The Newstead Project
Joel Cranston shouldn’t exist. He just doesn’t know that yet. He’s lived a pretty normal life for the last sixteen years. If you consider being almost seven feet tall and good at about every sport you’ve ever played normal. Normal ends the day Newstead shows up with an invitation to come to their school.
Newstead is a private high school in Central Vermont by the Green Mountains. It’s a great place to hide a few hundred people who shouldn’t exist while you train them to become tomorrow’s rulers, tomorrow’s dictators, tomorrow’s gods.
Rachel Newell thinks she’s just passing through. She never stays any place more than four months and with Newstead so close to Weston, she has even more reason to make this her shortest stop ever. The last thing she expects is to have a reason to stay.
Together Rachel and Joel uncover the truth behind what is
Author Melanie SchulzI live in Upstate New York with my husband and three children, where I’ve pretty much been planted my entire life. Which is fine, because it’s beautiful here. My only complaint is that most people assume that New York means NYC, which it doesn’t. There. I’ve done my part in exposing the truth.
Truth. The truth is I’m not a writer; storyteller maybe, but not a writer. It wasn’t something I spent years dreaming of, or even what I went to school for. I’m a nurse. I love being a nurse. So why write? I don’t know. I do know when it started, though. September 3, 2010. I know this because I nature journal, and on that day Joel made it into my notes. I guess that’s fitting. Someone like him needed to be birthed out in the woods.
If you were to meet me, and I hope someday you do, you would not connect me with this story. I’m a wife, a mother, a nurse. The person who wrote this should’ve been a guy, first off, secondly he should be some militaristic strategist; that’s who you’d expect to see if you were to come to a book signing, not me. But I’m there, in every line. So if I don’t have the good fortune to meet you in person, I hope to see you in THE NEWSTEAD PROJECT.
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--The Twitter version: Boy should not exist. Boy goes to school set up for those who should not exist. Boy meets girl. Girl clues boy in. Boy kicks butt.
--How did you get the idea for the story? I’d already had the question in the back of my mind for years; who Nephilm were- why would someone create them, and then one day while I was nature journaling, Joel found his way into my notes. I knew his story had to be told.
--Which character would you most/least like to have dinner with? Joel. I have a serious book crush on him.
--Do you have any other works in progress? Any teasers or release dates? This is a trilogy, so every six months a new installment will be released: The Bashan Agenda, November 2013; The Revenge of the Rephaim, May 2014. These will be followed by a five book collection named Newstead Anthem, which are all standalone novels with ties to the trilogy. These are: The Guardian, November 2014; Annihilation May, 2015 Three Days, November 2015; Their Daughters, May 2016; Letters from War, November 2016. All of these will be followed with a final book concerning Joel and Rachel that ties it all together. The name of that one will be: /the end. This will be released May 2017. After that I have no idea.
--What book(s) is your book’s “cousin”? (Similar set-up or style) Honestly I can’t think of any. I don’t mean to sound arrogant or anything, I just can’t. Maybe Brave New World.
--What are some of your favorite books? Do you still have much time to read? My taste really ranges; I like anything from the classics to independent YA. All that matters to me is the writing. If the writing is good, I’ll read it.
--If a fairy godmother told you could be put into the world of your favorite book for 24 hours, which book would you pick and why? Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, because I really, really like chocolate.
--Do you need anything to write (music, coffee, etc)? Are there any songs on your playlist- songs that inspired you or that were playing while you wrote? When I write the rough draft I listen to very specific music, for Newstead I listened to a lot of Tenth Avenue North. For Bashan it was Skillet. But when I go back and revise, I like quiet.
--If you could have any superpower what would you choose? Wisdom, then I’d build anything else I needed.
--Besides writing, what do you like to do in your free time? Traveling, running, gardening, being with my family. Cooking.
--What is one thing you would tell your 15 year old self? That cute guy named David Schulz? He is going to be one of the best things that ever happened to you. Hold onto him.
--Is there anything else you want to add or say to your readers? While this has romantic elements, quite a bit actually, this is not a romance. It is as much a strategy and tactics book as it is a romance.
Vanilla or chocolate? chocolate
Edward or Jacob? edward
Hockey or soccer? hockey
Ebook or paper? paper
Salty or sweet? sweet
Beach or mountains? both
Phone call or email? email
Early bird or night owl? Early bird
Dog or cat? Neither; bunny
Messy or neat? messy
Ninjas or pirates? ninjas