Interview with Melanie Macek

What is your writing process?
I write whenever I have time, wherever I have time. I probably could dedicate an hour every day to writing, but sometimes you just have to go out and live life. My stories are constantly in my mind so I don't think I'm ever really 'not' writing.
How do you approach cover design?
Most of the time, the covers come to me with the story idea. Once the basic idea is down, it's just tweaking the font and placement. The hardest part of cover design is coming up with the story description and a blurb for the front to grab a potential readers attention. I was very fortunate to find an artist whose easy to work with and local.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Really? Five? I don't think I can bring it down to five. Here goes. The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. The detail is incredible and its easy to forget when (yes, when) you are when you get sucked into the story. The Black Stallion series by Walter Farley. Not only did it help me wile away hours when we moved to a new town, but it also helped keep me on a horse the first time I rode. Thanks Mr. Farley! The Anne of Green Gables series by L.M. Montgomery. Two words...Gilbert. Blythe. Most of Dan Browns books. I know people will hate that, but even if you hate the man, he knows how to engage the reader. Anything by Tracy Chevalier. I've loved all her books.
What do you read for pleasure?
Most subgenres in romance. I've been trying to read books considered classics. Some I've liked, others I can't finish. I've already read a few books considered Young Adult and New Adult and surprisingly liked them. I didn't think I would. Mainly, I try to read new genres and authors to expand my horizons.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I can't bring myself to buy a device dedicated solely to ereading. I have the Nook and Kindle apps and those work well enough for me. I can read on my phone or PC. I have enough trouble keeping up with my phone and laptop, I don't need anymore electronics to keep up with!
Describe your desk
My desk gets used more by the cats than by me. The only time I really sit at the desk is on a weekend day where I can open the windows and let the natural light in or if I'm in the middle of plotting or research and I need to spread out of draw. Yes, draw. I draw the layout of houses or the town so my characters don't get turned around. I have a calendar above the desk that I write all my deadlines on, plus a corkboard where I can put information needed for either the story I'm working on or an event coming up.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in California, Texas, and Utah. I think it helped spur my writing. Quite a few times, I was the new kid in school, hadn't made friends yet and needed something to occupy my time so I would write poems or songs (all bad). I think moving around helped me develop diverse characters because I'd met so many different people growing up. Plus, it gave me a ton of experiences to pull from when I do sit down to write.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I tried to go the traditional route. I submitted to agents and editors. I've lost track of the rejection notes or times I never heard back from an agent. After a few agents asked for a full submission, then rejected it because they didn't think it would sell, I decided to look into what it would take to do it on my own. I won't lie, it's not easy. I treat it as a business. I'm trying to build readership and make this into a career where I can focus on it full time.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Creating stories that will hopefully touch people. So many stories have always bounced around in my mind and now I'm finally cultivating them and bringing them to life for others to enjoy.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
So far, talking to people in person has worked very well. I think I've sold as many print books as I have ebooks. I expanded to Smashwords hoping to reach more people. Hoping to see a gradual increase as the year ends.
Published 2013-09-11.
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