Interview with The Legacy Author Melissa Delport

July 21, 2014 Blog Tours, Interviews 1

Interview with The Legacy Author Melissa DelportThe Legacy by Melissa Delport
Published by Reach Publishers on 2013
Genres: Dystopia
Pages: 429
Format: eBook
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One man obsessed with power.
One woman prepared to sacrifice everything to stop him.
One war that changed the world.

“Eric Dane has segregated the wealth and resources that remain, giving a select few the highest chance of survival and leaving the rest to starve!”
World War 3 lasted twelve days and almost eradicated the human species. Growing up in post nuclear America, Rebecca Davis remained blissfully ignorant of the despotic leadership that had seized what was previously the most powerful nation in the world. When the truth is revealed and Rebecca discovers that everything she has been taught is a lie, she is determined to fight for the life that she has not been allowed to live.

In order to do this, Rebecca has to cross the boundary fences and venture out of the safety of the New United States, into the barren wastelands. It is there that she finds allies she never dreamed existed.

In Rebecca, the Resistance has finally found the ultimate weapon.

“You were given this life Rebecca, because you alone are strong enough to live it.”

An action-packed, adrenalin inducing thrill ride that will have you riveted until long after you have turned the last page.

Interview With Melissa Delport

Can you talk a little about what the book is about?

The Legacy Trilogy is a dystopian action-adventure series set in post-nuclear America. One man rises up and becomes President of the New United States of America, seizing control of what little wealth and resources remain, and abandoning most of the country. There is a sci-fi element in the form of enhanced genetic engineering, which enables this tyrant to bridge the gap between man and “super” man, creating Gifted soldiers so that no-one can oppose his rule. Meanwhile, outside of the boundary fences, the Resistance is growing ever stronger. When they enlist the help of the strong and fiery Rebecca Davis, the Resistance finds its ultimate weapon. The war that follows is an epic fight for freedom. For more information, visit the dedicated website: http://www.thelegacytrilogy.com/

What makes your book unique?

There are a few elements that set The Legacy Trilogy apart from other popular dystopias. My characters are older, more mature and this allows me to explore all aspects of their lives. I find that most of the dystopian books I have read are along the same vein: youngsters surviving against all odds. The Legacy breaks that mould, in that the characters are adults; exceptional individuals equipped with skills that allow them to not only survive but excel. They make a conscious choice to go to war against the tyranny that has seized control, they are not unwillingly foisted into this role. That choice is key to the story. There is also the opulence of the New United States, which is a pre-war environment, with none of the desolate ruin that characterizes most dystopian fiction. The “fight” of my characters is more against political oppression than the typical turmoil of an apocalyptic catastrophe.

Where did you get the idea for the book?

That is actually a funny story. I have always wanted to write a very strong female lead, and I was reading a lot of dystopia at the time. Then, one day I was driving home from work and I slowed to a crawl to avoid an ill-concealed traffic camera and I had that “light bulb” moment. The traffic camera didn’t flash, but The Legacy did!

Is there any message you want readers to get from reading the book?

Dystopias are often characterized by a subliminal message, pointing out what could happen if mankind makes the wrong choices. The Legacy is no different. Nuclear apocalypse and societal collapse are issues that are not entirely speculative.

How long did it take to write the book?

On average six months per book in the Trilogy.

Who is your favorite character, or what character was the most fun to write?

I love writing Reed’s character. He brings a bit of humor into the story and his sarcasm is highly entertaining.

Can you talk about how you wrote it? Did you do any outlining? Did it take you in any unexpected directions?

I outline the basic plot and main characters before I start writing, but I do let the story take me where it wants to. Subplot and secondary characters develop as I go along. One of my main characters, Aidan, did not exist in my initial story map, so that was a very unexpected direction, but I am so pleased with the result as this character adds a lot of dimension to the story.

If you could go back and change anything in the novel, what would it be?

Writers are their own worst critics and we will always look back and think “I should have changed this” or “I should have added that”. Fiction has a shelf-life, so I have learned not to over-think it once we have reached the publication phase, and to rather move on to my next project. The first book in The Legacy Trilogy has quite a bit of back story – there is a lot of “telling” in the opening chapters – and I did wonder if that would count against it. Fortunately the readers haven’t minded in the least and the feedback has been very positive.

How did you come up with the cover?

I wanted to create a cover that would be both eye-catching and intriguing. I also wanted ‘people’ on the cover as opposed to objects, but at the same time I didn’t want readers to have any preconceived notion of what the characters looked like. The beauty of a book is that every person has their own interpretation – it forces us to use our imaginations. It was a hard task, but I found a graphic designer who was up for the challenge. Incorporating the hoods just worked so well, I am thrilled with the results.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I always loved to write, from a very early age, but I didn’t necessarily want to write as a profession. It was a creative outlet, a passion, but I didn’t think it would provide me any financial security. It was only when I was offered a publishing contract that I decided to sell my logistic business and write full-time. I count myself lucky that I am able to do something that I love to do, as a proper job!

What was the first story that you ever wrote?

In Grade 6 I wrote a children’s story about a couple of kids who discover a dinosaur egg, called “The Secret Egg”. My teacher typed it up on the school’s typewriter. Nobody read it.

What is your favorite genre, and why?

I’m a big fan of dystopias. Survival stories and loads of action appeals to me and I am fascinated by man’s “fight” or “flight” response. When there is nowhere to run, dystopia is at its very best.

Are there any books you are absolutely inspired by?

I will never get over the incredible, creative genius that is Harry Potter. J.K. Rowling’s imagination is awe-inspiring and her world building breathtaking. She has more talent in her little finger than most writers have in their whole bodies.

What are you working on next?

I am on deadline for the final book in The Legacy Trilogy, entitled: The Legend, so that is my priority. I am also working on the plot of a fantasy series, and of course, I have to get cracking on the sequel to The Traveler, which I released in March.

What advice do you have for aspiring authors?

Make sure you are financially sound and write part-time to begin with. Even if a writer lands a publishing contract, it is not a guarantee of instant success, although you are certainly ahead of the pack. Having a roof over your head and food on the table is first priority. It takes time for a book to gain momentum, it is not a “get-rich-quick” scenario. Writing a book is a massive achievement, but that is the easy part. The marketing and research that comes after is much more difficult. You have to keep writing – your first book may not be the success you had hoped – it could be your fourth, or tenth. At the end of the day, giving up is the only guarantee of failure. Write because you love to write, have fun with it…and don’t quit your day job until you are certain you can afford to.

How do you juggle writing with family time?

2014 has been the first year that I am able to write full-time, and it’s made it a lot easier to juggle the chaos that is part and parcel of having three young children. I finally have balance. Last year I barely slept – all my writing was done at night, and I was exhausted. Now, mornings are my dedicated writing time, and then afternoons are for the children. I do still write at night if inspiration strikes, but weekends are family time.

Excerpt

Chapter 36

The members of the Legion are by and large mercenaries, they are trained and they are deadly. They also know how to co-ordinate and follow instructions. I had told everybody that I wanted to be ready by 10 am. At 9:45, they are all gathered in the courtyard, ready to go and awaiting further instructions. By 10 o’clock we’re on our way to Chicago.

Four of our speed-Gifted run ahead, including Kwan, to scout out and send back information, and by the time we reach the Illinois boundary fence we are well prepared. Subduing the few guards within a two mile section and crossing the boundary fence is easy, but as a matter of principle I have my men pull down a half-mile stretch of the fence. The symbolism is not lost on my soldiers and they cheer, clap their hands and stamp their feet in noisy approval as we demolish this small piece of Eric Dane’s control. No longer will we sit idly by and allow Eric Dane to segregate and control us. We are taking back our country and uniting two worlds.

I am already aware, courtesy of Quinn, that Eric has taken refuge at Dane Corp Plaza. We head straight for the plaza, our numbers fanning out across the road and blocking all road traffic. Pedestrian traffic too has come to a standstill; civilians on the streets stop and gape at us as we pass and a few turn and run like hell. I pay no attention to any of them; I am focused on Eric’s men. It is the Gifted who we need to worry about, not the citizens of Illinois. As we turn into Michigan Avenue, I see them – Eric’s army. He has been building this army for years and I’m amazed that he has managed to keep it hidden for so long, given the sheer size of the force that he commands. There are about a hundred men standing in the street and I am willing to bet my life that each one of them is Gifted.

I hear a few nervous murmurs from behind me.

“Are we ready for that?” Kwan whispers to me.

“Hell, I was born ready,” Reed replies and I stifle a terrified laugh. I am not nervous for myself; I am prepared to die for this cause. It is the brave men who stand alongside me that I am terrified for. For Kwan and Reed, who have never left my side; for the young men who are standing tall even when so vastly outnumbered.

“Please. Is that all he’s got?” Rellis comments from just behind me and I turn and stare incredulously at him.

“You have realised that we’re outnumbered?” I ask. “Like about four to one?”

“Yes,” he answers calmly, “but we have you guys.” He points first at Reed and then at myself. “I’ve seen you two in action. You’re scary. Quite frankly, I wouldn’t like to be standing on that side of the street.” He jerks his thumb at the line of soldiers facing us. “We’re going to be fine,” he finishes confidently.

“Oh,” he adds, almost as an afterthought, “and don’t forget about him.” He pats Kwan on the shoulder and Kwan rolls his eyes heavenward. “It always helps having a Japanese ninja on the team.”

“Hey!” Reed interrupts, sounding put out. “He’s Korean!” I smile through my fear.

“Okay, everyone, our primary target is Eric Dane. You get the chance, you take him out. Also,” I glance sideways at Kwan, “the Chinese woman, Nina. If you have an opening on either, you take it.” Kwan looks pained for only a second before he nods grimly. “Other than that, Legion, you aim to stay alive. And take out as many of those bastards as you can,” I conclude. The battle cry that follows this instruction is like a catalyst and I feel myself being pushed along as the Legion rushes down the street. The Dane Army follows suit a second later and all too soon the final battle begins.

About Melissa Delport

Wife and mother of 3, Melissa Delport is the author of The Legacy Trilogy and the stand-alone self-published e.books Rainfall and The Traveler.

She graduated from the University of South Africa with a Bachelor’s Degree in English in 2000.

At the age of twenty-four Melissa started a logistics company (Transmax) from the spare room of her flat and built it up to two fully operational depots in Durban and Johannesburg. Now, 10 years later, she has sold her business in order to write full time.
Melissa lives with her husband and three children in Hillcrest, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

The Legacy (book 1 of The Legacy Trilogy) and The Legion (book 2) are available now and the final book, The Legend, will be released early 2015.

An avid reader herself, Melissa finally decided to stop ‘watching from the sidelines’ and to do what is her passion.

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