YA-NA Parley: Melion Traverse

Dear Friends,

Today, I have the pleasure of introducing a very special author that I’ve come to admire in the last few months.

Melion Traverse writes things 🙂 When not writing ‘things’, Melion still lives with one spouse, two dogs and an acceptable amount of chaos. She is occasionally found playing with swords, studying martial arts, and lifting weights. Other times, she hides with a book and an energy drink as she avoids the tumbleweeds of dog hair overwhelming her house.

Melion’s short stories have appeared, or are forthcoming in, Deep Magic, Fantasy Scroll Magazine, Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores, Cast of Wonders, Scarlet Leaf Review, Havok, and T. Gene Davis’s Speculative Blog.

Check out her haphazard blog: http://delusionsofsanityblog.wordpress.com/

Here are a few snippets of our conversation:

Krisna: What do your fans mean to you?

Melion: Wait . . . I have fans? In all seriousness, if I’m fortunate enough to earn the respect of fans, I’d find it humbling. To have people spend their resources on my work, be it in the form of time or money, would help validate my reasons for taking the writing off my computer and setting it loose in the world. I want to give people an opportunity to experience a new world, or to see their world in a new way. If I succeed at that, I’ll be happy.

Krisna: I totally agree! It’s one of the main reasons I write stories too. Speaking of stories, could you give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?

Melion: I suppose the ready answer is that my character, Alessa, goes through a portal into another world, becomes a unicorn rider and finds herself fighting to save a barony. However, when I wrote Alessa, what I intended to make her special is something more personal and quiet than grand quests and rifts in the space-time continuum.

Alessa confronts her insecurities and her self-doubts. That doesn’t sound particularly special when I lay it out, but to me, that’s the point. She has to struggle against herself. In real life, many people—myself very much included—fail in that struggle. We look back on our lives and realize how often we let the insecurities and the demons rise up and control our destiny, sometimes without any resistance from ourselves.

Krisna: That’s really deep. I’m sure most readers would really connect to a character that struggles with an internal conflict that we all face in our lives. What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?

Melion: Speaking as somebody new to the publishing world, I can really only answer based on what I’ve observed and read during the researching phase, as opposed to what I’ve experienced first hand.

I’m opting to self-publish because I like the challenge of taking a book from idea all the way to publication with my involvement at each step. Will that hurt the book in the long run? I’ll be honest and say that it might. After all, I have no marketing experience and I have no “in” with the industry. It also means that I’m relying on my own judgment to make edits and changes to the book, and I can tell you horror stories about where my own judgment has gotten me on occasion.

However, the positive of self-publishing means my book will be published and will have its chance to reach an audience. If I went with the traditional publishing route, I’m well aware that my book could never see the world outside my hard drive. After all, agents and publishers are looking for a book they can maximize profits on. Whether that is a good book or a weak book, the name of the game is profit margins. I have the leisure to take a chance on a book; agents and publishers do not have that option.

Krisna: A very practical answer. As a supporter of self-publication, I agree that it might be a lot of work and risky for those of us who’re new to the game, but it does give us a lot of freedom and satisfaction to be involved in every aspect of the publication. With self-publishing or trad publishing, PR agencies are a good way of marketing. Would you or do you use a PR agency?

Melion: At the moment, I do not. However, depending on the price and the services being offered, I cannot say that I would rule out the option.

Krisna: Now for one last question. Hm, let’s see …. something not about writing… 

What do you want your tombstone to say?

Melion: In fancy, stylized script, I would like it to read, “Semper ubi sub ubi.” Alternatively, I will accept: “In event of zombie apocalypse, do not stand here.” Really, however, I think by the time I need a headstone, the wording will be the least of my concerns.

Krisna: LOL! 🙂 Thanks for the warning, Melion, and for all your tips and ideas on the writing process. 

I wish you all the very best in your writing career!


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