20 Questions With..., Everything That Counts

20 Questions With…Melissa Algood

 

This is usually the time that I tell you how much I love the author that’s answering my 20 questions, or how we met, but this time I’m taking over.

I’ve throughly enjoyed reading my friends answers, because they all have done it so differently.  Honestly I didn’t expect them to put so much thought into their answers, or trying to figure out the ‘right’ answer, when in fact there is not right or wrong.  I intended for the author to interpret the questions however they wanted to, not for my ‘permission’ on how to answer.  Therefore I did cheat on pretty much all of the questions (if there is a way to cheat on questions that don’t lead to a grade).

So thank you to all of the authors that I’ve highlighted before, not only for being good sports, witty, and insightful, but for being my friend.

The first time I remember saying that I wanted to be an author was when I was about eleven or twelve.  I never imagined that people would really read my stuff, I mean at least not while I was alive.  Sylvia Plath has always been a favorite of mine, hence naming my publishing company Mad Girl’s Publishing after her poem ‘Mad Girl’s Love Song’.

I am very happy to announce that I’ve publishing my first book-which will be officially released on August 24 at River Oaks Bookstore.  I hope that you’ll join me to celebrate the release of ‘Everything That Counts’ from 4-6 pm.

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I don’t really know what else to say-other than that writing isn’t something ‘fun’ for me-it’s a necessity due to the people that live out their lives in my head.  Thankfully at least some people like to join me on the journey – thank you for that.

So without further adieu I answer the infamous 20 questions

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Twenty Questions With…Melissa Algood

  1. Every writer has that one book that made him or her want to be a writer, what’s yours?   ‘Watership Down’ by Richard Adams.  I remember reading the introduction (yes I’m such a dork I read the introduction to novels) in which he said that the story of Fiver and Hazel was originally something he told his daughters as he put them to bed and they begged him to write it down.  Also ‘Fool On A Hill’ by Matt Ruff-it throughly transported me and I wanted to take a ride like that as often as possible.
  2. How old where you when you started writing?  Young, maybe 11.  In middle school a tutor mentioned how detailed a piece I wrote for English was (I described a door creaking open as if a rat were being crushed in the frame).  I also wrote little short stories for my first boyfriends mother (a dramatized version of a woman crossing the street was my first).  In high school I pledged to write a poem a day which helped me the most overall, and I still read the poems if I want to go back in time.
  3. Name four authors that you’d love to have lunch with.  Richard Adams, Matt Ruff, Nicola Yoon, and Courtney Summers.
  4. What would you eat? Probably not rabbit…I’m picturing a sleep over environment which includes pizza and sodas.
  5. How do you plot out your work? I usually don’t.  I get a scene in my head, and I’ll play it over and over again until it is as clear as an Oscar winning film and then I write it.  Although this often causes a lot of work once I’m ‘done’ with the first draft so from now on I really need to do an outline first (but I did do that for ‘The Bakery Assistant’ which I have yet to complete and I lost the outline).  
  6. Do you write in the morning or evening? Whenever I can, but usually after I’ve had my coffee.  But I have written many a scene while a color client of mine has been processing (I’m a hairstylist in ‘real’ life)
  7. Is there music on? This is the most important part of the writing process for me-I will spend more time on a playlist then virtually any other planning of a piece.  It will get so intense that a song will forever be intertwined with a character or scene.  I have posted the playlists for ‘Blood On The Potomac’  and ‘Everything That Counts’ on this blog.
  8. What inspired your last story?  A client inspired ‘Everything That Counts’ but I’ve been working on a lot more short stories which seem to be inspired by the copious amount of true crime podcasts I listen to (My Favorite Murder, Up And Vanished, Serial, Undisclosed, True Crime Garage, Last Podcast On The Left)
  9. Name three books so good you wish you wrote them. ‘All The Rage’ by Country Summers and ‘Thirteen Reasons Why’ by Jay Asher because both stories are so fucking important for everyone on Earth to read especially young adults.  ‘All The Rage’ is so poetically written although the content is something most people won’t read because it’s a difficult topic.  Similarly Asher’s novel does shine a light on many things that American society wants to put in the dark and he does it so intelligently that you’re enraptured.  ‘The Sky Is Everywhere’ by Jandy Nelson is achingly beautiful more like an epic poem, or a song, than a novel.  And I wish I could create another world like George R.R. Martin, but I can’t plan ahead that well.
  10. What television shows, movies, or albums do you believe are written well? ‘The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’, ‘House of Cards’, and ‘Master of None’ on Netflix.  I’m also the biggest fan of ‘Breaking Bad’, ‘Sons of Anarchy’ (which I binge watched while writing ‘Everything That Counts’), and ‘The Sopranos’ and my all time favs ‘Daria’ and ‘My So-Called Life’ and ‘Lost’ (which I binged while writing ‘Blood On The Potomac’).  As far as films I love ‘Donnie Darko’ although I’m not really sure what happened, and anything by Wes Anderson.
  11. Which actor would you cast in the protagonist role of your most recent piece?  I kinda like Miles Teller for Blake, but I’m not sure if he’s tall/lanky enough…maybe he’s more of a Nat Wolff. Rachel Hurd-Wood or Daisy Lewis for Sophie, Britt Robertson for Zoe.  
  12. Which of your pieces was the hardest to write? I would say all of them, but for different reasons.  ‘The Bakery Assistant’ needs more research (so if you’re a lawyer on the east coast lemme know) ‘WinterGull Lane’ because it took me to such a dark place.
  13. Which was the easiest? Most of my short stories are quick as lightening, which might be why I write them so much more often.
  14. Which of your pieces did readers ‘get’ when they told you their thoughts on it? ‘The End’ is a short story I won an award for about a young boy who grows up during the apocalypse.  I didn’t get hung up on how it all went down, but what it’s like to actually live after everyone else is dead.  At a book release the wife of another author told me that she loved that George still found it important to look at the artwork that still existed on the walls of the hotels in Las Vegas, because what’s the point of living if you don’t have the opportunity to enjoy art.
  15. What are you working on now? The novels that I mentioned before, and to write enough short stories to publish my collection called ‘Everyone Dies’.
  16. What story do you have to write before you die? All of them
  17. What’s your best fan story? When I sold an anthology to a teenage girl at a Comic Con in Houston and she shared with me her journal of poetry that she carries with her, then later that day came by to told me how much she loved my story.  Or when I read my piece ‘Thomas’ at the Spider Road Press award ceremony and one of my friends told me that it was the only piece that made her cry.
  18. What sentence have you written that you feel encapsulates your style? ‘We trudged onto the darkened stage covered in blood and glitter.’ from the story ‘Even Aliens Watch Reality T.V.’ my man’s favorite story that I’ve ever written.
  19. Have you ever based characters off of real people?  There are attributes that are based off real people, and I talk a lot so I listen to how people talk and infuse that into my work.  So yes, but not enough to have anyone worry.
  20. Who’s your favorite character?  I’m gonna cheat and say that I have a fav from each piece-Samantha Locke ‘Blood On The Potomac’, Blake Morgan ‘Everything That Coutns’, Claire Fisher ‘The Bakery Assistant’, and Stormy O’Dell ‘WinterGull Lane’

 

 

You can follow me on this blog, on TwitterFacebook, and you can buy all my work on Amazon

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Everything That Counts, pictures, Signing Events

Party Time for ‘Everything That Counts’

A novel takes a long time to come to fruition, and the story of Blake Morgan’s last year of high school was no exception.

I began writing ‘Everything That Counts’ as an escape from my heart pumping novel ‘Blood On The Potomac’, but it ended up taking on a life of it’s own, and I’m very proud of  this novel.  It is my love story to Annapolis, geeks, and for anyone that’s made a big mistake yet is attempting to redeem themselves.

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If you’d like to see a snippet of the novel you can check out First Chapter of ‘Everything That Counts’ (although it has been edited since then so it’s going to be even better!  And get your playlist ready because music plays a big role in the novel, get your headphones ready when you click Soundtrack to ‘Everything That Counts’  

 

I hope you’ll join me on Thursday August 24 from 4-6 pm at River Oaks Bookstore in the heart of Houston.  I will do a few readings, and I did buy a new dress just for the occasion, so please join me for the birth of a novel.

 

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novel, pictures, short stories, Signing Events

Amazing Comic Con 2016 Pictures

Let’s just say that the highlight of Amazing Houston Comic Con was that I did a podcast for bfe podcast.

Basically incredible because I got real for the interview.

Also terrifying because I got real for the interview.

It should drop on Monday September 12…so be sure to check out bfe podcast

 

 

It is always a joy when I meet someone that loves my work, therefore it’s awesome when I can find a new reader.

 

Without each of them I wouldn’t keep writing, much less get to do all the cool things I get to do on a regular basis.  Like meeting cool people…

It’s always a pleasure to do these events with good friends, like D. Marie Prokop and Chantell Renee, and by making new ones.

It was a pleasure meeting everyone!  Thanks to everyone that is so supportive of me-love to all of you.  This month has been a wild ride-later I plan on posting some pictures from my vacation back home on the east coast.

 Please remember to leave an honest review on Amazon and Goodreads of anything you ever read-especially my work.

novel, pictures, Signing Events, Uncategorized

The Birth of a Novel

 

 

The night started off as many spring evenings in Houston-pouring down rain. Thankfully by the time my handsome man Israel and I made it to Gratifi Kitchen and Bar, in the heart of Montrose, the water abated. The weather reminded me of my personal experience while writing the novel. There were pitfalls, and a fair share of challenges, but in the end, after three years, my story was made available to the public.

 

I was excited when I saw that the menu had named a drink after my debut novel ‘Blood On The Potomac’, which proved delicious.   The venue was crowded, and when I read scenes from the novel there were gasps and laughs at the right times from the audience.

 

The people that joined me on the evening my novel was released ranged from old friends, fellow writers, and avid readers that were excited to start reading. One of the attendees-a college student and talented author told me that after I read the infamous ‘roof top’ scene in the ‘Looking Glass’ chapter she “couldn’t stop reading even after you did. I just had to find out what happened next!” (The link to my Facebook Author page is at the end of this blog-and where you can see video of my readings)

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That was one of the highlights above my gratitude that so many people came to support me.

 

The most memorable moment for me was when someone made a toast to me, easily one of the people that have known me personally for the shortest amount of time. Sherrie along with several of my co-workers from Green Apple Salon- Montrose, http://www.greenapplesalons.com came to the event just a few blocks from our salon. I was elated that they attended-a friend mentioned that no one from my previous salon attended any of my previous, yet numerous, writing events. My fellow hair stylist, Sherrie, stood up, and tapped a knife against her glass. She called the room to attention and began to speak.

 

Her words were moving, and the night was long, thus I can’t quote anything for sure other than how she concluded her toast of love and admiration with “you are a true artist, Mel, and we love you.”

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Knowing that others appreciate your gift for the written word is the greatest gift I’ve ever received. Thank you to all my friends, family, and the readers that attended any past or future event-without you I’d be telling stories to myself.

 

You can find my debut novel ‘Blood On The Potomac’ on Amazon or from Inklings publishing https://www.inklingspublishing.com

Like my Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/melalgoodauthor/

And follow me on Twitter https://twitter.com/MelAlgood

 

novel, pictures, Uncategorized

Release of ‘Blood On The Potomac’

I’m happy to announce that my debut romantic thriller ‘Blood On The Potomac’ will be available on May 21.  There will be a release party held in Houston, the location will be announced later this week.  The novel will also be available for pre-order soon from Amazon.com.

The cover has been released and I’m pleased to share it with you now.

 

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short stories, Signing Events, Uncategorized

Upcoming Selling Events

I apologize for not posting for so long, but I just started a new job thus have been working more at my salon than on my writing.

The good news is that my debut novel, the first in the Hale/Lock romantic thriller series  ‘Blood On The Potomac’ will be released May 21.  More details on the release party, the Facebook cover release party, and the publication of my latest short story ‘Even Aliens Watch Reality T.V.’ in the anthology ‘Eclectically Cosmic’ from Inklings Publishing will be upcoming.

But first I’d like to give you guys the details on my next two selling events.  I had the pleasure of attending Space City Comic Con last year, and I’m excited that not only will my novel ‘Blood On The Potomac’ be available there, but on Sunday May 29 I’ll be there in cosplay as Samantha Locke-the female protagonist of my novel.  It would be my pleasure to see you there and sign a copy of my book for you.

Space City Comic Con

                  NRG Convention Center

                  Houston TX

                  Friday noon to 8 pm

                  Saturday 10 am to 7 pm

                  Sunday 10 am to 6 pm

​              http://spacecitycomiccon.com/

 

It will be the first time I’m attending Comicpalooza, but I’m equally excited to have copies of my novel ‘Blood On The Potomac’ available.  On Sunday June 19 I’ll be there and it would be my amazing to see you there!

June 16 to 19  Comicpalooza

               George R Brown

               1001 Avenida de las Americas

               Houston TX

               Times to be announced

​               http://www.comicpalooza.com/

 

Both events are so much fun I encourage you to come out and see all the great local venders, along with a few superheros, at these events.

novel, pictures, The Bakery Assistant

Feedback from ‘The Bakery Assistant’

My novel in progress (under the pen name Elizabeth Harris) is ‘The Bakery Assistant’.  It’s the story of Claire Fischer who’s stuck in time after her parents were involved in a fatal car crash on the way to her 16th birthday party.  She meets Aaron Ricci, who sweeps her off her feet, although he comes with his own baggage.

I brought the end of Chapter 5-in which Claire and Aaron have their first fight, and the beginning of Chapter 6- where Sid (Aaron’s roommate and best friend’s girl) a hairstylist does her hair.  On another note Sid is by far the most autobiographical character I’ve ever written: loud mouthed, lively, and a highly talented hairstylist.

One of my favorite things to do after my weekly critique circle with the Houston Writers Guild is to memorialize the good notes I get from the group.  It’s always nice to look back over all the praise after numerous rejections in the literary world, and something I recommend for any author.

Below are some of the highlights. I’d like to thank the authors in my cc, and the Houston Writers Guild.  I wouldn’t be half the writer I am now without them.

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Stay tuned for my debut novel ‘Blood On The Potomac’ due this spring from Inklings Publishing.

 

NaNoWritMo, novel, pictures

Feedback on Chapter 5 of ‘The Bakery Assistant’

I took part on #NaNoWritMo2015 in which you write 50,000 words in thirty days.

I wrote 50,931 words by November 22.  All I did was write.  I didn’t go back to edit, nor did I check my spelling.

I brought the first nine pages that I wrote on November 1 to my critique circle.  They had been lightly edited before I posted them, but I’m currently brain dead so it was rather difficult.

Even though it needs to be edited further they were very pleased with the story and dialogue in particular.

You can check out my #NaNoWritMo stats here

See an excerpt of my New Adult novel ‘The Bakery Assistant’ here

Some of the best notes I received from my critique circle can be viewed below:

NaNoWritMo

Watch me write a novel in a month

I’ve been writing since I was eleven, and I never thought that I’d be able to complete a novel.  Before my 30th birthday I’d finished my first novel ‘Blood On The Potomac’ which is currently in the editing stage with my publisher.  It took me two years to write.

My second novel ‘Everything That Counts’, which I’m currently sending out to agents, took me a year to write.

I’ve been working on ‘The Bakery Assistant’ for about five months, but I plan on finishing it in one month.  When November is over the novel will have 81,681 words, hopefully they’ll all be in the English language, and I will begin editing for my critique circle.

Accepting my award for my flash fiction piece 'Thomas' shortly after my 31st birthday.
Accepting my award for my flash fiction piece ‘Thomas’ shortly after my 31st birthday.

You can read the first chapter of the novel ‘The Bakery Assistant’ which I’ll be finishing during NaNoWritMo here.

Check out my word count here.