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’m so happy that Melissa Jagears is joining us. For one, she homeschools three kids and STILL WRITES. I haven’t written a word since my kids have been home socially distanced from the world. I have massive respect for any writer who homeschools. But beyond that, her book sounds SO GOOD. Seriously. Check it out – and check out how you can enter for a chance to win a copy!
Tell us a little bit about yourself. I’m a way too busy lady! I homeschool my three kids, teach Spanish classes, write and edit books, and try to keep my house clean!
I grew up in Branson, Missouri, professionally taught English as a Second Language, but now I’m a Kansas girl and teach everything under the sun. 🙂
Tell us about your current release. I wanted to write a marriage of convenience story where the reason they wed for convenience was stripped away from them immediately after they exchanged vows. What would they do when they found themselves permanently tied to a stranger for no good reason? Here’s the official blurb:
Marrying a stranger to save a ranch is one thing; losing the land on their wedding day is another.
Desperate to keep the ranch where three of her children and a husband lie buried, Annie Gephart must marry or sell. Which of the few bachelors in town would consider a surprise proposal to wed a plain widow with a rebellious daughter, a spirited boy, and unpaid taxes—without laughing in her face?
Jacob Hendrix has never fully let go of his ranching dreams despite ending up as a small Wyoming town’s marshal. The job wouldn’t be so bad, except he’s more errand boy than lawman. When Annie proposes marriage without a single coquettish bat of an eyelash, can he commit himself to a woman he hardly knows for a choice piece of property he’d be an idiot to pass up?
But taxes aren’t all that threaten Annie and Jacob’s plans. Cattle rustlers, crumbling friendships, and wayward children make this marriage of convenience anything but. When they lose what they’ve sacrificed everything to save, will the love of a stranger be enough?
Romancing the Bride is the first book in the Frontier Vows Series by award-winning Christian romance author Melissa Jagears. If you like heartwarming marriage-of-convenience stories, you’ll love this sweet romance filled with endearing characters.
How do you push past the fear of your writing being average and be bold enough to sell it? I got LOTS of professional opinions when I started out. Not just my friends and family thoughts or hobby writers, but I sought out writers who were studying story craft and were serious at getting published, in a critique group initially.
You have to find picky critiquers but ones who’ll critique YOUR story, not tell you how they’d write it if it was theirs. Then I put my work into professional writing organization contests. Once I started consistently finaling, then I figured I was getting good enough to approach agents. I also kept writing. The more books I wrote and struggled through to get my critiquers to like it, the more confident I was in being able to satisfy a reader.
Who was your first Screen/Musical Crush? I watched a lot of 40s and 50s movies in high school and Gene Kelly’s slanted smile? How could you not fall for that?
Do you have your plotline and character development already laid out before you begin writing a book, or do they develop as you write? I’m a huge plotter. I do a lot of plotting work, and when I think I have a solid story, I write a book length document telling the story to myself. This is when my plots can unexpectedly change as I figure out what will and won’t make me happy as a reader. THEN I write my story in fiction form. The story is pretty concrete at that point, but I have fun “hearing” their funny jokes and finding out all the little details–bringing them to life.
What is your personal, most effective way to get past writer’s block? Taking a shower. Something about being busy doing something on automatic stuck in a boring box frees the brain. Or prostrate on the floor with a notebook beside me when no one’s around.
Something about being flat on the floor takes away all distractions–nothing I can do in that position but think.
Do you write your books for your own enjoyment or more for what you think people would want to read? My own enjoyment. If I don’t want to read it, I’m going to be awfully bored writing it.
Where’s the strangest place you’ve ever had a great writing idea? It’s not exactly strange, but I was in a pickle ten years ago when I got a great idea at a bad time. I was visiting some childhood friends and was driving eight hours back home when my brain just decided to pour out ideas (for Romancing the Bride, actually.) But I had to get home by a certain time. I couldn’t stop. But I know from experience if I don’t write my ideas down immediately and try to “remember them later” I’ll forget. But I couldn’t write while driving! This was before cell phones and GPS. So I hit every town on the highway until I found an office supply store. Bought myself a voice recorder and talked all the way home.
Who were some of your favorite authors as a child? Nancy Drew, the Nancy Drew Files specifically.
Here is where you can find Melissa online:
website – www.melissajagears.com
newsletter – http://melissajagears.com/phplist/?p=subscribe
Melissa is giving away an ebook or paperback (US only) copy of her book Romancing the Bride to a reader! See below how to enter to win:
a Rafflecopter giveaway