Thursday, September 10, 2020

Interview - Witch's Tale by Melanie Snow #paranormal #cozymystery

1.     What made you decide to become an author?

I have always wanted to write fiction, but I couldn’t decide on the genre. Since I am also a professional animal communicator and medium, it made sense to me to write paranormal cozies. When I write I go to a mystical place where I learn new and exciting lessons from my characters. As an artist and dancer, writing is another way in which I can express my creativity. Being a full-time author is the best career—I have had many, but I am now in a place where I can immerse myself with words.

2.     Do you have a specific writing style?

Yes, I do. Basically, I write in the morning hours after I swim. My mind is clear and my characters are chatty.

Since I believe in telepathy and insight, I have a few of rituals that get my intuitive side activated to write if I feel stuck. My favorite is to go on a hike with my dog Addie to a special mountain in my series. When we reach the top, there is a rock we both sit on. I connect in with my spirit team and I get the latest download. It’s pretty wild—but it works for me.

3.     Is the book, characters, or any scenes based on a true life experience, someone you know,  or events in your own life?

Yes, yes, and yes! I based the stories in these books about a few of my true life adventures with the paranormal and actual life. Also, I include my dog Addie as Sarah’s familiar. Addie is my heart dog and her story is remarkable—I love how she helps Sarah.

But the most obvious was when I was brainstorming The Spellwood Witches. I was hiking on my favorite mountain, which of course is in the series, sporting its paranormal name. When I got to the top and I was working on character development with my intuitive spirit team, I caught a glimpse of some tiny little bits of energy hanging out on a low bush. I hung out with that energy for a while and suddenly, I “saw” these little faeries. The main one was the most vocal. When she revealed herself—whoa—she was snarky, fun, and full of opinions. She demanded to be in the series. Hence, Addie and I got the entire download in one sitting.

4.     Of all the characters you’ve written, who is your favorite and why?

OMG there a few and it’s hard to pick just one. Heck, I would say because Sarah is the protagonist, and she is a lot like me—it was a lot of fun to bring her wants, desires, and needs to life. Watching her transform and grow with each book was an amazing experience as an author. I loved hanging out with her. I guess that is a good thing because her growth paralleled much of mine throughout life. And it’s always nice to appreciate one’s own journey. I have to mention Lativa as one of my favorites as well. That girl never stopped giving me her opinion on how to do things—she is full of wisdom and magic and I often just like to hang out with her.

5.     If this book is part of a series—what is the next book? Any details you can share?

Yes, so far, I have four books in this series. The second book is called Howl Play. In this book I reveal that Sarah Spellwood can’t wait to learn about her powerful ancestor’s magic and repair the reputation of witches. But despite hours of study and her talking dog’s support, she still doubts her spell casting skill. And she’s about to face a major test when she’s plunged into a battle between good and evil after the enchanted forest’s protective deed is stolen and the town clerk brutally murdered… I can’t give anymore spoilers but if you like endearing flirty romance, discovering one’s true destiny, and love for animals, then you’ll enjoy this next mystery.

6.     Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Being an indie author is not just about the writing. There is so much more—from hiring my editors, formatting my books, brainstorming with my cover designer, organizing the review teams, creating the social media graphics, marketing, advertising, etc. There is never a dull moment in the life of being an indie author. Yet, I would never change a thing. 

7.     Do you have any advice for other writers?

I have written over twenty books in various genres and no matter what genre you write in, there will always be readers who challenge you. There will be family and friends who don’t take you seriously. My best advice is to not pay attention to the negative—it will thwart your creativity. Instead, write for those who love your work.

8.     What would your readers be surprised to learn about you?

During my time as a wolf biologist, I would track wolves. One day I was snowshoeing out on a frozen lake with freshly fallen snow. It was minus sixty and there was no wind. I could hear my heart beating.

I got a gut feeling something was watching me. I stopped and looked around. When I turned to look behind me there were a fresh wolf tracks but no wolf.

9.     When you’re not writing what do you do? Do you have any hobbies or guilty pleasures?

Reading, hiking with my doggo Addie, long-distance open water swimming, cooking great healthy meals. As a full-time author, I make sure I include all of those in my daily self-care.

10.  What is next for you? Do you have any scheduled upcoming releases or works in progress?

Yes, there will be more books available in my paranormal cozy mystery series, The Spellwood Witches. I want to keep my readers and my characters happy. I hope to either continue this series as I love and enjoy the characters—but I have some spirits talking to me about writing their own series.

Witch’s Tail
The Spellwood Witches
Book One
Melanie Snow

Genre: Paranormal Cozy Mystery

Publisher: Spirit Paw Press, LLC
Date of Publication: September 8, 2020
ISBN: 978-1-7324375-6-2
Number of pages: 220
Word Count: 46,311
Cover Artist: Molly Burton

Tagline: Her mentor died fighting to save an enchanted forest. Can she solve his murder before she’s bewitched?

Book Description:

Can she awaken her dormant powers and stop a desperate killer destroying the forest?

Sarah Spellwood feels she’s hit bottom. Divorced and jobless, she relocates to the enchanting village of Witchland intent on solving the murder of her late mentor. But as she pursues clues buried in the man’s fight to save the endangered forest-dwelling lynx, she makes an enemy of a ruthless land developer.

Encountering fairies in the woods, Sarah discovers she’s been repressing unique gifts passed down from her ancestor and founding witch, Lativia Spellwood. But though she can now hear her deceased friend’s dog speak, she isn’t sure her abilities are enough to expose the greed and corruption covering a killer’s lies.

Can Sarah work with the magical beings to bring a murderer to justice?

Witch’s Tail is the charming first book in the light-hearted The Spellwood Witches cozy mystery series. If you like paranormal puzzles, delightful canine companions, and environmental enlightenment, then you’ll love Melaine Snow’s wagging-ly fun whodunit.

Buy Witch’s Tail to set a snare for an assassin today!

Lativia Spellwood sat on her ghostly throne of branches on the summit of Mount Katribus, with many other ghosts swarming around her reminiscing about life and drinking wine.
The ghosts of Witchland residents always came to this clearing after they died to stay near Lativia for guidance and to wait until they were ready to pass on to the afterlife. Lativia had been dead for hundreds of years but had still not passed on, for her work overlooking Witchland and its forest was not yet done. One day, it would be, and she was beginning to welcome that time, for she was growing very tired.
A tiny troop of Leekin faeries moved about the arms and legs of Lativia’s throne, placing flowers into the holes between the woven boughs. They did that every day, as a way to honor her as Queen of the Forest.
Lativia sipped from a goblet of ghost wine, enjoying the blue fire as it spread down her throat, engulfing her in tingly warmth. Being a ghost was always cold; the magic wine was one of the few momentary sources of warmth that she could cherish.
“What else do you need, my queen?” chirped one of the Leekins, buzzing on tiny brown wings before her nose.
Lativia smiled. “I think it’s time I checked on Sarah, don’t you agree?”
The Leekin nodded excitedly and flew off into the woods. A huge bunch of Leekins soon returned, flying in formation to carry the weight of a glowing crystal ball. They lowered it to Lativia’s lap, where it sank through the spectral outlines of her legs. Lativia could pass through things, and things could pass through her, for her physical body was long gone and all that remained was her powerful soul
Lativia smiled even more broadly and began to draw her transparent ghostly hands over the ball, summoning the blood bond she shared with her descendent, Sarah Spellwood.
Gradually, the fog inside the ball began to clear and an image of Sarah’s frizzy explosion of red curls filled it. Lativia drew back a few feet with her mind and saw Sarah was at a coffee shop ordering a vegan sandwich. Sarah’s love and respect for animals always made Lativia proud. She noticed there was a conspicuous pale and indented band of skin on Sarah’s ring finger where her huge diamond wedding ring had once been. “That no-good husband of hers is finally gone!” Lativia crowed with delight. But then she noticed that there were bags under Sarah’s eyes, the bags of someone who had been up all night crying. Sarah must be heartbroken, Lativia thought with a heavy heart.
The barista serving Sarah froze when she saw Sarah’s last name on the credit card receipt. “Um, are you related to . . . ?”
Sarah drearily raised her hand. “Yep, I’m descended from Lativa Spellwood.”
“That’s amazing! I mean, have you ever been to Witchland and looked at the Lativia memorabilia?” The barista’s pigtails wiggled with her excited body language, and Lativia felt a swell of pride that people still remembered and even revered her. It had been four centuries and she was still honored as the greatest witch of New England, the one who had turned into a wolf and fought her way free of her captors at the Salem Witch Trials!
“Yep,” Sarah said, her voice full of annoyance. It was clear she was ready to dash out of the coffee shop.
As good of a lawyer as Sarah was, Lativia noticed how awkward she was around most people, and how little she liked to disclose personal details, especially of her magical ancestry.
Sarah was a woman of facts and logic, which is why she fought the magical powers pulsing through her like a current, trying to pull her back to her destiny. Her resistance to her true self and her stubborn adherence to logical facts made her unpopular with many people. Lativia yearned to watch Sarah blossom into her beautiful potential.
“Don’t you see?” Lativia cried. “You are not meant to be in New York! You should be here, following your calling, completing my work as a witch! You’re not happy there!” But Sarah couldn’t hear these words.
“Yes, yes,” several Leekins agreed. A ghost who was standing near Lativia also nodded his head.
Sarah trudged out of the coffee shop, carrying her drink and the sandwich in a paper bag. A man in a trench coat bumped into her, and she hastily checked her pockets to ensure he had not pickpocketed anything. Then she continued on to her office, a massive steel gray prison with spikes in the window ledges to repel pigeons. There was no sign of life anywhere but for the scraggly maple planted out front of the building and a few waxy tropical plants blooming inside the lobby. Lativia groaned, feeling the despair and coldness of the place.
“It’s time for you to come here, to your destined home,” Lativia declared. “My Leekins have told me about the Hunter tracking lynx and the land surveyors, and I sense that there is about to be trouble in the forest.”
At the mention of the Hunter, the Leekins gathered around her throne began to turn blue and tremble in terror.
“I am not strong enough to fight these battles much longer, so I need you to come home, to come into your true self. Your marriage fell apart of its own accord, and I sense your job is about to unravel on its own, too. You can’t fight destiny,” Lativia said, giving the group of hovering Leekins their crystal ball back and shutting her eyes. “I could use magic to bring you to your destiny sooner, but it is evil to interfere with one’s life that way. I can only hope you don’t take much longer.”
She opened her eyes as the Leekins cried, “We need her!”

About the Author:

Melanie Snow is the pen name for Wendy Van de Poll, a bestselling author, pet loss grief coach, and animal medium. She is the author of The Spellwood Witches, a paranormal cozy mystery series.

Her books weave together positive magic, snarky forest faeries, and insightful animals with fun and eclectic humor. True life adventures and intuition are woven into her stories laced with unbridled imagination.

She has been followed by wild wolves in minus 60 degrees, hissed at by a mama bobcat, and played ball with a wild owl—among other animal encounters.

Find out more about her work:

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Melanie Snow, author of the paranormal cozy mysteries, The Spellwood Witches said...

Thank you for supporting the launch of my new paranormal cozy mystery series, The Spellwood Witches. Your support is amazing.
Melanie Snow