A Shadow in the Past, Melanie’s debut novel set in Scotland was published by 4RV Publishing in 2012. Its sequel, Shadows From Her Past, will be coming soon.
Melanie has also published a number of her short stories in The Consequences Collection.
Tim’s Magic Christmas, is her latest work – a middle grade chapter book.
A Loveahappyending Lifestyle magazine Columnist
Hello Melanie and welcome to Booky Ramblings of a Neurotic Mom.Hi Shona! Thanks for the opportunity to visit you here on your wonderful book blog.
Was there anything particular that inspired you to start your journey of being an author?
Oh, that’s a toughie. I’ve always been fascinated with books and reading and when I was younger, if I wasn’t talking about becoming a writer, I was writing. I put pen to paper (pencil, too) when I was about thirteen and started writing. Illustrated the book, too. I don’t have those notebooks anymore, I’d like to be able to look at them now and then.
What would you say is the hardest part of writing/publishing a book for you?
Time. I work full-time which makes it difficult (not impossible, tho’) to find time to write. Usually, after working on a computer all day, the last thing I want to do is spend a lot of time on it in the evenings, so I do most of my writing on the computer at the weekends, on holiday from work, or in longhand in a notebook at other times. In the end, it does all come together but it takes time.
If you could only read four books for the rest of your life, what would they be?
I’m behind in the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon (I have the books, just haven’t read all of them yet) so they’d be at least one of the four. Anything by my favourite crime writers – Stuart MacBride, Chris Longmuir and Ian Rankin.
Do you and your main character share any personality traits?
Vulnerability, lack of self-confidence at times (that would be Sarah from A Shadow in the Past). The main character in my latest book is an eleven year old boy.
If you could live in any book what book would it be?
Any of the Chronicles of Narnia series. Loved reading them and they’re so magical.
Where do your ideas for your books come from? Dreams? Music?
Actually, most of my ideas come from events I’ve read about in the news. My tagline on my website is “where fact and fiction meet”. I love Scotland (my Dad was born there) and I set my debut novel, its yet unpublished (un-contracted, too) sequel and another project there – all primarily in Aberdeenshire.
Any advice for aspiring authors?
Don’t give up. Keep writing. Join a writers’ group. Find a good critique partner, someone who will be painfully brutal and honest with you. Most important of all, read, read and read some more. You can’t write if you don’t read.
Tim's Magic Christmas
A chance encounter with Nick Kringle, a modern-day Santa Claus teaches Tim that the greatest gift you receive is the gift of giving.