Interview with Melody Heck Gatto

When did you first start writing?
I enjoyed reading and writing as a child. I tried a few times to write a story, but never finished anything. As an adult, I found myself laid off from my job of fourteen years. I was lucky that my husband was supportive of me trying to be a stay at home Mom at that point. My son is old enough to take care of himself most of the time, and with my new found free time I started to read contemporary romances again. At age 37 I decided I wanted to try to write a story of my own. I've been writing every story that comes to mind ever since!
What's the story behind your latest book?
My first book, Until You, is a beach novella.
It is a sweet and sexy little love story about Trina and Sam. They meet while trying to escape their own lives, not expecting to find romance. Trina has a past that she would rather forget, and really doesn't feel worthy of anyone's love. Sam can't help himself, she is captivating in every way. He is drawn to her and isn't about to let her get away.

My second book, Score On Me, is the first book in a hockey romance series.
It is the story of Kat and Kris. Kat is just going through the motions of life. She spends a lot of time bashing herself because she thinks she is overweight. She just wasn't made for love. Hockey, however, is her guilty pleasure. She loves the game and the players; one in particular.
Kris plays defense for the Pittsburgh Renegades hockey team. A chance meeting with Kat has him hooked. He needs to find a way to break down her walls, he knows the girl inside is sweet, kind and beautiful, he just needs to make her believe that. Her tendency to push him away thinking she isn't good enough just makes him try harder. He's not one to give up.
It's a modern day fairy tale. If you like hot swoon-worthy hockey players and tons of fairy tale romance, then this is for you.

My current book is book #2 in the Renegades Series - Unsportsmanlike Conduct. This is a good one! It is Gia's story (Kat's sister), she has a nice, safe love life until Patrick gets in her head (and her bed). She sees the passion and lust that she's missing. Yes, there is cheating, but it is the whole reason/way Gia finds true love. I think you'll love it if you give it a try! :)
What motivated you to become an indie author?
The other indie authors. I found all the ebooks that I was reading on Amazon. Most of them, if not all, were self published authors. Some even reminded me of my own type of writing. At that point I realized that I could do this too! I was going to try to write fan fiction at first, until I realized I could do more. I could really write a book! I just got out the computer and started to put all of the stories in my head down on paper. I certainly need to thank all of those wonderful ladies before me.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Being able to create a fictional character and completely falling in love with them. It is amazing how intoxicating a fictional character can become.
What are you working on next?
I am working on the next book in the Renegades Series, a contemporary hockey romance series. I am really excited about it! My first novella, Until You will actually tie in to the series down the line. We will see Trina and Sam again. I am also working on a stand alone hockey romance book. I am also working on re-editing Score On Me, it will be so much better once it's done. If you read it and didn't like it, I ask you to give it a try again once I re-release it. :)
Who are your favorite authors?
Oh, my favorite authors? My favorite question! I love giving these girls a shout out, they really are amazing. Toni Aleo, of course. Her books are amazing, and she is such a doll! I had the pleasure of meeting her and J.L Brooks in Fall 2013 in Pittsburgh. J.L Brooks is an amazing and awesome woman as well. Love them! I've never met these next ladies, but their books left me with serious book hangovers. Julie Bale, she made a Pittsburgh girl fall in love with a book about a Philadelphia team, that shows how amazing she is! Victoria Villeneuve, Asrai Devin, Caralyn Fox, Kelsey Maxwell. Pamela Fryer wrote a Chistmas story that I just adored, as well as Autumn Jordan.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My family. I have a wonderful husband and an awesome son, not to mention two loving dogs. I keep it all together. I guess I am the glue that holds it all in place. The dogs are older and need me daily, for medicine and love. My 'guys' look to me for everything else. My son plays dek hockey and it's always fun to go support him during his games. I'm sure they wouldn't know what to do without me. ;)
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I spend at least one day a week with my Grandmother. Also taking my son to dek hockey and practice. During the hockey season you will find me watching my Pittsburgh Penguins. I never miss a game. I also enjoy taking my son to the arena to get autographs. I really enjoy getting the chance to meet the players. They are really wonderful people! During the summer I love to swim and sit out in the sun. I always make time for reading as well. I try to make time for a date night here and there with the hubby too! :)
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I actually just searched for Hockey Romance, hoping there would be something out there close to that. I had seen fan fiction and wondered if there were books. There were! It amazed me how many there were!
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I kind of do, I tried to write a story that had to do with a girl who worked with horses. She took care of them and liked to ride as well. I remember trying to incorporate a rock band that I was in love with at the time into the story. I never did get very far. I still remember writing it in a spiral notebook, and then sitting at our 'new' Leading Edge word processor and typing it.
What is your writing process?
I just write what I feel. I normally have characters or stories pop into my mind, and I get them down on paper. The characters really tell their own stories, I just type it out! I don't do outlines or anything like that.
How do you approach cover design?
I actually found an amazing graphic designer who I just loved working with. I had been looking on all of the sites to purchase rights to a stock photo. I found a few that I really liked, but one in particular caught my eye and I had to have that one. After a little help from my friends on message boards I found it. Kat (the designer) was able to turn it into a beautiful and sweet cover for Until You.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I use my android phone or android tablet. I have the Kindle app on each of them.
Describe your desk
My 'desk' is typically my living room couch. Yeah, my chiropractor is cringing at the sound of that, lol. When my mini-me is in school, I keep the television and radio off and I sit in perfect silence. Sometimes I just adore the silence. I guess I should use a desk, but for now, the couch works just fine.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Currently my favorite books are:
Blue Lines by Toni Aleo (I am head over heels for the main male character in the book, he's a bad boy, but I just can't help it)
Breaking Away by Toni Aleo
Boarded by Love by Toni Aleo
Whiskey Prince by Toni Aleo
Rotten by JL Brooks

All of Toni Aleo's books are hockey romances, I am a sucker for a hot hockey player. She creates stories that brings her characters to life, I always have a book hangover after I read her books. Whiskey Prince is not a hockey romance but takes place in Ireland and I really enjoyed that. Again, another book hangover.
Rotten was about strippers-seriously. It was full of emotion and I couldn't put it down.
What do you read for pleasure?
I go to hockey romances first. Christmas novels at Christmastime. But anything that looks interesting really.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I'm from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I love my hockey team, so I created my own fictional hockey team. Some characters you may find similar to actual players. I like the idea of trying to put in some local flavor. For folks who have never been to Pittsburgh you won't pick up on it, but if you know the area it's kind of cool to recognize actual places.
Published 2015-05-14.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Playing the Game - Renegades 3
Series: The Renegades. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 73,090. Language: English. Published: September 24, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
The star player. The chosen one. Tyler Kidd ruled the hockey league. He was driven hard by a hatred for losing. Yet behind his on ice persona he was damaged. Betrayed and jaded, he needed saved. She was everything he never knew he needed and he was everything she knew she should never touch. Lines blur, careers are on the line. But what happens when you have no other choice than playing the game?
Unsportsmanlike Conduct - Renegades 2
Series: The Renegades. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 64,890. Language: English. Published: April 13, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Lingering memories of that night with him left Gia's body craving him. Patrick's icy blue eyes and cocky smile awakened a primal desire in her. She wasn't supposed to like it, but she did. Her actions may have shattered the only world that she knew. She never meant for this to happen.
Score On Me - A Renegades Novel
Series: The Renegades. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 86,480. Language: English. Published: October 12, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
(Second edition) Kat Torella didn't believe real love existed. She didn't believe in Prince Charming, or happily ever afters. Well, actually, she just didn't believe they would ever happen to her. Her less than perfect figure wasn't built for love. She loved hockey, particularly her team's sexy defenseman, Kris Lafleur. It was a nice fantasy. ...Until he walked into that coffee shop.