(Chapters And Chats) I’ve had the honor of speaking with award winning author Melissa Foster. She is the founder of World Literary Café, Fostering Success and The Women’s Nest. An advocate for women’s rights, Melissa is on the advisory board for the Alliance of Independent Authors and is a touchstone in the indie publishing arena. When she’s not writing, Melissa teaches authors how to navigate the book marketing world, build their platforms, and leverage the power of social media. She is presently collaborating on the film adaption of‘Megan’s Way’.

C&C: With your incredibly busy schedule, including raising a family of six children I wonder how you found the time to fit this interview into the mix. How do you juggle all the things on your plate?

MF: I’m a supreme scheduler. I schedule all of the priorities in my life and even schedule my downtime. That sounds crazy, right? Well, for our family, it works. I know that if I have articles to write or interview questions to answer, I can get up a little earlier on the weekend and still have the day with my family. Life is much easier now that our youngest is eleven. For years we were juggling too many sporting events to count every weekend. I think when something is important to you, you just do it.

C&C: Did you have a plan in mind for Tess and Beau in ‘Come Back To Me’ or did their story play out as you wrote?

MF: Yes, the plan I had for them was very different than the outcome. In some ways, I think my readers might have enjoyed my original ending to the story, but when I came to that point in the writing process, I had to do what felt real to the story. That’s probably one of the things I like most about writing—the surprises. I have to tell you, my kids think I’m nutty. Sometimes I come out of my office and say something like, “I can’t believe my character just did that! Who the heck does she think she is!” My children roll their eyes and respond, “Mom, you are writing the book. You have control over what the characters do!” They have no idea how far from the truth that is. C&C: Which is the character in the book that you indentified with the most?

MF: That’s a difficult question that I have not been asked before. I guess I’d say Beau, because nothing in my life ever comes easily. Everything takes far more effort than it seems it does for others.

C&C: Melissa, you are a very talented writer, to whom do you attribute your love of reading and writing?

MF: Everyday when I came home from grade school, I would find my mother’s nose in a paperback. I’ve never met anyone who could accomplish so much and still have time to read an entire novel each day. I would have to say that my love of reading came from her. As for my writing—I have no clue. No one in my family is a writer, so perhaps it stemmed from my love of reading.

C&C: Being a champion of women’s rights, what aspect do you find the most rewarding?

MF: In this fast-paced, high-stress world, where the pressure to always be “on” can be overwhelming, I think it’s easy for some women to get bogged down and forget to enjoy life—they forget that they matter. They forget to value their health. Women are the nurturers. Mothers are taking care of children, cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, working to earn a living, and trying to maintain Facebook and Twitter profiles just to stay afloat—they forget to slow down. For me, the most rewarding aspect of helping women, is helping them to see the positive side of life, the joys in the daily grind—and helping them to recognize that carving out some “me-time” is a healthy way to rejuvenate, which will benefit everyone around them. When they recognize that, and learn that it’s okay to bow out gracefully or to take a deep breath and enjoy the sunset, that’s very rewarding. We have one life to live, and if we never slow down to live it, then we’re missing out on a lot.

C&C: Brad Meltzer has written books to his children about the hero’s in his life, who is your hero and why?

MF: My hero is Winnie the Pooh, because he is completely selfless, he adores his friends, and he’s not at all pretentious.

C&C: OK, so the most asked interview question is; which novel do you wish you had written, what would be your choice?

MF: That’s the most asked question? I’ve never been asked that, lol. That’s a terribly difficult question. Can you see the gears in my head churning? Um…I don’t honestly wish I had thought up many other authors’ books, but I guess if I had to choose one I would probably say…Shoot, I have no idea. I don’t write to become famous or to earn millions of dollars, so what draws me to books is the premise behind the stories. Maybe A Thousand Splendid Suns. The writing was so strong, and the story was simply amazing.

C&C: I write in probably the most unlikely place; my sofa with one of my dogs curled up on my lap. Where do you write? Describe the space.

MF: That sounds comfy, but I have issues with my wrists, so I write at my desk, in an office with windows on two sides. My office is colourful with deep reds, golden rod yellows, blacks, and turquoise, and I have little wooden signs that read, “Very little is needed to make a happy life,” and “If only mosquitoes sucked fat instead of blood.” My office is all about textures, memories, and feelings. There are quotes about faith and dreams, tons of pictures of my family, and photos of Cape Cod. My office is my favourite place in my house.

C&C: What are you working on now besides the exciting process of bringing ‘Megan’s Way’ to the big screen?

MF: I have just completed TRACES OF KARA, a psychological thriller about a deranged twin who has found his sister after years of being separated, and who believes the only way he can be reunited with her is to kill them both at the exact moment of their birth. TRACES OF KARA is currently on submission to publishers.

I’ve also just completed the first draft of PETALS IN THE WIND, a women’s suspense novel about a woman whose repressed memories of her childhood best friend’s disappearance comes back to haunt her.

: If a movie was being made about your life which actress do you see playing you?

MF: That’s too funny of a question! Probably Drew Barrymore, because she’s silly and fun, not conventionally beautiful or stick skinny, very hippyish, and she seems to follow her heart rather than conventional paths.

C&C: Melissa, I want to thank you for spending this time with your readers allowing us a glimpse into your life. I know all of your fans, me included, are eagerly awaiting your next novel.

MF: Thank you, Jodi! I have really enjoyed our chat, and I’m very thankful to all of my readers for taking the time to read my interviews and support my writing by reading my books. There is nothing I enjoy more than writing—unless you include chocolate—then it’s a dead-even match!

For more information about Melissa, her books and numerous endeavors, please visithttp://melissafoster.com http://www.worldliterarycafe.com http://www.fostering-success.comhttp://www.thewomensnest.com

 
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