Today on my blog I’m joined by award-winning, International bestselling author Melissa Foster. Melissa’s books have been recommended by USA Today’s book blog, Hagerstown Magazine, The Patriot and several other print venues. Melissa is here with me today to discuss her new Love in Bloom series featuring the Snow sisters and the Bradens. Contemporary romances that deal with issues of family relationships, career challenges, and finding the courage to open yourself up to someone for a chance at lasting love. I was fortunate to receive advanced reader copies of the first book in the series, Sisters in Love,
and the second, Sisters in Bloom,
in exchange for honest reviews.
Ann: Hi Melissa! Thank you for joining me today. The Love in Bloom series is a little bit of a departure from some of your earlier novels. What inspired you to write this series and delve exclusively into the romance genre?
Melissa: Hi Ann! I’m excited to chat with you. The Love in Bloom series is different than my normal more serious work. I wanted to write something upbeat and fun, but more weighty than a simple romance, and the Snow sisters was the perfect branch to lead with. The Love in Bloom series is actually a nine-book series featuring the Snow sisters and the Bradens, and they are very family centric. While the books take a turn for the steamy side with the Bradens, the heart of the stories are about family, love, commitment, and overcoming our pasts and secret fears.
I have fallen in love with the romance genre and after this series is complete I have a few others that will follow: The Remingtons, who readers will meet in Bursting with Love, Book 8 of the Love in Bloom series. I’m also considering a spin-off series to follow Michelle, Chase, and Rusty as they enter college.
Ann: I’ve followed you as a Facebook fan for a couple of years now. You’ve always talked about how much you love your writing career. But with this series you seem to be really enjoying yourself and sound almost ebullient about writing them. Has it been stressful at all coming out with two novels almost back-to-back? How do you find the time to write with all the marketing you’ve been doing for your latest two books?
Melissa: I’m so glad you follow me. Thank you! It is silly how much in love with writing I am, but it is true and real. I adore writing, always have, but writing romance has given me an entirely new focus, and the characters in the Love in Bloom series have become “friends” in my mind. I think about them often and plan where they’ll go next. I am adding another two books to the Snow Sisters early next year: Sisters at Heart and Sisters in Summer. I have a feeling that we might follow the sisters for years to come.
I have spent the last eight months preparing for this series to launch with one book every thirty days, and actually, I’m way ahead of schedule and will probably have the first 7 books of the series out by Christmas. It hasn’t been stressful. It’s been very exciting and a great learning experience, but it has been time consuming. I have spent far too many 13 hour days at my computer, but my commitment is to my readers. I know when I’m reading a series I don’t want to wait six months for the next installment. I want to read it while the characters are still fresh in my mind, and I wanted to give that gift to my readers. Once January hits I might slow down **bites lip…knows this might not happen** but for now, I want to bring the Bradens to my fans.
As for time to write—I’m very covetous of my writing time. I don’t take phone calls from 8-4 and I only leave my desk under duress. . I do my editing in the evenings and on weekends. Each book goes through six weeks of editing with three editors (and many revisions). There’s really nothing I’d rather do than write. I also have the world’s most supportive husband and family, and they make it easy for me to do what I love.
Ann: I agree having a support system like that makes all the difference!
The two sisters we’ve met so far in the series, Danica and Kaylie are completely different in their personalities and outlooks on life. While I enjoyed both of them, I found myself drawn more to Danica’s story than to Kaylie’s. Maybe it’s because I’m an oldest child. Of the two do you have a particular favorite? Is it hard to change perspectives when you are writing these novels to reflect the differences in each woman?
Melissa: I really don’t have a favorite sister. They both are my favorites at different times. I adore Kaylie’s wild side and her snarky comments. She has a big heart and she just needed to get past that wild stage, which I think many of us have experienced. Danica is the epitome of an older sister, and watching her evolution from conservative to a bit more relaxed, and her personal growth has been equally as fun as writing Kaylie. It’s not difficult to switch roles when I’m writing because they are so different and I feel both of them so strongly. The difficult part is really keeping them from going too far over the edge one way or the other so they become unbelievable, but I don’t think we’re going to see that happen.
Ann: Of the two male love interests for the sisters which one is your biggest crush?
Melissa: Even now, months after writing Blake Carter, I am still crushing on him! I crush on all of my heroes. My poor husband has to listen to me talk about them like they’re real. I asked him to woo me like they do. He laughs, thank goodness, but yeah…Blake is a swoon worthy man!
Ann: He is indeed. =) How many books are there going to be in this series? What is the expected release date for the next book or books in the series and who will those books be about?
Melissa: Right now Love in Bloom is a 9-book series as I mentioned earlier. It will feature the Snow sisters and the Bradens. While the books take a turn for the steamy side with the Bradens, the heart of the stories are about family, love, commitment, and overcoming our pasts and secret fears. However, I have plans for two more Snow sisters novels and the spin off series, The Remingtons, will probably fall under the Love in Bloom umbrella as well, because the characters from the sisters and Bradens cross over.
The launch dates were supposed to be one book every thirty days, however, I’m ahead of schedule and will probably have the first eight books published by Christmas. (I HOPE)
Watch for the full 9-book LOVE IN BLOOM series:
Sisters in Love
Sisters in Bloom
Sisters in White
Lovers at Heart
Destined for Love
Friendship on Fire
Sea of Love
Bursting with Love
Hearts at Play
Ann: In addition to being a bestselling author, you are the founder of The Women’s Nest, and The World Literary Café. Can you tell us a little about each group and how and why you started them?
Melissa: Sure! The Women’s Nest is a social and support site for women, where we chat about our lives and help each other through transitions. It’s a gathering place for women who want to talk privately, as opposed to on social networks such as Facebook. I started the Nest years ago as a way to communicate with other women when working from home.
The World Literary Café is an online community that bridges the gap between readers and authors, with the mission of paying-it-forward in the literary field, promoting great literature and bringing together the literary community. The WLC offers helpful promotions to authors, reviewers, bloggers, and editors by creating avenues to bring them together under one umbrella in an easily navigable venue. I started the World Literary Café as a way to give back to readers and authors. I wanted to help authors reach readers and offer a community of support.
I also run Fostering Success, which is an educational venue for authors, where they can learn about self-publishing, marketing, and developing the online presence and platform.
Ann: Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me today Melissa. It was really great having you as a guest on my blog!
Melissa: I’ve had so much fun answering these questions. Thank you for sharing your blog with me!
If you would like to know more about Melissa Foster and her wonderful books check out her website at www.melissafoster.com
. To purchase either Sisters in Love,
or Sisters in Bloom
on Amazon simply click the title names and it will take you directly to the site for purchase. Melissa’s books can also be purchased at B&N
. Other books in the series should be available for pre-order via B&N
within the next few weeks. Melissa Foster is also a Goodreads
author. If you have a Goodreads
account click on her page and sign up to be a fan for updates on all her upcoming releases.