I had the opportunity to ask Melinda a few questions about writing and her journey and I’m excited to share the interview with you.
Melinda, are you a panster or a plotter? And how do you approach a new idea?
I’m definitely a plotter. I started out as a panster, but I never finished any of my work, so when I have a new idea, I write out a chapter outline with different color pens and notes before I start a new project.
Do you have the same critique partners for all your work or do you have different sets? And why?
I have the same for the most part because they’re brilliant and I’m neurotic.
What is the most difficult aspect about being a writer?
For me, it’s all of it. From writing those first words to editing, to promoting to the image. I have a hard time with everything about it and it can get pretty intense since the majority of my time is dedicated to this career that I’m constantly second guessing. Yet in the same breath, I feed off of that difficulty and love every aspect.
What are your top three nuggets of wisdom you would like to share with unpublished writers?
I would say that honesty, perseverance and perspective would be my advice. I think being honest with your work and yourself is extremely important. I would also say know your goals, and keep at it. Nothing worth anything was ever gained easily.
What is your favorite part of the writing process?
Researching and also writing the first and last pages. It’s the beginning of an adventure and at the end of it I have a book that details every moment.
Do you have any suggestions for editing drafts?
Be honest and ruthless. I’ve rewritten so many manuscripts, butchered them really and rewrote them in ways I didn’t think I could, but it gives me perspective. I get to see my manuscript from a completely different view and it only helps to make it better.
What do you think is the most important element a story should have?
Balance between telling too little and telling too much. I always try to make sure that the story isn’t boring or confusing and I think if it shifts too much either way the story itself is at risk.
Do you have other stories in the works?
I do! The sequel to Golden is Roses, which is already completed. I’m currently working on the third book, Glass. There will be five all together.
I wrote a blog about self-doubt being a new demon I encountered. Do you have any writing demons?
I have about twenty and they all show their faces every day. Fear of failure, fear of success, and my own insecurities. The list goes on and on. Self-doubt is a big one. But who doesn’t worry about those things? Some days I’m convinced I’m the greatest thing since sliced bread and other days, I’m afraid to open my laptop and continue a project because I’ve lost sight of the story. What kind of writer is afraid to write? Every single one at some time or another.
If someone wrote a book about your life, who would star as you in the movie version?
Louie Anderson… No, just kidding. I would probably like to see Emma Stone play me because she’s hilarious and I think I’m hysterical, but we look nothing alike. Plus, she’s actually funny and I’m just faking it.
What led you to this genre?
I adore high fantasy and even wrote two novels in that genre, but when I started Golden, I could feel that it wanted to go another way, but I didn’t know which way. I did some research and discovered magical realism, read up on it and was surprised at how fitting it was for Golden, like it was finally home.
Favorite recipe or story you’d like to share
Oh! What I made tonight, it was so easy. Cup of bread crumbs, cup of parmesan cheese, mix. Dip pork chops in olive oil, then the mix, bake at 350 for 45 minutes. I have a zillion recipes.
Now that you know more about Melinda, please go check out her new release: Golden
High school senior Hanna Loch just suffered a blackout in front of her entire homeroom class. She hasn’t had one in over ten years, and she’s terrified—the last time she blacked out, she woke up with no memory of her life before. To make matters worse, no one can explain why it happens. For aHanna, bad things tend to come in threes.
And that doesn’t even begin to cover it . . .
When she learns she could be a descendant of someone who lived once upon a time, Hanna must put her trust in William Vann, a descendant of one of the most hated villains ever known. Their histories are intertwined in more ways than she expected, and he has answers about her past, answers even her family won’t share.
But is it safe to put her trust in someone who appears to be danger reincarnate, while trying to escape the darkness that tried to kill her ten years ago?
A loose fairytale retelling, GOLDEN is a story that’s just right, weaving together lost secrets, vengeful enemies, and what happens when fiction becomes reality.
More about Melinda Michaels:
Melinda Michaels is the author of Golden and currently lives in Milford, Pennsylvania. A self-proclaimed historian with a rare sense of humor, Melinda finds an immense amount of joy in knowing useless facts, exploring historical places and drinking copious amounts of coffee. When she’s not writing she can be found researching obscured time periods for her own amusement or refurbishing old furniture.
Golden is the first in a Young Adult magic realism series.