Every once in a while you’re reminded that social media can be a really good thing.
Like when you stumble upon an author you had never heard of because of a writer friend you met on Twitter long ago. Shoutout to Tracie Banister!
Thanks to Tracie, I’ve been introduced to Melanie Summers who writes irresistible rom-coms and women’s fiction. Her latest novel, I Used to Be Fun, had me at the title.
Now get to know Melanie and what inspires her. And because she’s such a generous soul, she’s giving away a signed copy of I Used to Be Fun. Want to be in the running? Leave a comment with your name, e-mail, and what novel you can’t wait to read this summer. I’ll pick a winner on May 31st.
Christa Banister: When did you know that you wanted to be a writer? With so many romantic comedies and women’s fiction titles in your arsenal, clearly something about you and writing really stuck.
Melanie Summers: I didn’t have any inkling that I wanted to be a writer until I was 38 and I decided to try my hand at writing a romance novel as a challenge to myself. I gave it a go and LOVED it. And I haven’t looked back since.
Christa: What does a typical writing day look for you?
Melanie: Typically, I get my three teenagers off to school, then dig in, getting straight to work on my current book, whether it’s plotting, writing, or editing. I stop at lunch (and eat with my husband, who also works from home), then walk our dogs, then get back to work, either writing or doing marketing/businessy-stuff (boo, businessy stuff). Then the kids come home and I either keep working or hang out with them, depending on whether they scatter to different parts of the house or if they seem to need some mom time. I take evenings and weekends off for the most part, so I can rest my brain. :)
Christa: Tell us a little about your road to publication and how you landed where you are.
Melanie: I put out my first book in November 2013. It was a super spicy cowboy romance. My husband helped me make the cover and somehow the stars aligned and it sold. Like really sold. A LOT. After a few weeks, I had an offer from a German publisher for translation rights, at which point my husband called every agency in Canada to see if he could talk someone into working with me before they could hang up. It worked. I landed an agent, got a four-book deal with two publishers (HarperCollins Canada and Piatkus Entice). After working with the trad publishers, I went back to being indie, switched to rom-com, and kept going. I love being an indie author, which has a lot to do with enjoying having control over my schedule, branding, pricing, etc. This isn’t to say I wouldn’t work with a big publishing house again, because if the offer was right, I’d absolutely do it.
Christa: I love the uber-relatable title and premise of your new novel, I Used to be Fun. What inspired the idea and what do you hope readers will take away from it?
Melanie: Thanks! The title came from something I actually said to my children on a particularly bad day a few years ago. Well, I didn’t say it so much as yell it at them during a rant about whatever thing they were doing that they weren’t supposed to be (or while they weren’t doing whatever thing they were supposed to be doing, who remembers?).
Christa: If you had to narrow down your favorite five rom-coms of all time, what would they be? And do you have casting ideas for your novel if it became a movie or TV show?
Melanie: My top five rom-coms are: