Genre: Fantasy, Mordern/Historical, YA, Romance
Age Group:Teen +
Rosa's Rating: 5/5
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live two different lives? Well, Sorcha knows and so does Enid they are two vastly different personalities. One of them lives in the past, one of them in the present, both of them are the same person.
Melissa Conway's SelfSame is a story of a teenage girl who's worries are much more troubling than studying for finals and pinning after boys. When she goes to sleep at night, she wakes up in a different world either in the past or in the future, her soul divided between two bodies.
This mixture of modern and historical story telling, makes for an extremely entertaining read with action on every page and a new mystery to uncover in each chapter. Readers will enjoy the tale of Enid/Sorcha as she finds her way through her lives, romantic interests and problems galore.
This is truly a must read for any fan of good YA fiction and lovers of Fantasy.
Readers, would you like to know more about Melissa Conway, well today is your lucky day. She has agreed to answer these short questions about her writing for us.
Melissa: Like most writers, I was an avid reader first. I grew up devouring the works of Fantasy/Sci-fi greats such as Marion Zimmer Bradley, Anne McCaffrey and Andre Norton. In the back of my mind, I think I always knew I wanted to write a novel, but life got in the way for many years. Then one day I realized I couldn’t let excuses stop me anymore and I buckled down and began. That was eight books and several unpublished manuscripts ago!
Bajan Rosa: This idea of SelfSame is a unique one. What would you say inspired you?
Melissa: I’m a big fan of Jane Austen, and I often thought I would try my hand at a historical novel, but I don’t recall the exact chain of events that led to the inspiration behind SelfSame. Typically, my stories start with a mere wisp of an idea that I turn into a “What if?” Then my mind adds more kindling to that spark until I’ve got a good fire going. At some point, I start to get excited, thinking, “This might make a good book.”
Bajan Rosa:Was it hard to write such a complicated story and if so how did you manage?
Melissa: There are two kinds of writers, the kind who take a concept and plot it out carefully before they begin, and the kind who take that same concept and just run with it. I’m the latter - called a ‘pantser’ because we write by the seat of our pants! As with all my stories, I begin with a vague idea of where I want the plot to go. Then I think about my characters when I’m busy doing other things, like driving, cleaning house, etc. If I was to give my plotting process a name, I’d call it focused fantasizing. And I’ll let you in on a little secret: originally I had intended a different ending, but as I was writing the last chapters I realized I had inadvertently built in a way to make the ending more satisfying! It’s wonderful when the individual threads of a story all come together in the end.
Bajan Rosa: I truly speak for all those who have read the book, when I ask when is the next one due?
Melissa: Right now I’m working on the sequel to Xenofreak Nation. Truth be told, I put that off to write SelfSame because I was so enamored with the concept! At this point in time I don’t have a sequel to SelfSame planned, but I can’t say I haven’t thought about it. The story wraps up rather nicely, but with a little fudging I could probably continue on with it. I’ll have to see what my fans think. ;o)
Bajan Rosa: Finally, a lot of people out there want to become authors; what would you say to them about the process?
Melissa: First off, they’ll want to develop a healthy respect for proper grammar and punctuation. Then they’ll do themselves a big favor by reading a few books on how to write. This advice might seem pretty basic, but you’d be amazed at how many beginning writers think it doesn’t apply to them. One of the hardest things to grasp is that being an author doesn’t stop with having written down some words. No matter how beautiful those words may be, you still have to convince people to actually read them! Learn how to write a great blurb and an effective query. Develop an internet presence through social networking. And most important of all, take criticism gracefully. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: you can’t please everyone!
Melissa Conway is the author of four young adult ebooks. She is the founder of the book review site Booksquawk. Her website is here, her YouTube channel here, she blogs at Whimsilly and can be found on Facebook and Twitter.