American Title IV Finalist: Mel Hiers



1) Tell us a brief bit about yourself (and please include your pen
name).


Hi! I'm Mel Hiers, American Title IV finalist, writer, library clerk, book nerd, and all around geek.


2) What's your story about in a nutshell (ooo look, it's me in a
nutshell!)? Please include the title of your book.


In Voice of the Bard, Temp Bard Anna Martin loves her job keeping mythics secret and humans safe. Anna takes a permanent position near her home town in rural Indiana, and when she arrives, she discovers that her house is full of crazy people, her predecessor's been slain by a Native American god, that same god has been slaughtering local mythics for centuries, and the cute human mechanic next door seems to know more about her world than he should. Anna will have to straddle two cultures to save her people, and maybe find a little happiness of her own. (Big nutshell! I'm still getting used to talking about my work.:-)

3) Is it true you write in a trance?

Not usually. Although sometimes if I'm overcaffeinated and overstimulated, I'll enter that same zen slow motion state that Fry did in the episode of Futurama when he drank 100 cups of coffee in one day.

4) Don't you secretly wish the other contestants would just drop
out?


Not really! Actually, it really stunk finding out who was cut from the first round. The atmosphere among us is less competitive and more cooperative. I think the cuts are going to sting even more as we progress.

5) What is your favorite paranormal being and why?

I've been on a shapeshifter kick lately. It's interesting to watch a character find out that they are more than they thought they were. It makes them reexamine themselves and how they fit in the world. The hero of the book I'm revising now has dealt with that and is actually trying to reverse the process. Besides, shapeshifters are cool!

6) Ever had a paranormal experience yourself?

We think there's a library ghost at my branch, probably tied to a local artist who had donated some pieces to us before he passed away. We've all heard noises and footsteps before opening and after closing, seen books fly off shelves unaided, and found things in odd places (although we could attribute that to mere ditziness!)

7) What's your writing ritual?

I like a lot of chaos. Usually I'm pecking away in the middle of the living room with the TV or some music on. Any writing music has to have words and a beat and, ideally, should match the tone of what I'm writing. Classical/New Age/Jazz puts me to sleep. I do a lot of writing in coffee shops and bookstores where I can people watch while I'm thinking.

8) How much are you going to pee yourself if you win?

Lots!

9) If you could mud-wrestle any author, who would it be and why?

Amanda McKittrick Ros. She was the worst Victorian novelist of all time. And she'd probably be so distracted by the unseemliness of mud wrestling that I could probably take her.

10) What kind of underpants would your main character wear?

Anna's a sensible cotton panty kind of gal.

11) You have to pick two cartoon characters to duke it out in a
colossal battle, Godzilla-style. Who would you pick and how would it
throw down?


Professor Farnsworth VS. Professor Frink. They would try to out-gadget each other until Farnsworth cheats and accidentally blows himself and half of New New York to smithereens. Frink wins by default.

12) Alliance or Horde? Peas or carrots? Franks or beans?

Horde FTW! (Inner Circle is the best guild ever!) Carrots kick pea butt. Franks and beans are better together than apart.

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