For the Artists Who Like to Remain Strictly Out of the Box
About Melissa Ruscsak
Melisa grew up living with her grandparents Frances and James Lasure. She attended Clearviw High Scholl as well as Lorain County J.V.S. While in J.V.S she attend the Culinary Arts program graduating in 2001. In 2003 she welcomed the addition of her daughter Chyenne. Who inspired her to start to put her dreams to paper. A story she wrote after her daughter’s birth, although not published, became the stepping stone to everything else she would eventually write. In 2011 near tragedy struck as Melisa’s health began to decline. By summer of 2011 she would need to use a cane to get around. Suffering a stroke she required a craniotomy where she suffered her second stroke. Leaving her with a partial impairment of her speech, and weakness on her right side. After surgery she would need to learn not only to walk again, but speak as well as recognize the alphabet. Two years later in the fall of 2013 after a divorce, she would meet the man who would push her not only to fight to regain her physical strength but to put her creative mind to work and inspire her to not only continue to write, but to seek to publish her work. After a year of writing, the birth of ‘Of Lite and Darke’ would begin to take hold. In early 2016, She would be ready for print.
1. When did you know that writing is what you were called to do? What is it about being a writer that you love the most?
I have always written little stories, poems, and fan fictions. But it was my husband that saw my potential as an author.
What I love most about being is an author is immersing myself in a world of my own making. If there is something I don’t like I can either delete it and start over or come up with a brilliant solution. (usually killing the character off)
2. Can you tell us a little about your book(s) and where our readers can find out more about them and you? What projects are you currently working on?
Currently as of Jan. 29, 2018 I have two books available for sale on amazon. However, if you like knowing the something more about the stories I do have a website http://ofliteanddarke.my-free.website/
As for what I am currently working on… book 3 to the “Lite and Darke” series will be out in the spring of 2018. And I just started two new projects. One being a cookbook filled with modifies recipes for those with lactose allergies or soy intolerance among other family recipes. All of which were tried on my husband until perfected. None of them are fantasy gourmet but rather down-home cooking that anyone can enjoy.
The other project is called “A Mother’s Sin” this is a teen murder mystery but also is set up to bring awareness to not only child abuse but physiological control that sometimes happens behind closed doors. This is a book that started back in 2003 and am thrilled to finally moving forward with it.
3. What has been your most significant achievement as a writer thus far? How have you dealt with rejection within your writing career?
For me just seeing my work in print is an achievement. But, my most notable is being a winner for the 2017 – 50 Great authors you should be reading. It’s a small award but still an award.
4. Do you have a schedule for when you write? Do you outline your novels? How long does it generally take you to finish a novel?
I don’t have a set schedule per say but I tend to most of my writing while my husband is occupied with either a movie or a video game. I never outline anything. I just write and let the story tell itself. Now as far as a novel can take… it really depends. I am more than capable of writing 20k words in three days. And I have done so with a short story that I submitted for press. But my full-length novels can take anywhere from a few months to a full year. It just depends.
5. Where do you see yourself within your career in the next five years?
My five-year goals: being a best seller, Having the green light for a movie deal, and winning a “big” award. Will I make them? Only time will tell.
6. Do you believe that there is ever a point in life where it’s too late for an aspiring writer to become successful in this industry? Do you feel a late start would hinder their chances?
Of course not. Inspiration doesn’t have to strike when you are a teen. It may not strike until you’re in your twilight years. If you want to write … do it. If you believe it is good enough to be published then go for it. You are the only one holding you back.
7. What’s the first book you ever read that really touched you emotionally and moved you? What’s the first book you read that made you know that you could do this for a career? What book are you currently reading?
I have yet to read a book and said that I can do this for a career. I have read books including “The Black Jewels” series and said “Hay I have an idea of where this story could go.” As far as what I’m reading right now… I’m working on reviews for a few Indie Authors. To stay up to date with what I’m reading at this moment please visit my facebook page https://www.facebook.com/OfLiteAndDarke/
8. So many writers say that they hate reading their own work? Do you ever just sit down and curl up with your own book?
I re-read my own work all the time, as does my daughter. I read then take notes not necessarily things for another book in the series but and ideas that come to mind for an entire new book.
9. What are your thoughts about how the publishing industry is drastically changing? Are you more of an e-book person or a traditional book person?
Personally, I love books that I can feel in my hands. The ones that I can write in (And Many I do). I just don’t get e-book. Yes, sometimes I read one because an author has reached out to me for a review. But the joy I have while holding a book and immersing myself in its pages it’s there with an electronic thing. It just doesn’t do it for me. But that’s me as a reader. As a writer I get that putting 100’s of books on a handheld computer is better then lugging around 100’s of books. But really in my opinion I would rather be surrounded by my books.
10. I feel like so many of us writers, us artists in general, are made to conform to other people’s idea of what we should be. I think we creative types should be unafraid to be whoever it is that we feel we have the right to be. So what is your write 2 be? What unique quality is there about you, about your art, that you feel represents your authenticity?
In my first series I have intentional miss spelled words, poor grammar, missed used words. These are thing I point out to the reader before the story even begins. Even so, there are those that call me out on it in reviews. I get told “oh, you really need an editor. More so for the first book.” It’s my art. It’s wrote that way for a reason. Yes, eventually that reason will come into to play by the way of a character named Natashia. No, I will not say more about her as her story is not written in full. And yes dear readers not even my publisher knows where this story is heading. At least not yet.