Monday, May 23, 2011
FEATURED AUTHOR: Deborah Fletcher Mello
Writing for as long as she can remember, Deborah Fletcher Mello can’t imagine herself doing anything else. Her first romance novel, Take Me To Heart, earned her a 2004 Romance Slam Jam nomination for Best New Author. In 2005 she received Book of the Year and Favorite Heroine nominations for her novel, The Right Side of Love, and in 2009 won a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award for her ninth novel, Tame A Wild Stallion. This year, Deborah’s eleventh novel, Promises To A Stallion, has earned her a 2011 Romance Slam Jam nomination for Hero Of The Year.
For Deborah, writing is as necessary as breathing and she firmly believes that if she could not write she would cease to exist. Weaving a story that leaves her audience feeling full and complete, as if they’ve just enjoyed an incredible meal, is the ultimate thrill for her. Born and raised in Connecticut, Deborah now maintains base camp in North Carolina, but considers home to be wherever the moment moves her.
How did you start out your writing career?
I started scribbling poetry in the margins of my seventh grade science lab book. I hated science with a passion and would write to kill time in class. An astute science teacher gave me an opportunity to continue writing for a passing grade and I took full advantage of it. She validated the experience and I’ve been writing ever since.
What did you learn while writing this book?
I learned that there is nothing that I can’t accomplish if I put my mind to it. Although RESTED WATERS placed favorably in three writing competitions, the major publishing houses would not touch it. I was told that there was no audience for a tale of its kind, that no one would read it. The book eventually took on a life of its own and from start to finish I’ve wanted to prove all the naysayers wrong.
What did you hope to accomplish with this book?
From the first word to the very last, all I wanted was to tell a great story that resonated with readers.
Which character did you have the most fun writing about?
Although the main character, Janay Tucker, is near and dear to my heart, I most loved giving life to her grandfather, Daddy James. He embodies the spirit of my father and the supporting cast of men who have supported me so completely over the years.
What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?
I think I have been most surprised by how darn long it takes for a book to go through the acceptance/publishing process.
What aspect of writing do you love the best, and which do you hate the most?
What I love most is seeing a story blossom from the simplest experience or idea. I love breathing life into my characters knowing that someone may actually connect with their experiences. There is absolutely nothing about writing that I hate.
What are three things you wish you’d known before you reached where you are now?
I’m not sure there is anything I’d wished I’d known before. It’s all been one learning experience after another and the lessons have come when I most needed them. They’ve also been necessary for me to grow both professionally and personally.
Can you give us one do and one don’t for those aspiring to be a writer?
Do write because it’s what you love most to do. Don’t be deterred by those who try to take the joy of writing from you.
What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?
That what I do comes from my heart and I leave a little piece of myself in everything I write. It’s not a hobby, nor have my accomplishments been just a fluke, but the result of serious effort and hard work.
If you could be a character from any book you've read, who would you be?
The heroine, Serena Baddeaux Tremain from Guy Johnson’s Standing At The Scratch Line. The hero, King Tremain was a man who absolutely took my breath away and after reading the book, I wouldn’t make half the mistakes with that man that Serena made.
When you're not writing, what do you like to do in your spare time?
I move non-stop. So when I’m not writing I’m reading, quilting, cooking, crafting, going to line dance and belly dance classes and enjoying as much as I can every chance I can.
What do you do to interact with your readers?
I have my blog site (DeborahMello.blogspot.com), my FaceBook page, and I’m trying to navigate the Twitter thing. But I don’t do nearly as much as I would like to do simply because of the constraints that life imposes upon us all.
Our theme for this month is BOOK READERS. Give a shot out to five book clubs who have featured your books.
I could never just shout out five book clubs because there have been so many that have followed me faithfully, critiqued me when I needed it the most and have just been generous in their support of my writing and my books. I love, appreciate, and applaud them all!
Oprah always asks, What do you know for sure?
I know that I will not always get it right but as long as I can take ink to paper, lay out the words until they flow like poetry, then getting it wrong will inevitably be alright.
Can you give us a sneak peek of your next book?
I have a holiday novella, ALL I WANT IS YOU, coming October 4, 2011 with author-friend Kayla Perrin. I tell the story of renowned bakery chef Malisa Ivey who is accidently trapped inside the platform for a massive New Year’s Eve cake she’s designed for the Whitman Corporation’s end-of-the-year, black-tie soiree. The platform is delivered to business tycoon Gabriel Whitman on Christmas Eve and their holiday season kicks off with quite a bang!
And then of course, the Stallion men are back in May 2012 with brother Matthew Stallion’s story, STALLION HEAT. Readers will finally discover who fathered family friend, Vanessa Long’s baby.
How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)
Readers can reach me through the links on my blog site, www.deborahmello.blogspot.com or they can email me directly at DeborahMello@aol.com. And I do hope they will get in contact with me. I love to hear what they think about my stories.
Rehashing history through the eyes of her paternal grandfather, James Tucker, Janay is made to flash back to a past with an abusive mother who dies a violent death, a father imprisoned for the crime, and the family and friends left to help rebuild her future. Through a tapestry of human encounters, Rested Waters delves into the emotions and experiences of love and turmoil, racism and respect, flesh and spirit.
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