Summer of Series: Melissa Landers Interview

I will read anything Melissa writes, so I was super excited when she decided to join Summer of Series. But with the recent announcement that there will be a third ALIENATED book, I am beyond excited to show you her interview!

second in the Alienated series
Published February 3, 2015 by Disney Hyperion
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The romantic sequel to Alienated takes long-distance relationships to a new level as Cara and Aelyx long for each other from opposite ends of the universe...until a threat to both their worlds reunites them.

Cara always knew life on planet L’eihr would be an adjustment. With Aelyx, her L’eihr boyfriend, back on Earth, working to mend the broken alliance between their two planets, Cara is left to fend for herself at a new school, surrounded by hostile alien clones. Even the weird dorm pet hates her.

Things look up when Cara is appointed as human representative to a panel preparing for a human colony on L’eihr. A society melding their two cultures is a place where Cara and Aelyx could one day make a life together. But with L’eihr leaders balking at granting even the most basic freedoms, Cara begins to wonder if she could ever be happy on this planet, even with Aelyx by her side.

Meanwhile, on Earth, Aelyx, finds himself thrown into a full-scale PR campaign to improve human-L’eihr relations. Humans don’t know that their very survival depends on this alliance: only Aelyx’s people have the technology to fix the deadly contamination in the global water supply that human governments are hiding. Yet despite their upper hand, the leaders of his world suddenly seem desperate to get humans on their side, and hardly bat an eye at extremists’ multiple attempts on Aelyx’s life.

The Way clearly needs humans’ help . . . but with what? And what will they ask for in return?
What has been your favorite part of writing the Alienated series?
It's a tie. My favorite scenes to write were Aelyx and Cara's first kiss, (where they try to one-up each other to prove whose method of expressing affection is best), and Aelyx and Cara's first...ahem...time, which you haven't read yet because I'm saving it for a potential third book. I'll tell you this much: the scene is poignant, funny, and sweet--just like the two of them.

Did you always plan for this to be a series? How did it take shape in your mind?
Yes, I always intended it to be a series. The direction of the story has changed dramatically since 2009, when I originally envisioned it, but I can't explain how without spoilers.

What inspired you to write this series?
In October of 2009, I was driving down the interstate thinking, “If I’m going to do this whole ‘NaNoWriMo’ thing, I need a plot. What am I going to write about?” Several ideas came to mind, but I dismissed them because they were boring or clich├ęd. Then out of nowhere, I thought, “What if a high school senior had to host an alien exchange student?” I fell in love with the concept, and the rest is history.

Can you share anything with us about your next project?
My 2016 release is a stand-alone sci-fi romance called STARFLIGHT, which I pitched to my editor as "Overboard" meets "Firefly." (You can read about it here: I'm currently working on a companion novel to Starflight, which is narrated by a pair of secondary characters from the first book. It also stands alone, and exists on the same spaceship with the same cast as the first. That way readers will get all the benefits of a series without the cliffhangers. :)

What is the most interesting thing you have Googled in the name of research?
I once had to research how much fertilizer is required to build a bomb, but I ended up cutting that scene. (By the way, the answer is A LOT.)

What is one series you would recommend to readers?
This is a tough question because everyone has different taste in books. But one series I love that doesn't get nearly enough attention is Jennifer McGowan's "Maids of Honor" series. It's about spy girls in Queen Elizabeth's court. They're romantic, suspenseful, and so fabulously written!

Thor, Iron Man, or Captain America? GO!
Captain America. I love nice guys, and besides, have you seen him shirtless? Yowza!

It is not too late to join the fun as we celebrate our favorite series and welcome new ones! Sign up for Summer of Series and knock down that TBR! 

Don't forget to check out Danielle's blog!

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