Today we have the pleasure of visiting with our friend, Melissa Groeling. Of course, catching her was a bit of a challenge. She kept muttering something about a new release as she dashed about the blogverse. When she finally fell into our trap stopped, we managed to interrogate ask her a few insightful questions.

If you feel the need to assist in keeping her calm, don’t forget to pick up your copy of LIGHTS OUT, her second book, and watch your back as you travel through Paul Holten’s dark and disturbing world.

For now, I give you Melissa!

*aside to Eerie* Why don’t you go check on your free range Zombie herd, you might be down a few head…

Jami! Hey there! *pauses to catch breath* Just barely made it past those shambling hordes you mentioned down at the end of your driveway. Persistent little buggers, aren’t they? So hey, you know it’s good to be here…in one piece too. Thanks so much for having me once again! I considered babbling through my own post for this second go-round but I was reading these questions you sent me and well, some of them were just too good to pass up. So if I may…

If your character(s) came with a warning label, what would it say?

Paul Holten, my main character from Lights Out, who I tormented relentlessly, has so many issues he’s a lot like those old cars with ten thousand bumper stickers slapped on the back end. With all the edges overlapping, the pictures faded and blackened with exhaust smoke. But the one warning that would be clear would say something like, “Beware: Unstable Ground Ahead.” Now Aaron who is Paul’s boss, would have a warning label in a neon sign over his head. I imagine it would say something like, “Dangerous Curve Ahead.”

Yeah. These two guys are not really conducive to a healthy lifestyle.

–We all know “healthy” isn’t as much fun as “demented”.

If you turned your laptop/computer/pen/typewriter (yes, some of still use these!) over to your character(s), how would they describe you?

I guarantee that every single one of my characters would describe me as confused and slightly unhinged. They would demand to know why I’m putting them through so much crap. They would probably scream at me to give them something to smile about and I try! I really do but…*sighs* I just can’t. They would call me mean, heartless but I’m trying my best to get them through their issues! Believe me, it’s hard work getting them to see things my way.

–Tell ’em to pull up their big boy pants cuz there’s no such thing as great art without a little pain and suffering. (Yeah, tried that with Raine, have the scars to show how well that went over…)

What is some of the best advice you were ever given?

I am going to say the most cliché line ever but man, is it the truth: don’t give up. If you give up, you’re only going to regret it later. Then you’ll have nothing but resentment and you’ll end up taking it out on your wife, your husband, your parents, anyone because you didn’t follow through. If you want something bad enough, you go after it and you keep going after it until you get it. Plain and simple.

–Amen, sister!

Share if you dare, one of your favorite research experiences. Did you join a ghost hunters group? Did you step outside your comfort zone and into the wild world of your characters?

Okay, so this wasn’t really research, per say but when I was writing my first book, Beauty Marks, my main protagonist had been splashed with something…and I’m not going to tell you what because that would give it away. *winks* As a result of being splashed, she was left with some brutal-looking scars. So my job was to find out just where the scars would fall given the distance and the amount of the stuff that was thrown at her. Does that make sense? I hope so. So this was in the middle of February and it was at least 20 degrees outside. I stood on the deck, outside (there was no way I was going to do this indoors—what a mess!) and my dad stood about three feet away from me and tossed a glass of water at me. I jotted down where the water marks were on my T-shirt. Then I changed my shirt, had my dad stand about six feet back and he tossed another glass of water at me. I was laughing so hard I think I ended up snorting half the water up my nose when it hit me. My dad of course was having a field day and my mom was taking pictures. It was insane so apparently I will risk hypothermia for a book!

–Love it! The sacrifices we make for our writing.

We’ve lost Melissa again (Eerie, I told to hold that rope tighter!), but we did get the following bullet list out of her before her disappearing act…

Blades, guns, fists or feet?

Blades

–The bestest things ever!

Favorite Fairy Tale of all time?

Beauty and the Beast

–I’m amazed at how many writers love this one (including me).

Three titles and their authors sitting on your nightstand/bookcase/table/floor waiting to be read?

White Fire by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

Grim Reaper—End of Days by Steve Alten

–mmmm, variety, the spice of life…

Greatest one liner of all time?

See ya in the funny pages!

Sarcastic witticism, Southern sweetness or Geeky disdain?

Sarcastic witticism

–Of course!

Strangest item currently taking up space in your writing cave?

A plush laughing skull that no longer laughs

–What does it say about us that we have skulls on our desk? Mine has some lovely tribal artwork…

Favorite supernatural creature?

Hmmmm….Shape-shifter

Ready to find out just how tough it can get for an assassin? Then pick up your copy of LIGHTS OUT by Melissa Groeling. Shoo *waving hands* go forth, my faithful Swamp followers. Just make sure you keep the lights on!

Lights out

Even when the lights are out, he can still see you…

Paul Holten’s profession doesn’t leave much room for doubt or conscience but he’s reaching his breaking point. The nightmares are getting worse, the jobs are getting harder to finish and the volatile relationship with his boss, Aaron, is falling apart. Now faced with the possibility of an impending death sentence, Paul makes the fatal decision to run. Drawn into one hellish situation after another, he’s forced to confront his dark past—and wonder if perhaps dying isn’t the better option.

Available NOW:

AMAZON BARNES AND NOBLE SMASHWORDS ARe GOODREADS

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Melissa Groeling graduated from Bloomsburg University with a degree in English. She lives, reads and writes in the Philadelphia region and wherever else life happens to send her. She is a hardcore New York Giants fan and loves chocolate. Lights Out is her second novel to date.

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