Meet Mel Skubich
Mel Skubich (* born 1973) cannot recall a time without books or imaginary friends. Even though she made some very dear real friends and is at least theoretically grown up, she still loves telling tales and getting to know the many characters that live inside her head. Her fascination with books lead her to studying librarianship in what later became her home town of choice, Cologne.
Her writing can best be described as Dark Queer Urban Fantasy. Some has touches of romance, others of steamy adult fun. A fascination with LGBT culture has influenced her work at least as much as her love of 80s pop music, everything Victorian, fairy tales, folklore and whatever may hide in the dark shadows under your bed.
Currently she's working on her first novel and several other projects and shares a flat in Berlin,Germany with fellow author Stevie Conradi..
Her short stories have been published in the following anthologies:
- Your Early Stuff and Other Voices by Diamant
- Cirques d'obscure by Crushing Hearts and Black Butterflies
- Rock and Roll Saved My Soul II, The Concert Experience, I am loved: tales of lgbt acceptance by Rock and Roll Saved My Soul
- Fighting Change II & III, Authors against bullying II by Authors against bullying
What is your name and/or pen name?
Mel Skubich is the name I publish under. It's my real name, a little bit shortened from Melanie. Not very inventive, I know.
How long have you been writing?
I've been writing ever since I was a teenager. Instead of paying attention at class, I would fill my notebooks which what I thought of as poems. Then I started to write fan fiction. At first I wrote stories about my favourite bands and singers, then I discovered Star Trek and Harry Potter fan fiction and wrote some of as well. A chance meeting on the internet, via Facebook, then made me give up fan fiction and start my own novel. About 7 years ago, I became friends with the Diamant Twins and we worked on a cross-over story for fun. While this beast, which ended up being several hundred pages long, was never finished, it made me realize I wanted to create my own characters.
What is your favourite book/piece you have written?
I'm quite fond of “The Curious Case of the Digging Men” I co-wrote with Stevie Conradi and the follow-up story called “ Seance at St.Bart's”, which both were published in 'Other Voices', an anthology the Diamant Twins put together a little while back. It's fun writing Victorian characters.
What are you working on currently?
Several things. There is my Raoul Sinclair: Mirror Walker novel, which will most likely be called “Shattered”. The first draft is done, but it needs some serious re-writing, editing, polishing, all of that good stuff.
Then there's a novel I started writing during last year's #nanowrimo, which is some kind of stone age fantasy story about Rrak, the priest of the Raven Goddess.
I also have to finish a story starring the same characters as “The Curious Case of the Digging Men”, Alistair Gordon and Jerome Garibaldi. I 'share' the characters with Stevie Conradi. Sometime we co-write their adventures, sometimes we work on stories on own own. The stories are set in Victorian London, Alistair is a big fan of the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and together with his student and friend Jerome, investigates strange occurrences.
Who is your favourite writer/author?
Where do I start? Oscar Wilde, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Anne Rice, Val McDermid, J.K. Rowling, J.R.R. Tolkien, Cornelia Funke, Christoph Marzi, Stephen King, Peter Ackroyd, W.H. Auden...
What is your Favourite Book/Book Series?
Harry Potter ( I love how detailed the world is and how the characters develop and grow up). Lord of the Rings. The Emily Laing Trilogy by German author Christoph Marzi.
What made you decide to be a writer? And who or what inspires you the most to be a writer?
Two things, actually. One was the collaboration with the Diamant Twins. They were working on their first NightBoys novel back then and I thought: this is so cool, they write about everything they love – pop music, lgbt issues, vampires -, I want to that as well! The other was reading the books by Christoph Marzi. He also put lot's of reference to his favourite music into his book and some of his main characters are musicians. When I first read his stories, I felt like lighting had struck. It really set the little wheels at the back of my head going.
And to answer the second question: Music. My favourite bands and singers inspire me the most. Most of my main characters in the Raoul Sinclair world are based on them.
What kind of music do you listen to when you write, if any? Favourite singer/band?
It depends on. If I want to evoke a certain mood or try to picture a certain kind of landscape, I usually listen to soundtracks or Celtic music. If I need to get in the mood for Raoul, I listen to music by Marc Almond or his first band, Soft Cell. I have playlists on Spotify for all occasions, even some based on stories I wrote or characters.
My all-time favourite artist are: Pet Shop Boys, Marc Almond/Soft Cell and Holly Johnson/ Frankie goes to Hollywood but I listen to all sorts of stuff. From Dead Can Dance to Buddy Holly, from Jacques Brel to Bowie or Gossip to My Fair Lady.
What is your favourite genre to write and read?
To write: Urban Fantasy, Victorian Mystery and Gay Romance.
To read: Fantasy, Crime and Historical Novels.
If you could meet any writer, living or dead, who would it be?
Oscar Wilde. He was a legend in his time, before society sentenced him to prison for having an affair with Lord Alfred Douglas. Imagine the conversation! And the drinks, the meal...
What do you most want to accomplish as a writer?
Write stories people love to read. To create believable characters, which touch people's hearts.
What was it like working with Rock & Roll Saved My Soul? Would you recommend them to someone else?
It was great! Everybody was really friendly and helpful. They are a great bunch of people and the one author event I was part of was such great fun, so yes, I'd recommend them to all my writer friends.
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