Special Feature: Interview with Melanie Ray and Review of The Great Destruction Book 1
I have been very lucky to receive this book to review and to get an interview with the author Melanie Ray.
Tell us in your own words about the book
My book is both a comedy and a tragedy. If you are looking for a lighthearted read, this isn’t it. If you’re looking for intense drama on every page with seriousness, you won’t find it there either. If you’re looking for something that shows the tragedies of real life along with the comedy that is also real life, you’ll find yourself rooted in a world you cannot turn away from. And yes, it’s a fantasy but that doesn’t mean there have to be wizards, elves, dragons and fairies. Well…elves I don’t know. The aliens are between 3-4 feet tall. I guess I’ll give into that.
The first novel of The Great Destruction Series, ‘In the Beginning’ introduces us to the different lives of our alien characters. The first you meet is Yed, who is a smooth guy. I’d say Mr. Cool, but he’s not invincible, and he has a touch of something that keeps him from running amok saying how great he really is. He has a past (not fully revealed in book 1) that keeps him from getting too cocky. He ends up in a difficult situation when he is set up by his own Kingdom to have intimate relations with a woman he met once. (Pheromones: Powerful, like the Axe effect.) Only thing is he is a Protector and is not allowed to associate with any female romantically. Females…are their clients. Things get even harder when he realizes she was his childhood friend, Ezra. He ends up being allowed to be her Protector if he does not say anything about the Kingdom. If he does, its treason and he will receive a painful death.
Where did the idea for Great Destruction come from?
The original idea for The Great Destruction was one book long, and it was originally called The Great Destruction. I was working through about halfway with my usual little lighthearted ditties. I’m not much into drama, I like a smidge of romance and lots of fantasy and comedy. In the middle of it though, something terrible happened in my family. Someone very close to me was dying of lung cancer. I don’t want to get into details, but I had never had anyone so close to me being taken away and I didn’t know how to handle it. I found myself suddenly restructuring my story altogether, and it ended up becoming a series outline. Through the rises of triumph and overwhelming pitfalls of despair, you can feel it in the book. You’ll go from segments that make you laugh right out loud to a few chapters later, crying your eyes out. Such is life. It’s not all good hearted comedy, but it’s not all about tragedy. My story is fantasy, there’s no doubt about that, but the ideas for The Great Destruction Series comes straight out of overwhelming Tragedy. Whether the Series itself has a happy ending, I won’t reveal but I will say after the last book that the characters, like me, will all have some sense of closure.
How did you come up with the aliens and the Warno and Waryes worlds?
Alien worlds are easy. I knew Earth had to be one of course. The other planet Fala, well not everyone is going to act the same. I wanted a race who was self serving but powerful…but had the flair of a horribly spoiled teenage girl. Even if they were guys. There will be others ahead in the story too. And the Warno/Waryes world Pagnia is naturally colorful, although there water is not naturally colorful. That idea came from my husband who is a chemist. And if he ever reads my story, I will never hear the ending of it.
Who was your favourite character to write and why?
Oh, that’s a toughie. I love all my characters or I wouldn’t have created them. Let’s see…well Yed is definitely a favorite, along with Ezra. M-Win has her moments, but I really fell for Zaria more. Regwallis too, even though he doesn’t pull too much at you now, he will in the future. And of course Xiam, I could not forget about him! He is a tough character to pull off. Not in Book 1 so much as Book II. His love/hate relationship, it’s a doozy.
Have any books been an inspiration for you?
Monster by A. Lee Martinez. His style of writing persuaded me into publishing my own work. It’s his way of not describing every little thing from the head to the toes, or not always taking a whole paragraph to describe the setting. He stays on focus, and if he is describing it, it’s because its important, not just a description.
Where do you your writing?
Over my entertainment center, standing, so my toddler can’t reach it. She’s too young and had once torn off a key on our older laptop I had before we moved to a new one. I like to write in my head a lot too, when I’m just thinking or riding along in the car, my thoughts often form into the writing later.
Is fantasy your favourite genre to read, or do you like others?
I love some Romance and I love Comedy. I do love only a small amount of horror, but unfortunately Dropcloth Angels isn’t published yet. I also read non-fiction if it’s something I need, but not want. Like 101 Ways To Keep Your Two year Old From Driving You Insane. That’s just a fake example, but those have made up a good percentage of my reading list lately.
What can you tell us about the next in the series?
Oh gosh…well, with the way Book 1 ends, I can’t tell much without giving away anything. I will tell you that the book is going to have three main characters that each start off in a place on Earth called Aryu Institution. From there, one is kidnapped and it is up to one of our main characters to remember what is going on and who he really is, if he has any chance of saving the other character. From there, the book just explodes into so many different angles.
I know I am really bad. But you know what? Sign up for a five dollar membership at http://readitin7days.com and you’ll get more than a scoop, you’ll get a chance to read it as it progresses.:)
I loved this book. I read it in one sitting – every time I went to get up I couldn’t because I wanted to read more! The story follows Yed, who lives on the planet Fala. He is a Protector, but he has perfect lineage so he is set up by the King to have relations with someone else with pure lineage. The problem is, the Female is an old family friend. He has an important decision to make: keep the secret or commit treason. And on top of that, a war breaks out!
This is a fantastic read. I loved the world of Fala – although it is fairly similar to Earth. It was interesting to read Earth as the alien planet – and how Yed and co. weren’t too keen on going there! I think Ray wrote a great story. She incorporates fantasy with comedy and romance. I didn’t find the love story over-powering and I would not class this as “chick-lit” because there is the fantasy and the comedy.I was interested in how the story unfolded and the decisions people, especially the King made. There is a whole range of ideas throughout the story – from keeping the pure lineage to the war with the Waryes’.
I liked all the characters, especially Yed. He was funny and strong-headed. His reactions to people often made me laugh. I also liked how once he found out he was cheated by the King he was determined to find a way to make it right. I liked Ezra – the other cheated character. She was sensible and sensitive and easily likeable. There are a whole range of characters who make this very readable.
Overall I loved this book. Like I said, I read it in one sitting and was hooked right from the start. This is not the usual genre I read but I loved this fantasy book. There were some great story lines throughout the book and wonderful characters. I loved Fala and the idea of the two tribes, the Warno’s and the Waryes’. I have nothing bad to say about this book and I cannot wait for the next one! Top marks from me 🙂