Q: Melissa…what made you become a writer?
A: I don’t think I had a choice. I’ve been writing for as long as I could hold a pencil. I have all of these stories in my head, and when I was in my late twenties and had a computer, I decided to write them. I kept them on a disk and didn’t do anything with them forever, until my mom suggested I self-publish. So a couple of years ago I self published my first book, and I’ve been doing it ever since.
Q: What is your typical writing day like?
A: Usually the muse hits me at night. Sometimes I wake up with an idea and start writing. Sometimes I don’t think I have control over it, it just happens.
Q: Do you outline? If so, how extensive are your outlines?
A: I don’t normally outline, but if I start a sequel, I will outline to keep previous facts straight.
Q: How many revisions will you typically do on a novel?
A: Not many. I will edit some, but I rarely do revisions.
Q: What is your best tip for editing a manuscript?
A: My best tip: If you have the money to pay someone else to do it, do it! Look for beta readers, and sometimes they might point out typos for you...if you’re lucky.
Q: Which writing habits and/or tricks of the trade have made you a better writer?
A: Just keep writing. Don’t write to get rich. Write because you have to write, write because you have to tell a story.
Q: Do you ever suffer through writer’s block? If so, how do you fight it?
A: I suffer through writer’s block, and I walk away from it and don’t write until the muse hits me again. It helps to take a short break occasionally.
Q: What drew you to write your preferred genre(s)?
A: Anything with people who fall in love and are together in the end.
Q: Do you utilize beta readers?
A: When I can get them!
Q: In your most recently published novel, what’s one scene you really enjoyed writing—and why?
A: I really enjoyed writing the scene where the male lead breaks down crying and the female lead comforts him, and that leads to the answer to the next question.
Q: What makes the main character(s) of your most recent novel so special?
A: The male lead is the one in trouble, and the female lead is the one saving him. I like flipping the script and giving people something different.
Q: What is your best advice for author self-promotion?
A: I’m still waiting for someone to give me some good advice!
Q: How do you deal with negative reviews?
A: I used to worry about them, but I don’t anymore.
Q: What is your favorite aspect of being an indie author?
A: I control everything.
Q: What is your least favorite aspect of being an indie author?
A: I have to beg people to read my stuff!
Q: What is your current writing project?
A: Two sequels, which are both for novels that I love.
Q: What are three of your favorite novels?
A: The Outsiders, The Hunger Games, and Odd Thomas.
Q: If you could have lunch with any novelist, living or dead, who would it be? What would talk to them about?
A: I would probably choose Stephen King. I’d like to talk to him about where he gets his ideas.
Q: What is your best piece of advice for budding authors?
A: If you really love the stories in your head, don’t give up.
Q: What is your favorite inspirational quote?
A: “Never give up.”
No witches, warlocks or vampires...
just a sexy tale about trying to live the Hollywood dream...
Luigi's Chinese Delicatessen by Jim Vines