Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Hi! I'm Melissa Glisan...

(Thank you Jacquelyn for inviting me to post to your blog - it is both an honor and a privilege. I'm deeply grateful.)

Ever read a book and think to yourself, "that woman was too stupid to live!"? This thought usually comes when said heroine is staggering blindly over a monumental truth but a millisecond before trotting out an insight brilliant enough to make Einstein weep with envy. There are days when I am her poster child...lol! Honestly, I am the dumbest smart person you will ever meet.

I was going to give you guys the canned bio, but then I got to thinking you deserve better. In short: I am a wife of sixteen years to a delightfully deviant Irishman who lives for me having an unusual idea for a sex scene so we can see if things work right (believability is totally important). I am the mother of a fifteen year old Drama Llama (male) who is addicted to the online game World of Warcraft. I'm the happy owner of two horses; Classic Jack Supreme the nosy, bossy Belgian and Leo's Bright Investment aka Magic. Really, who names horses anymore...yeesh. Also in the menagerie are Fling the Manx, Salem the calico (cats of course) and my "puppies" - Fling, Boo and Maximus. Yes, I really really liked Gladiator when we got Max. Ironically, the name fits. As a Chihuahua he feels he is the rightful ruler of Rome...I mean the home. Once each week I go to a very patient lady and take violin lessons on top of everything else (meaning laundry, writing, dishes, planting corn, writing, baling hay, practicing and all that goes with it).

Getting back to being the dumbest smart person...that comes down to what I (now) jokingly refer to as the Head Cracking Incident of 2004. You guessed it, a nasty car accident. I was left with permanent central brain damage among other neat injuries. It isn't just chicks that dig scars, sometimes the guys think they're pretty neat too - for which I am eternally grateful. My husband was incredibly supportive, not only did he do the housework I couldn't, but he insisted I perch at the new computer he bought me and type. So I did. See, I got knocked well enough that I developed aphasia and a severe stutter. Obviously, public speaking didn't rank high on my list of things to do - but I slowly managed to get my reading back on track. During this time of neuro-rehabilitation I wrote my first novel, Ware Wishes.

It was daunting as well as liberating. What makes being a writer so hard for me is my loss of memory. Every time I sit down to add to a work-in-progress I literally have to read over everything I've written up to that point. Embarrassingly enough, I still have mistakes that glare from across the room. Like a character that mystically changed names half-way through one tale and another who morphed from being a curvaceous brunette into having a willow-thin build with black-hair. Talk about multiple personality disorder...lol!

As for being smart, that was something I used to be quite the jackass about. When I was fourteen I was sponsored and tested into Mensa. Talk about something going to your head *rolls eyes* I was a bit of an oddball. On the debate team, competitive gymnast, award winning linguist, one of the tops in my high school class - and I had pink hair, multiple piercings, ripped jeans and the bug shield hairdo of the 80s glam rock groupie down to a science. Add in being a certified genius and the combination was pretty annoying. At least that's how I see myself in retrospect. A little brain damage does help sometimes. I now have patience and I think before I leap.

I guess I am still a bit of an oddball. When I was in college (Hofstra) for engineering, I used to go into the City with friends. There I had a tendency to strike up conversations with gang members, the homeless and start arguments with street walkers. My friends weren't too keen on accompanying me on my trips given the people I chose to chat with. But I'm grateful for the memories because they, along with the incredible character Marv from Frank Miller's Sin City helped fuel my imagination in creating Fool's Gold.

Short term memory is shot and long term is sort of wobbly so I've learned to never let anything escape being recorded. Given the importance of family history, I've always been fascinated by the unusual romance my parents had. To hear them tell it, their story is so earthy as to be normal, but in the early sixties it wasn't done to have an Orthodox Jew marry an Orthodox Greek. As a teenager I would imagine the kind of pain my mom went through, being ostracized and of course having a fertile imagination there were scads of stories born. Especially since when my parents first got married, my dad was drafted to go to Vietnam. A lot of modern marriages fall apart due to military service and it seemed even more incredible they stayed together in that time period given he nearly died and she had only his family to fall back on... All of this worked to inspire my short story The Ballet".

Now, anyone who has read my posts at My Space or my Live Journal knows that being a homebody (due to my disability I'm not exactly engineer material let alone my fall back job as news reporter anymore) means you get involved in the gossip chain. Due to a bit of gossip dropped about an ancestor and an infamous friend I picked up a little known book on local history (Southwestern Pennsylvania) and discovered The White Rocks by A.F. Hill. In the middle of his story there was a poem he wrote about a riot at a harvest fair that cracked me up. It was fast, fun and an utter hoot. But I just couldn't get behind starting a riot over men pilfering melons. Then my gutter brain short-circuited and melons become a euphemism spawning my contribution to the Summer Fantasies anthology The Watermelon Riot.

But I read more than boring old books on local history, I managed to find some old occult books from the seventies. Sadly, only the 1970s...lol. But one partial report snared my imagination...vampires in the Philippines. Not just vampires like those envisioned by Bram Stoker or the vrykolakas of the Ancient Greeks, these were awful creatures that targeted the dead and only when there were no more dead to feast on - they attacked the living! The original tale was recorded in the 1890s with no follow-up. It seems our Asiatic specter was trumped by the vampire of Highgate Cemetery in England. Again my mind combined the two and spawned Night Lights, a historical dark-erotic tale of two vampires set in the Sulu Sea in 1899, which is due out very soon at Aspen Mountain Press.

By now, you guys can see that there is very little to nothing linking the stories I write together, save that they are all penned by me. I utterly fail at "branding" but I hope I succeed at writing stories that readers are genuinely interested in reading.

I have many more releases due out this year - some paranormal with shape-shifters, some contemporary, some...well if you're interested I hope you drop by my website or my blog to find out more as details become available. My dogs are featured characters in one series called Dog Wild - you can see them on my website too. Even the horses manage to get in the occasional tale.

Thank you so very much if you've managed to stay with me and read all the way to the bottom. I want to thank those of you who did - I'll draw a winner from everyone who comments good, bad or just a hello, for a copy of the ebook of your choice from my line up tomorrow. For every five people who drop by, another ebook will be added to the pot. *hugs* for everyone :)

Melissa Glisan
Dog Wild, My Blog

20 comments:

Twilight Fantasies-- Romance Publisher said...

Hey there girl,

Great blog! I've never read this author, but I'm going to now. She looks interesting.

And you'll have to stand in line for the dumbest smart person award. I think I already one that one. LOL


CJ

Melissa said...

The Nightwalker books are sinful! In a good way of course...lol. We're all doomed anyway right? ;)

As for the dumbest smart person thing, I'll never forget the faux paux one one my docs in rehab made. With great gravity he told me I was lucky to have been so intelligent before the double grade 2/3 concussion (they still can't decide and I don't care)because now I was normal. I laughed myself sick. He just looked horrified and did the forehad smack thing before fleeing the room. I kept making Abby Normal jokes that no one got but made me laugh harder. I am still a geek somewhere in here.

Frost said...

Now this is a fascinating blogging experience, Melissa! Don't sell yourself short: I read all through to the end and I really enjoyed it. I appreciate your willingness to "tell all" and not hide behind a facade; and I liked learning where some of your ideas stem from! Also, Jacquelyn is an author I haven't read so you're helping her out too!
Frost

Melissa said...

Seriously? Wow...Jacqi is a hugely talented writer. I heard about her books at Simi's BBQ Shack (a yahoo group for Sherri Kenyon) and adored the first book. I've got the second but have this phobia about reading a book I know I'll love. I hold on to new books by favorite authors for at least a few weeks so I don't rush pell-mell through them like an addict.

Short! Ah hahahahaha! A Pun! I loves puns. Sorry, not everyone knows I'm 4'10" :D

Maura Anderson said...

Great post Mel!

I love Ware Wishes and had a blast with Night Lights - especially the very end.

Folks have to read them - that knock on the head gave your muse a kick in the ass!!!

Cherie J said...

Hi Melissa!

I enjoyed your post and learning about your life. So sorry about your accident but sounds like you made lemonade out of lemons. It was cool to get background on how you have gotten book ideas. Thanks for blogging here.

AmyC said...

Hi Melissa! Thanks for stopping by! I enjoyed reading your blog. It's nice to see that you have been able to overcome your injuries from your accident in a very positive way! Writing Books!!

Reducer said...

Hi, Sweetie....you know I HAVE to leave a comment...from all that I've read from you(including some of your books like Memory and Dream for one which is also my favorite cover),read about you, as well as getting to know you from the groups we share together, I'm just here to say I love you and admire you so very much. Can I also say Thank You for being my friend....
Love and With a Smile, Linda-Reducer

Mom said...

Melissa,

I had no idea what things you've forced yourself to overcome. It is always a good thing to see the positive. For instance, trying to use this calendar page for my family changed my name to "Mom". Kids keep promising that they'll fix it, but they haven't yet.

And then, I forget about it until I need to leave a blogspot blog. I love your writing. Were Wishes has that very unusal shading of dark, and Fool's Gold was just so damn hot, I had to get some relief!

So, don't over apologize for the way your brain is forced to work now. A) We wouldn't have gotten any stories at all and B) You keep us on our toes wondering what to expect, you devious thing you!

Sandra, not Mom
www.AspenMountainPress.com

Cathy said...

HI Melissa. Congrats on your new and upcoming releases. I am a huge paranormal fan and will be checking out your titles.

Leah Vaughn said...

Hey Melissa!!

Thumbs up on the blog, as for the smartest dumb person, that award goes to my sister. (You thought I was going to say me lol) I'm goofy, she's a blank sheet of paper with no lines.

It was great fun reading you blog. Take care

Leah V.

Christine said...

Hi Melissa! I enjoyed reading your blog... and yes! I read the whole thing. I always love reading how writers become published authors. I like that you included all the little anecdotes on how you came to write your books. I am deeply sorry for the trauma your accident has put you through, but am thankful you are here to savor life and write books for us! =)

Melissa said...

Hey Maura! The knock on the head did pop a few things loose - most of them on the darker side...lol. I don't let that side out to play very much, no need to scare people being naughty is more fun.

Hi Cherie, thank you! It was a long road making lemonade and I do have Doc Mick to thank for showing me how to calm down and look for the good. One day he'll get a heck of a thank you present.

Good to meet you Amy and thank you too! I'd rather write than build bird houses (that was my alternative in rehab). Me + power tools and hammers. Ummm...no...lol

*super mega hugs* for Linda and Sandra. You ladies are always behind me and I appreciate it 110%

Never fear Cathy, paranormal is what I truly love best so most of my work will go that way. Probably in an unconventional manner but still paranormal. Hopefully soon, Memory and Dream will reissue and you'll see what I mean about different :)

OMG Leah you made me laugh...and think about a relation I have that my dad refers to as "the bag of hair" these folks do exist. (It's one of the things I secretly love about the group mock_the_stupid on live journal for, when I feel dumb, I read there and feel like Hawking.)

Thank you everyone for making me feel so welcomed!

Melissa said...

Good to meet you too Christine, what a pretty avatar! Thanks for your warm words :)

Tracy said...

Hi Melissa! Thanks for blogging. I read the whole thing and thought it was great. The whole description of you chatting up the gang member, homeless and street walkers had me holding my sides. I'm looking forward to reading your books - love your sense of humor.
Tracy

Melissa said...

Hiya Tracy :) I do have an odd way of looking at life. The gang thing never hit me as being dangerous until one of the barrio guys told my then date that he'd better treat me good ... or else. The lightbulb went on and from then on I sort of went alone...lol. It didn't go all the way on. I do have a decent amount of humor in my Dog Wild books which are due out later this year :)

Thanks for reading and commenting!

Susan said...

Hi Melissa. It's so nice to meet you and learn a little about you. You had a terrible life altering accident and I admire your strength and courage to overcome it with such a positive attitude.

Thanks for blogging at Jacki's and I look forward to reading your books. They look yummy!

Melissa said...

Thank you Susan, it was great to be here today! I just hope my hubby doesn't wake up and see me perched here, he'll know I skipped my evening meds to chat online...lol! What's the point of being an adult if we can't break some of the rules right?

The way to look at life is that you can laugh or cry - and tears take way too much out of you, make your face blotchy and nose stuff up too. Laughter is way more better ;)

Melissa said...

Not sure how to get in touch with the two ladies my pup Fidget helped me select this afternoon. But if AmyC and Tracy could drop me an email at marquise.x@gmail.com with the title of one of my ebooks that interests them and format I'll send their winnings right away.

Thank you again everyone for dropping by and making my day and evening shine :)

Tracy said...

Oh yeah! I'm so excited! Thanks Melissa!:)

 

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