Wednesday, December 14, 2016

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Melissa Wardwell

Tell me a about yourself. What got you started in writing? 

My writing journey started in a local sports bar. I was meeting with a high school friend who had just spent a decade away from Michigan. She has a literary major and is an aspiring author herself. I told her of an idea that kept coming to mind while I drove past a tattered barn twice a week. She was so intrigued that she threatened a breakup in our friendship if I didn’t write it. That was the birth of my first novel “What God Brings Together”.



How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write? 

I write whenever I can. I homeschool our three children as well as babysit and care for my grandmother. If I have a day free of all obligations except for my children, I write. Sadly, that doesn’t happen as often as I would like.

How and where do you write? Do you prefer a lap top or some other method of getting your words down?  

If I write at home, it is in a corner in my living room. If I go on location, i.e. a local coffee shop, I take my laptop or my Samsung tablet. I would rather write on location as I have limited distraction from the husband, kids, and dogs.

What's your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing? 

My favorite part of writing is seeing stories that I have had floating around in my head for years come to life. My least is when I have more ideas and have no time to write them. At least now I have a writing journal to keep track of things in.  

How did you come up with your book idea? How long did it take you to write your book? 


My first book only took me 3 months to write and publish whereas the other took me 9 months. I liken it to pregnancy and child birth. There are times of joy and times of pain, but in the end, I have a beautiful story that touches reader’s hearts as well as my own.
My ideas are random. There have been a couple of times I have read a book or watched a movie and thought, “I can put my own spin on that.”

What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing? 



At first, I “spammed” Facebook reader groups. Now that I have 4 books under my belt, I only advertise on my blog, groups, twitter, and the occasional blog stop. My books are a part of a ministry. If I make money, that is fantastic. If not, I am okay with that. My writing is a labor of love.

What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out? 

I am currently working on 2, yes 2, new stories. One I will be publishing on my own. That one is the third book in the Promises from Above series. It is called “I Know the Plans”. I am also working on a novella that will published by CelebrateLit.

Do you have a project on the back burner? Tell me about it. 

I have many books on the back burner right now. I have been plotting a series called “War Widows” that tells the story of three generations of women who marry into a cursed family. Due to the importance of the timelines, it has taken time to make sure things are accurate.

On top of this, a new series is beginning to take place in the corners of my mind. The novella I am writing for CelebrateLit has sparked a new novel to be joined with my book “Finding Hope in Savannah” which in turn will make that book part of a series like my readers have wanted.

What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but doesn't believe he/she has enough talent? 

First, just write your story. Picture it in your mind. Faces, places, events. Make notes on what you see. Listen to the ques that happen around you. I like to say, “You know you’re a writer when just a trip to the grocery store can spark an entire novel.”

Second, find a good editor. I make mine work hard. lol. I can tell a story, but my grammar and punctuation is terrible. My first drafts come back to me looking like a Christmas tree. Instead of ornaments, it is full of suggestions, rule reminders, and questions. I love my editor though.

Third, listen to your heart and then stick with it. If any suggestion by beta readers pulls away from that story, ignore it.

***
A Question for Me:

What is your biggest fear in writing?

Wow. Never been asked this one before; it took some thought just to find an answer. But it came. I think the biggest fear I have in writing is that my books will never be as perfect as I would like them to be. No matter how many re-writes, how many edits, how many beta readers I get, I still manage to put out a less than perfect piece.

Yes, I am a perfectionist. But I am also a realist. 

Nothing is ever - perfect. It may come close, but there is always something you wished had been different; especially if you go back through a book written, say, two years ago. 

I realize that, like most authors, I am continually learning and with that learning comes improvement. I need to put out my best work, whatever that is, and continually strive at improvement. 

That thing called perfection comes in the next life.

***


Melissa resides in a small mid-Michigan farm community with her husband and three children, all of whom they home school. Besides writing, she enjoys reading, taking photos, and motorcycle rides with her husband.  Her hope is that each story touches your heart, gives you hope, or just gives you a moment away from the chaos of life.

Melissa Wardwell
www.melissawardwell.com



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