Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I’ve written a ten or eleven books, mostly in WriMos over the years, but only started getting them out there this summer when my little one was born and I decided it was time to put my books to work keeping him fed. Some of those trunk novels might never see the light of Amazon, but I’ve got four up right now and more coming soon.
Most of my books focus on the end of the world through different causes, like aliens in two different ways (Redskull Invasion series and Hunter: A.I. Apocalypse), massive failure of technology, and vampires and plague (yes that last is proper grammar, magical plague and vampires in one book)… haven’t tried the zombie thing yet, though that might be fun after I finish the two alien series.
When I’m not writing, I do triathlons. I am actually an ironman triathlete (140.6 once and 70.3 three times so far), but I still feel like a total n00b on the bike.
I’m also a grad student working on my dissertation in Spanish linguistics. If anyone’s curious about that, I’m looking at teaching stress placement and if it helps make you more understandable as a non-native speaker.
Also, my husband and I belong to two 55 pound balls of fluff named Minnie and Daisy — we don’t like Disney at all… no, why would you say that 😉
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
The most recent book I published is called Hunter and it started with one scene that I wrote about ten years ago now (does that make me old? It makes me feel old). And then, that scene expanded and expanded as critique groups asked me different questions about it.
At the time, I was training for my first half ironman and was biking along the American River Bike trail in Sacramento. I was kind of amazed at how wildlife and everything butt up against the suburbs and the city, and so I wrote a scene of someone hunting the deer there. And well, since I’m apparently obsessed with the end of the world, of course it was after the apocalypse.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I don’t think so. I tend to write when I can squeeze it in, in short bursts here and there if I can… I like it quiet or somewhere where there’s a hum of background noise so I don’t get drawn in. I can’t write with music or anything the tv on, I get too distracted.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I was totally in love with Anne Rice in high school. That may be why there are vampires in my books.
Anne McCaffrey’s Freedom Books are definitely a huge inspiration for the Redskull Invasion series (compare the Catteni and the Eosi to the bluemen and the redskulls).
Also, I inhaled the James Axler books Outlanders and Deathlands when I was in six and seventh grade, I think that’s a big part of what tipped me into the apocalyptic genre. Though who knows.
What are you working on now?
I’m working on editing some of those other ten (okay, eleven, but the very very first is lost forever) trunk novels. The next one I’m planning on getting out there, Children of the Snake, is the second book that I wrote, the first being lost forever… seriously, I wrote it umm… seventeen years ago when I was in high school and it’s just gone. I don’t even have the laptop I wrote it on and it was written in Jer’s Novel Writer, which I don’t think even exists anymore.
*ahem* sorry, I digress. So, I wrote this book in JanNoWriMo 2006. It incorporated a few dares from there, like a character who is synesthetic and is about the end of the world brought about by vampires and a magic plague. I’m pretty excited to be getting it edited and published. I’m hoping to have that up and running by November (2017).
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I’m just getting going. That said, please do check out my website, melcorbett.com and join my email list if you want to find out more and get some free short stories.
I’m also on Facebook at Facebook.com/MelCorbettFiction and twitter as @Mel_Corbett
Do you have any advice for new authors?
I am a new author in the publishing sense, so not much advice there yet. Maybe once I have some more success.
In the writing sense, BIC HOK TAM (I don’t remember what writing group I took that from over the years, it was a yahoo! group at the time, it stands for Butt in Char, Hands on Keyboard, Typing Away Madly). Also, I like to make one liner brief notes about what happens in a scene, like what the turning point of the scene is and plan it out with Scrivener what needs to happen to get me to the end.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Advice in general? Have an idea of what you want and go for it, making lots of course corrections along the way.
What are you reading now?
The Core by Peter V. Brett.
It’s the most recent book of his Demon Cycle series. I pre-ordered when I finished the last one, and it appeared on my kindle last week. I’m totally consumed. It could be our future some five thousand years from now when demons destroy our modern civilization.
What’s next for you as a writer?
After I get the trunk novels published, I will be writing the sequel to Hunter. Then I’ll probably write either the more books in the Redskull Invasion series or maybe more in the Hunter series.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
Only three or four? Umm…. that is a great question. I think I’d die with only three or four. I’m so spoiled with my kindle and basically limitless books.
Right, so then, I’d probably go with at least one non-fiction book about how to survive a desert island… because I’ve been totally all over the non-fiction how to books lately. And well… I might be overly practical/literal.
Then maybe some paranormal or contemporary fantasy—like Ilona Andrews, and then, as much as I might disagree with his politics, Orson Scott Card’s Formic Wars or some good space marines stuff.