This book has been through a lot.
Melanie started this one in a little Moleskine notebook (complete with magazine pictures cut out for the character pages) and wrote at work back in 2007 or so. This is too long to be working on a novel, which is why this one might be jacked up.
In 2015, Booktrope (now defunct), sent their acceptance of the then-called Awake:
Naturally, Melanie was beside herself and buckled down for months of edits and way more tears than we all thought were possible.
Here’s what the cover looked like then:
Which was a totally fine cover. People were interested in it and read it and left reviews. Melanie sold paperbacks to her clients at work instead of working.
Here’s how Booktrope described Awake:
In author Melanie Surani’s edgy thriller novel, opera singer Joshua Gray wakes in an eerie art museum exhibit. He comes to believe he’s been kidnapped and abandoned. And he isn’t the only one…
As Josh and four others struggle to piece together their new reality, they discover the museum’s main building has been razed and the place is boarded with no obvious exit. Who left them in the museum and why? How can they escape? The only link that binds them together is a mysterious woman named Blair, who they each encountered before blacking out. Josh unexpectedly finds himself drawn to one of the other captives, a long-time fan named Sophia. Their attraction plunges the group into a dark pool of suspicion. When allegiances shift and pieces connect, the strangers are forced to reassess their situation. Is the real danger inside or outside of the museum?
Suspenseful, romantic and filled with drama, Awake will keep you up all night.
After Booktrope went down, Melanie thought that was the ideal time to write Awake again. This time it would be better (and all that).
After spending years in serial fiction limbo, the book finally became a book again with a new title: Lost in the Museum, and later Dark Museum. The new cover might have been too ambitious. (She cried a lot while this design was going on.)
But now, with no additional changes to the inside, and a new cover to see what grabs everyone’s attention, Dark Museum is finally finished. Actually, nobody can stomach her working on this any longer.
The new blurb:
What if you awoke in an eerie art museum without knowing how you and four others arrived?
What if those four comprised a musician you had the hots for, a movie star, an office worker, and someone you knew nothing about, all of whom remembered the same woman right before finding themselves there?
What if that museum had no easily discernible exits, no means for contacting anyone on the outside, but still had operating internal surveillance?
For Sophia Stewart the real nightmare doesn’t begin until she escapes.
Read the first chapter on Wattpad
Dark Museum is now available on Amazon (soon on other platforms)