Hey folks! Today I’m happy to introduce you to Melanie Surani and her story Awake!
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Melanie Surani is a blogger, hair stylist, and author with a heart for international travel. When she isn’t cutting hair, Melanie is thinking about ways to kill people (for mystery novels). She lives with her husband and cat in New York City, where she is hard at work on her next book with Booktrope Publishing. Melanie is a member of the International Thriller Writers society. Follow her adventures at: http://melsurani.tumblr.com/
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I asked Melanie Surani, “What is the best and most rewarding thing you find about being a writer? Want to share what you think is the worst and most frustrating thing you find about being a writer?” and here is the response.
I’ve been writing in earnest since the first grade. I still have the first story I wrote: the front and back of a sheet if notebook paper. While it was no Pulitzer-winning piece of literary genius, I got some good attention from my family from it, and making things up felt good. To me, writing was just something everyone did (but to be fair, I thought anyone who sang a duet were always husband and wife, and I thought eventually my life would be in the Bible, because it was a big chronology of the entire timeline — maybe I should be in the Bible sequel, which would include an episode about me repeatedly cussing at NYC traffic and asking God’s forgiveness).
So I wrote and it felt great. I wrote about the stories I’d heard and loved (also known as plagiarism), and I wrote new adventures for the TV shows I liked (also known as fan fiction). My sister and I would collaborate on parodies of books we didn’t like. And eventually, I was writing novels and short stories all my own. Whole worlds of fantasy, other races, robot people, clones, histories and languages. Looking back at some of it, I think I might have had more creativity back then. But what with my imaginary friends helping me, it’s really no contest.
Writing became a way for me to build on a daydream. A way to escape. More than that, it was something I needed to do. Those characters lived in me and they needed out.
Boys came around and I put the writing aside to concentrate on making out. But the stories didn’t stay quiet long. I liked the feeling of sharing a story with someone and getting a good response — like when my sister and I would laugh at each other’s work. The “story club” we started with our friend across the street, always passing pages around, adding things, reading aloud, and getting lost in a new world.
I got the guy, and I needed to get the stories back.
The downside to getting attention for something you’ve written is that it’s not always positive. Even the greatest books get crappy one-star reviews, and mine is no exception. The negative comments, either from an anonymous reviewer or a disappointed side-eye from my dad hurt way worse than a big ol’ pile of good stuff feels nice.
Writing is hard work, even if you’re doing it all for yourself. The rewrites and “this doesn’t work” notes are sometimes enough to make a person stop creating those worlds. When a person doesn’t understand your work, it makes you question whether they just don’t get it, or if there’s something wrong with you. It’s draining.
Writing is a never-ending set of bi-polar highs and lows. It’ll make you cry in utter heartbreak, and become drunk on your own fabulous imagination. Someone once said, if you don’t have to write, don’t be a writer. That person was right. Too many times, I’ve said I was quitting. I couldn’t take the endless rejections and bad comments and general disinterest in something I put my whole heart into. But that’s the thing: my heart is in my work. Having it criticized feels like a direct attack on me, even though nobody intends it that way. But because my heart is in my work, I can’t separate from it, I can’t quit. And even if I stop sharing my work, whoever cleans out my home when I die will find files full of stories I couldn’t keep inside.
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In author Melanie Surani’s edgy thriller novel, opera singer Joshua Gray wakes in an eerie art museum exhibit. He comes to believe he’s been kidnapped and abandoned. And he isn’t the only one…
As Josh and four others struggle to piece together their new reality, they discover the museum’s main building has been razed and the place is boarded with no obvious exit. Who left them in the museum and why? How can they escape? The only link that binds them together is a mysterious woman named Blair, who they each encountered before blacking out. Josh unexpectedly finds himself drawn to one of the other captives, a long-time fan named Sophia. Their attraction plunges the group into a dark pool of suspicion. When allegiances shift and pieces connect, the strangers are forced to reassess their situation. Is the real danger inside or outside of the museum?
Suspenseful, romantic and filled with drama, Awake will keep you up all night.
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Blair didn’t go to the theater for a night of opera, but to kidnap Sophia Stewart. At the last minute, she bought a ticket and followed cues around the old, gilded theater to her seat in the topmost balcony. The seating sloped straight down, in hopes of giving each ticket holder the best seat in the house, though Blair’s spot in the nosebleeds barely made the trip upstairs worth taking, if her goal had been to see anything on stage.
The house lights dimmed and rose again, signaling everyone to take their seats.
Sophia had already taken her spot, smoothed her dress and glanced around with shining, eager eyes. Her hair hung over her shoulders in loose brown waves, pinned over one ear with a peacock feather. The seat beside her was empty.
She’s waiting for a date. Two for one if he’s good looking.
Despite the suits and pearls and floral ensembles around her, Blair hadn’t dressed for a fancy night out. She hadn’t been to an opera or symphony in so long she didn’t realize dressing up was still a big deal at these things. A blue button-down shirt, dark jeans, and a ponytail were all Blair could muster on her rush to get to the theater.
Everyone’s sure to remember Sophia’s purple sequined dress, even if they don’t remember me.
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Melanie Surani will be awarding a $30 Starbuck Gift Certificate to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. CLICK HERE to enter to Win! Readers, follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates and places can be found here: Tour Schedule
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Melanie Surani, thank you for stopping by today!
Love & blessings to all! ❤