one another. Hope that’s okay!
Funny enough, the idea for “The Dreamer” actually started as a dream. I’ve always had very vivid ones and even keep a dream diary, though I can’t read half of what I’ve written because it’s always jotted down with bleary eyes and a barely awake brain. But I really do find them fascinating and think it would be amazing if we could somehow visually record them and sell them off as entertainment to the masses (always about the hustle). But anyway, back to your question—I had a dream that lasted a whole week. Yup, a week! With the same characters and the same plot continuing on each night. It felt like I was going to sleep and clicking on a TV show and…there was a guy…and yes, he was very good looking. I woke up one morning, a couple days into the dreams, and actually felt sad that I wasn’t still there. It was so odd. For those of you who have read “The Dreamer,” you can probably see the connections here. Eventually the dreams stopped, but I kept thinking about them and how strange it was to have recurring ones for so many nights. I had never experienced anything like it before or, so far, ever again. I told a friend about it, and through that conversation is how my story for this series came about. I was actually in the middle of writing a different book, but I put that aside to write this one—that’s how much it affected me. 
I wrote the first draft of “The Dreamer” in maybe a month but then reworked, edited, and outlined the rest of the trilogy for two years before publishing book one. 

3. Which of your characters has the most special place in your heart? And why…
Ooo, this is a tricky one. I think I’d have to say Becca. Mainly because she’s a bit of a mash-up of all the close ladies in my life. She’s the super best friend—loyal, smart, spunky, pushes you out of your comfort zone and calls you on your BS, but in a loving way. Plus, she has amazing hair!

4. What part of the story was the most difficult to put into words?
The scene that was the most difficult for me to write as far as description was when Molly and Dev first met and she creates the island. For some reason, it took a lot of rewriting for me to get it as succinct and clear as what I saw in my head. Hopefully, in the end I did a good job. :) 

5. Is there something/somewhere in particular you draw your inspiration from writing this story?
Besides the reoccurring dream that I mentioned above, I’d have to say another big influence in writing this story is that ever-present desire most of us have in wishing for another place besides here, as in reality. A place we read about in books and see in movies. I’m not sure about the rest of you, but I often wonder when I’ll get that strange bug bite that will give me superhuman powers or will be told this life I’ve been living has actually been a cover for my forgotten heritage in a land where unicorns exist and I’m a badass ninja. Right? We all wish for that, don’t we? *looks around nervously* Ahem, so yeah, I wanted to write about something we all experience—sleeping—and how maybe, just maybe that world we fantasize about is much closer than we think. Because did you know the average human will spend twenty-five years asleep? TWENTY-FIVE YEARS! Who’s to say we’re not traveling somewhere amazing during that time. 

6. What is your favorite paragraph in the book?

Oof, another tough question! I think, without giving too much away, this would be my favorite paragraph/scene in the book (caveat, it’s when Molly first “wakes up” in her dreamworld):

“She can hear us.” The girl tries to whisper sideways through her mouth.
Is she kidding me? “Of course I can hear you! What’s going on? Where am I? Who are you guys?” My numbness upon waking here has quickly evaporated and is replaced instead by slight hysteria.
“Inquisitive, isn’t she?” Dev arches one of his brows in amusement.
I let out a frustrated sigh. “Please stop talking like I’m not right in front of you. Like I said, I can hear you. And I have a name. It’s Molly.”
The girl is about to say something, when Dev puts his hand up to quiet her. “Hi, Molly.” He flashes a lopsided grin. “What’s going on is that you’re dreaming.” He elongates the word dreaming while wiggling his fingers as if he’s telling a spooky story. “Where you are is in your dream. Who we are… Well, we’re obviously figments of your imagination.”

7. Would you ever want to see your book made into a movie, and whom would you love to see cast in the lead roles? 

Wouldn’t it be funny if I said no?! Ha-ha. Alas, that’s not the case. It would be a friggin’ dream (no pun intended) if this series got turned into a movie. Holy cow! I wouldn’t know what to do with myself, besides turn in circles saying “oh my gosh, oh my gosh” over and over. 
As far as who would play the lead roles, I’m a huge fan of newbie actors or not quite mega famous ones being cast in books made to movies. So I honestly don’t have any specific ones that come to mind. I do however have something I can share here that I haven’t shared anywhere else yet. A little sketch of Dev I did when I first concepted my story. This is how I see him in my head at least. 

8. Can you give us a teaser of what is to come in the next installment?
Book two is a lot more action packed. Now that we know a bit more of what’s been going on with Molly and her dreams, the world of Terra really expands in this next one. Molly and her powers get tested in ways no one is prepared for, and there were honestly a lot of scenes that were tough for me to write, emotionally. There are also a couple of…surprises, which is all I’ll say about that *insert winky face*. 

9. A little birdie told me the cover was designed by yourself (OK, so you actually told me that yourself ). Can you tell us a little more about this? 
I definitely can! I’m an art director by trade so, yes, I couldn’t help myself and designed the cover. :) I actually design everything pretty much when it comes to my books. The bonus of being an indie author and having so much control. The original photograph that inspired the cover is by the amazing underwater photographer Elena Kalis (I’ve included a side-by-side of her photo and my book cover. Hers is on the right). I saw it and practically fell over with how beautiful it was. I had a very specific look and feel going on in my head when writing “The Dreamer,” and Elena’s image was perfect. She’s absolutely amazing for allowing me to license it. Also, not to give too much away to those who haven’t read the book, but it’s a perfect representation of how I saw certain…elements in Molly’s dreamworld.

10. Share with us a fun fact either about yourself or ‘The Dreamer.’
Ooo, I like this one! OK, a fun fact about “The Dreamer” is that the characters’ names are reflective of their personalities. I specifically chose names whose meanings are representative of what kind of persons they are. Wise, hot tempered, beautiful, power hungry, warrior, etc. I touch on the importance of this a bit in the book, but if you ever wonder about a certain character introduced, look up the meaning of the name, and it will give you a little hint of his or her role.

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