My Writing Life: Melissa Foster
When did you first discover a love of writing? Is there a particular book that made you want to become a writer?
In the early ’90’s I realized that I wanted to be a writer. The urge to write came over me one afternoon and I haven’t been able to shake it since.
Where do you get your story ideas?
Life is my inspiration. I write about issues and circumstances that readers can relate to, and am drawn to emotionally compelling situations. That translates into emotional stories for my readers.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received as a writer?
Stop worrying about the what-ifs and write.
Do you believe in Writer’s Block?
Do I believe in it? Not really. I’d call it “Writer’s Hesitation”. I think we can worry ourselves into a corner, and sometimes we just need to change our environment or get to know our characters better in order to find our way out.
If there was one writer (alive or deceased) that you would love to meet, who would it be?
I would love to meet Jodi Picoult, because in 2009 she took the time to answer my emails and provide direction. Or perhaps Diane Chamberlain. I love her writing and she’s been very kind throughout the years. She reaches out to readers and she’s always accessible.
What’s your favourite literary genre? Any guilty pleasures?
I love women’s fiction because I’m drawn to emotionally draining stories, and my guilty pleasure is, of course, romance.
What made you decide to self-publish?
There are several reasons that I chose the self-pub route. I write very fast, and it doesn’t make sense for my readers to wait a year for a book when I can put them out much quicker. I’m also a genre hopper. I write what I’m passionate about at the moment, and traditional publishers have issues with crossing genres unless I use a pen name. I’m not willing to do that. Readers are intelligent, and they can read a summary and decide if they are interested in a romance or a thriller. They don’t need to be duped by pen names.
Are there any self-publishing tricks of the trade you’d like to share? What rules of craft or promotion do you live by?
Tricks of the trade? Work with others, become involved with writing groups, and use the best editors that you can afford. Rules of craft–never rush to the finish line or skimp on editors and proofreaders. I use 5 editors and proofreaders, as well as a professional cover artist. Rules of promotion – just one. Never stop trying to reach readers.
Why do you write? I write because not writing isn’t an option. Writing is like oxygen. If I stopped I’d probably lose my mind with so many characters and stories in my head.
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