Last year, author Melissa Grace reached out to me about reading and reviewing her first novel, Home is Where You Are, and I DEVOURED that book in just a couple of days (only because work got in the way of me finishing in one day 🙄). I do not know about you, but those are my favorite kind of books—the ones you cannot put down because the author has created a world/story that makes you feel you are right in the middle of it!
Fast forward to this year, her second book in the Midnight in Dallas series was released, and it is titled Home Again; I am pretty sure I loved it just as much as the first if that is even possible. Needless to say, I hope that if you are into the genre of contemporary romance, you will pick up her books. I think it is essential to pass along authors who are not only great writers but are also all-around good people. I think you will find why I have grown to love Melissa Grace both as a writer and overall friend once you read this mini-interview I was able to have with her!
1. What made you decide to become a writer?
This is a tough question to answer because I knew from when I was in second grade that I wanted to be a writer. I wrote my first ‘book’ in Mrs. Brenda’s second-grade class, and it just spiraled from there. When I was probably thirteen or so, I read my first Lurlene McDaniel book, and I think that lit a fire in me. That was the first time I realized the kind of storyteller I wanted to be. Lurlene retired recently, but for her whole career, she wrote stories that really captured the difficult parts of the human experience–grief, illness, you name it, she wrote about it. Her stories were for young adults, but from an early age, it helped me realize that I wanted to be able to do for other people what Lurlene did for me. Her books helped me navigate tough emotions within the safety of a book, but the thing I loved most about her stories was that they were always filled with hope.
2. Where did you get the inspiration to begin writing the Midnight in Dallas series?
Weirdly, the initial inspiration came from the last story in the series, and then I kind of worked my way backward. I knew I wanted all of my heroines to be over the age of thirty. I’d been reading a lot of books and I noticed that most of the heroines were in their twenties. I love those stories, but I wanted to see more women that were representative of me, my friends, and where we are in life. I don’t know if people think that women over thirty and forty magically have their shit figured out or what, but I know I sure don’t. I think the only difference between me in my twenties and me now is I’m no longer faking having my shit together. I’m very open about the fact that I am now and probably always will be a work in progress. It was also important to me to show that women don’t shrivel up after thirty. We still crave romance and magic, and it’s never too late for us to go after our dreams. I wrote my first book at thirty-six. It is never too late.
3.What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters?
They have minds of their own sometimes. I tell them to go left, but if they want to go right, that’s what they’re going to do. I don’t feel like I’m really creating them so much as they are creating themselves. They’re calling the shots–I’m just the pen.
4.Prior to writing, were you an avid reader? What are some of your favorite genres?
Always. One of my fondest memories growing up was going with my grandmother to the big library in Nashville instead of the teeny tiny one out where I lived every week over the summer. I would check out seven to ten books a week and then go back and do it all over again the next week. I love romance, but I also love women’s fiction, psychological thrillers, and some non-fiction too.
5.Outside of writing, what are some of your hobbies?
My hobbies include reading, procrastinating, and going to Target. Oh, and collecting random cats that show up at my house. I didn’t choose the cat lady life. The cat lady life chose me.
6. I have to know, what is your favorite food?
Is coffee a food? Because I love coffee. Honestly, I just love food. Liv was a baker in Home Is Where You Are because I am an amateur baker. My favorite food changes constantly. Right now it’s barramundi tacos. Oh and that Everything But The Bagel dip from Trader Joe’s. And blueberries. I am obsessed with blueberries.
Here is where you can find Melissa Grace on the web!