Thank you Desiree for having me on your blog. I’m a big fan of your romances and would love one day to have the career you’ve made of writing.
I know everyone asks this but why did you decide to write romance?
I’m actually a huge romance fan. I started reading romance books when I was a teenager. Since then, I’ve read everything I could get my hands on from historical romance to sweet romance, from paranormal to urban fantasy. I love all the genres but they had to have a love story to keep my interest. Some of my favorite authors blend the romance with the grit of policework or horror.
What was the hardest thing you had to do when you started?
The hardest part for me was to write in a conversational voice. I had been trained through college to write papers in a formal English format. That is the opposite of what readers want in their stories. They want characters that they can connect to—characters who speak like they do and most of us don’t use formal English.
What was the easiest thing?
The easiest thing for me was coming up with ideas to write about. I have so many plot threads and plot bunnies for future stories. I enjoy writing down my ideas and fill up notebooks with those little plot bunnies.
How long did it take you to finish your first manuscript and where did the idea come from?
Once I decided to write, it took me only a few months to get my first manuscript complete. My stories are on the shorter novella side. I enjoy reading books that I can read in a short time since I’m so busy. I write the type of stories I love to read.
The idea for my first book “Second Time’s the Charm” actually came from my own remarriage. I played around with the idea of who was “off limits”. Who wouldn’t you ever date? I decided that your best-friend’s ex-husband would be a hard sell, yet what if he was your perfect mate. And the story was born.
Tell me about your first contract?
My first contract was with a new publishing house. They had only just opened. Unfortunately after edits on my story, they closed. It was heartbreaking. I had told my family and friends about being published only to have that dream fall apart. Luckily I didn’t let that stop me. I submitted the book to another publisher at the urging of a fellow author. Liz Crowe gave me the much-needed nudge and I receive another contract. I refer to her as my fairy godmother because if I had given up, I wouldn’t have lived this dream.
Do you base any of your stories on real people or places or events?
Most of my stories are based on people that I know but in a general way. I take pieces of different people and situations and put them together. I don’t base a character entirely on one person.
My series “The Wilder Sisters” is a series that takes place in my hometown of Amherst, Ohio. I grew up in a wonderful small town at a time when everyone watched out for each other. The town and charm of Amherst has always stayed with me even though I haven’t lived in Ohio since 1985. I want my readers to fall in love with my hometown, as I did when growing up. It became the perfect place to set a story about five girls who left town and slowly find their way back.
What gets you in the mood to write?
My bed gets me in the mood to write. There is something about crawling into bed with my laptop and lazing among the covers that gets my creativity flowing. I have to have the room quiet to allow me to think.
Where do you see yourself 5 years from now? 10 years?
Five years from now, I see myself as an author sharing my stories while I travel around the United States in a small travel trailer. My husband and I spend the summers vacationing in our little silver bullet. It has allowed us the freedom to enjoy nature and see a large part of Michigan.
In ten years, I’d love to have over 100 books under my name as an author. Receiving awards for my writing and having a strong fan base are also goals of mine.
What do you enjoy most about being an author?
I love the first time you see your cover. It really captures your story and thrills you. Having a person say that they enjoyed your book or that it touched a part of them, is the most important part of being an author. I write stories that I enjoy and I hope that others do too.
Okay, quick fun questions:
Favorite ice cream:Black Cherry
Favorite music: All music from 1940’s swing and big band to rap. Music is one of the things that moves my soul.
Favorite movie: Valley Girl and Love Actually. Both movies have the happy ending that I dream about.
Favorite time to write:My favorite time to write is at night from midnight to two am.
If you could be stranded with a movie or television star who would you pick? I would love to be stranded with Alex O’Loughlin from the show Hawaii 50. He could certainly take care of building a shelter and catching some food, not to mention he’s a hottie with an accent. I’m a sucker for an accent.
If someone played you in a movie who would it be and why? I think that Molly Ringwald could play me in the movie. When we both were younger, I looked a lot like her. People used to think I was her if they didn’t know me. Now that we are both older, I like how she has continued to find ways to express herself.
Thank you Desiree for having me on your blog. I’ve really enjoyed the questions!
And now, the book….Forever Love
Fifteen years ago, Syndie Wilder left her small hometown- Amherst, Ohio- to escape the pain of losing her best friend and boyfriend. Deciding that Chicago offered more for an up and coming jewelry designer, she enjoyed the big city life until she chooses to return and care for her father. Taking care of her father and relocating her internet business, Syndie has no time or desire for romance but fate has a way of playing with best-laid plans.
Thom Johnson broke Syndie’s heart all those years ago and regrets it every day. As a firefighter, Thom sets out to protect Amherst and redeem himself for his bad choices. However, he never has forgotten Syndie and the hurt he caused her.
When a chance meeting happens, can the two former friends allow themselves the chance to become friends again, or will the sparks turn a childhood friendship into a forever love?
After getting out of my car, I hiked down the stairs. It was a mild September day, and the beach was fairly empty—just myself and a few seagulls. I walked slowly along the shoreline with my head down, not noticing the person swimming in the water until he began to climb out of the surf.
A dark, cropped haircut framed a face so beautiful that it could be described as the face of a Roman god. He had a strong nose and jawline that showed just a sprinkling of whisker stubble. However, it was his body that made me pause. His muscular shoulders and upper arms looked like they could carry a girl off to bed. His wet torso was covered with hair that immediately drew my eyes and tempted me to caress it. The chest hair tapered down his narrow waist and seemed to lead the way to paradise. I stopped walking and just stared. God, please let there be no drool dripping off my chin. This guy was smokin’ hot! Then he smiled and I noticed his face, complete with a little dimple in his chin. He seemed familiar, but I wasn’t sure where I recognized him from. When he saw that I noticed him, he winked as if he recognized me too.
“Hello! Nice day for a walk, huh? The weather has been kind to us this year.” He spoke and my knees wobbled. His voice was like chocolate, smooth and delicious.
“Hi…Yes…I’m glad the weather is nice enough to get out, but isn’t the water too cold for a swim?”
“Not at all. I enjoy my morning workouts after a long shift at the station. You don’t remember me, do you, Syndie?”
My mind was drawing a blank. How did he know my name? Who was this hottie?
“Not really. You do look familiar, but I can’t place you. I’m sorry.”
“It’s been a long time. We grew up together, our parents were best friends. We even went outin high school. I’m not surprised you don’t remember me, you hightailed it out of Amherst like your butt was on fire after graduation. We never saw each other again. I’m Thom Johnson, but everyone called me T.J.”
Oh wow. I’ve got a lot on my plate and he has changed over the years, but to not know someone so connected to most of my life was baffling. This man had been my best childhood friend. I was T.J.’s girlfriend for a while, but he dumped me for someone who put out. Before we went out in high school, I grew up with images in my head of him as the ideal guy. Our families encouraged our dating, thinking we were perfect together. When he dumped me, it broke my heart. I couldn’t stand watching him move on without me.
Bio: As a writer, Melissa likes to keep current on topics of interest in the world of writing. She’s a member of the Romance Writers of America and EPIC. Melissa is always interested in improving her writing through classes and seminars. She also believes in helping other authors and features authors and their books on her blog.
Melissa doesn’t believe in down time. She’s always keeping busy. Melissa is a wife and mother, an elementary school teacher, a book reviewer, an editor for a publishing company as well as an author. Her home blends two families and is a lot like the Brady Bunch, without Alice- a large grocery bill, tons of dirty dishes and a mound of laundry. She loves to write stories that feature “happy endings” and is often found plotting her next story.
This is what readers are saying about Melissa’s books:
Amazon 5 star review for Second Time’s the Charm- “Such a sweet and heart warming story. As I read it, and the details unfolded, I was engrossed to see if that I thought was going to happen, would really happen.” – Lacey Wolfe, Romance Author.
Barnes and Nobel 5 star review for Protecting His Wolfe- “Great read. I couldn’t put it down. I really liked the characters, especially Betsie and the Pigg brothers. A love story with suspense and surprise.” – Anonymous
Melissa loves hearing from readers!
http://www.facebook.com/AuthorMelissaKeir (fan page)