Please help me welcome our guest for today, Melissa Beck!

What was y
our first published book and with whom? I first sold to HardShell Word Factory in 2000. That book is no longer available.

How many books did you write before selling one? Not sure. I would guess 7 or 8 full manuscripts. I wrote two young adults, and then several contemporaries.

How many books have you published? Two. My current release is The Daddy Issue, published by The Wild Rose Press.

What themes go through your books? Longing for family, a gaining of self-confidence, mutual trust in each other. I would say my books have a mainstream feel. They're centered around a couple who need to discover what is hurting them, holding them back from the full capacity to love. Their love helps them grow and evolve into the best they can be. But they've always had good core beliefs. Maybe some trauma in their lives has made them forget, or push aside their inner strengths, and love helps them find and use those great traits again.

Which other jobs have you had? Waitress, retail sales, bank management, needlework finisher, freelance editing/writing—nonfiction.

Which "bucket list" types of things have you done? Beauty pageant participant, judged shelties at my local club's dog show, took improv comedy classes, taught Vacation Bible School, facilitated Adult Disciple Bible Study classes, entered and was a finalist in a suburban newspaper's cooking contest, took quilting, rug hooking, rug braiding and beaded jewelry making classes, sold collectibles on Ebay and at antiques market, member of garden club. Oh, and blue and red ribbon winner at North Georgia Fair with my needlework projects. And my family and my cattle dog, Shadow, just auditioned to be on the national TV show, "It's Me or The Dog."

What do you love most about writing and do you not like? I love probing characters' minds and creating their lives for them! I enjoy the puppetry act of being a writer. What I dislike is that it involves a lot of sitting down. I like to be active. And I wish I wrote faster, so I could get up off the sofa in a more timely manner! I don't like the way it takes a few false starts and a lot of character analysis and synopsis work before I know my people well enough to write their story. And I don't like it that I write so much, I don't have a lot of time for pleasure reading.

What are you writing now? It's another twist on the secret baby theme. I'm a little shy about discussing the details of the next one until I'm further along with it. But suffice it to say, I'm happy with how I'm doing on the early chapters.

What would you write if you could do write anything you wanted to write? Exactly what I'm writing. Contemporaries with plenty of emotion.

Why do you write? Because I can! And because I can do it for hours, and then look up at the clock and time has just ticked away. That's a good feeling, to know that you've gotten yourself so occupied, you haven't noticed the time. Life coaches are always telling people that's the type of job they should have!

How do you write? Laboriously, and all the while wishing I could be faster!

15 comments

  1. Mary Marvella // June 24, 2009 at 12:56 AM  

    Good morning, Melissa!

    Mama Mary

  2. Arkansas Cyndi // June 24, 2009 at 12:58 AM  

    Good interview, Mary. I love contemporary settings. Am hearing good things about Wild Rose Press.

  3. Edie Ramer // June 24, 2009 at 8:15 AM  

    Terrific interview! Love your bucket list! I'll keep my finger crossed for you and your dog getting on the show. That would be awesome.

  4. Judy // June 24, 2009 at 8:36 AM  

    Welcome, Melissa! Glad to see you on the Fuzzies loop! Good luck with your writing. It sounds like a good emotional read!

  5. Mona Risk // June 24, 2009 at 10:44 AM  

    Welcome to the PFS, Melissa. I am also a WRP author with my first book BABIES IN THE BARGAIN coming out in ten days. You did try so many things you must have a wide experience and knowledge of characters. I love writing characters plot and will check your book.

  6. Barbara Monajem // June 24, 2009 at 11:45 AM  

    Hi, Melissa! I totally relate to the too-much-sitting thingy, as well as the frustration with false starts and all of that necessary character and plot analysis. The writing part is so much more fun! What's fascinating to me is that some people feel just the opposite way - that the planning is the fun work and the writing, not so much. Ah, well - it takes all sorts.

  7. Beth Trissel // June 24, 2009 at 11:51 AM  

    Hi Melissa. Great pic(s). Always glad to see a fellow WRP author at the Fuzzies. I write laboriously too wishing I could be faster and swearing I shall be.
    Lovely interview. Getting on that show with your dog would really be something.
    Your book sounds very rich and full.

  8. Nightingale // June 24, 2009 at 4:25 PM  

    Fingers crossed that you and your dog become TV stars. Laboriously, a good word for writing my current project, wishing like you that I could write faster. Black Swan was published by TWRP, too. Great interview, you two.

  9. Scarlet Pumpernickel // June 24, 2009 at 7:48 PM  

    Melissa, welcome to the Pink Fuzzies! I'm glad you stopped by to visit today. Enjoyed the interview. I got my copy of The Daddy Issue from Amazon last week and I'm looking forward to reading it!

    Scarlet

  10. Anonymous // June 24, 2009 at 8:00 PM  

    Melissa,

    I totally understand about sitting still. Can't do it. My motto. Word by word, line by line, page by page. It works for me.

    Good luck in the show. My Irish Setter turned four yesterday. He celebrated with a new bone and ice cream.

    Autumn
    2009 Golden Heart Finalist
    www.autumnjordon.com

  11. Autumn Jordon // June 24, 2009 at 8:01 PM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
  12. Mel // June 24, 2009 at 8:13 PM  

    Hi, everyone!
    Thanks so much for the welcome and your comments.
    I'm glad you can relate to my writer angst! Sounds as if we're in the same boat. And speaking of boats, I'm very glad to be a TWRP writer with some of you.
    For those as-yet-to-be published, my one piece of advice is, keep at it and it WILL happen. I promise!
    And as for the doggie, I am so in love with Shadow, it's rather embarrassing. I also have a sheltie and two cats (who hide from the cattle dog all day, and only get to use their potty and get to their food if they tiptoe or he is put away.)

    Mel

  13. Mary Marvella // June 24, 2009 at 8:35 PM  

    You are definitely persistent! You are also talented! Good combination.

    Mama Mary

  14. Joanne // June 26, 2009 at 10:46 PM  

    Welcome, Melissa, to the Pink Fuzzies. Great interview. I wish I could write faster, also.

  15. Melissa Beck // June 30, 2009 at 4:09 PM  

    Thanks, Joanne,

    I enjoyed giving the interview. I love the site here! It's so informative. Plus, it's friendly!

    I wish everyone great success with their writing. Today I'm thinking about a radio interview I heard this morning. Taylor Swift (who sold out Madison Sq Garden in what, 5 min?) said when she was coming up in the music industry, there were always those girls who said loudly, "I'm the next big star." But she was the quiet one who just said, "I wrote this song," and then played it. Now look where she is! And she says if she were to return to high school today, she would still think her hair was frizzy and her clothes looked dumb. Moral of the story: write from the heart and let *that* prove you're good, all the while remaining as humble as possible. : )