Melissa Blue’s writing career started on a typewriter one month after her son was born. This would have been an idyllic situation for a writer if it had been 1985, not 2004. Eventually she upgraded to a computer. She’s still typing away on the same computer, making imaginary people fall in love.
What inspires you to write?
There’s a question that hits me and I want to know the answer to it. That question can come from reading a book, watching a movie or a conversation with someone. I set out to find a variation of that answer. That inspires me a lot. I want to know what is love? Can you believe something about yourself like you just aren’t fit to love someone forever. Can that answer changes? What changes your answer? Why? How can you makes amends for dismal behavior and still somehow find love. I do this with a backdrop of the contemporary world with humor.
Tell us about your writing process.
Any story over twenty thousand words I try to plot out because there’s just too much story for me to keep straight in my head. I get lost easily in who my characters are instead of finding out how they change. Plot helps keeps me focus. Craft wise I use Three Act Structure to loosely plot out the book. When I say book I mean story. When I say story I mean character. It’s a circular argument, at least to me. My stories are about the character on page one and who they become on the last page. I start with the one thing they will never do and work my way out. Why won’t they do it? What made them that way? When you strip them down who are they at the core?
When I have a vague notion of this I can start to write. Thankfully, I figure it all out by the third or fourth draft. lol
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I do talk and listen to my characters, which sounds absolutely crazy. I usually open up a word doc and ask questions about them, about the h/h and see what they say. Sometimes it’s nothing but lies and sometimes the character leaves nothing to mystery. I still discover other little nuggets during the actual writing of the story, but I like the sit down.
What advice would you give other writers?
Story comes first, second and third. This means check your ego. It’s hard enough getting the story right and it’s only made worse when you’re fighting what’s right for the story. It’s a circular advice, which is why story comes first, second and third.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I was published through a small e-publisher previously. I ended up pulling the books and they were sitting on my harddrive. I believed in those stories and thought a different price, different covers and the like might make them sell better. I wanted to try out self-publishing so I did. I’m still submitting to e-publishers, but at this point I’m no longer chasing after a Big NY publisher.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
It’s hopeful, but I always see silver linings. Authors have a lot of choices when it comes to publishing their books. There’s more than one way now. A few years ago there was only one that had any return on investment. I do believe self-publishing is becoming more of a stable market.
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?
Contemporary romance, multicultural romance
What formats are your books in?
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