First Loves and First Interviews

01What drew you to the First Love anthology?

I’d been bugging my scribe, Melinda Kucsera, for years to write the story of how I met my best friend. (He’s also my first love.) Since Melinda’s not here right now to answer these questions, I’m answering them for her.

Don’t worry. She’s fine and currently working at her day job. In fact, she has no idea I’m answering these questions for her. But the cast of the Curse Breaker series, of which my story is but a small part, usually doesn’t let her answer these kinds of questions. We know the story better than she does because we’re living it.

Who am I? I’m called Shade. If you want to know more about me, you’ll have to read First Love. 😊

Give us a little tease for your short story for First Love.

Ours was a friendship for the ages–an abused mage just trying to raise his younger brother and a gray-clad enigma who hides beneath a cloak and veil. (That’s me, Shade, your narrator for this interview.)

We didn’t know it but the day Sarn and I met, we took the first step toward a perilous friendship that would unleash a demon and earn the ire of an angel.

From the mines under Mount Eredren to the Gray Between life and death, follow the twisted paths friendship takes. Only one will survive when adoration turns to obsession. But not even death can sever some bonds.

Do you prefer your romantic fiction to end happily-ever-after, happy-for-now, tragically, or does it depend on the story?

I prefer happy for now because that’s truer to real life. There is no such thing as happily ever after. Circumstances change. Life throws curve balls, and we must adapt to survive. Love takes work to keep it going strong.

I have no idea what Melinda prefers. Since she’s not here right now, I can’t ask her.

What fantasy elements (if any) do you use in your First Love story?

Oh boy, how do answer this without giving away too much? Since I fall madly in love with a mage, there’s definitely magic in there. After all, we do live under a mountain that’s surrounded by a ridiculous number of enchanted trees, and we mine magical rocks for a living. That’s all I can say without spoiling things.

What major theme(s) are you exploring in this story?

Our scribe, Melinda Kucsera, plays with friendship and love, innocence and lust. Opposites really do attract in this sweet tale of First Love.

What inspired your story?

I begged Melinda to tell the story of how Sarn and I met. I’d earned a rather bad rap in Curse Breaker: Enchanted because I’d made some poor decisions. Letting a demon possess me might not have been the best idea I’ve ever had. My passenger caused a fair amount of trouble for my beloved before all was said and done in that story.

But Curse Breaker: Enchanted only told part of the story of us. I wanted the rest on record because I was the best friend Sarn ever had before the demon incident, but you’d never know that if all you read was Curse Breaker: Enchanted.

First Love is my time to shine, and it just might net me a second chance to do right by my beloved if that angel is right. We’ll find out more about that in later stories.  

To what extent are your characters based on you or people you know?

Umm, I hate to break it to you, but I’m a real person. I might live in a fantastical world full of magic. But I assure you, I’m not fictional. My world exists somewhere beyond dreams. Somehow our scribe, Melinda, can see what goes on there and chronicle them. There’s a book coming out soon that explains all that and just how characters like me can cross over to your world. More about that later.

I might have borrowed her computer to type out this interview. Don’t tell her about that, okay? She gets upset if we drop in when she’s not home.

Do you know your ending when you write, or do you start and see where the story or characters take you?

Melinda writes our adventures in real-time as they happen. So, no, she has no idea how they end, and neither do we. We’re busy living the adventure-in-progress. But, according to other cast members, Melinda’s getting better at predicting what will happen from book-to-book. But we like to keep her guessing.

What is the best thing about being a writer?

Melinda gets to write about us and ride along on our fantastic adventures. What could be better than that?

What is the worst thing about being a writer?

That’s easy. Since Melinda is the only scribe who can see our world or interact with it, she’s the only one who can write down our stories. So, she’s besieged by requests on an hourly basis. Her inbox is a scary place.

To what extent (if at all) do you agree with the statement “write what you know”?

I’ll agree to that because I’ll get more stories if Melinda only writes what she knows. She knows me pretty well, and I now know how to reach her apartment from my world, so we can chat about anything she needs to know.

Are you promiscuous or monogamous with your genre of choice?

Melinda only writes epic fantasy. The characters from my world keep her too busy to finish that funny sci-fi story or that urban fantasy one gathering digital dust on her hard drive. But you never know. She might one day slip our creative leash and write something else. We might even let her. 😉

Which writers inspire you?

This is a tough one because Melinda reads like crazy and at the end of every book she says, “I wish I could write like that.”

I’m pretty sure she admires something about every book she’s ever read, and that’s a lot. She has over 2000 audio books on her phone, and she’s listened to 90% of them. The remaining 10% are on her TBR list. 😊

What other books or short stories have you written?

Besides contributing to First Love, Melinda has written:

 Curse Breaker: Enchanted

His Angelic Keeper

Curse Breaker: Darkens

Curse Breaker: Faceted

Curse Breaker: Falls

Curse Breaker: Books 1-4 (Best value)

Curse Breaker: Sundered

What is your current work-in-progress?

Melinda is working on A Darker Shade of Love, the sequel to my story in First Love.

My tale takes a darker turn when a group of summoners set their sights on my beloved. I will do anything to stop them from stealing his magic and with it, his life.

Melinda is also working on Curse Breaker’s Companion: Catch the Scribe.

Catch the Scribe before she falls.

When grief threatens to overwhelm a lonely scribe, the fate of her fictional world hangs in the balance. If she doesn’t finish the book and get it into the hands of readers, all her characters will disappear forever.

Melinda’s also working on about four other books, but those two are the closest to being done. So I’ll stop there.

What advice would you give someone who tells you they want to be a writer?

Be careful. The stories you write could be real, so have a care with your characters. You never know when they might drop by for a visit. 😉 I’m sure Melinda would have something better to say, but she’s not here. I am, and I’m a character in a fantasy book series, so take my advice with a mountain-sized grain of salt.

This is Shade, one of the heroes of First Love signing off. Grab your copy of First Love now. I’d love to meet you in the pages.

Attend the Release Party | Get your copy of First Love now!

Melinda Kucsera writes fantastic short stories, novels, and books when not being kidnapped by dragons or chased by armies of fictional creatures. (We do, on occasion, rescue her.) She leaves the running of her newsletter to a cast of lovable characters who hog her inbox. Enough about her, it’s us you’re really interested in, her cast of characters. Join us every week for a new story.

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