Interview with Melissa Pearl

What motivated you to become an indie author?
I spent years trying to get published the traditional way - desperately looking for an agent, but then my brother suggested that I check out self-publishing to see if that would be a better way to go. I did my research and loved the idea of having full control over what I wrote and published.

I have absolutely no regrets about taking this path. It's been really hard work, but I have learned so much and it's completely awesome.
Which other authors have most influenced or inspired your writing?
I have so many, but off the top of my head...

I was first inspired by Francine Rivers and Dee Henderson. Their books spoke to my heart in a very special way.

In the indie publishing world, Cambria Hebert and Anna Cruise are my favorite "go-to" authors. I know I'll love everything they write!

From a learning stand point - Chris Vogler and Robert McKee have helped me so much with their amazing books on story structure and character development :)
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I love getting pulled into another world. I love creating characters that I can fall in love with. They become like friends - real people I can hang out with while I write their stories. I love seeing them grow and become better people as they cope with the horrible things I put them through :)
What do you read for pleasure?
I'm a big fan of romantic suspense, but I'll pretty much read anything with romance in it :)
I LOVE young adult romance the best. I think I'll always love it, no matter how old I get!
Describe your desk
I work at a standing desk, which I really love. It's much better for my neck, back and shoulders.
My desk faces out to a window that overlooks my street and on the wall to my right, I have huge boards covered with my planning and also images of actors and models that have inspired the characters I'm working on.
Describe your writing process
I'm a bigger planner, so that's a huge part of my writing process.

I start with random ideas that pop into my head and I jot those down as inspiration hits me, I then go in-depth with character profiling and a really detailed outline that I refer to throughout the first draft.

Writing the first draft is the hardest part for me, but I get there in the end and then comes the fun of editing. I love being able to improve my work and iron out the kinks. I do self editing then also use critique readers and a professional editor to help me really get the book working.

After my final edits are complete, I send it off to my awesome team of proof-readers.

I've been using this process for years and it still works :)
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in different countries around the world (the biggest portion in New Zealand where I was born) and I experienced many different cultures. I think this has helped shape my writing. It's given me an understanding of how people work. In spite of cultural differences and language barriers, a person's basic needs remain unchanged.

I love studying people and figuring out what their stories are and how they tick. Why they behave the way they do.
It's helped me become a better writer :)
What drives you to keep on writing?
I have to be honest and admit that some days it's really hard to keep going.
But the characters keep calling to me. My heart and head have so many stories that are burning to be told. I can't ignore them :)
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Take the time to learn before you plunge in.
I've made so many mistakes and lost money by throwing myself into things without really understanding how they work first. I wish I had learned more about... 1. The writing process and then 2. How to market and sell my books properly.

I guess making mistakes is still a way to learn, but it would have been cheaper to do the studying part first instead of learning the hard way ;)
What is the one thing you want your readers to know about your books?
That I write from the heart, and character growth is really important to me. I like to see my characters become better people by the end of each book. And I LOVE romance...so no matter what, someone is going to fall in love.
Published 2018-07-16.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Fugitive Box Set
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 130,880. Language: English. Published: December 16, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Romance, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Mystery & Detective
She's running from a man who wants her dead, hiding behind different personas to keep herself safe. It works. Until she meets a guy she wants to be real with. A guy she doesn't want to leave. But will staying endanger them both? Find out in this duet box set, which includes "I Know Lucy" and "Set Me Free."
Set Me Free (The Fugitive Series #2)
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 62,840. Language: English. Published: January 2, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Romance
Hunted by a crooked FBI agent who killed her parents, Lucy has taken on one disguise after the next. But Zach knows exactly who she is and in spite of mounting evidence indicating her guilt in her parents’ deaths, he knows she’s innocent. With support from Zach’s loyal friends and his uncle, an investigative reporter, they set out on a dangerous mission hoping that the truth...will set them free.
I Know Lucy (The Fugitive Series #1)
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 70,950. Language: English. Published: January 2, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Romance
Lucy Tate is on the run. After witnessing the murder of her parents, she's spent five years in hiding — taking on different personas and faking her way through life. The authorities can't be trusted, so she remains in the shadows, always one beat ahead of the man who is forever hunting her. That is, until she meets Zach Schultz, a senior at Monte Vista High and the one guy she can’t bear to leave.
Fine By Me (A Chaos Novella)
Series: Songbird Novels. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 41,230. Language: English. Published: December 28, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
She’s hiding from a bad relationship and he’s a world famous rock star. Can she overcome her past for the sake of true love? This thrilling love story is heightened with suspense and enriched with a sweet hero who could win any girl’s heart.
Complicated (A Chaos Novella)
Series: Songbird Novels. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 38,730. Language: English. Published: December 28, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
She thinks he’s a pig and he think she’s uptight. They drive each other crazy, but can true love find a way to change their hearts? Forced to share a tour bus, Flick and Fliss can't help butting heads over almost everything. But as these two go into battle, they unwittingly start to break down each other’s barriers, stirring a whole new pot of complications neither are ready for.
Angel Eyes (A Chaos Novella)
Series: Songbird Novels. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 24,190. Language: English. Published: December 28, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
When Veronica Sloan arrives in L.A. with an unwanted message that will rock her sister's world and split Chaos apart, sides quickly form and for the first time, Ralphie will find himself opposing his bandmate and standing up for a girl who might have the power to win his heart. For fans of simmering, coming of age romances.
A Songbird Novel Box Set (Geronimo, Hole Hearted, Rather Be)
Series: Songbird Novels. Price: $8.99 USD. Words: 195,670. Language: English. Published: December 8, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Coming of age
Melt your heart romance and sizzling chemistry infused with soul inspiring music. A set of stand-alone coming of age novels that will make you fall in love. THE SONGBIRD NOVEL BOX SET #3 INCLUDES: Geronimo, Hole Hearted & Rather Be
A Songbird Novel Box Set (True Love, Troublemaker, Rough Water)
Series: Songbird Novels. Price: $8.99 USD. Words: 209,310. Language: English. Published: December 8, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Coming of age
Melt your heart romance and sizzling chemistry infused with soul inspiring music. A set of stand-alone coming of age novels that will make you fall in love. THE SONGBIRD NOVEL BOX SET #2 INCLUDES: True Love, Troublemaker & Rough Water.
A Songbird Novel Box Set (Fever, Bulletproof, Everything, Home)
Series: Songbird Novels. Price: $8.99 USD. Words: 284,290. Language: English. Published: December 8, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Coming of age
Melt your heart romance and sizzling chemistry infused with soul inspiring music. Follow best friends in this set of coming of age novels that will make you fall in love. THE SONGBIRD NOVEL BOX SET INCLUDES: Fever, Bulletproof, Everything and Home.
Rather Be (A Songbird Novel)
Series: Songbird Novels. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 65,740. Language: English. Published: August 26, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Romance » New adult
Soulmates destined to be together were ripped apart by outside forces. Four years later, life brings them back together…but do they have the power to fight the odds that tore them apart in the first place?
Hole Hearted (A Songbird Novel)
Series: Songbird Novels. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 69,790. Language: English. Published: August 26, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Romance » New adult
When 22 year old, Cassie, is asked to take in a nephew she didn't even know about, her life is turned upside down. But she can't refuse the 12-year-old orphan and so begins a journey of learning to love again after years of running scared. With the help of her nephew's counsellor, Troy, can Cassie face up to her traumatic past and finally heal the gaping hole in her heart?
Geronimo (A Songbird Novel)
Series: Songbird Novels. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 60,310. Language: English. Published: August 26, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Romance » New adult
Jane is on a mission of self-discovery. Having lost the love of her life on their wedding day, she’s been a shell of the woman she once was. A year after the fatal accident, she leaves for England to return to the place it all ended, in the hopes of figuring out how to negotiate life on her own. What she doesn’t expect is to meet a hunky Brit who presents her with a surprising proposition.
Rough Water (A Songbird Novel)
Series: Songbird Novels. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 56,320. Language: English. Published: May 23, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Women's fiction » Chick lit
A few weeks into their marriage an unforeseen tragedy strikes Justin and Sarah, bringing their lives to a screeching halt. Justin is wracked with guilt while Sarah tries to deal with her own sadness. As the couple silently drift apart they end up in a place neither are sure they can recover from. Can they find their way back to the place they were before? Or is wedded bliss just a fairy tale?
Troublemaker (A Songbird Novel)
Series: Songbird Novels. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 75,440. Language: English. Published: January 26, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Romance » New adult
The prom queen reluctantly takes a job working for the geeky guy who crushed on her in high school, but five years has changed him and she soon finds herself battling an overwhelming attraction and falling for the one man she swore she’d never date.
True Love (A Songbird Novel)
Series: Songbird Novels. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 77,980. Language: English. Published: November 18, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » New adult, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
When best friends sleep together their relationship is ripped apart, threatening the future of their band. Nessa's escape from Jimmy's 'morning after' rejection ends in a tragic motorcycle accident. Trapped in a broken body, she must adjust to life without the one thing she relies on to survive - playing the drums. Meanwhile, Jimmy is on a mission to make up for his mistake and win Nessa back.
Home (A Songbird Novel)
Series: Songbird Novels. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 71,880. Language: English. Published: July 29, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » New adult, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Stuck in small town America, Rachel jumps at the chance of fame when a Hollywood agent offers to make her dreams come true. Leaving behind her boyfriend, Josh, she turns her back on the only constant she's ever known. But Rachel quickly figures out that some sacrifices are not worth the risk. Is she too late? Will Josh forgive her, or has her desire for fame ruined the best thing she’s ever had?
Forbidden Waters (Mica & Lexy, #2)
Series: Mica & Lexy. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 58,420. Language: English. Published: May 19, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Thriller & Suspense, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Romance
A sneaky boat trip across the lake turns into the night from hell, when best friends—and annoying tag along, Tracey—find themselves trapped on the other side, freezing cold and lost after their boat capsizes. Worse yet, they soon discover they are not alone. Will their boyfriends get there in time to help them? Or will the girls fall into the hands of a man rumored to have murdered his family?
Forbidden Territory (Mica & Lexy, #1)
Series: Mica & Lexy. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 64,010. Language: English. Published: March 21, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Romance, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Adventure
When four teenage hikers stumble across a hidden marijuana crop and its terrifying watchmen, their dream weekend turns into the ultimate nightmare. Forced apart, the two couples spend the next 48 hours racing blindly through the bush, searching for each other. Hoping desperately to find their friends before the hunters do . . .
Everything (A Songbird Novel)
Series: Songbird Novels, Book 3. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 65,650. Language: English. Published: April 20, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Romance » New adult
As two burned hearts wrestle to overcome their past struggles, Leo and Jody must decide which dreams are worth clinging to...because, sometimes, everything you want is not everything you need.
Bulletproof (A Songbird Novel)
Series: Songbird Novels, Book 2. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 81,290. Language: English. Published: November 20, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Morgan's and Sean's passion for dance and music will bring them together, but will their relationship be able to withstand the forces determined to pull them apart? As Morgan comes face-to-face with her long-buried demons and Sean decides just how much he's willing to risk for love, these two songbirds discover something...they're not as bulletproof as they thought.
Fever (A Songbird Novel)
Series: Songbird Novels, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 66,390. Language: English. Published: June 15, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
When Ella starts at her new college in Chicago, she never expects her morning shower song to be interrupted by a luscious male voice from over the wall. Her solo is turned into a duet that has her questioning everything about her current life and relationship. Can the voice of one mysterious man redefine her future or will she once again let fear win and remain in her secure bubble of safety?
The Elements Trilogy Omnibus
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 222,560. Language: English. Published: December 16, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Fantasy, Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
The Elements Trilogy Omnibus includes Unknown, Unseen and Unleashed. Embark on a treacherous journey into the unknown with two characters who must face their ultimate fears and desires in order to save their world from the impending darkness. This epic fantasy series is set in a medieval world and incorporates elements of magic, prophecy and forbidden love.
The Time Spirit Trilogy Omnibus
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 184,850. Language: English. Published: December 9, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Romance, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy
The Time Spirit Trilogy Omnibus includes Golden Blood, Black Blood, Pure Blood and an exclusive short story, only found in this book. Discover the magic of time travel and jump into a world of forbidden love and a hidden mystery that spans the ages.
Unleashed (The Elements Trilogy, #3)
Series: The Elements Trilogy, Book 3. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 75,920. Language: English. Published: August 8, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Romance » Fantasy
The light has been found...Two sparks have been ignited...And a furious light is about to be unleashed.
Unseen
Series: The Elements Trilogy, Book 2. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 76,360. Language: English. Published: July 6, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Romance
Danger surrounds the seekers. Kyla and Jethro have faced overwhelming odds...only to discover that this is just the beginning. There are still two elements to find and a light to resurrect. The dark powers have learned of their secret mission and will do anything to stop them. Kyla and Jethro face multiple adversaries as they battle the darkness, the power of nature and their forbidden love.
Unknown
Series: The Elements Trilogy, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 71,430. Language: English. Published: June 10, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Romance
Darkness is covering the land. As the city of Mezrah grows with power and greed, the rest of the world can only stand by and wait for their inevitable destruction. The only hope against this growing power is an ancient prophecy that people have stopped believing in. Then a star begins to fall, sparking an ember of hope and sending two seekers on a treacherous journey into the unknown.
Pure Blood (Time Spirit Trilogy, #3)
Series: The Time Spirit Trilogy, Book 3. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 60,530. Language: English. Published: February 15, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Romance
(4.90 from 10 reviews)
Deception lurks around every corner as Gemma and Harrison discover the truth about his past. Fixing a mistake from years earlier will start a chain reaction that could bring an end to their relationship. As the danger mounts, Gemma must decide if she has the courage to make the ultimate sacrifice to save the ones she loves and stop to her parents' destructive plans.
Black Blood (Time Spirit Trilogy, #2)
Series: The Time Spirit Trilogy, Book 2. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 59,510. Language: English. Published: December 14, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Romance, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy
(5.00 from 7 reviews)
In this sequel to Golden Blood, Gemma is betrayed by the people she loves and her world is torn apart. She must now set aside her fear of the truth and learn to trust a stranger in order to get back what she holds most dear.
Golden Blood
Series: The Time Spirit Trilogy, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 62,180. Language: English. Published: November 4, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Romance, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy
(4.67 from 18 reviews)
Gemma, a time traveling teenager, breaks an ancient oath in order to follow her heart, and so begins a battle to keep her newfound love not only with her but also alive. Black Blood (Bk 2) and Pure Blood (Bk 3) also available.