About Melina Druga:
I’m an author, freelance journalist, and history enthusiast. I have writing professionally for nearly 20 years, having begun my career at the turn-of-the-century as a newspaper reporter and copy editor, but I began writing fiction when I was a child. I blog on my website about history, the writing process, author interviews, and historical fiction book excerpts and reviews. I am particularly interested in the period 1890-1920 and how WW1 changed the lives of ordinary people.
I am the author of three nonfiction books, contributor to a fourth, with two books – one fiction and one nonfiction — launching in 2019.
My three published books are A Tale of Two Nations (available in five parts and as a complete edition), Enterprising Women: Practical Advice for First Time Entrepreneurs, and Enterprising Women: A Practical Guide to Staring Your First Business. I contributed to When Women Become Business Owners.
What inspires you to write?
I really enjoy Edith Wharton and the way she wrote about hypocrisy in the Gilded Age. The Gilded Age is one of the eras that I really love, and she lived through it and wrote about it first hand.
In addition, my motto is "educating and empowering through writing." I aim to teach while also entertaining.
Tell us about your writing process.
I complete extensive research and make copious notes. I write all rough drafts by hand. I enjoy the connection between writer and story. When I type my drafts, that's when I complete the first rewrite.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Not exactly, but I do strive to make characters real people in every sense of the word. My characters have both extensive biographies that covers details that don’t make it into my novels. For example, I know my characters grandparents and when those grandparents lived and died.
What advice would you give other writers?
My advice for new and aspiring authors is keep working at perfecting your craft. The more you write the better a writer you will become. Don’t bog your story down with details that don’t matter or are misplaced in the plotline. Don’t use dialogue tags other than “said.” Keep dialogue realistic. Avoid first person; it narrows your storytelling.
I see many grammatical, punctuation and style errors in indie books, so I would advise either learning these points on your own or using a professional copy editor or both.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
When I was in college, self publishing had a bad reputation. Even a decade ago, this was the case. So when I began the process of deciding how to publish, I tried going the traditional publishing route. I found this method to be very limiting because agents either weren’t open to new writers in my genre, didn’t represent my genre or required lengthy book proposals. I self published for the first time in 2013. At the time, I didn’t take it nearly as seriously as I could, but now I’m treating publishing as a business; exactly as I should be doing. I publish through my imprint Sun Up Press, and I’m learning marketing tricks and techniques.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I’m not sure what I think about the future. On one hand, self publishing has opened the door to so many talented authors, but on the other hand, many people publish without polishing their work or even writing multiple drafts, and the book’s quality suffers. Like any industry, it’s a mixed bag.
What do you use?: Professional Editor
What genres do you write?: nonfiction, historical fiction
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit to allow you the reader to hear the author in their own voice.