Writing is exposing yourself.
Your mind, soul and heart.
Your fantasies and reality merged as one.
You can be anyone you want to be.
You can even the score with anyone you like.
You create your own monsters and heroes.
You can create worlds.
You play God in a literary sense.
You create life.
Mine told me half joking this morning that I should put in my bio on the back book cover that I write naked. Sell more copies to male readers. LOL.
It got me thinking about how when I write with no cloak it is a sense of freedom.
Only when you go back and edit it, in your other hat, do you feel less free.
You read it through the eyes and ears of your potential readers.
You judge yourself and make the appropriate changes.
Hemingway said ” Write drunk, edit sober.”
I challenge you to write naked, edit clothed.
The students were meandering in, most come in September to report for classes and practices.
Since they raised the bridge toll, and increased the local tax, the economy had taken a hit in the “tourist towns.”
People were not spending their hard earned cash. The locals were competing with the big boxes for whatever share of the take home pay they could muster.
It was about an hour to noontime, and no sign of the lunch time rush yet.
Her stomach told her it was time now.
She tried to recall what she ate last. She couldn’t remember — it wasn’t like she was eating three regular meals.
She was living, no surviving, on below a modest budget.
The food bank got her through the monthly income imbalance, but it wasn’t just her mouth that she was worrying about feeding.
The small red neon sign caught her eye. Richard’s. A small red rooster below lit up the window. In its claws read OPEN.
It was a small local watering hole. Not a tourist kind of place, but not a complete dive either. They usually had the best food, and drink, at reasonable prices.
After managing restaurant chains, she swore to never again support corporate demons.
She grabbed the worn brass handle and creaked open the heavy oak door.
The bar was relatively empty.
Pictures of local sports teams and signed jerseys hung over the bar.
There was an older man setting up tables.
A few regulars sat at the bar even though the bar didn’t technically open until 11:30 am. It was pretty quiet for a Friday afternoon.
“What can I do for you, sweetheart?” The older man was suddenly at her elbow. “We don’t open until 11:30, but I can probably rustle up a cup of joe for you.”
He looked kindly at her. “You aren’t from around here, are you?” He smiled, handing her a menu. “You can sit at the bar, the waitress isn’t in yet.”
She nodded, and took a seat at the bar.
The regulars were complaining about the lack of summer tourists, and the new fishing laws.
She looked over the menu– basic pub fare.
She thought about the local farmer markets, and what was available in season. A small place like this could do well with the lunch crowd.
“What’s good here?” she asked the big guy at the end of the bar. He laughed a hearty smokers laugh, and replied “Depends on who cooks it for you Doll.”
WRITE now—Author interview—
Hey, y’all. My name is Melissa Blue. My 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. I penned my first romance on that sucker. My mother, who I was living with at the time, finally got tired of hearing those loud keys and bought me a computer. I haven’t looked back since.
You can check out my website here: http://themelissablue.com
Who are you as a writer?
I am a character-driven writer. Seriously I write for the character, so those are the stories I follow to the ugly end. Those characters can be interesting, funny, heartbroken, bitter and determined. I want to be nosy about the secrets they wouldn’t dare tell anyone else. Now I might throw in a plot because you have to, but I’m totally there for the character.
How do you define yourself?
I really don’t. No, I’m not one of those people who don’t believe in labels. But whenever I do that outside looking in thing all I see is a mish-mash of human. Some parts of my life I am uber organized, but I can’t find my keys even if I just had them two minutes ago. I am a beast when I am determined, but for the most part I let things go. There’s more but I honestly don’t know how to describe that—utterly and unrepentantly human?
What does success mean to you?
This definition has changed and it will likely change a million more times. Right now it’s people enjoyed my book and enough people enjoyed my books I can buy groceries.
What surprises you? Challenges you?
Usually it’s things that make me laugh. My world view is kind of cynical so those short bursts of things that make me laugh usually comes from things I did not expect and it’s pure enjoyment. I am challenged by things that I can’t conquer. It’s the main reason I continue to write. I haven’t conquered it yet. I like the idea I never will because that will keep pushing me.
What is the most challenging part of being an Indie author? Rewarding?
Visibility is the hardest part about being an Indie author. Everything else you can control—blurb, edits, covers, the actual book. But whether or not folks can and will find you is a wispy element of this business. Promotion and marketing is the method of throwing spaghetti. If something sticks you have success. You can do that same exact thing again and nothing sticks. Lol That drives me nuts. The most rewarding part is when someone tells me they’ve loved something I’ve written. It makes the abyss that is publishing feel a little less lonely for half a second. I’ll take it.
What strategies work best for you as you write, edit, and promote?
Do everything I can and then let it go. I’m talking top to bottom. Write the book. No excuses. Revise the book. No excuses. Edit the book. Okay, here, I can whine. Promote to all the places I can. Keep doing it because this part of the job never ends. But, for the love of gawd, sometimes I need to let a book go. Let a process go. Don’t spend every moment of my every day promoting or thinking about work period. So I do everything I can and then let it go. The trick for me is knowing when to fight and when to let go.
In short I don’t have a concrete strategy, which could be my problem. lol
Do you have a go to writing spot?
I don’t have a spot. I sit where I feel comfortable enough to write. If that’s on my bed that’s where I write. If it’s at my desk. If it’s in the bathroom…etc. Beverage of choice while writing? Water. I’ve learned to live without coffee and soda, but water is essential. Music, quiet or background noise? This really depends on my mood. I’m currently listening to Glitter In The Air by Pink on repeat. Yes, even while I answer questions on this interview. Tomorrow, I might go the whole day in I-can-hear-a-rat-piss-on-cotton silence. But I do have to say I feel like I write better if I have a song that really taps into a story or a character. A part of my brain can turn off and the words will come.
Early writer or late night owl?
Night owl. I’ve written some of my best scenes at two in the morning.
What is your current WIP?
It’s a book that is way, way down the line in my Tanner Creek series. My writing muse gave me the bird and I decided to write the book that was yelling at me the loudest. Advice to new writers? Find the validation, the fulfillment from something that is within your control. You can’t control how many people love your book, much less how many people buy your book. You can control and find utter joy from getting a scene right. From knowing you did everything you could to make a book sell. Are there any genres that don’t interest you as a writer? Science fiction and street lit are the two main ones where I really don’t see myself ever getting a plot bunny for ever.
Who influences you as a writer?
My influences are pretty eclectic. I watch TV, movies, listen to music, eavesdrop, get into deep conversations with complete strangers. All these things influence me as a person first and that bleeds into my writing. Hell, sometimes it can influence me while I’m writing a book. I can have a plot bunny simmering in the back of my mind for months but it’s not until I watch the news that something sparks and the story coalesced into something crunchy. So what has and what will influence me is everything I come into contact with.
Who do you enjoy reading as a reader?
Historicals. Lol I will never, ever write one, but this is my go-to genre.
What’s on your to read list?
Opening up my Kindle I can see I have added to my massive TBR pile Ditter Kellen and Dawn Montgomery, Liliana Lee, Sabrina York and Kiera Zane.
What was the first book you ever purchased?
I don’t recall. Let’s go with Nora Roberts because I bought a ton of her books from the veteran’s thrift shop across the street.
What work of yours are you most proud of?
Weekend Lover. I took a huge risk. I’d never written erotic romance before. I didn’t even think I could write it. I suck at description and still kind of do. So I knew going in that would be my main focus with revisions. Yes, it’s incredibly short but that book was my risk, my toe-dip into something I’d never done before. I adore that book. Everything it represents for me is something I am damn proud of.
If one of your books was made into a movie – which one would you like to see on the big screen?
My Modern Fairy Tale series. You said one book, I choose three. I’m a rebel like that.
Who is your favorite character? Why?
One of my own? That’s a tough one. I love them all for different reasons. But favorite of all time character ever in this whole world? Spike, baby. His redemption arc…drool.
Which book is the most meaningful to you?
Depends on the day. Lol Right now it’s How Much You Want to Bet? It was my very first contemporary romance. It’s no longer published and I am sure the world thanks me for that. If not for that book I wouldn’t have fallen into contemporary romance.
What can your readers expect from you in the future?
My Sofia Harper name will continue the Tanner Creek series. Those books are really light, very sexy and set in a small town. Melissa Blue will continue to write dirty books. Lol I’m hoping to finish revisions on Kilted For Pleasure. I’ll be in a few multi-author collections in the summer. Outside of that things are not planned, which is so not like me. I’m freaking out.
What brings you closer to your reader base? I’m not sure. I think it’s one of those wispy things that’s really hard to describe. It could be my sarcasm though. On Wednesdays I like to think I’m funny and my fans who seek me out reassure me that I can be amusing.
Do you have a blog?
I do but it’s turned into a straight up promotion central. I used to be interesting then I blogged for five years straight and ran out of interesting.
What do you enjoy most about having a blog?
Whenever I do blog…I still love that free form format. I can make the blog as long as I please and folks can drop by if they want.
Tell me one thing I should remember about you… I’m funny Wednesdays.
One thing my reader’s don’t know about me is…
I can’t sleep with socks on. For some reason it feels like I’m suffocating. Now how is that possible with socks on your feet? I don’t know, but now you know.
If folks want to know more about me they can check out my website at: http://themelissablue.com Most folks can find me park on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/themelissablue.author