When she isn't working on her wildly popular "Judgement of the Six" series, Melissa Haag likes to curl up with a book, spend time with her kids or sample new foods. Haag creates captivating and romantic paranormal fiction and her fans all agree: Hope(less) will get you hooked. She chats with us about Hope(less), the challenges of being an author and gives us a behind-the-scenes look into creation of the Judgement of the Six.
1. For the readers who haven't started on the series yet - what is the Judgement of the Six about?
Six uniquely gifted women are tasked with maintaining the balance between three races: human, werewolf and urban. Only the women don’t know what their gifts are for, how to use them, or that the other races exist. It’s a series about discovery, trust, and love (of course!).
2. Have you always wanted to write for teens and young adults?
I’ve always wanted to write. My imagination is big enough for write for many audiences.
3. What drew you to write about characters with paranormal abilities?
Life is real enough for me. I like writing about things that stretch the imagination.
4. Clay is such an interesting character with his quiet demeanor, mood swings and intense personality. How did you go about creating Clay?
I don’t know that I created Clay as much as he just grew in my head. :) I knew I wanted a leading man that wasn’t the standard hero you’d find in most YA books.
5. Give us an insight into Gabby's mind. What is so special about her? How easy was it for you to find her voice?
Gabby is pretty average, with the exception of her gift. I can’t really say much more without dropping spoilers.
6. Tell us about the covers and how it came about that you chose this style for the series
I can’t claim any creative influence on the cover. I have a wonderful cover designer who proposed the look.
7. Why "Hope(less)?" Tell us more about the meaning behind the title of your book
SPOILER ALERT!! Hope is Gabby’s purpose (that’s as much as you’re getting from me!). Yet, in her book, she feels hopeless.
8. Which book in the series took you the longest to write, and why was that so?
Book 2, (Mis)fortune. It took the longest because it was actually book 1 of 1. :) When I’d started writing it, I never thought it would go into the series it is. So, it took several rewrites and changes before it was ready for reader eyes.
9. What are your favorite books to give — and get — as gifts?
I’m not picky! I love all books. ebooks, paperback, YA/Adult. As long as it’s fiction, I’m a happy reader.
10. With close to 600 positive Amazon reviews, it looks like Hope(less) was really well received. Did you fear suffering from second book syndrome when writing the other books in the series?
When I first published Hope(less), it was not well received. Actually, it wasn’t noticed. For the first eight months, I couldn’t get people to read it. I tried giving it away. I tried suggesting it to groups on Goodreads. I joined forums and blogs. It didn’t seem to matter. I was one tiny voice in so many other tiny voices. Then, in October, I set it to free on all retailer channels. Somehow, some way, people started seeing it. By then I had the first two books published and (Un)wise was either already published or soon to be published.
11. Name a book you wish you'd written, and why
I honestly can’t think of any. I treasure the unique worlds authors have created before me and know I wouldn’t have been able to do the same justice to someone else’s ideas.
12. You have published quite an impressive collection of books already. Do you ever have days when writing is a struggle?
Only because of life interruptions. :) I’d write all the time if, I could.
13. Without giving anything significant away, can you give readers a sneak peek at what's coming next from you?
I have so many ideas in my head! I have several stories drafted that are calling my attention, but I’m staying focused on the Judgement Series to avoid a mutiny. Readers really want that last book. lol
14. How can our readers discover more about you and your work?
As I mentioned above, the first book in the Judgement of the Six series is free. It’s a great example of the type of stories I can offer a reader. And, if you like it, Clay’s Hope, the Companion to Hope(less) is also free.