Veronica Scott for AMAZING STORIES: Welcome to my periodic series of author profiles. Today I’ve chosen Mel Teshco, an award winning SFR author from Down Under.
VS for ASM.: What was the first scifi romance book you ever read and what did you like about it?
MT: I know Adventures of the Wishing Chair (Enid Blyton) isn’t considered Sci-Fi but it’s the earliest stories I can remember that gravitated me toward the Sci-Fi genre. To this day I love action and adventure science fiction stories, though they now also brim with romance!
ASM.: What was the first scifi romance book you wrote, when, give us the 2-3 sentence logline.
MT: That would have been Stone Cold Lover, a gargoyle shape shifter erotic romance that was published in August 2009 (originally) with Ellora’s Cave.
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 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.
ASM.: So true that there’s a lot of crossover between science fiction romance and paranormal romance, with many readers avid for stories set in fictional worlds, whether here, as with your gargoyles, or in space. How do you go about world building? Do you do elaborate planning, keep a big file, use post its, wing it – what method works for you?
MT: The closest I’ve ever gotten to being organized was keeping a file with my characters names on it. I even abandoned that a few years ago lol! I keep everything in my head, I find it time consuming referring to notes and find it just as quick to scan the parts of my story I need for a quick memory jog and keep going. I do, however, write 80 to 90% of my book, then reread it again while jotting down notes to make sure I’ve tied up all the loose ends before I finish off my story. That is my one and only concession. Most of the time I start my book with just a visual in my head (sometimes from a vivid dream) and begin typing, the story comes to me as I write. I have tried plotting, but it doesn’t work for me. The only time I found it useful was for when I wrote a ghost story a few years ago and I had to type a paragraph or two of what would happen in each chapter. It did speed up the story for me and I found the process interesting, but clearly not interesting enough as I’ve not used it since.
ASM.: Vivid dreams work! What was your most recent book and what was the story spark or inspiration for that story?
MT: My most recent actually just released and is volume six of the Virgin Hunt Games. Volume 1 came to me as a vivid dream, which was nothing more than a scene of a man trapped inside a tower while he stared balefully through bamboo shutters as a huge crowd chanted in a colosseum around him. That scene was a few paragraphs in the book, which I then built on and layered, uncovering his story as I wrote. Now here I am, six volumes later, with a whole series of erotic, full length stories (70kish) featuring mostly alien characters, loads of action and adventure, and stacks of danger and intense chemistry.
ASM.: Wow, you can sure take those dreams and build out a story! Do you also write other genres? Which ones? How does writing a book in that genre compare to writing an SFR?
MT: I do write other genres. Though I’ve published in a range of genres including paranormal, I’ve settled now on science fiction and contemporary romance. My contemporaries are mostly sheikh romance as that is what my readers love, though I am about to start on a mafia romance series which I hope they will also enjoy.
Writing contemporary versus science fiction is a whole different kettle of fish. The world building for contemporary is simple with all the usual rules that apply to our world. Though I might use fictional places, they come with a dose of normal ‘reality’ – just with characters who are larger than life.
I find my contemporaries are a lot faster to write as their world is a lot less complex. Either way, my brain just loves to shift gears with the different genres and keeps me fresh.
ASM.: Do you have a ‘writing buddy’ pet? Care to share a photo?
MT: This feels like a trick question as I have eight cats (I was a foster carer who foster-failed too many cats lol) and each one of them take turns in lying on my desk making sure I’m doing my work. I’ve attached a photo of my latest writing buddy.
ASM.: One Jake the Cat is enough for me. Eight – wow! What’s next for you?
Jasper, book 3 in my Alien Fugitives series is next and releasing July 1st. This series is about seven aquatic aliens fleeing from their world and becoming human to try and throw off their enemy. They become their true alien form again when they enter fresh water (a river) to regain their strength and powers (their rare powers are a bit erratic here one Earth). Of course along the way these characters find the love of their life while evading an invisible enemy that wants to annihilate them once and for all.
The Sheikh’s Royal Widow is my next contemporary, releasing September 30th. I love switching genres and becoming lost in my stories. This one is about a widowed sheikha who has an eye on her gardener for some hot fun. Little does she know there is a whole lot more to him than just a muscled body and a passionate work ethic.
ASM.: What’s on your To Be Read List?
MT: I have His Stakes, and His Win by Angel Rayne on my TBR pile along with a whole stack of science fiction books on my kindle.
ASM.: Give us your short author bio and where you can be found on social media.
Mel Teshco lives in the beautiful countryside of QLD Australia, where the open spaces of her fourteen acres, fondly called ‘the block’, gives her room to breathe. When she isn’t writing or dreaming of writing, she is often found gazing out the window at the surrounding mountains and thinking how very lucky she is. With one semi-patient husband, three gorgeous girls (with only one who hasn’t yet flown the nest), two fat horses, two dogs and eight cats who run the house, writing has (mostly) kept her sane.
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Check out my website – https://www.melteshco.com/
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Or my author Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/MelTeshcoAuthor
Mel Teshco’s latest SFR novel:
THE VIRGIN HUNT GAMES, VOLUME 6
EARTH, YEAR 2344
Morgana Dion, Princess of Aladdia, is hiding a secret. Her biological mother isn’t the queen. But although Morgana has commoner blood running through her veins, it won’t stop her from sacrificing everything she is to be in the Virgin Hunt Games and stop a vicious enemy from destroying her planet and her people. If that means submitting to King Leon—another royal from another, far more powerful world—and signing a contract to impregnate herself to his son, Garrett, who is one of ten hunters in the Games, then so be it. That Garrett is now more cyborg than man shouldn’t matter, he has more royal blood flowing through his veins than she’ll ever have.
Garrett might know his first name, but he has no clue who he really is. Only that he woke up with cyborg parts after an explosion all but tore him apart. These days he has more pressing concerns, thanks to living in a squalid, dog-eat-dog prison ship in the middle of space. When he’s given an opportunity to fight for his place as a hunter in the Virgin Hunt Games, he jumps at it. After all, the victor will never again return to the space prison.
But though he’s prepared for a society who will never really accept him, nothing can prepare him for the one hunted he wants in the games, a woman who looks at him with equal parts loathing and desire.
But if beauty really is skin deep, can he convince Morgana that there is more to him than what she sees?