Writing since she was old enough to put pen to paper, Deborah Fletcher Mello firmly believes that for her, writing is as necessary as breathing. Her first novel, TAKE ME TO HEART, earned her a 2004 Romance Slam Jam nomination for Best New Author. In 2008, Deborah won the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice award for Best Series Romance for her ninth novel, TAME A WILD STALLION. Her publication, CRAVING TEMPTATION was named one of Publisher's Weekly Best Books for 2014 and was also nominated for a 2015 Emma Award for Book of the Year. As well, her novel PLAYING FOR KEEPS was a Library Journal Best of 2015 and won the Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice award for Best Multicultural Romance. In 2016 Deborah was named the Romance Slam Jam Author of the Year. Born and raised in Fairfield County, Connecticut, Deborah maintains base camp in North Carolina but considers home to be wherever the moment moves her.
How can readers get in contact with you?
I’m all over the internet and readers can find me here, here, here, and there!
What would you like readers to take away from your book? What did you learn while writing this book?
Good question! I hope that readers will first, enjoy a great story. I want them to close the book feeling like they just enjoyed a terrific read. Ultimately, I want them to LIKE my writing! While writing this story I discovered that the initial characters I envisioned had a mind of their own. My heroine, Simone Black, was more vulnerable that I imagined her to be and that vulnerability played out in an interesting way across the pages.
What did you hope to accomplish with this book?
I wanted to put a spotlight on the pharmaceutical industry and the host of problems associated with medicine in America. Obviously, there’s only so much that I could do in a romantic suspense, but I hope that it will give readers something to think about.
Which character did you have the most fun writing about?
I really love my hero, Dr. Paul Reilly. He’s not my usual Alpha male and I enjoyed fleshing out his sensitivities. He’s not your flashy cop with a badge type. He’s quiet and unassuming, but he loves hard and will fight harder for everything he believes in. He just makes my heart sing!
What do you believe makes your stories stand out?
I want to believe that I build strong characters that readers connect to and fall in love with. I try to make them feel like people you know and definitely people you would like to know! They’re flawed and imperfect and all they want is what we all want. A connection to something or someone that brings them joy. They struggle and fight for what they need like most of us do. They just want to be loved!
What do you do when your book isn’t selling?
In all honesty, I’m too busy writing the next book to worry about what the numbers may or may not be doing. Some stories will connect with readers more than others. You can never predict what readers will want and what they will not want, so I only concern myself with what I can control. My job is to give readers a great story and I’m committed to doing that to the best of my ability. I can control my writing so that is my one and only concern.
What literary event can we find you at this year?
I’m done for the 2019 season. I had some health issues this year and wasn’t able to travel and do as many literary events as I would have liked. I’m hopeful that 2020 will be better and I’ll get around more. I’ll keep you posted as I firm up my schedule.
Who was the first author you ever met?
The first author I ever met was a children’s author when I was a kid. It was a signing at a local bookstore in Connecticut that my grandmother dragged me to. I don’t remember his name. I do remember that I didn’t like his book. I thought the illustrations were ugly. The first published romance author I met was Jacquelin Thomas. She mentored me when my first book was published and has since become a really good friend.
What’s the most interesting change in your life as a result of being a published author?
I really had to think about this one for a minute! I think the most interesting change is that I never seem to have enough time! My to-do list feels ten-times longer and there never seems to be enough hours in a day to write the way I want to write.
What has surprised you most about being a published author?
I was actually surprised by the support I’ve gotten from other authors. Writing is a very solitary endeavor and I’ve been blessed to connect with some incredible women who constantly push me to be a better writer. It’s a sisterhood, and the bonds of friendship that have been established have been pure joy!
What about writing do you wish non writers would understand?
I would hope that non-writers understand that this is a job like any other job. Our time and efforts should be respected. This is hard work and requires us to stay on top of our game, to continue educating ourselves and perfecting our craft. We’re not writing on a whim, and no, not everyone can write a good book, no matter what they may think.
I also want readers to know that despite our desire, we will never be able to churn out the next book as fast as you read the last one!
Can you give us one do and one don't for those aspiring to be an author?
Don’t say you want to write a book but then you never write. The act of actually writing is essential to being an author.
Do remember the authors who paved the way for you to do what you love. Those that opened doors for all of us, who faced challenges that we may never know, have earned their due and should be respected.
When you're not writing, what do you like to do in your spare time?
When I’m not writing, I try to catch up on my reading! That’s not always easy though. I’m also a craft nerd. I make dolls. I quilt. I paint. I love spending time doing artistic stuff and making things with my hands.
Oprah always asks, what do you know for sure?
If there’s one thing I know for sure it’s that I love doing what I do. Putting pen to paper and crafting a story is the ultimate high for me. I can’t imagine myself doing anything else.
Any last words for our readers?
I just want to say thank you to everyone who supports me and my writing. Please know that I greatly appreciate you buying my books, posting your reviews and recommending me to your family and friends. Your support means the world to me! And thank you, LaShaunda, for your patience with this interview and for always being an advocate for authors and readers. Love you to pieces!
A megacorporation starts killing patients…And two exes must reunite to save lives!
When he discovers his patients’ lives are threatened, Dr. Paul Reilly can turn to only one person: Simone Black. She will have his back, even if they don’t agree on much else. But as the former lovers work together to track down the evildoers who are tampering with medications, they rediscover unexpected feelings for one another…even as an enemy wants to silence them permanently.
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