What’s your name and what genre would you consider your books to be?

Melanie Karsak, Steampunk and Historical Fantasy


Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)?

The Steampunk Fairy Tales and Steampunk Red Riding Hood series are both retellings of classic fairy tales set in my steampunk universe. My Steampunk Red Riding Hood series features Agent Clemeny Louvel, my “Little Red.” My Steampunk Fairy Tales feature Alice as an ex-thief, Belle as a tinker, and Elyse (Elsa the Snow Queen) as an actress at a frost fair.




How did you get interested in writing this particular genre (historical novels, mysteries, sci-fi, children’s books, etc.)?

I love all things steampunk. I’ve seen a lot of great steampunk/fairy tale COS play, and I reversed engineered the idea from there.


What kind of research did you do for this book?

When it comes to the fairy tales, I try to read as many versions of the original fairy tale to make sure I understand the underlying message and symbolism. Then I folded the story into my steampunk universe.



Do you have a favorite book out of this series?

Well, most of the fairy tales are stand-alone novels, but Little Red wanted a whole series for herself, so I guess she wins!


What’s a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?

I generally write in the mornings after I get my kids off to school or before they get out of bed in the morning. I have very idealistic word counts planned for the day, but never hit them. But on the rare occasion, I double them.




Do you have a new book in the making and if so, what’s the name of your upcoming book?

I am releasing the first three books in the Steampunk Red Riding Hood series in May and June so I am hard at work getting those books read.


How important are character names to you in your books? Is there a special meaning to any of the names?

Many times my characters emerge in my brain fully formed with their names. For Clemeny, my Little Red, she came to me with that name which was part of a muse-born backstory. I did give her the surname Louvel which is a French derivative of wolf.




What is the hardest part of writing for you?

Length. I am naturally a novella-length storyteller. I write in a concise way, but want to write longer stories. My tales are always action-packed page-turners so they end more quickly than readers would like. I don’t see me competing with George RR Martin any time soon for a length prize!


What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?

In my writing life (birthing two kids always takes the cake), it was having the nerve to publish my first book. It takes a lot of courage to put a book out into the world. You have to have a thick skin.




What’s the best thing about being an author?

Being able to share my stories with the world.


Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Doing the same thing! I have always written, I just hope to make enough money to do it in nicer PJs in the future 😉





Have you always liked to write?

Yes, I wrote my first novel about a mafia boss and his singer girlfriend when I was 12. Twelve.


What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?

Don’t wait for permission or when you deem yourself good enough. Just be brave and pull the trigger. Life and creativity don’t have to be that serious!




If you didn’t like writing books, or weren’t any good at it, what would you like to do for a living?

I actually teach at a local college as my full-time job. But, of course, I teach English 


Do you read reviews of your book(s)? Do you respond to them, good or bad? How do you deal with the bad?

I always read them but never respond. My reviews are generally positive. If there is something on the negative side, I try to read it for constructive feedback and consider what the reviewer has to say. Many times, they have a good point. Except for that guywho compared one of my books to bad salsa. That guy can go screw himself.




What is your least favourite part of the writing / publishing process?

Editing. We hates it!


Why did you choose to write in your genre? If you write in more than one, how do you balance them?

I love writing historical fantasy. Sometimes my brain wants to be in Medieval Scotland, sometimes it want to be in Victorian England. I just kind of go where the muse leads. Usually I waffle back and forth between the too. But I have been known to write a dystopian just to mix things up. Something about the fall always inspires me to write something dark.





Where did your love of books come from?

My mother. She always read to me when I was a child. My love of books comes from her.


Of all the characters you have created, which is your favourite and why?

Don’t tell, but my character Lily Stargazer from my steampunk series The Airship Racing Chronicles is my favorite. This is my “adult” series (sex, drugs, and airships). She is a total mess of a person but a beautiful mess. More Mary Jane than Mary Sue, readers either love or hate her. I adore her.




Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

Ha! I write steampunk. I hope all 12 people who read the genre enjoy it. Seriously, we are an under-read genre, so we’re all just hoping people get bored of making cool COS play outfits and come find us.


What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

I owe a huge debt of gratitude to author Pauline Creeden who became my accidental mentor. She is a fabulous author and a wonderful friend who taught me and befriended me when I was a rookie. Everyone should go read her books.




Where can your fans find you and follow??

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Thank you for taking your time to do this interview