Welcome, Melissa Chambers
By Jeff Salter
I tried to get her to discuss her W.I.P., but – like me – she apparently keeps those incomplete stories close to her vest. And I totally understand. But I didn’t want to let her go without squeezing some info from her, so I finally convinced – using a few chocolate bribes – her to answer a few questions.
As soon as you read her replies, I’m sure you’ll eagerly await her next book — whatever and whenever it will be.
Be sure to read her bio blurb at the end — Melissa is a voting member of music’s big award.
So, without further ado, here’s Melissa:
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By Melissa Chambers
1. Have you ever encountered people who seem unable / unwilling to comprehend that writing is something you are driven to do?
I've been writing novels for only four years, so most everyone in my life who knew me prior to my writing is shocked to hear that I do so. It's been such a strange mix of reaction, especially since some people I hardly know or haven't seen in decades have been the most supportive and celebratory. There are a handful of closer friends who rarely acknowledge it, but I have so many more supportive friends and acquaintances that I really can't complain!
2. If you were not a writer, can you imagine what else you might do to express the creativity within you?
Music. I don't play it, but I love listening to it. As a writer I want to take in as many books as possible not only for enjoyment but for study. But with a full-time job and a family, any spare moment I have is spent writing. So I listen to a ton of audiobooks which means music takes a backseat. If only we could add more hours to the day…
3. Give us at least one example of someone who has contacted you and expressed how much your writing meant to them.
I wrote my first book knowing NOTHING about the writing community, romance industry, or anything about “the rules.” It was completely self-indulgent, and it was fabulous! I don't promote that book anymore because it doesn't fit with what I write now and would never be published traditionally because of its content, but when I naively released it, I had several women tell me how much they could relate to my heroine. The looks in their eyes when they talked and asked questions gave me all sorts of untold stories I would have loved for them to have expounded upon!
4. In the interviews & blog questions you've handled over the years, what is one writing question which you've WISHED had been asked of you ... but never has been asked?
Since I'm still a newbie and haven't done a lot of interviews yet, I'll tell you my favorite question to ask when I interview authors on my own blog. Who are your favorite authors, and what are you currently reading?
5. What's your answer to # 4 above?
Well, since you asked… :)
I live and breathe by Sophie Kinsella -- never read a Shopaholic book, but I've read or listened to all her stand-alone novels. I believe I've cracked ribs laughing at some of them.
Jane Green is one of the most unique writers I've ever read. She often writes in third person, present tense, omniscient and she pulls it off splendidly. I love authors who prove "the rules" wrong!
I wait with bated breath for new novels this year from Emily Giffin and the latest in the (contemporary) Travis series from Lisa Kleypas.
And finally, I'm a sucker for a good ole James Patterson novel.
Fortunately I'm in a book club so I read or listen to at least one book a month that pulls me out of my comfort zone and away from all the romance novels I constantly listen to!
6. How did you arrive at the description, “Confectioner of Contemporary Romance”?
Somehow I keep writing about sweets in my novels. I don't mean to, but they just keep creeping in. I thought it fitting I incorporate them into my self-appointed title. :)
7. “What would you say to a youngster who told you how much she/he wanted to write?”
"Turn off the television!" Seriously, most writers I come in contact with are 35+, and the majority are 45+, so if you are young and want to write then you have a huge head start on the rest of us. Turn off the t.v., put away the Xbox and start writing a book. Don't think of it as the one book you will write. Think of it as the first of many, and if you screw it up, you'll get better on the next one. Write your first book exactly how you want it. Follow no rules and have a ball. Revel in the glory of your accomplishment and brag to everyone you know that you wrote a book. The high is greater than any drug could give you. After a few weeks/months on cloud nine, join a writer's organization like RWA (for romance) or SCBWI (for children's books), or subscribe to Writer's Digest, or read books on writing, or pick up five books by five different authors in your genre and study them as you read. Then start writing your real first book. Because as much as "the rules" stifle us, they make us better writers and help us along the road to publication. Writing books is addictive. Once you start, you won't want to stop, and you'll get better with every book you write.
Thanks so much for having me, Jeff! These were fabulously fun questions to answer!
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Melissa Chambers is a writer of contemporary romance, young adult and new adult novels. A graduate of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and Nashville native, she has worked in the music business for over a decade. She is a voting member of the GRAMMY® association and holds PRO status in the Romance Writers of America where she is a member of the Music City Romance Writers and the Contemporary Romance Writers. She has completed six novels and critiques for other authors in her spare time. She resides in suburban Nashville where she is a wife, mom, runner, and wishes above all that she had more time for tennis and less time for ice cream.
Confectioner of Contemporary Romance
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