Monday, June 10, 2013

Author Interview with Mirriam Neal!!!!

I have some VERY exciting news.

My friend Mirriam is publishing her book Monster!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was privileged to be able to beta-read Monster last fall.  It. Is. GRIPPING!!  And fantastic!!!!  And superbly amazing!!!!!  Seriously, I love this book. 

Mirriam is doing a series of interviews about Monster on various blogs this week, leading up to June 15th when there is an Amazon blitz for Monster and a giveaway on Mirriam's blog: Thoughts of a Shieldmaiden.

And now for the interview:  (My comments are in italics.)

Hello and welcome to my blog Mirriam!!

First, please tell us a little bit about yourself!
My favorite music is kpop. I love blue fingernail polish. I get overly enthusiastic about things I like (read: I’m a huge nerd). I have trained horses, sold artwork, been to Disney World twice, traveled across the United States, and winter is my favorite season.

Please give us a synopsis of Monster.
The year is 2053, and the world is recovering from a Morbus, a plague that swept across the globe, destroying millions of lives. Eva Stewart is a promising young WorldCure scientist assigned to a facility in Alaska where she is made a Handler and given her own human Subject for research and experimentation. What she believes to be a step up in her career becomes a nightmare when she discovers writing on her Subject’s cell wall. I still have a soul. Soon Eva is drawn into a horrific plot kept quiet by WorldCure, and as everything she knew collapses around her, she must discover the truth behind her Subject, her beliefs, and herself.

What inspired you to write Monster?
Big Bang’s “Monster” song and music video inspired the book, but it was a person who inspired Mir. Lee Joon of MBLAQ – he IS Mir. He was constant inspiration.

How long did it take you to write it?
It took me about six months to write it. I finished it on vacation. It was intense.
I know some people who write their first draft in a week, but time still seemed to fly by for me.

What is your favorite quote from the book?
I don’t know if I have a favorite quote, honestly. It’s like picking favorites among children.

Emotionally, what was the hardest part to write?
Emotionally, the hardest part to write was a scene where Eva is talking to Pocky about Mir. I can’t tell you any more (spoilers, sweetie) but it’s a sort of reveal. It was physically painful – the experience was so bizarre, I don’t really know how to explain it .

Which character was the easiest to write?
The character that was easiest to write…he was both difficult and easy. Mir. He came naturally to me, like no character ever has before, but at the same time his complexity was difficult to grasp.

What is your opinion of character casting?
I love character casting!! It’s helped me so much – half the time I have to find a face for my character, the other half I see a face and it inspires a story.

Was there a scene that was the most fun to write?
Oh, a fun scene to write was the first kiss. I enjoyed having a romantic moment after all the intensity.

Did you plot out the story before writing it or did you just sit down and write?
I didn’t physically plot the story, but I knew where it was going from the first line. (Which happens once in a blue moon where I’m concerned.)

Who was your favorite minor character?

My favorite minor character…Fyodor. He surprised me, too.

I HATED him at first.  By the end of the book, he was one of my favorite minor characters, too.  :)

What was the most unexpected part of writing Monster?
The most unexpected part of Monster was probably June. I did NOT see that coming.


What is an interesting 'fun fact' about Monster?
An interesting fun-fact…I listened to Big Bang’s song “Monster” over 200 times while writing my novel. The other songs on my Monster playlist were DMTN’s “ER,” Tritops’ “Love Addiction” and “Bad Boy,” Bang Yong Guk’s “I Remember,” and Owl City’s “Gold.”

Why did you choose self publishing?  I know a traditional publisher had offered for Monster- what made you change your mind?

I chose self-publishing because I wanted to be in full control of my book. I had a few offers for Monster from small traditional publishers, but they didn’t feel like the way to go. I prayed a lot about it, and felt God pointing me toward self-publishing.

Do you have any interesting writing quirks or behaviors?
I get accused of burning the keyboard because I type around 100 WPM generally speaking. I almost always have a cup of tea or coffee or a glass of water when I’m writing, I will listen to my favorite songs while I write over and over and over and over…Also I make strange faces and talk to myself frequently.

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

Just that, whether you think Monster is the book for you or not, don’t try and stuff it into one genre. It sort of defied genres for me, and quite a few people who adamantly don’t read ‘that sort of book’ read it and loved it. So basically, give Monster a chance, please! *bows*

I am one of those people who don't normally read that sort of thing but loved it!

Mirriam blogs at Thoughts of a Shieldmaiden.  Head over there for more posts on Monster and the giveaway on the 14th.

While waiting for the 15th and to learn more about Monster, read the other interviews Mirriam has done:
The Dandy Lioness
Katherine Sophia

Thank you so much for doing this interview Mirriam!!  It's been wonderful having you!

Miss Melody Muffin


  1. I really enjoyed that interview, and she is right, self-publishing is the best way because like she said, you have control of all of it. I found that out when I first published my first book last year called "The Invisible Spy spying on the lives of Celebrities."

  2. Monster sounds like a very interesting story. Thanks for the interview. (And, as a side note, it is nice to know that someone else enjoys winter as much as I do :-)

  3. A friend of mine is buying this book when it is out. I will have to borrow it from her when she's done. I don't normally read books like this, but I might have to give it a chance :)

  4. I am loving reading these interviews... :) and I'm counting down the days until the 15th! XD

  5. Monster is one of the best books I've ever read, and I'm thrilled it's finally getting printed!

  6. Looking forward to Monster!!! Thank you for the interview!! :-)


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