Friday, April 28, 2017

Slither by Melody Steiner Excerpt, Interview & Giveaway

Melody Steiner

Genre: Fantasy

Publisher: Dragon Moon Press

Date of Publication: April 24, 2017

ISBN:  978-1-988256-59-7 
eISBN: 978-1-988256-60-3

Number of pages: 310

Cover Artist: Gwen Gades

Tagline: Her revenge is better served cold-blooded

Book Description:

Elanor of Onyx, enslaved by the dragons who scorched her kin and country, is determined to escape her island prison.

When the changeling dragon, Adom, demands that Elanor come with him to the mainland on a secret mission, she sees this the opportunity she’s been waiting for—a chance to exact her revenge. But when his actions take a surprising twist, Elanor begins to suspect that maybe things are not as they seem.

With a plot brewing against the mainland king, alliances are tested and Elanor discovers a secret that will forever change the way she views the slithering dragons—and herself.

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“Forgive me,” he says. “But when I say the word, you really should scream.”
That’s all the warning I need. If Adom wants me to scream, he wants the others to think he’s hurting me. He wants to send fear shuddering down their monstrous, twisted spines, to dry their mouths and shrivel the pits of their cavernous stomachs. He wants to show them that he is the king, the master of this mountain, the master of me.
Adom averts his gaze. “Scream.”
In the seconds it takes him to morph from human to dragon, his chest expanding, scales popping out of his skin like boils, I’m already at the door. I scream, just as he asks me to.

The full blast of flame doesn’t hit me, but it’s enough heat to sting my lower back. Good thing I tied my hair this morning—he misses singeing it off by a few inches. The monstrous roar he releases bursts a decanter on the table. The mirror cracks. But the fire inside me has nothing to do with Adom’s monster, and everything to do with my own. Only mine burns for revenge.

About the Author

Melody Steiner is a novelist, librarian, warrior woman, and a mother. She grew up in a home where science fiction and fantasy were staples of the imagination. Her earliest novels were written in elementary school and involved rocket ships to the moon, alien life, and gumdrop kingdoms at war with other invading candy nations. Over the years, she found herself drawn to fantasy stories that empower female characters and particularly women of color. Currently, she’s based near Columbus, Ohio, along with her husband and the wild things they call “children.”

Her recent work, Slither, is a traditional fantasy about a young woman who is enslaved by a herd of dragons.


Where are you from?
I’ve lived all around—East Coast, West Coast, Midwest. My longest stint was in Seattle, WA, but nearly a year ago we relocated near Columbus Ohio. I have fond memories of Ohio from the last time I lived here—happy to be back!

Tell us your latest news?
I’m currently working on something very exciting that I hope will see the light of day soon. If you like The Legend of Korraor Xena: Warrior Princess, this new work in progress may be the one for you.

When and why did you begin writing?
It’s cliché, but I began writing stories as a child because I loved reading. Recently, I found a stack of old report cards from elementary school days that one of my parents kept and brought over when I was an adult. The report card stated that my reading skills were exceptional, but that I often had problems focusing in class because I was “in my own world.” Adult me felt very sad for child me when I read this, because many of the stories I’ve created came from the worldbuilding I was doing back then. It’s more for grownups now, but Slither’s world sprang from my imagination during those years. So yes, perhaps I was technicallyin my own world. But I choose not to see that as a bad thing, and there were plenty of teachers and professors who came a lot later who saw it that way, too.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
The first teacher I remember affirming me as a writer was in High School, junior year. She encouraged me to write an extracurricular essay for the White Rose Essay Contest. I didn’t win the contest, but placed as a finalist. You always hear that if you can give up writing, you aren’t really a writer. I don’t really believe that—I think there are lots of reasons you’d need to give it up. Have a baby or two and then tell me how easy it is to keep writing. Suffer serious financial devastation or physical setbacks, then tell me. Do some research on all the famous writers who only ever wrote one book, then tell me.
But here’s what I believe: if writing fulfills you, if your days are lighter when you put “pen to paper,” if you find yourself tremendously fulfilled by creating something that inspires you, then write. Don’t worry about the label “writer.” Don’t worry about making money from writing, or how people will perceive you, or whether your story is brilliant or not. Just do it for you.

What inspired you to write your first book?
I really don’t remember. The first book I ever wrote was in the Slither-verse, and that was long, long ago.

Do you have a specific writing style?
Yes. The year I discovered first person present POV, I found my calling.

How did you come up with the title?
I wanted something to relay the creep factor of dragons. I weighed a ton of titles, but Snort and Snarl didn’t quite cut it. Also, I wanted something that would allude to the (attempted) sneakiness of my main character.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
That’s a tough question! There are certainly themes, and things that I may have intentionally or unintentionally touched on, but mostly I wanted to tell a fun story with an unpredictable ending. Slither isn’t my first book, but there are very specific reasons why I wanted to try with this one first.

How much of the book is realistic?
It’s not realistic. If it was, I’d be writing a totally different way. If I learned something through the writing and the rewrites, it’s that the main real issue (slavery) is such a horrific thing that it could never be a perfect Happily Ever After ending. So, I guess I opted for some realism there.

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
If it is, I am really missing out on a lot of adventures.

What books have most influenced your life most?
I went to school for English Lit, so a lot of my favorites are classics. I’m a particular fan of Ivanhoe and The Scarlet Pimpernel. I love all the Austen stuff. As a child, I read Susan Cooper, C.S. Lewis, and Madeleine L’Engle.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
My dream mentor would have been Octavia Butler.

What book are you reading now?
Currently reading: Writing the Other: A Practical Approach by Nisi Shawl and Cynthia Ward

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I’m interested in works by N.K. Jemisin, Nisi Shawl, NnediOkorafor, Nalo Hopkinson, and K Tempest Bradford. Not all “new” authors, but new to me.

What are your current projects?
I referenced one above, the warrior one (not a princess though). I’ve also got a sequel to that one that I’m currently working on.

What would you like my readers to know?

I so hope you enjoy Slither. It’s a work from my heart, but it’s also setting the stage for some awesome things ahead. If you read it and like it, please recommend it, leave reviews, share your thoughts. For new authors, fan support is crucial. And thank you. If you buy and read, you’ve taken time out of your busy schedule and pocketbook to give my words a try. That is so meaningful.

You can find her at

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