Monday, May 6, 2013

Author Spotlight............Melissa Collins

Let Love In has a release date fast approaching for Friday, May 10, 2013.  Each day this week we will share with you something about this new indie author and her book!!!!!!!!

What would happen if you lost everything? If the people who were supposed to love you unconditionally were no longer there for you, how would your world change? 

Madeleine Becker lost everything when her parents died when she was ten years old. Ripped from her home and everything that she has ever loved, she is forced to start all over again. The only way for her to move on is to build walls around her heart and keep everyone at a safe distance. Her logic: she can't get hurt if she doesn't fall in love. 

That theory is blown to pieces when she meets Reid Connely during her freshman year at college. He is gorgeous and darkly mysterious. He understands Maddy's pain all too well, but sharing his pain would mean breaking down the walls he put up around his own heart. Conflicted between loving Maddy and hiding his dark past, Reid starts to reevaluate his world. Maddy's inner strength, snarky personality and breath taking beauty help Reid to make peace with his past. 

Together they find out what happens when they let love in.

About Melissa Collins

I’ve always been an avid reader.  Majoring in English Literature was a no brainer.  Becoming a teacher and instilling my love for reading into my students was also a no brainer.  I’ve spent the last ten years teaching and I’ve loved (mostly) every minute of it.  When I was home on maternity leave for my third son, I discovered a new genre that sparked my creativity.  My passion for writing sprang from my love of reading and once I knew I had a story to tell, I couldn’t wait to get it out there.  I only hope that my readers enjoy reading my story as much as I enjoyed writing it.  

Question and Answer Time

What inspired you to write this story?
· When I was home on maternity leave with my third son, my husband bought me an iPad. Well an e-reader and the 50 Shades trilogy was a dangerous combination because in the last year and a few months, I have read more books than I care to admit to. I started seeing the pattern of these horribly broken and tragic characters and I thought that I could come up with something that was a little bit more realistic. Yes my characters are broken, but aren’t we all. The idea that even through pain, somehow people find the strength to keep moving forward, to keep looking for love – that is what inspired me.

What made you choose self publishing?
· I don’t want to put myself down, and I’m not going to say that it wouldn’t get accepted by a traditional publisher, but I knew I had a good enough story to get out there and with the ease of self-publishing, I could guarantee that my story would reach an audience. And it is! Holy crap, my book is going to be out to the public soon.

What are you currently working on?
· I’m currently writing the conclusion to Maddy and Reid’s story – Let Love Stay – which will hopefully be out this summer. I’m also working on a stand-alone contemporary romance called From The Wreckage. After that, I’d like to write a third book in The Love Series, which is untitled at this point, but it will be the story of Melanie, Maddy’s best friend.

What surprised you the most during this entire process from the idea all the way to release?
· How willing people are to help. Seriously, the world is a crazy place and most people don’t care about much other than what concerns them. But what I’ve found through this whole process is that there is a slew of bloggers, indie-authors and promoters out there who are genuinely interested in getting word out about my book. I’m in awe at the kindness and generosity that I’ve seen from this side of the computer.

What has been your biggest challenge?
· TIME!!! I’m a full time teacher – AP high school students, a wife, a mother to three little boys under 4 years old and I wrote a freaking book in 8 weeks. I still have no clue how I fit it all in!

What author(s) have influenced you both to read, teach, and to write?
· American Lit was my focus in college and there is something magical and universal about the desire to be more than you currently are that runs throughout that genre. Ironically, it’s that same desire to be more than you, to have more than you do, that’s present in this New Adult / Contemporary Romance genre. We all want happiness and a sense of belonging and I think those ideas are what have most influenced my interest in reading and writing.

· In the romance genre, I have been most influenced and inspired by stories from Jasinda Wilder, Colleen Hoover, Ella Fox and Bella Andre – just to name a few.

What would you say to someone also aspiring to write?
· Not to sound too much like Dory from Finding Nemo, but just keep writing. There were days that I had no clue what was going to come out of my head, but I sat down and wrote anyway. Sometimes it was good and sometimes – well, sometimes, not so much. But the bottom line is that I still wrote.

What is your favorite book of 2013? What are you currently reading?
· I know I was a bit behind the times on these, but I only just read Slammed and Point of Retreat. I haven’t read This Girl yet – I know! I know! – I must be the last person alive who hasn’t read it. I want to wait until I can devote an entire day to it so I can enjoy it. I also loved Hopeless and I can’t wait for the sequel.

What is your favorite place to write? Do you have any writing quirks, special drinks, habits, etc?
· I do a lot of writing from my couch. I wish I had my own office or something like that, but I guess that’s just not meant to be. I also do a decent chunk of writing after work before I pick my kids up from day care – you know, if I don’t have papers to grade!
· I don’t know how other author’s approach writing, but I just sit down and write. I let the story come to me. I don’t sketch out characters or outline chapters. I just go with what I have in my head and let that idea take me where it’s going to take me. It’s crazy and scary, but so far it seems to have worked.

What is your favorite line or scene from Let Love In?
· I know it’s lame to say, but I really can’t pick just one. There’s so much from this book that I love. ***I’ve attached a picture / snippet of one of my faves for you to include if you’d like.  (Posted below)

Like what you see and read?  All the places you can stalk Melissa are below :).  Be sure to add this book to your Goodreads to read shelf and get your copy Friday!!!!!!

Twitter - @mcollinsauthor

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