This week on Self Published Sunday we are delighted to welcome debut author Melissa Brown as she talks about the inspiration behind her recently released novel, Becoming Death. Ever since her father’s demise, Madison Clark knew death had her number. After losing her first job, she is ushered into the cryptic family business. Little does she know her family is hiding a dark secret; they are grim reapers, custodians of souls on their journey to the beyond. Madison expects her historic legacy to have benefits beyond immortality. What she doesn’t expect is to still be struggling for cash while reaping souls on the side.
As if being Death’s minion wasn’t strenuous enough, Madison finds herself back at school with her worst enemy studying the ancient rules, methods and paperwork of her vocation. In a cascade of life changes: her best friend admits he’s in love with her and she starts a new job as a professional mourner, but she can’t help thinking her family might have other secrets.
Just when things are finally starting to feel normal again Death throws her a curveball: her next victim is her best friend. Madison must find a way to overcome the strict guidelines of being a grim reaper in order to save his life.
1. Have you always been interested in grim reapers or was it just an idea you had?
I’ve always been interested in the paranormal, I was a huge X-files and horror movie fan growing up. The idea to write a book about grim reapers came while doing research for a paper at university about fairytales and folklore. I realised female grim reapers seemed to be a rarity and thought it might be fun to place one in a modern setting.
2. When you write, do you plot or are you more of a panther?
I’m a pantser, I like discovering how the story is going to flow as much as the reader. I normally have an ending in mind I’m writing towards but even that has been known to change in the past.
3. What is your favourite UKYA book at the moment?
A Little Princess Frances Hodgson Burnett
I just re-read this and there is a reason it’s a young adult classic because it’s magical. Sara Crewe’s dreams are bigger than herself and she draws the reader into them. She is a female character that takes on any challenges thrown at her and comes through the book a stronger person.
4. How did you go about researching your book?
I spent a lot of time watching TV shows, movies and reading books with grim reaper’s in them. It was hard work, trying to keep track of all the different ways grim reapers were portrayed and the lore about them in each story.
5. Are you a secret grim reaper?
Maybe…best not get too close. Melissa Brown an American author that lives in Norwich, England. She is a teacher in ICT skills, English and creative writing. In 2014, she was shortlisted for the IdeasTap Inspires: Writers’ Centre Norwich Writing Competition and longlisted for the Nottingham Writers’ Club’s inaugural National Short Story Competition. She was also a featured poet at the Norwich: City of Stories launch event, where she did a live reading of my poem ‘The Library.’ She enjoys films, books, comics, fangirling and subscription boxes. She blames her love of the written word on her hometown library and fanfiction. She lives with her partner, Kris, and her awesome cat, Hailey. You can learn more about Melissa and her work by visiting her website here, her Facebook page (here) or Goodreads authors page (here). Alternatively pop over to Twitter (click here) and converse with her there Becoming Death is available to buy from Amazon.uk (here)
Melissa is hosting a tour-wide giveaway!
For your chance to win one of 5 necklaces inspired by Becoming Death or one of
2 copies of Becoming Death check out the rafflecopter below.
This giveaway is open to UK participants ONLY. a Rafflecopter giveaway