Interview with Ray Melnik
Conducted by Sassy Brit

SB: Welcome back Ray!

After reviewing your previous two books, The Room and To Your Own Self Be True it’s a pleasure to see you back, and to read more about what’s going on in SciLab. So, lets begin with your new novella, Burnished Bridge, why did you choose this as the title?

RM: Hello again, Sassy. Thanks for letting me talk about my story. For the title; burnished is something you smooth, brighten or polish so being that Project Glint is a people-made tool to bridge space-time it made sense to me. It also seemed to be an unusual term you would hear to describe a bridge, but since Glint works via light it seemed to go well.

May I ask why you slightly deviated from writing two full length novels to this shorter novella?

RM: I heard a song called “Maybe” from the new Ingrid Michaelson album and it gave me the idea for this love story, and it was a good way to add Project Glint which will be reintroduced in my 4th book and series ending novel. A novella just seemed to be the best format for this particular tale. People have written me to say they wished it were longer, but hopefully when they read the series ender they will feel it was worth the wait. 
SB: Although The Room is a stand alone story, your books do have an underlying theme with characters from one book popping up in another. Do you have a long range intention with this device?

RM: The Room was meant to be a single novel, but soon after I was done I began to miss the characters so I wrote To Your Own Self Be True about Harry’s daughter after she had grown. I was able to answer the questions people had after reading The Room and have a little fun with cameo appearances of previous characters. After my second novel I realized how much fun I had writing about a future not too far from now and SciLab was a fertile environment so when I thought of the love story in Burnished Bridge I set it there and had some fun bringing more cameos in. If you remember the 12 year old girl in the tavern who tells Elina that she plans to be a scientist when she grows up; that’s Kaela, who of course does. All three books were meant to stand alone, but those who have read all of them have a little added insight. My fourth book is different however. It is intentionally being written to pull all the stories together and can only be fully appreciated by those who have read the others. 

SB: Do you have any further plans to write about SciLab or are you going to work on something completely different?

RM: My series ender will most likely be the last using SciLab, but I do plan to keep writing stories set in the lower Hudson Valley of New York. I moved here from New York City ten years ago and fell in love with the area. The commute to the city for work is a bit long, but the environment here is well worth the extra time.

SB:  This is your third self-published book, what are the advantages in self-publishing?

RM: I do well in my career in tech and have no interest in being a starving writer, doing book tours or putting myself through the ringer of the whole brick and mortar publishing world. I just love writing. Sales have been good, but I also donate to library systems as funds permit and tell people to request them from their libraries if available. Maybe some day in the future when I retire I’ll approach a publisher and write full time, but for now I’m just happy to have my stories read by those who discover them. There is only pleasure and no pressure being Indie.

SB: That's wonderful, Ray. :) 

In my last interview with you you had just read The Music of Ourselves and Five Books of Marriage; both written by Harry Owen, the first poet laureate of Cheshire. Now what book have you just finished and what’s the next book on your TBR pile?  

RM: It’s funny, but the very last book I just finished was “Non Dog”, the latest book of poems by Harry Owen. I really love poetry and in a way his books have been moving parallel to what I’m going through in my life. I’m well into chapter two of my forth book and while I’m writing I don’t read other fiction, but I’m re-reading books in the field of physics for reference. The one that I’m using most right now is “The Elegant Universe” by Brian Greene.

SB: Oh, I like checking out books authors are reading, I will look into those. Thanks! So, when not writing, you work as a Senior Network Architect. If you don’t mind me asking, what exactly does a Senior Network Architect do?

RM: I first have to say that I love what I do in tech. I design, configure and install the systems that people never see and rarely think about. When the people of my firm plug their computers into the wall I get their data around the building and from New York to London, Tokyo, Hong Kong or any of our other offices in the States or worldwide. I also configure the firewalls that prevent hackers from getting into our private network. I get to play with some very expensive toys; basically a big kid’s dream. 

SB: Do you still travel a lot and use that time for writing? Has your writing schedule changed since we last spoke?

RM: I do. In the last few years I’ve been to London five times, Tokyo twice, Hong Kong and many of the offices around the United States. I do use the long flights to write, but most of my writing is still done on my morning train commute. My writing schedule only changes when I get close to completing a book and I can’t help but want to do some editing during evenings at home.

SB: So, are your musical years as a singer and lyricist over, or do you still perform? Do you look back on those days as happy days; maybe even miss them?

RM: I had a blast as a singer, but I moved from writing lyrics to novels. Basically I love to tell stories and with a novel there is so much more room to elaborate. I do miss singing at times, but not the egos of the people in the industry. I have been fortunate to have done and do the three things in life I really love; music, writing and tech so I have no reason to complain. I’m grateful for all the opportunities I’ve been given. 

SB: Quick question for fun. If you were to get an award for something, what would it be?

RM: For fun? Pie in the sky? I would love to be the one to win an award for an essay or article that helps people connect all the dots and finally realize that we don’t need to be powering all our great technology and advancements with sludge from the ground when there is so much at stake. But we would also thrive. Francis Darwin wrote, “But in science the credit goes to the man who convinces the world, not to the man to whom the idea first occurs.” The words would need to be so compelling, as to cut through the chatter of deliberate misinformation. Take for instance in the USA. To give one example, we have a man who buys up newspapers and television channels including one called “Fox News Channel,” used to spread misinformation 24 hours a day, to convince the very people hurt most that they should continue bending over and like it. Just my 2 pence…
SB: Fantastic answer! Where can our readers find out more about you and your works?

RM: They can go to my website called “Emergent Novels” to read excerpts, hear podcasts, see multimedia introductions, and I have a library section with short stories and essays. The address is:
SB: They can also win a copy of Burnished Bridge right here! First may I thank you once again for coming back to AR. Good luck with your next book! 
RM: Thanks again for letting me talk about my story.
WIN THIS BOOK! (Two copies!)

I have one copy sitting on my desk for UK and Europe and another one is sitting on Ray's desk for overseas contestants.  

For a chance of wining, just follow this blog, leave a comment and your email address. 

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  1. thank you for give us the chance of win a copy of Burnished Bridge :)
    I'm follower
    paraelisa21 (At) hotmail (DoT) com

  2. blodeuedd12:04 pm

    Ahh good, didn't work last time I was here, but now it does.

    I can see the good things in being Indie now, self-published books does mean less stress

    blodeuedd1 at gmail dot com

  3. Wow you were quick to respond, sRy - thanks for the follow :) Good luck!

  4. Hi Blodeuedd,

    Thanks for sticking with it. It drove me crazy trying to work out what I was doing wrong when setting this up, but I do think it's worth it - finally :)

    Yes, self-publishing does have quite a few benefits.

  5. Very interesting post. You have lead a very interesting life. Would love to have a chance to read your book. I follow this blog and like on facebook(sue brandes). I am in the US.


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