Meet Melinda

I have been writing as a hobby for decades. Before the ease of a computer, I wrote inside notebooks during class, as far back as elementary school. Teachers submitted my short stories into school contests, but I never took it seriously beyond that even though it was something I loved to do. I kept many of these unfinished “books” in a container with all my school memories.

And I love to write romance . . .

Just after college, I started my first book—a contemporary romance (at that time) with a little mystery involved—again as a hobby and something for myself (and I tend to read a lot of mysteries/psychological thrillers, but prefer to write romance). I spent a couple of years on it and was 3/4 of the way done. I’d told so many family and friends about the book and every detail. They liked it and told me to go for it. But I didn’t.

Near the end of 2009, I began my second novel, A Brush With Fame, with the concept that I’d be okay if it were edited and torn apart. It was finished in 2010, with the first revision. Friends critiqued it and placed sticky notes on any and every page where a suggestion had been made. This feedback was vital and helped me to be a better writer.

Then my mother was terminally ill at the end of 2013. She’d never asked me about my books. But I was sitting beside her hospital bed, opening up about this dream I had to be a writer (and so scared to be in a world without her in it). My mother told me, “Get your book done.”

By the end of 2017 A Brush With Fame was nearly ready, four long years later, but certainly not wasted. These years allowed me time for: countless revisions, edits, getting the word count back down, cleaning it up, read and critiqued by many who love the same romance authors as me, more adjustments, attending monthly romance writing chapter meetings, gathering more information from editors, agents, and any guest speaker, applying all tips suggested, etc…, and deciding that self-publishing would be the best route for me. And it has been edited three times by three different people, and a second edition put on Amazon (2020), and four different covers. It was the novel to test the waters with, to tweak, try different formats, and pretty much experiment with so that things got easier by the time I had to deal with my second novel, Edge of Eighteen (summer camp love story).

If I had to say what my specialty is it would be character development—a heroine and hero that are loved and you as the reader, care about. We want these two together. Their dialogue is witty and very natural—what a couple might talk about but keeping it fresh, fun, and flirtatious. I’m about a strong foundation the couple possess and rather the obstacles thrown at them to deal with.

A little trivia about my books… My heroes names end with the letter ‘n’ and my heroines end with the letter ‘a’ so far in all of my novels. I choose to use a beta male, or as I see it, the “nice” guy, who others might not notice at first but the heroine does and falls for. A nice hero doesn’t mean he’s boring but can be quite the opposite. Two of my books will focus on the heroine being involved with a celebrity because that subject matter has always fascinated me. What would it be like to have someone famous want you? And I find songs that remind me of my characters as I’m writing the novel. For my first two, I made it a point to have songs placed periodically throughout the novels. For my other three (not yet out), there are just a few choice songs mentioned. Also, I write books that I’d like to read because everything happens in them that I wanted to have happen.

I’ve written two more novels within nine months that are awaiting to be edited. I’m hoping that Heart Wreck will be available in 2021 (a summer vacation romance). Then eventually, I’ll return to the one from college that I’d put aside and will attempt to finish that one.

I’m from the Southwest, and my job is substitute teaching. I have a B.S. in family studies and have worked most of my life with children of all ages. Photography is a passion of mine and was a side job for a time. I love the movie The Notebook. And I never miss going to Disneyland with my teen son every year, if I can help it (my happiest place on Earth).

Like they say, authors should always be writing . . .


Romance Writers of America (RWA) member
via
Saguaro Romance Writers (Tucson RWA)

Saguaro Romance Writers (Tucson RWA)