Author Interview & Book Giveaway: Hope’s Daughter by Melanie Cusick-Jones

Welcome to Author Melanie Cusick-Jones

After graduating from The University of Sheffield with an English Literature Masters in 2003, Melanie has been writing fiction – time permitting – ever since.
The Ambrosia Sequence (started in 2008) and The Elementals (begun in 2004) are both ongoing, extended projects each containing several novels, aimed primarily at young adults and hover somewhere in the middle of sci-fi, futuristic and fantasy genres. Hope’s Daughter, released in January 2012, is her debut novel and the first of The Ambrosia Sequence, with the sequel – Outlanders – due mid-2012.
When she’s not writing Melanie enjoys the wet weather of the north of England with her dogs or disappearing into a book for a few hours (no surprise there then). Unfortunately, all too often the ‘day job’ gets in the way of the nicer things in life

Links:

Interview:
If you could travel in a Time Machine would you go back to the past or into the future?

Definitely the past, as I’ll get to go to the future, even if only for a little bit of it.

If you could have any superpower what would you choose?
I’m not sure it completely counts as a superpower, but I always like the idea of Jedi mind tricks and using the force to move things, so I’d go with that – especially if I got to learn how to use a light sabre without chopping off my fingers

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Pistachio (and it’s not always that easy to find)

If you could meet one person who has died who would you choose?
I would love to meet Gene Kelly – I always liked musicals as a child and his especially stuck with me, he was such as great, masculine and physical dancer. From everything I’ve seen he was very creative and a bit of perfectionist, so I think it would be nice to see how that worked.

Skittles or M&Ms?
Skittles

Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.
It’s an unusual take on dystopia, amongst the many that are around today.

Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?
I’d really like to finalise the next two books in the Ambrosia Sequence this year and complete the free release of two middle-grade books I’d written a few years ago – if I get that done in 2012 I’d be very happy 🙂

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
I think the best bit has come from networking with readers, authors and bloggers – I’ve met so many nice people doing and writing about interesting things, that in a few short months, I’ve discovered a whole other world beyond the pages of your own book (you don’t see much else apart from that when you’re finishing your first book!)

If you could be one of the Greek Gods, which would it be and why?
I’d love to be Athena – I always liked the idea of the Valkyries in Norse mythology – who wouldn’t want to be a strong female leader?

When you were little, what did you want to be when you “grew up”?
I always wanted to be a teacher – and that lasted until I was 23 and went for the course interview after finishing uni. Halfway through the interview I realised I loved books and English, not kids – and that’s what teaching really comes down to.

How did you know you should become an author?
I didn’t really – it just happened. I wanted to write. Then I wanted to write a book. It was only when you’ve achieved the first bit that you find you’ve ‘become’ an author – if that makes sense?

Can you see yourself in any of your characters?
There are little bits of your personality in every character I think – sometimes it’s just something they say, or how they react to something, but there are definitely little ‘flavours of me’ in most of them.

What movie and/or book are you looking forward to this year?
I’ve just seen The Hunger Games, which was probably one of the most anticipated, but I’m also a sucker for Marvel and their new film is out soon, so I’ll be off to see that. I really enjoyed Starcrossed and the sequel is out this summer and so that’s the one I’ll have on pre-order.

How do you react to a bad review?
On a personal level it’s going to hurt a bit because you want everyone to like what you’ve done…but at the same time, I know that there are books out there that I love and other people don’t, and vice versa – just have to keep this in mind when it’s people talking about your book. Books are so subjective and everyone’s response is individual so not everyone’s going to like it – I can live with that, so long as some people do 🙂

What do you do in your free time?
I would love to have some 🙂 between work, family life and seeing friends; reading, writing and blogging (so more writing) are pretty much all I do. I love films, so if I get chance to watch some, throw that in too, but that’s about it.

Hope’s Daughter by Melanie Cusick-Jones

Life should be simple for Cassie. 
For the small population of Earth survivors who live on the Space Station Hope everything they do is planned and scheduled, down to the cyclical food menus, their roles in the station, even how many children they have.
Despite rigid controls directing her life, Cassie feels more out of synch than ever and worries she won’t find a place for herself within the station community. Perhaps that’s because she’s hearing things inside her head that can’t possibly be real. Or maybe it’s the regular elopements of her peers, heading off to a romantic future in the Married Quarter of the space station, whilst she’s never even been attracted to a boy – no matter how hard her best friend Ami pushes them at her. Then there are the odd questions her work placement partner Balik keeps raising. His questions are just as troubling for her as his distracting smiles and eyes that seem to see inside her.
As Cassie draws closer to Balik she finds that everything else in her life begins to shift. He tells her things that call into question the system they live within. She can’t believe he is right, but at the same time she finds it hard to deny the sincerity of his ideas. Could there be a connection between Cassie’s problems and Balik’s questions? The truth will drag them both to a terrifying and deadly conclusion beyond anything they could have imagined.

Giveaway Details:
2 ebooks of Hope Daughter
Ends 5/18/12

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