Tag Archives: Melanie Mcfarlane

Beyond Thunderdome-Creating a world inside a futuristic Dome

Today we’re welcoming Melanie McFarlane, talking about building her futuristic world inside a dome. Giveaway at the end of the post. Woohoo!

Hi there, Mel!  Which did you come up with first, the characters for your story, or did the world come first and then the characters?

When I wrote There Once Were Stars, the world came to me fast and furious. I wrote my first draft in three months.

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I had always wanted to write a story about people who lived in a domed city, because of radiation from a nuclear war. But it wasn’t until I was watching The Walking Dead that I realized I wanted the story to be about people trying to survive after a global pandemic. From there the character of Natalie Greyes developed. I needed someone sweet, yet broken by the system – which is where the idea of the death of her parents developed. But I also needed her to be so innocent and naïve that the thought of a rebellion from inside the safety of a dome was a challenge to her. I tried to give her the personal stakes, similar to Katniss in the Hunger Games, but without the inborn survival skills.

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When it came to developing the dome, I researched biodomes, ventilation systems, and basic engineering. I stayed away from writing any hard science, and let my imagination take over from there. To do this I focused on three things, making them important to the plot – the exterior had to be able to withstand a nuclear war, the Outer Forest needed to exist inside the Continue reading

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Melanie McFarlane talks about what book is creepy enough to give an author nightmares

I have come to appreciate darker stories over the last few years. They suck me in and put me into survival mode in a way that no other book can. I can feel my adrenaline pumping through my veins as I duck and dodge each scene of prose, trying to solve a mystery in time and stay alive. There’s something deep inside of us, an instinct that keeps us going in even the most hair-raising of situations.

The one book world that I still think about was Dawn Kurtagich’s And the Trees Crept In (spoiler to follow). I was sucked into the world of the main character’s own madness, not realizing it was a world she created within herself until the very end of the book.

I was in awe. It made me want to write my own nightmare world.

I realized that an entire book can take place in the mind of a character, making me want to experiment with my writing. From there I started exploring short fiction (something I’ve never done before) to study the different elements of the world that scare us and the impact they can have in a short piece. I can’t wait to release these stories on the world.

I had already written Summoner Rising, but I was still able to use some of my newfound skills in the edits, bringing more fear and adrenaline to a scene. And though Summoner Rising isn’t necessarily a dark story as much as it is an adventure one, my new writing skills have definitely given it the edge it deserves.

About: SUMMONER RISING

28537447Law One: A summoner is responsible for all creatures it lets through from the netherworld.

Dacie Cantar wishes someone had explained the Laws of Summoning to her before she watched a shadowy creature crawl out of a painting at the local arcade. At least it explains the strange things she’s witnessed since moving in with her great-aunt, after her mother’s untimely death. But who wants to be followed by shadows the rest of their life? Add that to being stalked by a strange boy at school, who just might be her Tovaros (aka soulmate), it’s about all Dacie can handle in her new life.

As she nears her seventeenth birthday, will she be ready for her new responsibilities, or will the shadows that stalked her mother until her death, finally consume Dacie, too? And then there’s Law Two…

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About Melanie:

Whether it’s uncovering the corruption of the future, or traveling to other worlds to save the universe, Melanie McFarlane jumps in with both hands on her keyboard. Though she can be found obsessing over zombies from time to time, Melanie has focused her powers on her YA debut There Once Were Stars, and her YA urban fantasy Summoner Rising.

She lives with her husband and two daughters in the Land of Living Skies. Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads