This month I got to visit with another Scribophile friend!
Melion Traverse writes things. When not writing things, Melion still lives with one spouse, two dogs and an acceptable amount of chaos. She is occasionally found playing with swords, studying martial arts, and lifting weights. Other times, she hides with a book and an energy drink as she avoids the tumbleweeds of dog hair overwhelming her house.
JR: Welcome, Melion! Let’s jump right into craft preferences. What tense do you prefer to write in?
MT: My preferred tense is present tense. In my opinion, it is, by its nature, visceral and immersive because it is happening in the moment. However, I’ve discovered that many other (read: most) readers find present tense jarring. So, when I write for myself, I write in present tense. When I write for others, I write in past tense.
JR: That’s interesting. I’m one of those that gets knocked off the page by present, so thank you! I know it’s irrational…
Tell me, what is the best book you’ve read lately?
MT: I just reread Knight’s Fee by Rosemary Sutcliff. It might just be me, but that book is haunting—not in a creepy way, but in a tragic, bittersweet way.
I’m a heartless bastard robot, but one quiet, understated scene in that book makes me cry each time. Off hand, I can’t think of another book that makes me cry.
JR: I’ll have to check that out! I can’t even remember the last book to make me cry. The last movie, though, was Moana– massive, drippy, tears of joy that drenched my glasses. I’m not even a little embarrassed about it.
Are there types of scenes you find more difficult to write? How do you handle it?
MT: I struggle with emotion-driven scenes (see that bit above about being a heartless bastard robot). This is not to say that my characters don’t have emotions, but when they get around to interacting with their emotions, I have to work particularly hard to have the scene read realistically. Fortunately, I have more emotion-savvy beta readers who can give me feedback on points that lack development or areas I can explore in more depth.
JR: (Beta readers rock!!) I think I understand, though; we, as writers, have our own unique emotional tapestry that can complicate how our characters sense and react.
Where do the your ideas come from?
Often, I get ideas from sitting quietly while listening to music and letting my thoughts drift nowhere in particular. Other times, I draw shamelessly from my life experiences (only reconstructed to make them interesting). While visiting an animal shelter to adopt one of my dogs, I came up with the seed of an idea that I eventually fleshed out into a short story. The story became “Noisy World before the Door” which will be published in Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores.
JR: Shamelessly? I love that. What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Bills that need paid. Sorry, that’s not very glorious, but it’s the reality.
Ok . . . bills and a lingering fear that the bed will come alive, toss me on the floor and run out of the house screaming as I lie in a pants-wettingly confused heap.
Oh? That’s oddly specific? As a child, I read a kid’s book about a house that came alive because the girl wouldn’t do her chores. Consequently, the entire house came alive like something from a Kafka-esque fever dream and rebelled against the girl. Had that book been illustrated by Stephen Gammell, I’d have needed therapy.
JR: LOL! That would drive me out of bed, too! His work is intense af…
Thank you for coming by, Melion!
Melion’s short stories have appeared, or are forthcoming, in Deep Magic, Fantasy Scroll Magazine, Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores, Cast of Wonders, Scarlet Leaf Review, Havok, and T. Gene Davis’s Speculative Blog.
For more about her work, or to connect, check out Melion’s haphazard blog.