We snagged Melanie for a quick interview to answer some of our burning questions about Newstead Project.
What are some writing challenges that science fiction/fantasy/dystopian writers face? I think each of us faces different challenges based on our life circumstances. For me, I homeschool three kids so finding quiet time to get away and write has been the biggest challenge.
We're just curious, but what's the story behind your novel? This story started with a question a patient of mine asked me about ten years ago. He had a Bible in his hand and out of the blue asked about Nephilim. I had no answer for him, and those of you who know me best know how I hate that. I still to this day have no idea why he asked me. But it did spark a beginning, a wondering. Why would a species like that be created? What would their purpose be? And of course, the most haunting part- that the verse said they would be coming back. Years went by and I didn’t think about that question, and then on September 3, 2010 I was in the woods nature journaling and that question came to mind. In those moments Newstead and Joel had their birth out in those woods.
Every writer talks about challenges they have when writing. What challenges, if any, did you have creating the setting/world building for your novel? I am a rather sparse writer, and The Newstead Project is written in present day America, so I really didn’t have any challenges. I just wrote what I knew.
Inquiring minds want to know, why did you choose the genre that you did for this novel? I didn’t. It is just what I write.
You've been a great sport so far, so I have just one more question. Tell me, and other aspiring writers, about a skill you used to help write your novel.
I spent a lot of time people watching and a lot of time researching. I went to the town this story is located at to ensure my writing was realistic. I researched the Holocaust and went to the Holocaust Museum in Washington. After seeing those faces and pictures and shoes, I knew I had my antagonist. I let Joel and Rachel and Newstead seep into my skin so that when I closed my eyes I saw them, their lives, what happened to them. When I wrote, I just jotted down the story that was taking place in my mind. That makes The Newstead Project very real, to me, and hopefully to anyone who reads it.
MORE ABOUT THE BOOK
The Newstead Project
Joel Cranston shouldn’t exist. He just doesn’t know that yet. He’s lived a pretty normal life for the last sixteen years. If you consider being almost seven feet tall and good at about every sport you’ve ever played normal. Normal ends the day Newstead shows up with an invitation to come to their school.
Newstead is a private high school in Central Vermont by the Green Mountains. It’s a great place to hide a few hundred people who shouldn’t exist while you train them to become tomorrow’s rulers, tomorrow’s dictators, tomorrow’s gods.
Rachel Newell thinks she’s just passing through. She never stays any place more than four months and with Newstead so close to Weston, she has even more reason to make this her shortest stop ever. The last thing she expects is to have a reason to stay.
Together Rachel and Joel uncover the truth behind what is
Author Melanie SchulzI live in Upstate New York with my husband and three children, where I’ve pretty much been planted my entire life. Which is fine, because it’s beautiful here. My only complaint is that most people assume that New York means NYC, which it doesn’t. There. I’ve done my part in exposing the truth. Truth. The truth is I’m not a writer; storyteller maybe, but not a writer. It wasn’t something I spent years dreaming of, or even what I went to school for. I’m a nurse. I love being a nurse. So why write? I don’t know. I do know when it started, though. September 3, 2010. I know this because I nature journal, and on that day Joel made it into my notes. I guess that’s fitting. Someone like him needed to be birthed out in the woods. If you were to meet me, and I hope someday you do, you would not connect me with this story. I’m a wife, a mother, a nurse. The person who wrote this should’ve been a guy, first off, secondly he should be some militaristic strategist; that’s who you’d expect to see if you were to come to a book signing, not me. But I’m there, in every line. So if I don’t have the good fortune to meet you in person, I hope to see you in THE NEWSTEAD PROJECT.
Blog Tour Giveaway
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.