First off, I am so excited to have Melissa Hope join me on the blog today! I have watched so many of her YouTube videos about writing and have also had the honour of reading an ARC of her debut novel Sea of Kings (and really enjoyed it).
If you don’t already know her, here’s a little introduction:
Meet The Author
Melissa Hope is passionate about helping writers improve their craft and connect with the writing community. She escaped the frostbite normalcy of Canadian winters to live in Florida with her family, bipolar cat, and growing collection of scuba gear. You can visit her website to watch free writing tutorials.
So happy to have you here. Welcome to the blog, Melissa!
Melissa: Thank you for having me! I’m excited to be here!
I love the world this story takes place in and all of the different characters, pirates, and challenges they go through. Can you tell us about how you came up with the idea for Sea of Kings?
Melissa: It started with the world of Ondule. My husband works in the Marine Biology field and was tagging sharks in the Bahamas when he thought of adding royalty in the tropical setting where he was currently working. As soon as he shared this with me, my writing brain took over and we collaborated to create this world, and story, into what it is today.
Ahh that’s so cool how you were able to almost accidentally work together to create the premise of this book! I’m sure after the initial idea and drafting, there might have been some challenges. What are some challenges that you had to overcome while drafting/editing your books?
Melissa: There were so many! Where do I begin? I had started writing with such little knowledge of plot and structure that my early drafts needed major work, but it was hard to let go of the scenes, and even characters, I was attached to. I enjoy editing though, maybe even more than writing, because I have a base to work from. I’m glad I will never have to write a first draft THAT rough again. Thank goodness for the knowledge I have gained!
Even with a super rough draft, you were able to turn it into what it is today! As I’ve been following your journey on YouTube, I know it wasn’t easy to get a traditional publisher. What advice can you give to authors that are looking to be traditionally published?
Melissa: Do your research. Make sure you know what you want. There will be countless stumbling blocks in your way, so building that strength within beforehand will help as you battle inner doubt and outside criticism. You can do it!
Tell us a little bit about Sea of Kings and what types of readers will enjoy it!
Melissa: Sea of Kings is about two brothers who embark on a quest to free their family from a one-eyed pirate. It’s a humorous family adventure packed with monsters, mystery, and a little bit of magic! Anyone who is a fan of the Pirates of the Caribbean films, BBC’s Merlin, or books like Percy Jackson, will be especially interested in what Sea of Kings has to offer. It’s a swashbuckling voyage that will keep you on your toes!
I know writing a book and having it published is a really long process that takes a lot of hard work, sacrifice, and perseverance. Congratulations again on the release of your novel! How do you feel now that it’s out and going into the hands of readers?
Melissa: Thank you! It’s a bit surreal at times. Getting a book deal was a huge moment because it finally meant Sea of Kings would have a home and seeing the cover for the first time made it feel real. I think seeing the book in the hands of readers and hearing how they react to it will be another one of those unforgettable moments, and I’m just beyond excited for them to get to know the characters that I have loved for so long.
What have you been up to now that Sea of Kings is complete? Should readers look forward to more books from you in the future?
Melissa: YES! I just had a baby, so I’m taking it slow right now, but YES! I have several books in the making, both middle grade and picture book, and I hope to be able to announce something on their progress soon. It will be an exciting and busy year, one with many memories!
Sea of Kings
Thirteen-year-old Prince Noa has hated the ocean since the day it caused his mothers death. But staying away from the sea isn’t easy on his tropical island home where he’s stuck trying to keep up with his dim-witted and overconfident younger brother, Dagan- the brawn to Noas brains.
When a vengeful pirate lays siege to their home, Noa and Dagan narrowly escape with their lives. Armed with a stolen ship, a haphazardly assembled crew, and a magical map that makes as much sense as slugs in a salt bath, the brothers set sail for the realm’s other kingdoms in search of help.
But navigating the sea proves deadlier than Noa’s’ worst fears. To free his home, Noa must solve the map’s confusing charts and confront the legendary one-eyed pirate before an evil force spreads across the realm and destroys the very people Noa means to protect.
If you want to check out my review of Sea of Kings, click here!
Connect with Melissa!
A big thank you again to Melissa for joining me on the blog today and sharing your thoughts! It was truly a pleasure having you.