Welcome to Author Interview Thursday hosted by the Never Too Old for YA and NA Books group on Goodreads.
Today we welcome author Melissa Landers to the blog! I was fortunate enough to read her YA novel Alienated as an ARC last year and really loved it!
So, let's hear what Melissa has to say!
Did you always know you wanted to be a writer or did you want to be something else?
I have an English degree, but I never wanted to be a writer until I resigned after a decade of teaching and found myself needing a creative outlet. I decided to participate in NaNoWriMo, and the rest is history!
How long does it take you to write a book from start to finish?
Generally about 6 months. But the editing takes time as well.
How do you come up with themes for your stories?
Ideas usually come to me when I’m taking a quiet walk, driving alone, or washing my hair in the shower. I definitely need time to be alone and reflect.
Do you have a schedule of when you write?
I’m very disciplined—I have to be. When I’m actively drafting, I have a daily word count goal of 1k, and I don’t stop until I reach it.
How are you able to balance other aspects of your life with your writing?
The same way any working parent balances their home life with their job. I get it done.
What elements do you think make a great story line?
As a reader, I enjoy a thread of mystery and an element of romance. Keep me guessing and make me swoon—then I’m hooked!
What was the hardest thing about writing a book?
The most frustrating part of the process is investing months and months of my life writing and editing a novel, just to have it pirated and illegally downloaded online by thousands of people. That’s a slap in the face. I wish more readers would request books from their local libraries instead of downloading stolen files. It hurts authors more than they realize. If people don’t request library books, then libraries have no reason to order those books. That leads to lower sales, which in turn, can lead to a series being cancelled by the publisher. Piracy is harmful, and I can’t stand to hear anyone argue otherwise.
How many books have you written so far? Do you have a favorite?
I’ve completed 7 novels and 1 novella. (2 YA and 5 adult romances). I think ALIENATED will always be my favorite because it was the first.
Do you have a favorite character?
Not really, but Aelyx was the most fun to write. I enjoyed showing his transformation from a cold, clinical outsider to someone who embodied all the characteristics of humanity.
Where do you write?
I converted our dining room into a home office, and that’s where I do most of my work. It’s a lovely space, and so much more useful than its original purpose. How often does anyone use a dining room? Twice a year, if that? I’m in this office every day!
Thanks so much for stopping by today, Melissa. It was great having you here. Good luck with your future books. I can't wait for Invaded (Alienated #2)!Melissa Landers is a former teacher who left the classroom to pursue other worlds. A proud sci-fi geek, she isn’t afraid to wear her Princess Leia costume in public—just ask her husband and three kids. She lives just outside Cincinnati and writes adult contemporary romance as Macy Beckett.