Melanie Nowak interview and giveaway

I am so happy to have to have Melanie Nowak here today. For those of you who don't know her, Melanie Nowak is the author of the venomous vampire series ALMOST HUMAN. I've read and reviewed the first volume in the first trilogy, Fatal Infatuation. You can click here to view it. I'm in the process of reading the second and third books right now and I'm really enjoying them. If you're a fan of vampires and romance you should definitely check these books out.

1. What inspired you to write Almost Human?
 Melanie: A few things came together to bring ALMOST HUMAN’s venomous vampires to life (or undeath, if you will). I’ve always been interested in bats. Vampire bats have a anticoagulant in their saliva called “draculin” (named after Count Dracula!) that keeps blood from clotting. I had the idea that such a thing would be useful for vampires as well. It would also be useful if they had something to keep the victim calm, like a drug.

I always wondered about a vampire’s ability to put victims in thrall. In old movies, vampires are always able to hypnotize people, and it’s never really explained. People are just ‘under their power’. I always wondered – why? How does it work? I put those questions together with the anticoagulant/drug idea, and took it further. What if vampires could inject their victims with venom – like a snake? Only the venom would not be deadly poison, but a combination of drugs that kept blood from clotting, kept the victim calm and even willing, and also could mark territory for the vampire – leaving a mark that other vampires could see. The vampire could then use the existence of this ‘drug’ in their victim’s system, to put them in thrall as well. 

The idea of venomous vampires seemed so logical to me, that I assumed for sure that someone else had done it already. I began searching my library for a book like that, so I could read it! This was probably in the late 80’s and there weren’t very many vampire books around at that time. I never found what I was looking for, and I filed the idea away. It never occurred to me to write it myself, LOL.

Around that time, I discovered Anne Rice’s vampire chronicles and absolutely loved them. That was the first time I read something from the vampire’s point of view. The way that she captured emotions and described surroundings was mesmerizing to me, and I really connected with her story. I’m also a huge fan of the T.V. series “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”. Joss Whedon is a genius! That said – in 2003, towards the end of the show, I started disliking some decisions the writers made for the characters. I understood their vision, but I also saw missed opportunities. I would have done things differently.

That started me thinking of how I would write a story of my own, with my own characters, incorporating my venomous vampire idea. None of this was written down, just daydreamed during housework. Then one day I realized that a lot of the ideas I had were really good, and it depressed me to think that it would all just be forgotten. So, I sat down one night at the computer, to write out a few things so I wouldn’t forget, and could look back at them one day. The scenes just came pouring out and before I knew it, I’d been up writing almost the whole night! That’s when I realized that I had a real story to tell, and wanted to write it all out from beginning to end. That is how my ALMOST HUMAN vampires were born.

2. Why did you choose a college campus as your setting?
 Melanie: Felicity, one of my main characters, has been somewhat shy and withdrawn, and views going away to college as an opportunity to mature into a confident young woman. For her character, a large part of the story is the beginning of her transition from teenager into true adulthood. Going away to college is her first experience away from home, being forced out of her shell. However, this is not a “Young Adult” series. Many people consider “Young Adult” literature as appropriate reading for the ages of 13 and up. This book is truly meant for ‘young adults’ of 17 and older, as there is some explicit sex in the series, beginning with book 2. The series also deals with some very mature concepts, and underneath the fun and romance there are some situations that really prompt the reader to think things over, examining their beliefs and opinions. College is the setting, but in a very realistic way. It is not meant to give the series too ‘young’ a spin.    

3. Are any of your characters based on anyone in real life?
 Melanie: Honestly, all of the characters in this book are really me! It may sound strange because my characters are pretty diverse, but it’s true. Each of these characters has been taken from the seed of something within myself. I have been lucky enough in my life never to have been sexually abused or addicted to drugs - but everything that goes into making up the personalities for my characters, how they feel and react to things, has come from some little grain of dealing with something in my own life - magnified. At some point in my life I have totally identified with and "been" these people. Even if it didn't outwardly show - this is how I felt and wanted to react.

I wondered a little at first, whether I would be able to write a believable ‘guy’, but when you come down to it, we are all just people. I take care to really examine their motives throughout each scene, and to try and observe and notice things the way I think a man would. It’s actually rather fun writing for my guys Cain and Ben, and stepping into the male perspective.

Outwardly I’m sure my friends and family would say I am most like Felicity. Physically, I have modeled her after myself; intellectually and emotionally she is very much the girl that I was at that age. I was usually pretty quiet and shy, constantly reading my fantasies rather than trying to live them out. Because of that, I identify very closely with Felicity, but I have to admit that it’s often more fun to write for my other ladies, Allie and Sindy. Allie is much more sassy and daring than I have ever been in life, and Sindy… well let’s just say it; She can be an evil bitch – and who wouldn’t think that was fun to write?

 4.  How many books will be in this series?
 Melanie: I have been thinking about my characters and their story for years, and have already planned their future for many books to come. I have decided to write my ALMOST HUMAN series as a succession of trilogies. The series will continue chronologically with the same characters throughout, but each trilogy will have a new focus and storyline that follows through its three books.

Writing the series as a succession of trilogies gives readers the opportunity to feel a sense of completion during points in the story, even though the series will still continue for many books to come. I have planned 4 trilogies for the ALMOST HUMAN series, meaning 12 books in all, and then I have plans for a spin off novel, which may result in a series of its own.

The 4 currently available books for the series are:

ALMOST HUMAN ~ The First Trilogy
Volume 1: Fatal Infatuation
Volume 2: Lost Reflections
Volume 3: Evolving Ecstasy

ALMOST HUMAN ~ The Second Trilogy
Volume 1: Born to Blood

5. Favorite supernatural creature?
 Melanie: Well, that would have to be vampires, wouldn’t it? Although I have always been greatly intrigued by shapeshifters, dragons, unicorns, fae and mermaids as well.

6. Do you have a supernatural crush?
 Melanie: Of course my own vampire Cain is very dear to my heart, but if we are talking about before I began writing my own… Spike from Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer television series, and both Lestat and Louis of Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles were the undead men that touched my heart  ;-)

7. What’s your favorite scary movie/book?
 Melanie: Difficult to pick a favorite… I think I’ll go with Stephen King’s Pet Semetary. The movie was haunting, but (as always) the book was better. Scary/creepy as heck, but also such a human story too, that you can emotionally relate to. I guess I’m sort of hung up on the idea of loving someone so much, and feeling grief and loneliness so overwhelming, that you would try to bring someone back from the dead. Must also be why I connect well with vampires!

8.  Chocolate or vanilla?
 Melanie: Vanilla (with caramel or butterscotch!)

9. Elvis or The Beatles?
 Melanie: I enjoy the King, but it is definitely Beatles for me!

10. Craziest dream?
 Melanie: I’d need pages to answer! I have always had very long and vivid dreams. As a child, I got into the habit of spending a few minutes lying in bed each morning, going over every detail of my dreams that I could remember before they slipped away. Now, I always remember my dreams, and most of them are crazy so I couldn’t even pick one to tell you about, LOL. I will say that I also get some of my ideas for my books from dreams. When I go to bed, I lie awake and think of a part of the upcoming story that is unwritten, letting it play out in my head. I get the best ideas in that hazy state between being awake and asleep, and often the story carries over into my dreams. It’s not always in a way that I can use, but it does often unlock small aspects that lead me into a good direction for writing. I keep a notepad by the bed so I can scribble a few words to remind me of things.

11. Did you make any New Year’s Resolutions?
 Melanie: I didn’t make any formal resolutions this year. I always try to live by the Golden Rule: Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you, and the Wiccan Rede, which is: An it harm none, do what ye will. Basically, treat others as you would want to be treated, and live and let live. I think those are good resolutions for everyone to always keep in mind.

12. What’s coming up next for you?
 Melanie: I am currently writing Volume 2: Descendant of Darkness, for the second trilogy, and hope to release that book in 2011.

I would sincerely like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to introduce everyone to my venomous vamps. The ALMOST HUMAN series is available in ebook and paperback, online and in your local bookstore – if it’s not on the shelf, ask for it!
Also available through the authors website, where you can read free sample chapters:

And on Amazon:

Happy reading!
~ Melanie Nowak
Melanie, Thank you so much for stopping by today and answering my questions. Also, Melanie Nowak has generously offered to giveaway a copy of Almost Human The First Trilogy to one of my readers. So now to the giveaway.

  • This giveaway is for US addresses only. 
  • You must be 17 or older to enter
  • You do NOT have to be a follower to enter, it's appreciated but not necessary
  • You MUST fill out the form below to enter. I love comments but it will not enter you into the giveaway.
  • Any questions, please feel free to contact me.
  • Ends January 20, 2011


  1. Thank you for the wonderful interview and fab giveaway!
    From the Shadows

  2. Looks like some new books to add to my TBR! By the way, I had a huge crush on Spike also...:D

  3. I'm a Stephen King fan too, at least his older stuff. Spike!! haha Thanks for the giveaway.

  4. What a great interview! This novel was brewing for years! I can't wait to read it, either by winning or buying it. Thanks for the giveaway.


  5. I've heard good things about your novels and I agree with Buried in Books, can't wait to read them.

  6. just love to find "new" authors to add to my reading list.


    alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com


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