Friday, 12 July 2013

Melissa Mayberry - Mellifica: Devastating First Love Blog Tour - My Motivation

Today, I am glad to welcome author Melissa Mayberry about blog to talk about her motivation.


Mellifica chronicles my most humiliating break-up. The novel revisits, with intimate detail, the most grueling part of my adolescents; my first heartbreak. Worst than that, I was dumped for an ugly old woman and everyone in my high school knew what happened. What would motivate me to write about that?
The story begged to be written.
Twenty years ago when this all started, someone came to me and told me that I would feel better one day, and I should write a book. I stowed that thought away for many years, until an article in the local paper brought my story to a sudden and very ironic end. By then, time had done its job, I did feel better and this story   nagged me until I polished off my skills and wrote “Mellifica: Devastating First Love.”
Well, it should have rolled right from me, onto the screen and picked up by the first agent, right? I wish writing was that easy. After the first two weeks, the excitement began to wane and I needed more motivation.
To regain that love of writing, I worked on building my characters.  The main antagonist, Arien, took up most of my time and energy, but he was the most fun character of all to write. After all, who wouldn’t like to characterize their ex-boyfriend?
Arien may have done wrong, but he left a wonderful gift. With such charisma and charm, his character enchanted and enthralled me the same as he did in 1992. There were so many intricate layers to his personality, writing him and his quarks became an obsession that fueled my passion for writing for several hours a day, every day of the week.
The one downfall to rehashing this love affair was that it went south fast. To Chronicle the relationship, was to remember walking for miles in the icy rain, sleeping in the cemetery, and starving myself for days from worry. My work-in-progress was depressing and what was once a freight train was barely inching along. The story needed something, someone. Enter: Sandy.
 Sandy was your typical teenage guy, until the main character, Mel, needed him, then he becomes her rock. His kisses are sweet, due to his addiction to strawberry soda, and as the high school football star, he knows how to take a hit and come back stronger. As he blossomed into the perfect man, I fell in love with him and couldn’t stop writing this sweetheart with wide shoulders, narrow hips and a cupcake perched on his fingertips.
 There is a little bit of the author in each main character. For Mellifica it wasn’t a little. I am one-hundred percent Mel. Who would know better than me what I thought, how I felt, and why I did the stupid things that I did? Again, I wish it were that easy. Besides the worst of this happening twenty years ago, I never healed or attempted to understand my behavior. Night after night I wrote the crazy things I did and the way I reacted to the things and didn’t worry about my justifications. My character was turning out flat and I was losing the battle with my own character. I couldn’t tell what was wrong with my story, but I could feel that something was off. A critiquing partner pointed out that I never showed how things affected me. I had power by knowing the story first person, but didn’t want to re-hash the difficult feelings I had when things went wrong.  When I let go and really started writing how it felt, and why I reacted the way I did, a powerful story unfolded. Writing became my therapy and I couldn’t stop.  This present day therapeutic process is evident toward the end of the book.
Another motivation was friends. I’m not talking about those people that took a quick look at my manuscript and said it was good, or that they’ll get to it one day. People you see every day, face to face, don’t want to tell you the truth if your story is mediocre. Some of them, even avid readers, wouldn’t know anything about using too many adjectives, or starting too many sentences with pronouns.  I needed a group of people that read my book consistently, look forward to the next chapter, and knew a thing or two about writing. After trying out a few websites, I finally found my critique group and had friends. Every time I write, I think of them. Knowing someone was expecting progress from me, and would be there with an honest opinion, made me look forward to writing my next chapter, and now my next book.

So, why would I write such an intimate part of my life and share it with anyone who wants to read it? The story, my characters and my critique partners insisted. 

Mellifica: Devastating First Love:

At sixteen years old, Melissa has already found her Prince Charming. Sandy, the school’s most popular boy, graces her with a dream-like romance. However, a bold and dominating stranger named Arien quickly enters the picture and steals the girl’s heart while at summer camp.

What seems like a promising new relationship eventually becomes a downward spiral into heartbreak, leading Melissa down a path to depression, anorexia, and revenge. Trapped by her own impulsive affections and misplaced trust, Melissa struggles to find happiness in love without losing herself, her friends, or her sense of freedom.

In this coming-of-age story, Mayberry’s well-meaning yet tragically flawed characters trace the thin line between young love and obsession.


5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, Inspiring and Raw August 25, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
Mellifica: Devastating First Love was an enthralling and inspiring piece of work. I found myself avoiding normal daily duties, just so that I could curl up with my kindle and find out what happened next! The main character, Mel, takes us on a journey of love, lust, pain, hope and devastation. She is strong-willed and passionate which only adds to the agony of seeing her dragged into a relationship that leaves her hollow. The author is truly a talent. The story itself is so raw and real and Mayberry delivers it with such vulnerability that one can't help but be completely swept away …
Truly a superb book. Well done Melissa and thank you for a great read.

5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Coming of Age Story January 22, 2013
By Hilary
Format:Kindle Edition
... This amazing novel from the first chapter had me hooked. I fell in love with the main characters - Melissa, Sandy, Arien, Chad, Shanna, Don... Each one a character so real I think I knew them in my high school. The characters face situations that tons of teens face today. The subject was heavy, but Mayberry did a great job of keeping it sweet, light and heartwarming...

This book is very inspiring, empowering, and will make your heart feel all warm and fuzzy.

~HilyBee from Novel d'Tales

 Melissa Mayberry believes in living a full life. As a wife, mother of four, full time nurse, and grad student, a story presented itself to her in such a way that she had to become a writer as well. 
Learning and growing through her work, Mellifica: Devastating First Love is the first of two book chronicling a sordid love affair with a tragic, yet ironic ending.

Facebook: Melissa Mayberry / Mellifica
Twitter: @MayberryMelissa


Excerpt from Chapter 1:

The party fell quiet while we waited. A blue Dodge Caravan stopped at the edge of the beach. Oh yeah, Chad said he’d come. Even though the van was a brand new 1992 model, my cousin looked like a dork driving a minivan. “It’s okay. It’s my cousin, but keep the liquor in your bag, Shanna.”
“Aww, is Chad some kind of nark?” she asked.
I nodded. “Most likely.”
Chad stepped out, but to my surprise the passenger door opened too. Why would he bring a date to my birthday party? Asshole. It’d be better without him here, and definitely better without one of those girls he hung out with.
A stranger stepped out of the van, and his eyes fell right to mine. From a distance, he didn’t appear to be the geeky type of friend Chad always made. He wore a loose black tank top with Khaki shorts. His clothes seemed pretty normal, especially compared to Chad’s; my cousin wore a Henley tucked into his cargo shorts. The strange guy stared, and I couldn’t turn away.
 He came over with Chad, king of the geeks. Where did he get the confidence to stare at me? They walked closer, and even though the beach was dim, his onyx eyes struck me intensely. My chest tightened, and my heart raced. As if this guy gave him confidence, Chad walked a little straighter than usual.
“Hello, Melissa. Happy birthday,” Chad said.
I nodded, glanced at Chad for a second and then back to his guest.
“Oh, this is Arien, my best friend.” Chad gestured toward his tall, muscular friend. “And this is Melissa, my cousin.”
Arien nodded. “Hey.”
When did Chad get a best friend? I would have seen him before.  Something wasn’t right about this guy or his sudden appearance.
Sandy wrapped both arms around me and leaned closer to my ear. “Want to go for a walk?”
Sandy’s voice startled me. This suspicious stranger had my brain working overtime.  “Um, I do, but Chad just got here. I can’t be rude.” I turned to the new arrivals. “Food and drinks are on the table. Get a plate and come back to join us.”
            Why haven’t I met this guy? They returned from the table. Both had soda, but neither was eating. Chad turned toward the river where some people still played. “Who’s here?”
            I didn’t pay attention to Chad.
“Melissa, I asked you a question,” Chad said louder.
Everyone turned to me as I dropped my stare from Arien. A flame went through my body, and I wanted to run to the river’s edge. Arien smirked. He had been staring back, as if he had a chance with me. Huge ego—he must be Chad’s best friend.
I had to play the situation off as mere curiosity, so I squared my shoulders and cleared my throat. “So, Arien, if you and Chad are best friends, why haven’t we met?”
He looked at me and raised an eyebrow. “I guess we just missed each other.”  The warm gaze in his eyes made me think his words carried a double meaning. His wavy blond hair caught the sea breeze, and the firelight danced across his face.
I leaned against Sandy to ensure we all understood this stranger didn’t have a chance with me.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by - I'd love to hear from you. :)