1.) What is your favourite thing about yourself?
I would say my perseverance is my favorite thing. It took me nine years to sell my first book (that was in the days before indie publishing.) I just thought if I kept writing, I’d get there someday. And I did. Being that way has served me well over the years both with writing and life.
2.) What do you wish you’d known before you started writing?
I wish I’d known that it doesn’t get easier after you sell your first manuscript. That had been the goal. I hadn’t looked beyond that, so I thought it would be easier, but for me, I’ve found it just keeps getting harder because I want to do better than I did with the last book so am always working to improve my craft and try to reach more readers.
3.) Share a romantic moment in your life.
I’ve always been a big Titanic buff (long before the James Cameron movie came out) and Jane Austen fan. Before we had kids, my husband took me on a short QE2 cruise that went from Southampton, France, and Cork, Ireland and then on to England’s Dorset coast to celebrate my birthday. The ships course somewhat mimicked the Titanic’s early voyage and leaving from port at Southampton gave me a chance to explore Titanic related sites. My husband had never put much thought into birthday plans before (just not as big a deal to him as it is to me), but he went all out this time. He arranged for the chef in our dining room to have a special meal and birthday cake made just for me.
After the cruise, as we drove to/from the Dorset coast and while staying there, he stopped at every literary site he could find, and even went beyond Jane Austen to Thomas Hardy. He also bought a paperback version of Pride & Prejudice which we read aloud to each other each day of our trip. It was a once-in-a-lifetime vacation and one that made me feel so cherished and loved. And the best part was that he had as good as time as I did. I don’t think he was expecting that to happen since he’s a sailing/camping kind of guy!
4.) Is there one subject you’d never write about as an author? What is it?
I can’t say that there is, because I write sweet romances. By default many topics/subject matters just don’t fit that genre so wouldn’t even be in my radar when I’m plotting a story idea.
5.) Do you have any suggestions to help someone become a better writer? If so, what are they?
I first began my writing journey as a reader. I think writers need to read and read what they want to write. I also think it’s important to get in the habit of writing. That could mean five days a week or seven. I’m a big fan of craft books and online courses, but you need to put words on a page to improve. Some authors are naturals at this, but for the rest of us, writing is a skill to work on and hone, sometimes one word at a time in the beginning.
For me, I haven’t been able to take breaks without dealing with a long ramp up time to get back to where I was before the break. That’s why I suggest being consistent, even if it’s for a short time, especially when you’re first starting out. My first three manuscripts improved my craft and helped me find my voice (and no reader will ever see those stories because of that!)
6.) If you could be the original author for any book, what would it be? Why?
The Stand by Stephen King. I read the book when I was in high school, and it’s been a favorite ever since because of the characters and their struggle with good and evil. A classic tale.
7.) What did you do growing up that got you into trouble?
My room was a complete mess when I was growing up, and I would get in big trouble because I wouldn’t clean it. Yes, I was a slob. I knew where everything was so why did it matter if it was on the floor or in piles?
I remember one time just tossing everything into my closest, so my dad wouldn’t ground me. I had about five minutes before he was going to check our rooms and I’ve never moved so fast. Thank goodness he didn’t open the closet or I’d have been grounded for weeks!
8.) If I came to your house for dinner what would you prepare for me? Why?
If you came for dinner, I would prepare grilled salmon, rice pilaf, roasted asparagus, homemade bread, a tossed green salad with hazelnuts, and a marionberry pie. I’d serve you these dishes because the ingredients showcase the Pacific Northwest where I live, and I love sharing that with visitors.
Christmas at the Castle Book Tour
Tour Dates: December 4th – 10th, 2016
A royal wedding. A meddlesome mother. An unexpected union.
A European getaway during the Christmas holiday is exactly what veterinarian Katrina “Kat” Parsons needs. She can’t wait to be a bridesmaid in her childhood friend’s royal wedding, but she hopes to steer clear of the bride’s arrogant older brother.
Crown Prince Guillaume wants his younger sister’s wedding day to be perfect, but he’s suspicious of Kat. He and his mother on are on high alert, afraid Kat is not just there for the wedding, but also to find a prince of her own.
But when Kat’s kindness and generosity prove them wrong, the prince realizes there’s more to her than he ever imagined. Can he trust his heart or will he lose the one woman he can’t live without?
Buy the Book:
About the Author:
Melissa McClone’s degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University led her to a job with a major airline where she travelled the globe and met her husband. But analyzing jet engine performance couldn’t compete with her love of writing happily ever afters. Her first full-time writing endeavor was her first sale when she was pregnant with her first child! Since then, she has published over twenty-five romance novels with Harlequin and been nominated for Romance Writers of America’s RITA award. When she isn’t writing, she’s usually driving her minivan to/from her children’s swim and soccer practices, 4-H meetings and dog shows. She also supports deployed service members through Soldiers’ Angels and fosters cats through a local non-kill rescue shelter. Melissa lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three school-aged children, two spoiled Norwegian Elkhounds and cats who think they rule the house.
Visit all the stops on the Tour:
Book Lover in Florida - Book Excerpt
4TeenReaders - Author Guest Post
Blog on the Run - Book Review
Quartzfeather - Book Review
Judging More Than Just The Cover - Author Q&A
Read Your Writes Book Reviews - Author Q&A
Ali's Book Nook - Book Review
Steamy Book Momma - Book Review
Hello...Chick Lit - Book Excerpt/Author Guest Post
Lady with a Quill - Book Review
ItaPixie's Book Corner - Book Review
Writing Pearls - Book Review
Reading To Unwind - Book Review
Rachel Brimble Romance - Author Q&A
HEA Romances With A Little Kick - Book Promo Post
Authors & Readers Book Corner - Book Excerpt
Reading Is My SuperPower - Book Review
Til The Last page Book Blog - Book Review
Tour arranged by:
$10 Amazon gift card
Thirty-One Gifts Zipper Pouch
Autographed paperback copy of The Cinderella Princess
Christmas at the Castle Bottle top keychain