Friday, September 04, 2009

Stone Cold Lover - Mel Teshco

Please welcome my special guest today, Mel Teshco, another Aussie debut author and another lovely lady I met through the RWA Paranormal loop a few years ago! Stone Cold Lover was recently released by Ellora's Cave.

Mel, welcome to the mad house! Please tell us a little about yourself.

I live on a semi-rural property with three horses and 3 cats (do fish count? lol) My husband works full time while I am now a full-time mother of three girls of wide-spread ages: Teagan, who is 19 and living with her boyfriend and who is about to make me a grandmother at the tender age of 39! Shannon, she’s 11 and way too smart for her own good. I seriously won’t be surprised if she becomes an author some time down the track. Codi, she’s just turned 2, a gorgeous cupcake who is also a whirlwind on legs! I also have three stepchildren, though Daniel, who is 16, is the only one who lives with us. He spends a lot of time sleeping!

Can you tell us a little about your book?

When I wrote this book I wanted to reveal a hero emotionally crippled by forces beyond his control. I wanted to portray him as steely hard and remote—particularly towards the heroine, hiding his sensitive side and an obsession with the heroine who is totally, completely, irrevocably unattainable.

Add a heroine who has used sex to fill a void in her life, a heroine who always gets what she wants, and let’s just say the sparks do fly. =)


Heiress Loretta Shaw is notorious for her loose morals and sexual needs. Trouble is, it’s taken her one too many one-night stands to realize that no man can extinguish the sexual fire she feels toward her guardian, Cray Diamond.

A long-ago curse made Cray immortal—a gargoyle, a guardian, who is impelled to protect a human, chosen by the curse. He is imprisoned in stone during daylight hours but the dusk returns him to flesh and bone, to carry out his immortal duty.

That Cray can shift between human and living gargoyle at night, bothers Loretta not one bit. She’s seen him naked many times and her desire for him—in any shape or form—knows no bounds. She’s tired of his resistance. He’s her gargoyle and she wants him in her bed.

Ooooh! I have this on my tbr pile, and it's my first gargoyle book! How did the idea for the plot come about?

I’m definitely not a plotter, and my stories almost always come from a scene or visual that I endeavour to turn into words. The rest of the story then flows from that one scene—well, it doesn’t always flow LOL! Stone-Cold Lover was the exception, where instead of a visual I mucked around with putting words on paper to create a simple, but dramatic curse. This was well before I knew fully what or who the characters would be. I did know—much as I love writing about werewolves and vampires—that for this paranormal story I wanted a hero who was just a little more unique.

That's a fascinating way to start a book, with a curse and build from there. Okay, I think everyone knows how much I love sale stories!! so can you tell us about your road to publication - and your call story?

The road to publication has been quite a long stretch. My first book I churned out with the dedication of a girl (I was nineteen or so) who imagined herself a brilliant writer, on the cusp on a fantastic career. Oh, how I wish I’d kept that manuscript now, just to see how far I really have come! (mind you, I’m sure in all that drivel there were occasional glimmers of greatness ) From there I wrote bits and pieces, but never really completed a whole story, and actually quit writing for a while to concentrate on family and health issues that knocked me off my feet for a good while. In that time I moved to QLD, a single mum with two daughters who were then nine years old and six months old, where we went through quite a healing process. Only then did I realize I truly needed to write again.

As for my call story, well, I’d pretty much talked myself into believing Stone-Cold Lover (originally titled Kissed by Stone) was going to be rejected by Ellora’s Cave. For a start, I’d written it for another publisher entirely, which meant vanilla sex (by EC standards) without all the descriptive, graphic words often used. When I read the subject line from EC’s editor saying “Kissed by Stone, Accepted” I think I very nearly swallowed my tongue! She said she’d have bought it immediately *except* that she wanted to know if I was willing to increase the sex and graphic content. (hell, yes!)

LOL! I love those swallow-the-tongue moments!! Who or what inspires you and why?

What doesn’t inspire me! I can sit and weep while watching a movie about someone down on his/her luck and yet taking a stand against all the odds. Ditto a h/h in a well written book doing the same. I really don’t care if its fiction or non-fiction, if I’m deep into a story, I’ll believe it for as long as I’m reading it. I have to say my eldest daughter, who really has fought against all the odds, also truly inspires me.

Where do you see yourself as a writer five years from now?

I plan on being a successful writer, whether it’s paranormal, erotica, mainstream or even category one day (who really knows??) I just want to be earning a living doing what I love! And if I’m still doing it at ninety (perhaps erotica!) then I’ll know it’s my passion that keeps me going.

Oh I completely agree. And especially about the writing of erotica at ninety! So what's the best, and worst, things about writing for you?

The best: I love creating characters, bringing them to life and making them believable, making a reader love them as much as I do (well, that’s the plan!). The worst is probably how much commitment it takes, (especially while juggling a family) not with just the writing, but the little non-essential details that I guess really aren’t trivial in the bigger scheme of things. (like blogs and emails and internet time)

I know what you mean, the promo side of things really does eat up the time. Is there any advice or light bulb moment you'd like to share about getting/being published?

My advice is to stick with it. Really stick with it! If writing is your passion, your dream, don’t let anyone who doesn’t understand it persuade you otherwise. Light bulb moment. Write, yes, but don’t be afraid to send off your ‘baby’ to competitions, and then more competitions. Don’t be too proud to listen to advice, weigh up criticisms logically (not ah, emotionally ), then polish until it sparkles—without losing your ‘voice’ in the process. Start sending it to agents and/or editors, it’s no good letting your work sit on your computer, in your desk, wherever. I believe many of us are subconsciously scared of success. I was trapped there for quite some time.

Great advice. Do you have critique partners (CPs)? If so can you tell us how you met up and your process?

I was part of an online critique group called Clayton Critters for quite some time, even shared list mom duties for part of it—hey guys! But I realized, after baby number three, I had to strip my writing and computer time down to the bare bones if I wanted to have my cake and eat it too. (IE: have time for my beautiful family and still give myself time to write). I’ve had a few CP’s in my time, one being Tracey O’hara when we both feeling our way in the paranormal genre, but with very big dreams between us =)

The process with my two current CP’s (hi Melissa and Karen!) is generally a chapter exchanged every month, though that’s been quite informal and even lax at times lol! And I still hope my old CP who has taken on motherhood for the first time, will return to the fold very soon HINT HINT!!

Catch up with Mel on the net:


Denise Rossetti said...

Hiya Mel and Christina,

Super-congrats, Mel. Cray sounds mega-gorgeous. Love the ones who seem impervious on the outside - but really aren't. The title absolutely rocks!

Tracey O'Hara said...

Mel - go girl. This is an awesome story. Hope to hear of many more.

Christina Phillips said...

Hey Denise and Tracey! Great to see you! I'm having problems with my blog at the moment and Mel can't get on. Hopefully the gremlins will self destruct very soon!!

Mel Teshco said...

I'm here! YAY!! Sorry I took so long to comment!! As I am such an *idiot* (and I mean that in a nice way lol) with computers, Tracey O worked things out for me - thanks Tracey. And thanks so much Christina for having me on your blog!

Mel Teshco said...

Hi Denise,
great to see you here! =)
Cray is pretty gorgeous (well, so I say!) And so glad yo ulike my title, it took some time to think of it after wanting Kissed by Stone (Kissing Stone had just come out)

Mel Teshco said...

Hi Tracey!
glad you dropped by after all those dramas! I'm glad you liked my story - and flattered you found the time to read it with your deadlines right now =)

Anonymous said...

Mel, I had trouble getting onto the site too from Safari...usually works.

Awesome interview. Best of luck with your next fab stories Mel :)

Mel Teshco said...

Hi Eleni,
thanks for checking it out =)
You're a sweetheart (huggles)

Sharon Archer said...

Hi Mel and Christina!

Terrific interview! I loved reading your journey to publication, Mel - good on you for keeping your dream alive through what sound like some tough times.

Congratulations on Stone Cold Lover, it's an intriguing premise and Cray is a gorgeous hero!


Mel Teshco said...

Hi Sharon,
great to see you here!
There were some tough times, definately, and I think we all need to have a dream, more so in the darker times everyone faces from time to time!

Suzanne Brandyn Author said...

Stone Cold Lover...just love the title as I have said.
All the best

Suz :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much Suzanne! I'm so happy hearing that after I wasn't able to use my original title =)

Mon Wood said...

Wow, Mel, you're a busy gal!

Congrats on the release, and I can't wait to see your writing career blossom.

Thanks for sharing the interview, Christina.

Cari Quinn said...

Sorry I'm so late, but great interview, ladies! :)