Guest Authors Melinda Metz & Laura J. Burns + Giveaway!

Please welcome Melinda Metz and Laura J. Burns, authors of the YA paranormal novel Crave which is due out September 21, 2010. They have worked together for numerous years co-writing for TV shows, movie tie -ins and a middle grade mystery series, Wright and Wong.

They’ve written novelizations for a lot of famous TV shows such as Buffy, Everwood, and Charmed. They were both staff writers on the TV show Roswell and Melinda’s YA series Roswell High was even the basis for the show! Laura writes the YA series called the Chloe Gamble Series and together they are an unstoppable team!

Back Cover Summary:

Shay has always been different—and she is about to find out why.

Shay could never do the things her friends could—never try out for sports, never go to parties, never fall in love. Because of the mysterious and incurable blood disorder she was born with, she can barely make it through three days of school a week.

But now, her doctor-turned-stepfather has a brand-new treatment that he thinks will change everything. And it does. As soon as the new blood starts pumping into Shay’s veins, she has visions of a different life…Gabriel’s life. She sees an orphanage, loss, fangs, blood, and lust that she can’t explain.

Is Gabriel real? And if he is, could he really be what she thinks he is?


Welcome Melinda and Laura!

1. Please tell us about your new co-authored YA paranormal novel Crave?

LJB: Crave is a vampire romance, but we went in a slightly different direction with it. Our heroine is introduced to the vampire world in an unusual way, through blood transfusions. She's been sick all her life, and is basically being kept alive by other people's blood. When she begins having visions during a new type of transfusion, she thinks it's probably just a side effect, a hallucination.

MM: Those visions she starts having—they're of the life of a vampire. She sees through his eyes, feels his emotions, and the power of his body. When the transfusions end, she continues to have his strength for a little while, and she's able to live more fully than she ever has before.

2. How did you come up with the idea for this novel?

MM: We both have a love of vampires, and we kept looking for a way to put a spin on a vampire romance. We got intrigued by the idea of a girl falling for a vampire by seeing his life through visions—visions that might or might not be true.

LJB: We also liked examining the personality of a chronically ill teen—people have always treated Shay as if she is fragile and sweet, as if she should be handled carefully, when all she really wants is to be strong and normal, and to do the regular (and not necessarily smart) things that her friends do.

3. How did you go about writing this book together?

LJB: We've been writing together for years, so we have our method down pretty well! At the beginning, we spent a lot of time just talking about CRAVE--about Shay, our heroine, and what her life has been like. About Gabriel, our vampire, and his history. We figured out the things that they want, what their personalities are, that sort of thing. Once we felt as if we knew them, we outlined the book together. Only when we know everything that's going to happen do we split up. Each of us writes about half the book, then we edit each other's halves.

MM: We do talk a huge amount before we start writing any book! Some of it on topic, a lot of it off, as we slowly piece together the story.

LJB: By the time we’re done writing and re-writing, we never know anymore who wrote which part.

4. What made you decide on the YA genre? What is it that you like about writing YA books versus Adult books?

LJB: We were both YA book editors before we became writers. It's a genre that we feel very comfortable in. Personally, I don't see much difference in writing for teens versus for adults. Teen characters are every bit as complex and interesting as adult characters, and teen readers are, too. I think it's more of a distinction in the way books are sold than in the way they're written.

MM: I think I like writing about teen characters because they are going through so many things (falling in love with a vampire, for example) for the first time.

5. Who are some of your favorite authors? Did any of them inspire you to write?

LJB: I always tell people my two favorite authors are Jane Austen and J.R.R. Tolkien, and everyone acts like that's weird! I think, as a paranormal writer, I learned the absolute most important lesson from Tolkien's books--to make sure that the mythology of the world you've created is rich, textured, and fully thought-out. It's the details that really make a fantasy book great.

MM: Stephen King is one of my faves. I must have read The Stand six or seven times when I was a teenager. I don't think he inspired me to write exactly. But I admire the way his "bad" characters don't become cartoons of evilness. Like in Cujo, you never forgot that down deep, Cujo was a good dog. His layered characters (even the animal ones) inspire me.

6. Is Crave going to become a series? How many books are projected for it?

LJB: It's always been planned as a two book project. We're working on the second one now.

MM: We're all done with the plotting and on to the writing. We left Shay and Gabriel in a pretty horrible place in the first book. I think we managed to get them out in an interesting way. But then things quickly got bad for them again!

7. What are you currently working on?

LJB: The second CRAVE book--we don't have a title yet--and a new paranormal book proposal.

MM: We have a new policy where we devote one day a week to working on our proposal. We're so psyched about it, it's hard not to let it take over the whole week.

8. If you had to pitch Crave to readers in one sentence, what would you say?

MM: Transfusions of vampire blood give a dying girl a second chance at life—but a life that's nothing like she ever imagined.

LJB: Hey, that’s pretty good!

9. What was it like writing for all of those famous TV shows?

MM: It was fun—and kind of surreal. Laura and I shared a trailer on the Paramount lot when we were on the writing staff of Roswell. It was right near the fake New York street, which made us feel right at home, because we'd both just moved from NYC to L.A. to work on the show. At one point, the opening musical number for Austen Powers 3 was being filmed right next to us, so close there was an elephant in the next trailer over. Also, in case you're wondering, those cute Roswell actor guys? Even cuter in person.

LJB: It’s basically about as much fun as you can imagine a job being.

10. If Crave was to become a movie, who would you have play your characters?

LJB: I picture Ellen Page as Shay, but I guess she's too old!

MM: Maybe Mia Wasikowska for Shay. Love her! And for Gabriel—well, the model on the cover looks a LOT like Jonathan Rhys Meyers. Why not just go with him? ;) He's not too old to play a vampire.

LJB: Or we can just find the model from the cover, and get him to do it!

11. If you could run away with any hero from any YA paranormal novel, who would it be and why him?

LJB: Have you ever read the Vampire Diaries books? I'd run away with Stefan, because he's so passionate!

MM: I'd run off with Pudge from Looking for Alaska. Okay, he's not from a paranormal novel. He has no paranormal powers, except that he's able to keep all those "last words" quotes in his head. But he's smart, funny, and willing to think about the really big life questions. Also, he's romantic. Um, he'd have to be older than 15, though, or I'd have to be younger, otherwise there would be, at the very least, some legal and moral questions.

12. Is there anything else you’d like to share with readers?

MM: Ben and Jerry's New York Super Fudge Chunk ice cream is realllly good.

LJB: I can’t argue with that.

Melinda and Laura are giving away one copy of Crave to a lucky reader. Contest is open WORLDWIDE so everyone is elgible to enter. Please leave a comment or question to be entered. Also leave an email address so I have a way of contacting you if you win. Contest will end on August 9th at 7:00 pm EST.

Pre-order on Amazon or B&N!


  1. I really like the sounds of your book. I would love to read it to find out the rest of the story.

    seriousreader at live dot com

  2. I love the cover for Crave! Awesome interview. :)

  3. did it say you work on Buffy I love that show.
    Your book looks great can't wait to read it well I will wait till i have both book before i read it.Love series I love to get into my characters that i read.


  4. Thanks for the great interview Melinda and Laura!

    Melinda I was a big fan of Roswell and would like to ask:

    1) what detail/fact that the TV show changed in regards to your books did you find hard to accept?

    2) what addition or interpretation of the series did you like the most?

    3) Were the actors as you imagined your characters? Or which one was the furthest from your concept?

    Thank you! :-)

    stella.exlibris (at) gmail (dot) com

  5. Great interview! Crave sounds great and I love the cover, too! Thank you for making this awesome contest international!

    Giada M.

    fabgiada (at) gmail (dot) com

  6. Thanks, Linda, Wendy and Giada!!

    Stacey--we didn't work on Buffy the TV show, but we wrote tie-ins. We wrote a Buffy novel, a Buffy choose-your-own-adventure book, and a story for Tales of the Slayer 2. Laura and I are both insane Buffy fans, so it was great to have the chance to play in the Buffyverse. Coming up with demons was especially fun.

  7. Hi, Stella. Thanks for those Roswell questions.

    1. Basically, I looked at the show as an alternate universe to the books, rather than an adaptation of the books (other than the pilot.) The show took the same situation and characters and spun them a different way. But I'd say, that in that alternate universe, I wished the dupes had been used more or not used at all.

    2. I loved the addition of the Crash festival in the pilot, especially the re-creation of the UFO crash. Michael, Max, and Isabel stood there watching a reenactment of their parents death. You could see on their faces how devastating it was for them.

    3. I thought all the actors were great. I though Shiri and Jason had awesome chemistery, that Katherine brought the perfect mix of vulnerablity and haughtiness to Isabel, that Brendan (and his spiky hair) was almost exactly what I pictured for Michael, and that Colin brought a great combination of goofiness, loyalty and strength to Alex.

    The Valentis, dad and son, weren't anything like they were in the books. Actually, their characterization could have been the answer to your question 2. I really liked the depth that was added to these two.

    Laura should answer this question too! She developed the book series, edited it, and we were both on the writing staff of the third season of the show.

  8. I really like the cover.

    sgiden AT verizon.net

  9. Stella, just realized I left out Majandra. Loved her as Maria. For me the essense of Maria was a kind of wackiness mixed with a sweetness, and I think Majandra brought both to the part. She and Shiri also did a great job showing the best-friendiness of Liz and Maria.

  10. Okay, I'll answer too, but I have all the same answers as Melinda!

    I'll agree that my favorite addition in the TV show was the Valenti men. Both Bill and Nick are such great actors, and had such a believable and fun relationship as father and son, that they were a joy to watch. I still tear up thinking of their very last goodbye in the final episode.

    I thought the Alex in the books was more fun than on the show. Not that Alex on the show wasn't fantastic! I just would have liked to see more of him.

  11. Hi Laura and Melinda! Great answers!

    Stella I love your questions!

    Hello everyone!

  12. This book sounds really interesting!


  13. This definitely sounds like an interesting read so please count me in! I love the twist in how the heroine discovers the existence of vampires and I love the cover too!


  14. Argh!! I want to know more!! =]

  15. Sounds like an interesting read.

    Why did you leave the heroes in a perilous position at the end of this book, other than to guarantee an interest in the second?

    meredithfl at gmail dot com

  16. That's the only reason, Meredith. ;) I know it sucks, but that's why cliffhangers exist, to keep people coming back.

  17. I'm always looking for new authors to read and this definately is my kind of read! tWarner419@aol.com

  18. Thanks for sharing. It sounds like you have a great book going. Looking forward to picking it up.

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

  19. Cliffhangers are frustrating, aren't they? Whenever I read a book--or watch a show--that ends with a cliffhanger, I'm so annoyed! But it's a good kind of frustration--it makes you think about the story and where it might go, and it keeps you wondering.

    I think it's sort of like being on a roller coaster--you're scared and thrilled at the same time. Hopefully the cliffhanger ending leaves you feeling like that!

  20. I want this ! PICK ME :D

    What's your favorite scene(s) on this book ? did you find it difficult to write ?

    uniquas at ymail dot com

  21. Really great interview. My friend has been telling me about this book and how I have to read it and I so agree with her. The fact that you've written novelizations for Buffy, and Charmed is so kool. I LOVED those shows. I would so love to be entered into this giveaway.


  22. Good luck to everyone who's entered!

    Mariska, one of my favorite scenes is the first time Shay gets a transfusion that gives her a vision of a vampire. Laura and I went through a few versions of the scene, but it wasn't a particularly hard one to write.

  23. I loved crave. I think it was AMAZING!!!! when it ended i new there had to be a second one last night i freaked out!!!! not to rush you or anything but can you hurry???

  24. I really loved your book Crave. I thought it was amazing. when i finished the book i freaked. i new it couldnt end like that. so thank you for making the second one i bet it will be as good as the first!!!


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