K-Thank you so much for joining us. I am delighted to do this interview. I have so many questions. First, let me make sure I have all the facts. You are an award-winning author of three novels. You are the founder of the World Literary Café, where you mentor and support other writers. You also founded the Women's Nest, a social and support community for women, and your newest venture, Fostering Success. In addition, you are a wife and mother to six children. Did I miss anything?
M- Wow, I sound busy, lol. You’ve got it, that’s me in a nutshell, but I have to admit, I am also a chocoholic and a tweetaholic. I need a few 12-step programs. And, Kat, I’m truly honored to be your guest today. I admire your generosity and kindness that you share with those around you.
K- I have so much admiration for you, Melissa. I do not know how you manage to juggle everything. Will you please describe a typical day in Melissa Foster’s life? I want to know how your secrets. Please start with what time you wake up, meals, caffeine consumption, everything in between and then end with what time you go to sleep.
M- I’m afraid I will bore you terribly. I get wake up every morning at about 5:30am and just lay in bed thinking of the day ahead, until about 6:30. Then I rally my 12 yr old, shower, dry my mop of hair, and wake up my 11 yr old at 7. I then head for the kitchen, where there are lunches to be made and coffee to be brewed, and many shouts of, “Jake, get out of bed. I mean it. Now, please.” I drive Jess to school, then come back and drive Jake to school, then at 8:45 I sit at my computer and dive into social networks and emails. This takes hours. I teach people to take 10 minutes – no more – but for me, it’s an all day affair that doesn’t end until about 12:30am. At 10 am I start bouncing between writing, emails, and answering WLC inquiries. In between, I check in on my private author groups on FB and try to respond to every Twitter DM that isn’t a sales pitch. I also spend about an hour each day reaching out and marketing aspects of WLC to groups to see how we might collaborate.
The second cup of coffee is consumed around 1pm with a baked chicken breast and cucumber (summer diet), followed by Starburst, Laffy Taffy, or Skittles (no chocolate while preparing for vacation). 2:15 I pick up my 12 yr/old, then I pick up my 11 yr old at 3, and they do their own thing while I run through emails again. The rest of the night is a blur of preparing for WLC promotions, jotting down story ideas, checking social networks, and marketing.
I fall into bed at 12-12:30am, read until 1am, then close my eyes and get ready to start again.
This is all going to change soon. I’m reclaiming my life, redesigning my schedule, and I will be writing again from 7:30-1 daily, beginning June 1st.
K-I don’t know how you do it. Only two cups of coffee? So June 1st is the big day. It sounds like a new book or books might be in the making this summer. I can’t wait!
When I read ‘Megan’s Way’, it was quite a ride. In the beginning, the intensity of what Megan was experiencing actually made my chest hurt. Then later, oh, how I cried & cried… I know that your inspiration came from a health scare that your mother went through, it must have touched you deeply.
M- I am truly lucky. My mother is one of my best friends, and I respect her as a mother, a business person, and, of course, as a friend. When she had her health scare, she kept the truth from me for a year. When I learned that if she’d had cancer, she would not have gotten treatments (this was twenty years ago – treatments did not have as favorable of an outcome at that time), I was deeply hurt. Although I had children of my own at the time, I reverted to an angry teenager, and it was all about me, “How could you choose to leave me like that?!” It took me about ten years to come through the other side of that selfishness and see how selfless she actually had been acting. To say I was touched is beyond an understatement. I live in fear of the day I lose my mother. It’s not that I’m a Mama’s Girl, just that I so adore her, that I know I’ll miss her every second of the rest of my life.
K- I know exactly what you mean. I can’t bear to think about losing my mother. She is a breast cancer survivor and I thank God every day and pray to keep her healthy.
Let’s get off that topic and on to something fun!
I heard that Megan’s Way is going to be a movie! That must be a dream come true. How did it come about?
M- Again, I think I’m very lucky. I was referred to my director while I was on vacation in Cape Cod, and she happened to be there at the same time. She read Megan’s Way, loved it, and really believed in Megan’s Story. It is, indeed, a dream come true.
K- If you could cast the actors, who would you choose?
M- I really love Virginia Madsen. I’d love to see her as Megan. As for Olivia, I’m not sure, but I think Elle Fanning would be fantastic.
K-I have a ritual. I like to do a “writing exercise” with the authors that I interview. I give them a scene and then ask them to re-write the scene in their own special style. Are you game?
M-Okay, I’ll take a shot
K-Okay- here you go:
Anil sat quietly in the dark room, staring down into the amber liquid in the glass he held in his hand. He quickly swallowed the whiskey, in one gulp. Then he screamed out filthy obscenities, while he hurled the glass to the floor. He grimaced as a large glass shard bounced up and lodged in his bare ankle. He reached down and grabbed the glass shard, and pushed it deeply in to his skin, and then pulled the shard through his leg, all the way up to his knee.
He screamed out in pain and then grabbed the glass shard and threw it back on the floor. He did not notice the blood gushing down his leg and pooling on the floor. He felt a little better now. He had discovered that cutting himself seemed to calm him down. Sometimes he became so irate and agitated it took more than just a few cuts. It was starting to escalate. Like a drug, he needed more and more. The month before he was not able to soothe himself until he had sliced off his pinky finger
M- Anil sat in the corner of the room, the darkness pressing in on him. He clenched a whiskey glass between his three fingers and his thumb. He sucked down the whiskey in one fast gulp, grimacing as the hot liquid slid down his throat, then grit his teeth and threw the glass against the wall. His heartbeat pounded in his ears, sweat poured down his brow. He breathed in fast, hard spurts, wishing his fiancé hadn’t left him, made a fool of him. He’d show her. He stood, a shard of glass sliced into the arch of his bare foot.
“Mother effer!” He crouched, yanked the glass from his foot, and watched the blood gush onto the cold concrete floor. Anil mumbled under his breath as he jabbed the glass into his calf, tearing it upward, leaving a thick trail of blood oozing onto the floor. His pulse calmed. Numbness set in. I’ll show that bitch. His eyes bulged, settling on his missing pinky. Cutting was his savior—the pinky had been just the beginning.
K- I love it! So delightfully twisted!
Do you have any exciting events or book promotions coming up?
M- I think every book promotion is exciting! I am currently on a summer blog tour, and my newest manuscript, TRACES OF KARA, is currently being shopped to publishers, so we shall see where that lands me. I’m refocusing WLC for authors to make it a more user-friendly site, and that’s going to be a big change. Fostering Success is currently in a beta-testing stage, and I’m exciting about launching that in the next 4 weeks. Overall, I think I have a lot to look forward to, and I hope to bring my readers several great stories in the next 12 months.
K- Melissa, thank you so much for joining us. It was wonderful chatting with you. Where can people find you and your work on the web?
Thank you, Kat, it was my pleasure! Below are my links, and I love to chat with readers, so please, find me! Xox
My social network for women- The Women's Nest
Original interview posted on author Kathleen Patel's website