We spent most of January announcing our Fantasy from the Rock all-star lineup, but without actually reading the stories (and you can’t, not until April 27th!) it’s hard to get to know the authors that are helping make up this epic collection. With that in mind, here’s a little bit about Melanie Collins, who first penned for Sci-Fi from the Rock and has proven herself a formidable force in the indie short fiction scene. She returns this year with her short story: A Letter to the Seekers.
Melanie Collins is an award-winning author. The award she won wasn’t for writing. That doesn’t make the statement any less true. She was born eons ago in the city of St. John’s, Newfoundland, on a late-July day in the way-back year of 1987. An animal lover and guilt-laden product of a Christian upbringing, her non-writing time is filled with her work as an Animal Groomer and volunteering as a member of the Board of Directors with the non-profit organization Sandbox Gaming. Wishing there were more hours in the day for writing, Melanie likes to sit down and hammer out short stories with the help of brute force and stubbornness. Her favourite food is cheese. Every cheese.
1. What is your favorite word?
Melanie: It’s a tossup between Sensation and Perplexing.
2. What is your least favorite word?
3. What is your favorite movie?
Melanie: Either ‘The Last Unicorn’, or ‘Blade Runner’ (Director’s or Final Cut only)
4. What is your favorite book?
Melanie: The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle
5. What was the last book you read for pleasure?
Melanie: Recently re-read the first two parts of Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift.
6. What are you currently working on?
Melanie: Currently working on a horror-genre short story, which I have never really attempted before. It’s a struggle to go outside of my comfort zone, but at least I’m finding the constant attempts and trashing of those attempts to be a learning experience!
7. How did you get involved with Engen?
Melanie: Anyone who seemed to be within 15 feet of Kenneth Tam at any given moment between Sci-Fi On The Rock 1 and 2 ran into Matt LeDrew. It was impossible not to be completely infected- contaminated, if you will- with the almost infectious enthusiasm for not only writing, but encouraging others to write. When he approached me about writing a short story, I was completely blown away. It was a tremendous honour, and I’ve been so unfathomably happy to continue to know all of these lovely and wonderful people that have come to join the Engen family through this bizarre, nearly fungal spreading of contaminant.
8. What is your favorite Engen Book?
Melanie: The Sci-Fi From The Rock 10th Anniversary Collection. The sheer amount of talent contained in those pages still astounds me, and every time I pick it up I feel like I can go to any place, at any time, and see anything. I adore short stories.
9. What (professionally) would you most like to accomplish?
Melanie: Professionally I would like to continue what I’m doing now, as a Dog Groomer. I’m the happiest I feel I’ve ever been with the way my life works out, now that I’m self-employed. I am improving my skills at a job I love with customers I adore, and I have enough free time to dedicate myself to Sandbox Gaming’s charity and other works, and still (occasionally) have time to write a short story. I guess I would like to get to a point financially where I can have a house to myself and take enough time to write more.
10. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
Melanie: Marine Wildlife Researcher. Specifically studying Orca Whales. It’s honestly my greatest dream, one of those “If you could do anything, regardless of cost or logisitics” dreams. I’m one good lottery win away from becoming the Jane Goodall of the Sea.
11. What profession would you not like to do?
Melanie: Psychologist/Psychiatrist. I love studying Psychology and the way people interact with others, with things, within themselves. I just hate having to try to talk to people about it, because one of my greatest issues is when people do not listen, even when I completely understand why they won’t.
Thanks for taking the time to sit down with us Mel! We can’t wait to see what you do next!