Saturday, February 27, 2010
Welcome to Melanie Atkins' guest blog
Welcome Ms. Melanie Atkins to Love Romances and More, thank you for joining us.
Did you always want to become a writer?
I started writing in third grade when I would sit in church and write funny stories about my cats. I kept it up through college, but life intervened and I stopped for a while. I picked it back up about eleven years ago and haven't stopped since
What is the most, and the least interesting fact about writing?
I find developing my characters the most interesting—making up people and giving them a heart and a soul, conflict and resolution. It's fun. As for the least interesting... well, guess I haven't found anything that fits that criteria. I simply write.
How did you celebrate your first release? What was it like to see your book in a bookstore? Do you have a special ritual for celebrating a book release?
My first release was an ebook, so I didn't get to see it in a bookstore—but I was still excited. My first print release gave me great satisfaction. I loved holding the book and reading my name on the cover. So cool. And no, I don't have a ritual for book releases. I simply enjoy them.
How did your family react to fact that you write romance novels? Have your family read your book?
My sons are proud that I'm published, but they don't read romance. My mother, who is in her 80's, was flummoxed by the sex scenes. She asked me, "How did you learn all that?" I know I turned red, but I just said, "I have a very vivid imagination." What else would I say to my elderly mother? My oldest son's girlfriend loves my books, and that makes me happy.
Most authors are also avid readers. Is this the case with you? If so, who are some of your favorites? Have any influenced your writing?
Lisa Gardner, Linda Howard, Tess Gerritsen, John Sandford, Karen Rose, and Tami Hoag. All of them have had a great influence on me. I love the complexity of their stories and the grittiness of their writing. I strive to find that level of realism in my stories.
Do you feel each of your characters live with you as you write? Do their lives sometimes take over a part of your life? Can you name an example? Do you have living role models for your characters?
Yes, I get very involved with each of my characters. When I wrote Blood Rite, one of my books that is yet unpublished, I pretty much channelled them. I couldn't stop writing because they wouldn't stop talking. It was amazing. As for role models, not really. I get a picture of the character inside my head and that's who I write about.
Where do you get the inspirations for your books?
From real life, dreams, TV shows, newspaper stories, etc. One of my mentors once told me, "All of life is material", and I've found that to be true. I once came up with a story after seeing three garbage cans turned upside down in a park. Go figure.
Do you find it difficult at times to write love scenes?
Only if I'm in a bad mood. lol
Do you have a problem with deadlines and have you ever suffered a writers' block?
No problem with deadlines so far. I try to get my books completed ahead of schedule so I don't have to worry about them being late. And yes, I've had problems writing at times, but I wouldn't call it writers' block. I'd call it life getting in the way.
Do you prefer stand-alone books or series (As a reader or a writer) ?
I love writing a series, because I get the chance to revisit characters and see how much they've grown over time. Love it.
If you could change places with one character from your book, who would it be and why?
Any of my heroines, because they always end up living happily ever after with a hunky hero who's come to terms with himself and his ability to love.
What is your favorite book from the books that you have written so far? Who are your favorite hero and heroine, and why?
PRIME SUSPECT, the second books in my New Orleans Detective series which just came out this month at Desert Breeze Publishing, is my favorite book. Slade and Marisa from that story are my favorite hero and heroine, hands down. The book is set in a city I love, and the plot is fast-paced, filled with tension, and laced with just enough hot love scenes to keep the reader enthralled (at least, that's what the reviewers tell me).
Would you like to give another genre a try?
I've written one paranormal book and several mainstream short stories, and I have an idea for a combo historical/time travel novella. But other than that, no. I love writing and reading romantic suspense and thrillers. I believe I'll stick with what I know best.
Which book was the hardest to write and which the easiest?
The hardest was the paranormal, which was released a few years ago by a now-defunct publisher that will not be named, and the easiest was BLOOD RITE, a single title thriller I'm in the process of shopping around.
If you could choose of your books for a movie, which one would it be and who would you as the cast?
PRIME SUSPECT – with Jude Law as Slade and Evangeline Lily as Marisa.
If you could travel through time to visit a special time period or famous person, what or who would it be and why?
I'd love to visit the WWII years. I'm fascinated with that time period, mainly because of stories told by my mother.
Do you listen to music while you are writing and if so what music is it?
Sometimes, but usually I have a crime drama playing courtesy of my Tivo. I like the eye candy. It's great inspiration!
Big congrats to your latest release, can you please tell us something about the book?
PRIME SUSPECT is my latest release. In this story, the heroine, Marisa Cooper, is an ADA who used to be a defense attorney. She clashes big time with the hero, Slade Montgomery, a "cop's cop", after she's suspected of murdering her ex-husband. I love the juxtaposition of an officer of the court being accused of a crime. The idea was just too good to pass up--especially when Marisa must depend on Slade, the man she once left standing at the altar, to help prove her innocence.
Are you working on anything right now, and can you tell us a teaser about these projects?
I'm working on a gritty single title suspense set in my hometown. Don’t want to give anything away, so I'll just say it involves some tough subjects. I hope to bring light to a dark area that's not often explored