I was introduced to Melissa Foster when she launched her book, Come Back to Me, Nov.03, 2011. Since then we've been in touch many times through Twitter or e-mail and, the more I get to know Melissa, the more I see the special person behind the books and various Internet networks.
As with most authors I've featured, I was able to secure a little of Melissa's time and took the chance to get to know her even better. Allow me to share with you some of the things I learned by asking a few simple questions.
Norma: What does being an author mean to you?
Melissa: Being an author means that I get to do something I love every day, and I get to share it with others.
Norma: When did you first realize that you wanted to write and publish a book? How old/young were you at the time?
Melissa: This will probably peg me as a weirdo, but when my second oldest son was about a year old or so, I suddenly had the urge to write--a literal urge--you know, that nagging feeling that you can't escape? So I sat down with a pad and a pen while he was napping -- I still remember, it was a Saturday morning and it was cold outside. I sat in one of those big round chairs you buy at Pier One, right next to the window, and suddenly the words just flowed. That was my "moment."
Norma: From its inception, how long did it take you to write and publish your first book? Was the experience mostly rewarding or filled with varying levels of frustration?
Melissa: MEGAN'S WAY was the first book that I published, but it wasn't the first that I wrote. I actually wrote CHASING AMANDA first, but at that time it was called THE KNOWING. I set it aside when Megan appeared and wanted her story to be told. She was too strong of a personality to ignore; I HAD to tell her story. I think it took me about a year to write and publish MEGAN'S WAY.
Norma: Are you currently writing another book which you hope to publish at some point? If so, we'd love to hear more about it.
Melissa: Yes, I'm currently working on THIRTY-SIX HOURS, a psychological thriller. Here's a short blurb on my WIP (the character's name may be Kara Stone; that remains to be seen):
Kara Knight has just thirty-six hours to find her way out of her obsessive captor's delusional world. Mistaken for Roland Greer's long-lost fraternal twin, Kara struggles to make sense in the darkness that envelops her, and plan her escape, as the hours tick away and Roland Greer plays out his plan. In thirty-six hours, at the exact moment of their birth, he will take them both into death--never to be separated again.
THIRTY-SIX HOURS is a psychological thriller that will make you question every memory.
Norma: If you have published multiple titles, which book is your favourite and why? If you can't decide on one favourite, that's OK; break the rules and give us two or three.
Melissa: My books all touch me in different ways. MEGAN'S WAY (literary fiction) is very personal to me. The story explores how lies can bind relationships together or tear them apart. MEGAN'S WAY stemmed from an event with my mother, making it, of course, something very special to me.
CHASING AMANDA is a suspense/mystery about a little girl's abduction and one woman's search to find her. The story deals with secrets in a small town, and that alone made it very fun to write. My third book, COME BACK TO ME, is completely different than the other two, an international contemporary fiction love story/tragedy. The characters in this book were some of my favorite.
If I had to pick a favorite I'd be hard pressed, because there are aspects of each that call to me. How's that for skirting the question?
Norma: I'd say you chose to break the rules but it's okay with me. I must admit to being curious about your source of inspiration: who has been a major source of inspiration for you as a writer/author?
Melissa: My husband has inspired and supported me from the moment he knew I wanted to write, which was about an hour after we met.
Norma: What is your ultimate dream, in terms of being a writer/author?
Melissa: Ultimate dream? Walking into a bookstore and seeing my books on the front table. Walking through a train station and seeing someone with my book under their arm. I like to dream big.
Norma (smiles): You're not the only one. Keep those dreams alive; they just might happen some day. While we're on the subject of dreaming big, quotes often inspire people, in one way or another. What is one of your favourite quotes?
Melissa: My favorite quote is easy -- I live it. "Enjoy each and every day; no one else will do it for you." I wrote it:-)
Norma (smiles again): You are full of surprises, aren't you? Tell us a little about your life. What does an average day look like?
Melissa: My days have become juggling acts. My day now goes something like this: get kids ready for school and drop them off. Return home, sit at my desk, and catch up on a social and support site for women that I founded several years ago. I like to catch up with my women friends there every morning; it puts me in a great mood. I then catch up on social media outlets and afterwards split my time between website development, teaching authors how to market and cross promote, and I write. There's never enough time in the day, so my "work" days now last well into the evenings.
Norma: You are one busy lady but, when you need a break from it all, what do you do to relax? Name three of your favourite hobbies.
Melissa: Writing (yes, work and play), reading, anything outdoors.
Norma's closing thoughts:
Melissa, when I see authors striving to reach their dreams, it fills me with a sense of pride. When they reach various milestones, it makes my heart dance. I am delighted you are one such author who never gives up and, as a result, you're living an author's dream.