Interview with Melissa Douthit + GIVEAWAY

Melissa Douthit is the author of The Raie'Chaelia (read my review). For my part of the blog tour, I've asked Mrs. Douthit some questions about herself and her fantastic novel. Without further ado, let's roll out the questions!


Describe your book in one sentence. A YA fantasy story with elements of sci-fi about a girl who has to quickly become a woman in a world that is alien and hostile to her.

What gave you the inspiration for Raie'Chaelia? The word Raie’Chaelia (pronounced rye-kale-ya) just popped into my head like all my ideas do.  I have no idea where the ideas come from.  For the most part, I knew I wanted to write a fantasy story about a heroine but I wanted it to be different.  I also knew I wanted to write a trilogy.  I wanted the story to have both a complex plot and a background theme and I wanted to tie those two things in together.  It took a while to fully develop, but I think the result is a good combination of the two.  I can’t wait to get the second and third books done.
How I came to write the story, I wrote in the preface of the first novel:

On the morning of 21st of September, 2007, I sat down at my computer with a cup of coffee and clicked a familiar bookmark on my internet browser.  The link took me to a website that I knew well.  In doing so, I learned that one of my favorite authors had passed away.  His name was James Oliver Rigney, Jr., also known as Robert Jordan.  The website was
Ever since I was seventeen, I have been reading his epic fantasy series, The Wheel of Time.  I remember buying the first book, The Eye of the World, from a local bookstore and rushing home to read it.  I remember it like it was yesterday.  To this day, after twenty-one years, I am still reading his series as it quickly draws to a conclusion in its final completion by Brandon Sanderson.
I never thought I could be a writer given that my talents lie in other areas, mostly in mathematics and science, but when I learned of Jordan’s passing, I decided to start writing a story that I had been tossing around in my head for a while.  The ideas were there but the realization of those ideas into a book was a problem.  I didn’t believe that I could do it.  So, that morning, inspired by Jordan’s life story, I sat down and started typing.  I soon found that by having read his books, as well as many others by other authors, the writing came naturally and the words flowed.  The following novel is the result of that day.
Now, three years later, my first novel has been published.  It is a novel with both a storyline and a background theme.  The ideas for the story were conceived out of a desire to write a fantasy that was different from any other I had read in the past.   The entire story required a few years to fully develop, but I believe I have achieved my original intention – keeping it different.  I am hoping that you, its reader, will feel that difference and love it.
As you read, you may come across language, names, or terminology in the text that appear out of place or anachronistic.  They are not.  There is a reason for them that will become more clear as the story progresses.  In fact, almost every detail in the novel has a purpose, from the intricately-drawn scenery in the beginning to the hair color of the heroine of the story.  Again, those purposes will become clearer later on.
Thank you for reading my story.  I hope you enjoy it.
Very Respectfully,
Melissa Douthit

What type of music do you like listening to? All kinds!  Music is what inspires my writing.  For example, the prologue of The Raie’Chaelia popped into my mind as I was listening to Hells Bells by AC/DC.  Many of the scenes and themes in the book were inspired by music from Enya, Andrea Bocelli, Creed, Nickelback, and others.  Right now, scenes that I have already written for the second and third books of this trilogy are inspired by AC/DC, Def Leopard, Beyonce, and Sting.

How did you come up with the characters? Do you see yourself in any of your characters? I’ve learned that many of my characters share personality traits with me, but they also share those with others I know.  My characters are a mix of different people in my life and their relationships with one another mirror some of my own.  The fact that the characters are inspired by people in my life wasn’t intentional.  The characters just appeared there in the setting for me, just popping into my head.  I didn’t realize who they were until I sat back and read what I had wrote.  Jeremiah is based on someone I knew when I was young who was a really good-natured guy with a sweet temperament.  His personality is really a combination of three people: that person, me and another person in my family.  Chalice wasn’t hard to recognize at all.  She is my sister - a petite, blond woman with a major attitude.  That is totally my sister.  Kirna and Tycho are roughly based on two of my own best friends and Papa is based on my grandfather, the only grandparent I really knew.  Even Sunny, the horse, is based on the Palomino I had when I was young.

If The Raie'Chaelia were to become a movie, what would be your dream cast?
Good question!  I think for the characters of Chalice, Jeremiah, Kirna and Tycho, I would choose new, unknown actors and actresses.  I know exactly how the characters look and how they are as people and there isn’t really any particular set of well-known actors these days that would be a good fit for them.  As for Ben Graeystone, I would choose Sir Ian McKellen, hands down! [TOTALLY agree with this!]  For Duquaine, I would choose Daniel Craig.  He is the only one who fits the physical description of the character and who is strong enough to match Chalice.  For Vlaad it would be Jason Momoa.  When I first saw him in Game of Thrones on HBO, I thought: That’s Vlaad!  As for Lucce, definitely Ralph Fiennes.  I know he doesn’t exactly fit the description of Lucce but he could be made to look like him and for anyone who has seen The English Patient, they know that he is an amazing actor!  I think his adaptation of Voldemort was even better than JK Rowling’s and I have no doubt that he would be able to do an excellent adaptation of Lucce.  =o)

Did you always want to be a writer? What made you become one? No, I never thought I could be one.  I always thought I was better at math and science but now I realize that my scientific background has led me to become the writer that I am and I see its heavy influence in my work.

What's your favorite movie/TV show? Actor/Actress? I know this is crazy but I don’t watch TV - too much crap on TV these days.  I have a lot of favorite movies though: Schindler’s List, Christmas Story, Princess Bride, Waking Ned Devine, Strange Brew, History of the World, Spaceballs, the list goes on ...
As for favorite actor/actress, I would say Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep who are geniuses at their craft.

What are you currently reading? I am currently reading Fire by Kristin Cashore.  I just finished Graceling and loved it, so I thought I’d try her new book.  It is very different than Graceling but I still like it.

What do you do when you're not writing? Many times, I am cooking, drinking a glass of wine, and listening to an audiobook, with my favorite coonhound, Copper, lying in the kitchen hoping for a bite of whatever I’m making.  Sometimes, I am skiing or swimming.  Other times just hanging out with friends and family.

Are there any upcoming projects which readers should look out for?
Yep!  I am currently working on The Firelight of Maalda, the second book of the trilogy, The Legend of the Raie’Chaelia:
I’ve also been writing some scenes down for the third book that is called The Return.  I gave it that title for many different reasons that will become apparent in the book when it’s done.  I don’t have a webpage for the third book though.  Should be coming soon after the second book is done.
After this trilogy, I have ideas for four books I want to write.  I have already written notes for them.  I’m really excited to start those later on.

Find Melissa Douthit:

Thank you so much to Melissa Douthit for answering those questions. And now it's time for a giveaway!!...or two :)


Contest - Free e-reader or $100 gift certificate
Enter a drawing and win a free e-reader of your choice or a $100 gift certificate to your favorite store by answering the following question:
What song inspired the prologue of The Raie'Chaelia?
To answer the question go to this link and fill in the information (place answer in Message field):
Contest ends September 10, 2011.  Winner will be announced September 12th on Melissa Douthit's Blog.


One winner will win an eBook copy of The Raie'Chaelia! (Will be sent from Teddy Rose of Virtual Author Blog Tours)
  • International! (YAY!)
  • Ends September 15th, 2011 – 11:59 pm
  • Winner will be picked by an random number generator
  • Fill out the form below!


  1. Great choices for actors! I actually met Sir Ian McKellen briefly. He attended the Vancouver International Film Festival volunteer party a few years ago. It was very cool of him to come!

  2. Hi Rabiah,

    Thanks for the great post!

    Teddy, that is so cool you met him! I loved him in Lord of the Rings. He is a classic actor.


Thank you for taking the time to comment! I'll try to visit your blog (if you have one) and comment back!