I’ve been getting luck with being able to interview some authors about their writing and new books releasing. And today I’m back with another author interview with R.S. Melette. His book, Kiya and the Morian Treasure, just released this week! So if you want to find more about the author and about this book, keep on reading!
“Stirring and deft curtain raiser to a mayhem-filled, girl-powered YA/SF saga that doesn’t talk down to readers. … Mellette keeps pages flying and nimbly sidesteps most pitfalls of YA fantasy.”
— Kirkus Reviews
How do you fight a myth? … You create another one.
Kiya is a former space pirate with a fast ship trying to make a legit living when she accepts a commission from diplomat Janus Alotus. He’s got a price on his head and space plague wracking his body. Kiya’s task: Use her unique skills to bring Janus’s daughter, Nadir, home safely so he can sacrifice himself to Admiral Ghan, ruler of the Pirate Council. Janus’s public execution will be a last, desperate, attempt to bring peace to the galaxy, even if it takes a war to accomplish it.
Great plan, until Kiya’s ship is attacked by fellow pirate and ex, Derek, who’s looking to collect the bounty on Janus for himself. With Janus captured, Nadir and Kiya are left to fend for themselves while Kiya seeks to recover the memories erased by her father — which she’s convinced hold the key to finding the mysterious Morian Treasure.
The two young women must resist multiple attacks, reclaim Kiya’s lost memories, and survive Ticking in space and time in a journey through the galaxy the likes of which have never been seen before.
What inspired you to write Kira and the Morian Treasure?
It started with my job as a writer/producer’s assistant on Xena: Warrior Princess. From there, I was able to create The Xena Scrolls on the Universal’s website. This was a way of recapping each episode by having modern day archaeologists translate the ancient Scrolls about Xena. I had no contract with Universal to do this and there was no New Media department when I started. It was the wild wild west of the Net back then. Flash forward two and half years and Universal created a New Media Department, they were running ads on the site, which I was originally told they couldn’t do, etc. It was time for a contract.
But we couldn’t come to terms. Universal didn’t own my characters and I couldn’t use theirs. It died.
That’s when I decided to do what George Lucas did with the Hero’s Journey… move it into space.
What worked for Xena was a female hero and a female sidekick – for lack of a better word – together in a typical Hero’s Journey, but doing this without making a big issue out of them being women. They are heroes, period.
For The Xena Scrolls the other element was the sidekick as author. That was something else I wanted to explore.
Stir in my love of Space Opera – Star Trek AND Star Wars, real fans love them both! And you get Kiya And The Morian Treasure, which is such a joy for me to create. I hope that comes out on the page.
What has been your favorite part of your publishing journey so far?
That’s kind of like asking someone, “What’s been your favourite part of open heart surgery and did you choose not to be asleep for the operation, or was that someone else’s idea?”
Publishing this story has been going on since about 2009. That’s when I adapted the screenplay version into a novel – a process that involved learning the art & craft of novel writing, finding my voice, etc. It’s not just copy & paste. After that, getting an agent, typical stuff any novelist goes through, but then to hear from editors at major houses, “I love it, but I don’t know what shelf it goes on (meaning Middle Grade or Young Adult),” and “It needs a boy character. I can’t take it to an acquisitions meeting without a boy character,” or “Girls will read books about boys, but boys won’t read books about girls. Have you thought about making the sidekick a boy?”
So I guess my favorite part is that it’s coming out on my terms – a female hero, a female sidekick who narrates, and not making an issue out of it. To do that, I had to go through a much smaller publishing house, Elephant’s Bookshelf Press. They are fantastic and specialize in good books that don’t fit a corporate publisher’s mould.
But small press means marketing and publicity are grassroots.
Kiya and Nadir (the sidekick), need your help. If you like this book; if you’d like to see more books like it, then you need to make sure this one sells well. Post reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. Tell your friends. Shout it out on social media. Tell your local bookstores about it. Make those publishers start telling agents, “I want a book like Kiya And The Morian Treasure.”
Describe Kira and the Morian Treasure in five words or less.
Xena meets Mandalorian.
What is your favorite quote from this book?
All of them! I’m an efficient writer. ?
Kidding aside – I like “How do you fight a myth? You create another one.” But that’s being used as the tagline – so I’ll go with what they call “The Words.”
“Peace is the way. Justice is for those who break the Peace. Mercy is for all.”
What do you hope readers take away from Kira and the Morian Treasure?
Just. Plain. Fun.
What is next for you? Anything you can tell us readers about?
Book 2, Kiya and the Planet of the Fates is done and being prepared for publication. I have to write book 3, so I’m staring down the blank page wondering who’s going to win.
About the Author
R.S. MELLETTE, originally from Winston-Salem, North Carolina, now lives in San Clemente, California, where he toils away at turning his imaginary friends into real ones. While working on “Xena: Warrior Princess,” he created and wrote “The Xena Scrolls” for Universal’s New Media department and was part of the team that won a Golden Reel Award for ADR editing. When an episode aired based on his “Xena Scrolls’” characters, it became the first intellectual property to move from the internet to television. Mellette has worked and blogged for the film festival Dances With Films as well as the novelist collective, From The Write Angle, and he is on the board of the L.A. region of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators.
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All I needed to know was Star Wars meets Guardians of the Galaxy! That sounds interesting. Are you a fan of science fiction of space operas? What are some of your favorites? Let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear from you.