Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A Visit with Author Melissa Keir

I’m so excited you’re here!  Thank you for coming.

Thank you for having me visit your blog today.  I’m excited to share with you my writing and my thoughts.

So, tell us, what inspired you to write your first book?
Believe it or not, my mom inspired me to write my first book.  My mom passed away almost fifteen years ago, but she was a huge inspiration to me.  When I was a teenager, I remember my mom trying to get her manuscript published. She typed it up on the electric typewriter we had and then mailed copies off to publishing houses.
After my mom’s death, I began to get serious about my writing.  My poetry and my musings were ways to write about the feelings I had about facing life without my mom and trying to cope with my crumbling marriage. When I finally decided to write my first manuscript, I did it in her honor and really wished she could see me now.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
The message that all my books have is that love will find a way.  People come to relationships with problems but they don’t have to let the problems stop the happily ever after.  Second chances are available for everyone!

Are any of the experiences in your novel based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
The story Forever Love and Beach Desires are about five sisters.  I grew up with four younger sisters.  These stories also feature my hometown, Amherst, Ohio.  But that is the limit of how the books are based on my life.  I chose to write about Amherst, because it is a place that even though I haven’t lived there since 1984, it remains a cherished place in my mind.  Growing up in a small town was a wonderful experience that I can appreciate now that I’m older.
Second Time’s the Charm is about a woman finding love after a tough divorce.  That part I also experienced, but like my other books it is only about the concept not the reality of my life.  I didn’t fall in love with my best-friend’s ex-husband, nor do I work at a pediatrician’s office.  I wanted to write a story that showed that after a horrible divorce and being a middle aged women, love will find you again.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
I’ve been fortunate to have writers as mentors already.  Anne Holly and Liz Crowe have been huge parts of my success. Both of them urged me to not give up when my publishing house went under after I was accepted with them.  They are always there to give me advice and Anne was the first person to have me on her blog when I got signed with Rebel Ink.

Do you prefer to read in the same genre as your WIP or do you mix it up?
As I reader I love the paranormal, horror and fantasy genres.  I enjoy the worlds that the author creates as well as the strong female heroines.  But I write contemporary romances.  I think that I’m afraid to write a paranormal because of my love for it.  I worry that my book won’t measure up to the great writers like Kenyon and Frost.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I love reading! In fact, I am also a book reviewer with Sizzling Hot Books where I’ve been fortunate to find some wonderful new authors that have struck a fancy with me.  Some of these are Liz Crowe, Em Petrova, and Rebecca Royce.  These authors write such compelling stories that I’m always jumping on the chance to read and review their books.  I’m also a huge fan of the 1 Night Stand series by Decadent Publishing. Each story tells of two people who are put together for a one-night stand but it turns out to be a perfect love match.

Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
I’ve been very lucky that my friends have been super supportive.  They are willing to listen to me talk about plot points without rolling their eyes or yawning.  Also the whole author community has been helpful with questions and concerns.  When you are doing this for the first time, it is helpful to have people who have gone before you to show you the way. I think that authors as a group are the warmest and most supportive people. They are always looking for ways to pay things forward.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Protecting His Wolfe is my latest release and retells the tale of The Three Little Pigs. In my story, Betsie Wolfe is a small town girl who takes a job in the big city.  She witnesses a murder and a drug deal which puts her life on the line. Jonah Pigg is a police detective who falls for Betsie and is determined to protect her.  When the attempts on her life get serious, he takes her into his home where he lives with his two brothers, Marcus and Luke.  Together the three Piggs own the Pigg Detective Agency and will do anything to solve the murder and save Betsie.  But when Jonah and Betsie start to have feelings for each other, is it only because of the stressful situation or is it really love?

Quickly the police, her boss, Mr. Anderson, and Miss Hildebrand arrived. Betsie didn’t want to face the horror of Johnny’s body again, so she stayed inside the receptionist’s area of the office. Mr. Anderson and Miss Hildebrand tried to talk with her when they arrived but the police wouldn’t let anyone near her until they got their statement. One nice officer gave her a woolen blanket to wrap around her body. She’d never been so chilled. Huddled in a blanket in one of those uncomfortable waiting room chairs, Betsie was shaking after the horror of what happened.

Johnny is…was…had been such a nice guy to me. He made sure to always say good morning to me and treated me with respect. Who could’ve done this? Betsie wondered if it had anything to do with what she overheard the other night. Could Johnny have been involved with the drugs?
With many thoughts going through her mind, Betsie didn’t hear the police detective walk over to her. He cleared his throat and put his hand on her shoulder to get her attention.

“Yikes, you startled me!” Betsie yelped as her cheeks burned from embarrassment.

Looking up at the detective, Betsie noticed first how tall he was, and then she noticed his broad shoulders under his tan jacket. This is a guy who looked like he could take care of himself, she thought. Betsie couldn’t seem to draw her eyes away from him. His dark hair was cut military short, drawing your gaze to his deep blue eyes. I’ve always been a sucker for blue eyes. His nose and jawline were chiseled as if they had been carved from granite. But his full lips and two small laugh lines near his mouth belied those tough features with softness. Betsie began to imagine those lips on her mouth and her shaking got worse.

“Hello, Miss Wolfe. I’m detective Jonah Pigg. I’ve got a few questions for you.” The detective looked down at the small form huddled in the police issue green blanket and noticed her shaking body. Crouching down to be face to face, Jonah immediately noticed how delicate her features were and how her golden hair cascaded around her face like a painting of Michelangelo. She had a pixie-like face with lavender eyes that seemed to angle upwards, a small nose with a dusting of freckles, and a heart shaped pair of lips. I’d love to see her eyes sparkle with laughter. I wonder how tall she is. “You’re shaking. Here use my coat.” Taking his tan jacket off his body, Jonah pulled the blanket off Betsie than wrapped his coat around Betsie’s shoulders before returning the blanket to her body. The coat was warm with his body heat and her shaking subsided.

Buy Link: http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-protectinghiswolfe-834918-148.html

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
The most challenging thing I find in writing my book is finding time to write. As a full time elementary teacher, wife, mother and book reviewer, I’m busy. Since I also work for a publishing house as an editor and assistant, I’m super busy.  I can start a story and then not finish it for months.  I have to be able to sit down and write, focusing only on my novel.
Another thing that is challenging is promoting your book. I spend a lot of time doing that right now and that takes away from writing time. But it is a tough balance. We do need to get the word out to the world about our books, and still need to find time for writing.

Tell us one thing that would surprise us to know about you?
Wow, that is hard.  I’ve mentioned in my biography that I’ve always wanted to be a racecar driver, so that isn’t really news.  Maybe some people would be shocked that I have two tattoos and my belly button pierced.  I had all of this done after I turned 33. I’d faced my mom dying and my own health crisis that same year and it literally made me rethink my life.  I wanted to prove to myself that I still loved life and so I had my belly button done then two years later got my first tattoo.  Just last year, I got my second one at age 45. I do believe that age doesn’t matter.  I’m not going to let life get me down. When life hands you lemons, make lemonade!

What is your favorite type of food?
I have so many favorite foods.  I love French fries with cheese on them especially from this place called Hot Dog Heaven.  I’m also partial to pizza even for breakfast. Right now I’ve been going through a Cheez-it phase and can’t seem to get enough of those snacks.

Thank you Deb for having me.  This has been fun.  You asked some wonderful questions. I hope that everyone will check out my website www.melissakeir.com for the latest information on my books as well as my blog that features interviews with other authors and contests.  J


  1. Thank you Deb for having me visit! I am hard at work on the stories for Jonah's brothers, Marcus and Luke! :)