Me: Tell me a little bit about yourself? What are your likes/ dislikes / and favorite books?
Mellissa: I’m a former ESL teacher and I stay home with my little ones and will be homeschooling them as they come of age. I like to read (of course), have never liked doing dishes, and the favorite books question always throws me! I can’t pick one, or even a handful! But definitely Christian Historical Romances.
Me : What is your inspiration for A Bride For Keeps?
Mellissa: I read a compilation of real mail-order bride stories and was astounded by all the crazy ways the arrangements didn’t work out, so I wanted to highlight some of those mail-order bride failures.
Me: Who are your favorite authors, and why?
Mellissa : Goodness, I love so many. I love Christian/Clean authors who write romance and characters well. Jane Austen, Jody Hedlund, Karen Witemeyer, Lori Wick, Francine Rivers, Abbie Gaines (her Christian Love Inspired Historicals), Deanne Gist are some off the top of my head.
Me: What made you want to become a writer?
Mellissa: Being bored changing, washing and folding diapers! I’d always had story ideas, but until I stayed home and got bored, I didn’t start writing.
Me: What is important to you in hero and heroine?
Mellissa: For the hero? I want a man who’s attracted to the heroine for the deep down qualities that she has along with finding her beautiful; and you believe he’d die for her.
For the heroine? I want to be her: loved despite her flaws, but becoming a better woman.
Me: What is your perspective on romance in a novel?
Mellissa: Whenever someone complains about romance not having any place in Christian literature, I always wonder if they would say that about their own romance story? Most everyone loves to hear or tell the “how I met my spouse” story, there’s just something about us that gets satisfaction from hearing how people find the love of their life.
Me: What do you hope that writers take away from your story?
That trust can’t come until you open yourself up.
Mellissa: What is your favorite scene from the book?
The roof scene in chapter 19
Me: Can you give a sneak peak at special scene in the story ?
Mellissa: She’d proven she intended to stay—at least bodily. But this was not how he envisioned living with her for the rest of his days. She’d drive him insane. “I don’t need you to work so hard, especially if you could get hurt.”
She glanced up in between a hammer blow, but kept pounding until the nail lay flattened, nice and sideways. She sat back on her heels. “That was the deal. You provide for me. I work for you.”
“But that’s not why you’re here.”
“What else do you need me to be doing?”
Warming me at night, laughing with me, sitting under the stars and dreaming up names for our future children.
I want you to live with me.
How could he tell a woman so attractive, so distant, what he desired?
Me: What can you dish as it relates to projects in the future?
Mellissa: is the love story of Rachel and Dex’s oldest son, Will.
Me: How would you describe your writing style?
Melliss: Goodness, I don’t know. I try to make the romances emotionally intense. I like to throw little dry bits of humor and silly situations in my books—can’t be serious all the time!
Me: How would you create your writing mood?
Melissa : Um, I force it! I usually procrastinate and then eat way too much food while procrastinating then feel guilty for procrastinating and tell myself to get on with it…..totally not the romantic picture of a writer finding her muse now, is it? Ha.
Me: What are you reading right now?
Mellissa: An Heiress at Heart by Jennifer Delamere, On Guard by William Lane Craig, and Medieval Underpants and Other Blunders by Susanne Alleyn
Me: Was there any interesting research that you did for your book ?
Mellissa: It’s no longer in the book, but I had to figure out how to collect down to make a feather tick and how much would be needed. Did you know that you pluck the birds while alive from their tooshies? I’d assumed you had to kill the animal, but you just slowly collect the feathers as they grow back. Poor ducks, always thinking “I feel a draft!” Or you could just buy feathers at the mercantile, but the other information was more fun.
Me: What are five fun facts about you?
1)I spent a month in China helping students with their English, and so now I’m spoiled with authentic Chinese food, I don’t like American Chinese restaurants anymore, but I understand why they don’t serve authentic stuff—no American is going to be excited to see the heads of animals still on their entrees.
2)I like to stand on furniture for some odd reason.
3)I like to do Algebraic equations for fun.
4)I threw discus in high school.
5)I really hate talking on the phone.
Me: What special words would you like to say to your readers?
Mellissa: Thanks for giving a new author a try. And make sure you support your favorite authors with reviews, purchasing their books, and sharing about their stories so that they can continue writing books you love! I never knew how important readers doing more than just reading and enjoying a book can make or break an author’s career. So now, I work to get the word out for my favorite authors, I hope you’ll do the same!