Monday, 25 July 2016

Author Q&A with Tiffany McDaniel

Hey everyone! Today I've got something a little bit interview with author Tiffany McDaniel. Enjoy!
Q:  What inspired you to write The Summer That Melted Everything?
A: The novel started out as a title.  It was one of those Ohio summers that I felt like I was melting.  I always start writing a new novel with two things.  The title and the first line.  These two things direct the entire story.  For me, the inspiration along the way comes from the characters themselves.  I owe it to the characters to write them the best beginning, middle, and end of a story that I possibly can.
Q:  What was the hardest part about writing The Summer That Melted Everything?
A: For me, writing isn’t the hard part.  Getting published is the hard part.  I wrote my first novel when I was eighteen.  I wouldn’t get a publishing contract until I was twenty-nine.  It was eleven years full of rejection and fear I’d never be published.  That was definitely hard. 
Q:  How long did it take to write The Summer That Melted Everything ?
A: I wrote The Summer that Melted Everything in a month.  On average that's how long it takes for me to write a novel.  The thing with me is I like to get the beginning, middle, and end down as soon as I can because I don't like the story to sit for too long.  If the story sits for long it can start to lose its essence for me.  Polishing the story can always come after, but it's important for me to have that foundation on the page from which to build from.    

Q: How long have you been writing stories?
A: I’ve been writing since I was a kid and was able to hold a crayon in my hand to scribble what was in my head.  Writing to me is as natural as breathing.  I’ve always been drawn to story.  To read it.  Create it.  Live with it. 
Q:   What are your three favourite books?
A: Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury
We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
Above the River: Collected Poems of James Wright.
Q:  Do you have any advice for new and aspiring authors?
A: To never give up.  Like I said it took me eleven years to get a foot in the publishing door.  The road to publication can be full of heart-ache and disappointment, but don’t give up.  It will happen for you.  Believe it. 

Q: Are you planning any other novels?
A: I have eight completed novels and am working on my ninth.  The novel I’m hoping to follow The Summer that Melted Everything up with is titled, When Lions Stood as Men.  It’s the story of a Jewish brother and sister who escape Nazi Germany, cross the Atlantic Ocean, and end up in my land of Ohio.  Struggling with the guilt of surviving the Holocaust, they create their own camp of judgment.  Being both the guards and the prisoners, they punish themselves not only for surviving, but for the sins they know they cannot help but commit.
Q: If you could bring one of your characters to life, who would it be and why?
A: For me I always say all my characters feel real.  As a writer, once I get to a certain point in their development, they take on life as real as you and me.  They exist and though I may not get to meet them here in this world, I think in some other plane of the universe or afterlife I will hopefully be able to meet them all.  To give a little more of an answer to your question, I think Sal will be really wonderful to meet.  He's a mystery even to me.  I'd just love to sit and chat with him a bit.  Listen to what he has to say.  Maybe learn something more.  
Q:  How would you describe your writing style?
A: Literary fiction with southern Gothic elements. 
Q:  Is there anything else you’d like to add?
A: That while I’m not on social media, readers can find me on my website here at
Readers can connect with me directly through my website.  That connection to readers is very important to me.  As I’ve said before, readers are the ones who determine an author’s entire career.  How can I not give readers some of my time, when they’ve given me some of their time reading my book?
Fielding Bliss has never forgotten the summer of 1984: the year a heat wave scorched Breathed, Ohio. The year he became friends with the devil.

Sal seems to appear out of nowhere - a bruised and tattered thirteen-year-old boy claiming to be the devil himself answering an invitation. Fielding Bliss, the son of a local prosecutor, brings him home where he's welcomed into the Bliss family, assuming he's a runaway from a nearby farm town.

When word spreads that the devil has come to Breathed, not everyone is happy to welcome this self-proclaimed fallen angel. Murmurs follow him and tensions rise, along with the temperatures as an unbearable heat wave rolls into town right along with him. As strange accidents start to occur, riled by the feverish heat, some in the town start to believe that Sal is exactly who he claims to be. While the Bliss family wrestles with their own personal demons, a fanatic drives the town to the brink of a catastrophe that will change this sleepy Ohio backwater forever
(Description from Goodreads)
Find the book trailer here
An Ohio native, Tiffany McDaniel’s writing is inspired by the rolling hills and buckeye woods of the land she knows.  She is also a poet, playwright, screenwriter, and artist.  The Summer that Melted Everything is her debut novel. 
“Sometimes this world is like red fences in the snow.  There ain’t no hiding who we really are.”—THE SUMMER THAT MELTED EVERYTHING

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