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
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
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 doing,
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
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,
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
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
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
Be sure to keep an eye out for me at my
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
And a newsletter: