Monday, July 11, 2011

My Beginning: Interview with Author Melissa Kline

Today I’d like you to meet Melissa Kline, author of the YA science-fiction novel MY BEGINNING, released July 1, 2011 through Lucky Press LLC.

Hello, Melissa, and welcome!

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I penned my first novel at the age of thirteen and have been writing consistently for fifteen years. I have completed ten young adult novels and several short stories. My preferred genre is young adult but I write non-fiction and children’s books as well. My calling is to connect with others and give hope through writing. My debut young adult, science fiction novel, MY BEGINNING, was just released by Lucky Press, LLC! Learn more about me and my books at

Where did you get the idea for MY BEGINNING?

The idea for MY BEGINNING came to me in a dream where I experienced an adventure through the eyes of 16 year old Ivory. She lived in a dangerous and toxic world where children were forbidden to venture outside. The dream was so vivid and unusual that I knew upon awakening that it was something special.

Ooh! That's really neat! Dreams sometimes hold the best ideas, don't they?
How did you come up with the names for Ivory and Aidan?

Ivory's name was inspired by her features - the color of her skin and hair. I pictured her as an infant in the institution, wondering what the authority would have named her. Ivory was a perfect fit.
Aidan originally had a different name. During the editing process it had to be changed. While choosing his name I really wanted it to be unique. The name Aidan has become very popular, but I think it is a good fit.

Was Ivory based off anyone you know in real life?

Not intentionally but I think her characteristics are very similar to mine. I see a piece of myself in all of my characters.

I understand what you mean. I think some of my characters sometimes display characteristics that I wish I had!
Where does Ivory’s story take place? (Is it Earth in a far-distant future, or some other planet or world?)

Ivory's story takes place here on Earth in the future after a devastating plague wiped out nearly every living thing. I didn't define a specific time period, but I would say sometime between 2200-2500.

How long did it take you to write your novel?

It took me about 2 months to complete the first draft of MY BEGINNING with a newborn in tow! I would write all of my ideas down on notes during the day, then string them together at night.

Sounds like you were kept pretty busy! :)
Can you tell us a little bit about your journey on the road to publication, from when you conceived the idea of “My Beginning “to when Lucky Press accepted your manuscript for publication?

After completing MY BEGINNING I cleaned it up a bit and shared it with friends at a writing workshop, then put it away and started a new project. I originally submitted a different book to Lucky Press and was very detached from MY BEGINNING, not having looked at it for well over a year! When my current publisher asked if I had anything else, I was a bit nervous submitting MY BEGINNING. I was detached from the story and it was a genre Lucky Press had never published! I sent the manuscript anyway thinking there was no way that it would ever be considered, but my publisher immediately fell in love with it.

That's fantastic that she loved it. I bet you went through the roof when you got your acceptance letter! Could you give us a brief synopsis about MY BEGINNING?

MY BEGINNING is a young adult science fiction adventure told through the eyes of Ivory, a girl who has lived her entire 16 years of life trapped within the cold, hard walls of an institution. A devastating plague wiped out scores of people and animals, polluting the earth and requiring that children never venture outside. Or is that all a lie? Ivory and Aidan decide to find out. They escape the institution and find a world unlike anything they had ever known.

What’s your writing routine?

Right now it is very chaotic! I am a mother of two busy boys so any chance that I get to write, I take it. I'm a big note taker - I jot down notes all day long and when I can steal away a chunk of time, I have at it!

What’s the one thing you’d tell other authors struggling to get published?

Believe in yourself and never give up!

Last, are there any other hobbies you have, other than writing?

Yes, I am a very creative person and enjoy using various methods to bring my characters to life. For MY BEGINNING I created character sketches and collages, built an institution scene using miniatures, wrote a screenplay, made a book trailer and collected "props" including uniforms, textbooks, Ivory's necklace and institution keys. I use these tools for visual inspiration and fun! You can view these and other character creations on my website:

Oh, so very cool! I love it when there's a complimentary talent you can use to visualize your worlds and settings. That's fantastic.

Thanks so much for your time, Melissa, and congratulations on your debut novel!

You can visit Melissa at her website, and you can also find her on Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads. You can purchase her book from Amazon and Barnes and Noble, or you can get a more personalized novel directly from her.

Because I loved her trailer so much, I'm posting it here again, for all of you to enjoy.


  1. Great interview and very nice trailer. Best of luck to Melissa. Her book sounds great.

  2. I love that Melissa wrote her first novel at age 13. That is great : )

    This book sounds really good!

  3. Cat - I had so much fun with this interview! Thank you so much for giving me a spotlight on your blog. :)

    Kelly - Thank you for the lovely comment and well wishes! :)

  4. Thanks, Kelly! Doesn't it sound intriguing?!! :D

    Katie, I'm so jealous. I wish my first novel had been completed at 13. I feel such a slacker. LOL

    Melissa, it was lovely having you. I hope to see more of your work soon!

  5. 'Believe in yourself and never give up.'

    Love that!


  6. I love it too, Claudine. I'm going to put that somewhere where I can see it all the time. :)

  7. Story ideas that come in dreams are always really special ones. Great idea to build a miniature of a complicated scene! Good luck, Melissa.

  8. You should check out all the neat props that she has on her site. There are some lovely, lovely miniatures over there.

  9. Great interview and trailer. Good luck with the book.

  10. What a neat idea, collecting props for inspiration! I'm headed over to check them out now.

  11. Terrie, thanks. Wasn't that trailer lovely? Melissa put it together herself. I wish I were that crafty. I must learn...

    Ellen, tell me what you think! I LOVED the miniatures and the costumes. WAAAAAY cool, huh?

  12. Ooooo, my daughter is going through books like mad lately. She's always looking for recommendations and asking me for tips. I love this trailer and it looks like it'd be right up her alley. Thanks for sharing, Cat!

  13. It looks fabulous, doesn't it? Thanks for reading the interview!

  14. Great interview, Cat and Melissa! I love the story about how it got picked up by the publisher too. Thanks for posting!

    I'd love to interview you more, Melissa, on being both a mother and an author for my Mommy Monday spot. Interested?


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