Author Spotlight

I recently had the privilege of interviewing a wonderful author who took time to share a little about herself with us.  Without further delay…let’s hear from Melissa Schroeder

 

Did you always want to be a writer?
I think it hit me about the time I read To Kill a Mockingbird in the 7th grade. I remember being completely mesmerized by the writing and thinking that someday I would like to do that. It was further cemented by reading Hemingway in high school, but I don’t think I would have ever had the courage without the guidance of Jim Hoggard. He was my advisor and creative writing instructor in college. Although, I am not sure how happy he would be that I now write romance, he was the first person who made me believe I could actually write fiction.

Do you have a writing routine?  Do you write at a certain time each day or for a set amount of time?
My routine is always up in the air. I work around my family, by choice. My youngest is still at half days, so I usually do email and edits in the morning. Then in the evening, I shut the door to the office and try to get as much writing done as possible. Weekends are always up for grabs, but I have learned not to spend every weekend in front of the computer. I was neglecting time with my family and decided the dream wasn’t worth it if I didn’t know my kids.

Being a military brat for most of your life…have you lived all over the world?  And does all that moving around play a role in your writing?
When we moved into our house in San Antonio, I was editing three books from three different publishers. I vowed never again to do that. So, when we moved on base here, I did not have any work that HAD to be done. Also, since we just found out we aren’t moving this summer, I can work to get further ahead. The AF is now looking at keeping people longer at assignments, and we are lucky that when we move, it is usually in the summer.  I already have to allow for time with the kids during the day, so it isn’t that much of stretch. This year though, I will be busy working to get ahead for the next year.

I know you have written in several genres…is romance still your favorite and do you miss writing in the other genres?
I would have to say romance is my favorite. I liked writing literary and suspense, but I wasn’t that good at it. It is so much more fun to write when you know what you are d
oing, lol

Who are some of your favorite authors and what are you reading now?
First, I have to say, this is hard for me to answer. I was, first and foremost, a reader. Still am. Some of my favs are Jayne Ann Krentz, Nora, Liz Carlyle, Jenny Crusie, Susan Andersen, Barbara Dawson Smith, Karen Marie Moning, and this could go on for days on end, lol

I will be getting Krentz’s new one, White Lies, and I have been re-reading a lot of my historicals. Dodd’s Governess Series, Barbara Dawson Smith’s Kenyon’s, all of Liz Carlyle’s books, and I just reread Nora’s Chesapeake Bay series.

If you could travel to any place or time period…where would it be and why?
Oh, hard one. I would love to travel back in time, but the historian in me is too pragmatic. I mean, people didn’t bath much and women had no rights. I would end up in jail just for mouthing off. But I would love to return to Europe. It is a goal of mine to live there again. I really think a trip to study Scotland for my Cursed Clan series is important but for some reason, my husband refuses to send Kally and me.

Tell us a little about yourself…what are your favorites…movies, music, television, foods?
Movies: Fargo, The Big Lebowski, Dodgeball, Guess Who’s Coming the Dinner, Father Goose, Desk Set, and my new fav, Little Miss Sunshine.

Music: Keith Urban, Michael Buble, Nickleback, Sugarland
Television: Arrest Development (I refuse to accept it was cancelled), Monk, Ghost Hunters, Daily Show, The First 48 and Seinfeld.

Foods: I love to cook, and I love to eat, lol. But first and foremost, Italian food is my favorite. First thing I ever made was a pot of spaghetti and meatballs at the age of 7.

How do you celebrate after finishing a book?
We go out for a special dinner, someplace I sit down and they bring me food. And I go on a massive reading binge. Old, new, anything.

Any advice for aspiring writers?
First, grow some thick skin. Even after getting published, it is a tough road to plow. But other than that, never give up. I remember hearing a quote that said, the only people who didn’t get published, gave up. And read. Read everything you can get your hands on. I read over 300 romance books in a year to learn the genre. And take some classes; there are a lot of them online these days.

Lastly, sit your butt in the chair and write. It might suck, but you can fix it. However, you can’t fix it if you don’t write it.

What would a perfect day for Melissa involve?
George Clooney shows up in my bedroom naked, day done. Okay, you mean seriously? I am serious. I mean how much better could your day get than George naked in your bedroom. I guess if Antonio Banderas showed up too, that would work.

I do love cold rainy days. I love to curl up on the loveseat with a fire going, and a book. A lot of times my youngest will snuggle up next to me. I value the times that we get to all just hang out together doing nothing in particular because sometimes those days are far and few between.

How does your family feel about your writing…are they your biggest fans?
I’ve become a very minor celebrity where my husband works. Not that I go up there that much, they’ve moved his office about 4 times in three years and the building is huge, as in get lost and never get out kind of huge. But he does brag on me. My older daughter knows I write, although she is not old enough to read it, but she does brag about her mother being a writer from what I hear. My mother likes to tell people I write and did have sort of an altercation with a manager of a bookstore who wouldn’t carry one of my print books. Several of my aunts read my stuff too, but for the most part, my family supports me, but very few of them read me. Or at least tell me that they read me.

Do you have a favorite character…and if so, why are they your favorite?
Ah, this is hard but I have Prudence from Tempting Prudence and Jonas, her hero, are two of my favs. They are a lot like DH and myself so they hold a special place in my heart.

Can you tell us a little about what you have coming up?
Always a loaded question, lol. In Feb, I have the re-release of A Little Harmless Sex from Samhain and then Grace Under Pressure in print for the first time! Then in March I have the second Bounty Hunters book, Sinner’s Delight coming out from Loose Id. After that I have regular print and ebook releases from Samhain publishing in 2007:

The Accidental Countess, A Little Harmless Pleasure, Lessons in Seduction and The Seduction of Widow McEwan(a novella that will be in a Western romance anthology called Leather and Lace with Beth Williamson and Becka Goings).

2008 is already filled including an anthology with my best friend, Kally Jo Surbeck, with our books Angel’s Fall and Devil’s Rise. The anthology is a futuristic action adventure romance called Purgatory.

How do your stories come to you?  Do you have it all planned out before you start or does it come page by page?
Each story is different. A Little Harmless Sex came to me because of the title. I knew the heroine would have to be bold and pretty upfront about her sexuality and that is definitely Anna. The Cursed Clan books are being planned out, the whole series because the stories are entwined. A song, a movie, even just a comment from someone can have me going off into dreamland thinking about a plot. Chris Cornell’s You Know My Name from Casino Royale inspired the Purgatory anthology.

Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
Be sure to keep an eye out for me at my website, www.melissaschroeder.net and know that every Friday at Sexualchocolateauthors.blogspot.com. I’m a Faery on the court this year, so look for me there, and look for me at the Sexual Chocolate Lick that Craving Party. Oh, and if you are a reader or reviewer, contact Kally or me for our RT private party we have.

I also have a slew of appearances over the next year and will keep them up to date on my website and myspace

I also have two groups

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MelissaSchroederchat/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MelissaSchroedernews/

And a newsletter: http://www.melissaschroeder.net/bio.html#news

 

 

 

 

 

 

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