Today I had an interesting chat with Melissa Haag about her book ‘Hope(less)’. I’m glad to say that Melissa has a sense of humor, that I hope you all enjoy as much as I did.
Melissa, can you kick off this interview by letting me know how did the idea for your book begin?
It started with a dream that’s now a scene in the second book. When I started writing the second book (there was no first book!), I thought it would be a stand alone novel. The characters rebelled. They do that often.
How did these rebelling characters come to you?
This is kinda like asking how babies are made. My left frontal lobe asked my right frontal lobe out for coffee…and boom! Imaginary characters who live in my head are born!
So, once these characters are born, who did you want to stay with longer? And who were your favourites?
In all seriousness, each character holds a special place in my heart. Clay’s quiet perseverance has won many readers over. Emmitt’s patience and charm has instigated a few book boyfriend wars. Luke’s roguish ways and yummy accent tempt even the best good-girls. The list goes on…
Do you ever dream about your characters?
Yep. And then I tell my husband about all the weird stuff they do. :D
Did you draw on any life experiences to inspire the events that happen in the book?
Absolutely! The werewolves I’ve dates in the past have all been very quiet and courteous. And the mess they leave in the bathrooms is completely true. Sopping wet fur should be shaken out inside the curtain. Inside!
*Laughs*. It’s always the way with werewolves. They can never manage to be housetrained. So how long did it take you to wrestle these werewolves into completion?
Hope(less) was one of my first books. I would say it was a three month labor of love. At least.
What are you working on next?
I’m currently working on Thomas’s book, which is the fourth book in the Companion Series.
Good luck with your current work, I hope it keeps progressing well for you. Now let’s change it up a bit and talk about your writing process. What techniques do you use for writing?
I like setting word goals. Since I write full-time, I do write every day. However, I get bored if I work on just one book at a time. I find I’m more productive if I switch back and forth between two works in progress.
And how about the editing process? How do you deal with editing?
I have an alpha reader who gauges the romance and overall flow/feel of the story. Then at least 5 critique readers that scrutinize plot, motivation, flow, everything. After that, I have a professional content editor who works with me to put polish on the final product. And finally, the proof reader. I’m very tired of my own writing by the end of this process, but I don’t think I’d ever skip a step. All those eyes are needed to catch everything (or almost everything).
I’m glad to hear that you manage to co-ordinate so many eyes to see your book before release. It really does help. How did you feel when you got your first book review?
I cried. No lie. I’d been trying FOREVER (okay, a month) to get someone to just read the book (sorry, Mom, but you didn’t count) and finally got a blogger to say yes. Seriously, I’d sent out so many request emails. Anyway, she read it and loved it. I cried I was so happy. And then I finally started believing my mom.
Now, a few random questions to keep you on your toes! Do you have any philosophies that you live by?
Life is short so eat dessert first!
Can you curl your tongue?
Yep! Curl it and flip it/twist it.
Which are cooler? Dinosaurs or Dragons?
Since they are both noted to eat humans, I’m going with none of the above.
And finally, Is there a question that you haven’t been asked that you’d like to be, or anything that didn’t come up?
Do you have a “do not use” or “most hated words” list? Why yes I do! Moist – Unless we’re talking about a cake, I can’t stand the word. Drag/Dragged/Drug – Just because the tenses annoy the heck out of me. And just about any euphemistic word for reproductive parts, which really limits romance writing. :D
I do have agree with moist, not one of my favorites. I’d like to thank you for being so generous with your time and I hope that we can catch up again in the future to talk about your next work. Good luck with the promotion of Hope(less).
Want to find out more about Melissa? Contact her at the following locations: