Name Melanie P. smith
Age I’m still a kid at heart, that’s what matters, right?
Where are you from Salt Lake City, Utah
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
I come from a large family, the second oldest of seven children. Needless to say the house was never lonely. I have always loved adventure and spent my free time playing softball, horseback riding, water skiing, or anything else I could think of outdoors. When I couldn’t be outside, I was either reading or imaging my next adventure. I have a BSBM from the University of Phoenix and a Master’s Certificate in Conflict Resolution, Negotiations and Mediation from the University of Utah. I own a Harley and also enjoy ATV riding and camping.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
My current release is Shadows, the 4th book in my Warrior Series, which is a paranormal romance serial. I’m excited about this particular book because I was able to incorporate my knowledge and experience in law enforcement into this installation. It’s always fun and entertaining to write about cops.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I guess now is as good a time as any for confessions. I watched the movie Secret Admirer when I was in High School and was intrigued by the idea. Gotta love the 80’s! So…there was this arrogant, self-righteous guy that thought he was all that. I couldn’t resist having a little fun. I started writing him love letters from a ‘secret admirer’. His reaction was hilarious! The more he and his friends tried to figure out who was writing them, the more fun I had. I got a little outrageous and never told anyone (until now) I was the author. Not even my best friend because she never could have kept the secret. I had great fun and it was an amazing outlet for my creativity. I would write things you might find in a romance novel. Cheesy stuff like “As I passed you in the hallway today your arm accidently brushed against mine. Electricity shot through my entire body and for several seconds my heart stopped beating.” I’m just grateful I never got caught, it would have been embarrassing if anyone actually thought I was serious. The tricky part was in the delivery. After a few months he had everyone watching his locker, trying to discover the culprit. Eventually I had to stop the game, which turned out to be just as fun. My very first mystery. Nobody could figure out why the letters abruptly stopped. Had his admirer moved, found someone else to love, what? Once I started, I couldn’t stop and here I am…a writer!
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
My writing was always for my own entertainment, so I never considered myself a writer. It was just something I did for me, a way to relax and escape the pressures of reality. Or an outlet for my twisted sense of humor. Dusk, the first book in my Warrior Series, was actually the first story I allowed others to read. Even then, it wasn’t planned. My husband noticed me writing and was curious about my story. I finally relented and let him read it. He was impressed and shared it with the rest of my family. They kept telling me I was a writer but I don’t think I actually believed them until I published Dusk and strangers started telling me how much they loved it. Now here I am, releasing the fourth book in the series, which is actually my fifth publication.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I love to read and for a while I was really into the paranormal genre. If it was vampire, shifter, witch, you name it, I wanted to read it. I was actually searching for a new series to start and the story of Alex began to slowly develop in my mind. Day after day, week after week the ideas kept growing and expanding until I finally decided to put it on paper and see where it led. I knew from the beginning it would be a series, there was just too many twists and turns to work into one book. Once I got started, I couldn’t stop. Before I knew it, I had not only written my very first book, but my first series.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
Not really. I know some people have a very organized way of developing characters and plots. Not me, I have tried to map out my storyline, but my characters never allow it. Once I start writing they seem to have a mind of their own. I will admit I am terrible at remembering names so I always have a character worksheet where I list names, descriptions and attributes but other than that, I just write.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
For me, writing was the easy part. It took me weeks jotting down ideas before I settled on Dusk for my first novel. I had dozens of ideas and once I narrowed it down to my top four, I quizzed my husband who had read the book. We both decided Dusk was the most fitting.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I didn’t write any of my books with a specific message in mind. I guess most of them do have an underlying message that life can be tough but we’re all strong enough to persevere and adapt. Also, no matter what your circumstance there is always someone who cares. You just have to be open enough to look around and find them.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
Well considering my books are mostly fantasy/ paranormal romance, technically I guess none. Yet, I hope all of it is realistic enough to buy into the story. I guess my readers would have to answer this question.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Not really. Although I do think the close family ties in my warrior series are similar to my own family ties. But nothing specific. I usually write to escape from my trials, not relive them on paper if that makes sense.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
There are so many amazing books out there I could never pick just one that has influenced me. I guess I would say any book that draws me into the story. It doesn’t matter if it’s a suspense, paranormal /fantasy or a simple romance. If it sucks me in and keeps me engaged I love it. That’s what influences my writing. I always strive to tell a good story. One that grabs you from the first chapter and keeps you engage until the very end.
Fiona: What book are you reading now? I just started The Shadows, the new JR Ward Black Dagger Brotherhood book.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Kimberly L. Faye, Deborah Jay, Rhoda D’Ettore
Fiona: What are your current projects?
My current release is Shadows, Warrior Series book 4 and I am currently working on a suspense novel titled Mount Haven.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
I can’t believe the amazing support I have received by fellow authors. They are truly amazing people and always willing to share their insight and experiences in an effort to help others. THANK YOU for your friendship.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I hope so, but regardless of what happens, I will always write. Whether it’s a hobby or a career, it’s become a huge part of who I am.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? I don’t think so. Once I complete a story I don’t question it. If I did I would never be able to move on to my next project.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
No, it was just something I’ve always done.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
My current project is Mount Haven. It’s about a cop that gets injured in the line of duty and has to redefine himself. He moves to a small town and realizes one of his new employees is on the run from a couple of psychopaths. He and his brother are the only ones that can save her.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Time constraints. I work full time and have a lot of family commitments. It’s hard to find time to publish, market and write in addition to all my other obligations.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I don’t have one favorite. I like Nora Roberts whether she’s writing as herself of JD Robb. She is very descriptive and can pull you into a story like few can. I also enjoy the old John Grisham novels, Allison Brennan, Diana Palmer, Iris Johansen, JR Ward, Kay Hooper, Linda Howard, the list could probably go on forever. If the story is told in a realistic and descriptive way I will probably enjoy it.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Not really, but I keep telling my husband otherwise. Hasn’t worked yet, but that doesn’t mean I won’t keep trying.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
So far, I have designed all of my covers. I have always been an amateur photographer. When it came time to decide on a book cover I struggled with finding pictures that would not have copyright or royalty issues. I finally decided I would just use my own. So far, I’ve really liked the results.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book? Finding the time to write. And having a scene fall into place just as I’m drifting off to sleep and knowing I can’t get back up and write the night away or I’d never get to work on time.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I had the idea for my warrior series for a very long time before I actually sat down and began to tell the story. Once I began, I couldn’t stop and people liked it. It was difficult to put myself out there because I never imagined others would like what I wrote. So, what I learned is if you have a talent, it’s more amazing if you share it. Not everyone will love it, but if it touches just one person in a positive way, it was worth the journey.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Don’t give up. Once your book is finished, you will need to decide if you want to try to find an Agent and a Publishing House or go the Indie Author route. There are benefits to both. Either way, it is going to take time and a lot of patience. Don’t give up. And make sure you find some Social Media outlets to spread the word. Facebook groups are wonderful and can be an invaluable sources of information. They’re also a great way to pair authors with readers and reviewers.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? Thank you! It is always amazing when a reader takes the time to tell me how much they loved my story.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Sorry, I don’t .
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry? Sad movies always make me cry. Which is why I usually watch them in the comfort of my own home rather than a theater. Good jokes, reminiscing with friends, watching young children and a thousand other things make me laugh.
Fiona: Is there one person past or present you would meet and why?
Abraham Lincoln because he was such an amazing leader and a great example of persistence. He never gave up and continued to follow his dreams. He was born into poverty and failed time and time again but got back up and became one of America’s greatest presidents.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
I have never thought about this but hopefully I will have a positive impact on my family and friends and they will think of something appropriate.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
Tons of them. I love to go camping and ATV riding. It’s an amazing way to get into the wilderness. I have always enjoyed horseback riding, fishing and motorcycle riding. I also do a lot of scrapbooking when I have time.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I don’t really watch TV. I enjoy movies of any kind, action, comedy, romance, it doesn’t matter. I just love a good story.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
My favorite food is Mexican. I also like most fruits and in the summertime you can’t beat a great Strawberry Daiquiri, Orange Julius or Pina Colada.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Probably all the other things I do already.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it? www.melaniepsmith.com I do have a blog that I use it to advertise new releases and promos. I also have a monthly spotlight where I sometimes post freebies and information about other authors and books I enjoy.