Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance, and the authors visiting my blog answered them! This week, I am so pleased to have Melony Teague as my guest. I love reading about feedback from one beta reader that made writing her book worthwhile to her — I’ve had such similar experiences! Read on to see how you can enter to win a copy of her “Be Original” pin!
Tell us a little bit about yourself. I’m a freelance writer who believes everyone has a story to tell. As co-author of As the Ink Flows, I love to inspire and motivate others through written words. I write Contemporary Romance with a dash of humor. I’m a member of ACFW and The Word Guild. My favorite drink is a matcha green tea latte with white mocha and I’ve been known to eat vegetables for breakfast—well, pumpkin pie—same thing. I was born in South Africa and now live in Toronto with my husband, our two teenagers, and two cats.
Tell us about your current release. A Promise to Keep is about promises made and kept. Research librarian Savannah Sanderson wants to escape into her happily-ever-after novels with their larger-than-life fictional heroes. But a promise to her late husband has her attending her dreaded twenty-year high school reunion, and taking desperate measures just to keep her vow, even if she has to hide behind the décor to do it. Once a reckless troublemaker, Michael McCann fled town after graduation. Now a professional technical rescuer, he’s back for the reunion, but on his trip down memory lane, he soon comes face to face with unresolved issues, namely Savannah. Before the night is over, a pact between these two old friends will lead them on an adventure into uncharted emotional territory where Michael must confront his past regrets and find the courage to reveal the truth. But can Savannah fly from her sheltered nest and risk her heart on a real-life hero?
If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it? Yes, in fact it already had. It had a profound impact on one of my beta readers and that made the querying, pitching and all the edits and processes following that worthwhile.
Do you feel pressured to compromise your standards in order to reach a larger audience or be more successful? Not at all. I believe everyone has a story to tell, and also that they should tell it in their own way. I can’t help but write from my own world view or from who I am. I can’t fabricate what I’m not. I will always be authentic in my writing and no pressure would make me do otherwise. It’s just not who I am. I have my eyes focused on the eternal, not on fame and fortune.
What do you think is lacking in Christian Fiction? I love seeing authors be truly authentic and address the real and messy issues of life and how we deal with them. What niggles me is when a story is cookie-cutter and not based in reality, especially in contemporary stories. I love real, flawed and forgiven characters who I can relate to. In A Promise to Keep we can relate to the struggles both main characters face and cheer them on as they learn to overcome. I love happy ever after stories because I believe there is always hope, even when it doesn’t look like it
With all those characters in your head screaming to get out how do you write fast enough to get it all down? Sadly, I don’t have that problem. I don’t have an overabundant imagination like some writers do. For me writing is hard. Really hard. It takes time and effort to get to know my characters and their stories. And sadly it’s not something I can rush either. However, once I get several chapters in and the characters have come alive, it’s a bit easier. But only a bit. I have to fall in love with my characters first and let’s face it, Michael McCann in A Promise to Keep is not hard to love. Savannah is someone I’d love to have as a friend. Right now I’m working on my next story and these characters are giving me a run for my money.
What inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write? When I told someone a decade ago that I wanted to write a book someday and they laughed at me I took it as a challenge. I was like, “Oh yeah, watch me.” But now that I’ve done it, I realize why they were laughing. It’s no walk in the park, but it’s worth it and it is what I was always meant to do. It just took me longer than most to figure that out.
Do you have pre-determined length in mind when you first begin a book? Yes usually, and you have to determine that in order to know where you are pitching your book to and how the structure and pacing of the book will map out. It’s a bit of math, which I loathe, but it’s helpful to know what you are aiming at from the start.
What advice do you have for aspiring writers? Keep writing, writing is a skill you develop over time by writing and writing more, and never giving up. In the end your perseverance will pay off, if you stick with it. Keep growing and keep moving forward, one step at a time.
What is your preferred method of writing? (Computer, pen & paper, etc.) Both, I brainstorm on paper. But I write on my laptop and edit on my desktop. It works for me.
Here is where you can find Melony online:
Melony is giving away a ‘Be original” pin to a reader! See below how to enter to win:a Rafflecopter giveaway