1. Do you have a favorite type of book? What are you reading right now?
I gravitate toward books that are very close to real life—or at least that I can fathom happening in real life. I like strong, complex, female heroines who have something big to lose. I prefer fiction, and to read books that have bigger purposes than just to entertain, although I do like those, too.
Right now I’m reading Raven Stole The Moon, by Garth Stein.
2. Where did you get the idea for Megan's Way?
Years ago, my mother had surgery and decided not to tell me that they thought she had cancer. Luckily, she didn’t, but she told me a year later that if she had, she had decided not to have treatments. Even though I was a mother, I instantly reverted back to being her daughter, and I was devastated. It took me years to wade through my emotions of feeling like she would have abandoned me, to understanding that there were larger issues at hand than just the selfishness of a daughter. In time, I came to understand, from a mother’s perspective, why she would have made that decision.
For this reason, it was easy for me to slip into both Megan and Olivia’s shoes when I was writing the book.
3. How long did it take you to write Megan's Way?
I think it was about a year.
4. You've written two novels and are working on your third. Do all your novels have a common theme?
I really had to think about this question, because all three books are markedly different, although I believe the themes that are woven through them are similar—love, family, friendship, selflessness.
5. Have you ever considered writing any other type of book? Children's? Non-fiction? Romance? YA?
Yes, many readers have really enjoyed the strength of teenage voice and I really enjoyed writing from that perspective. My fourth manuscript, Shades of Gray, is a YA / Women’s Fiction crossover.
6. Do you have a special writing room? Can you describe it for us?
Right now we are building a house and living in a temporary apartment. I don’t have a separate room, but my writing “area” is all windows and overlooks a gorgeous horse farm. In my new home, my office will overlook fields and will be bright and sunny, too. As long as I’m alone and have windows (or if I’m outdoors), I can write anywhere. I wouldn’t do well in a room without windows.
7. Have you ever had writer's block? How do you escape it?
Luckily, I haven’t encountered that yet. I figure I have another ten years of stories in my head—then perhaps I’ll fall into the dreaded writer’s block black hole, but I sure hope not.
8. Are you a full-time author? If not, what is your other job(s)? If you weren't a writer what would be your dream job?
I am a full-time author and I founded and run The Women’s Nest, a social and support community for women. Although it’s not an occupation, I like to spend my time helping women see the positive side of life. I owned and operated an HR consulting firm for many years.
My dream job is being a writer. I adore what I do and crave it on the weekends. If I weren’t a writer I would want to be a preacher of positivity. It’s a fake job that only lives in my head I’d like to spend my days helping others feel good about themselves and find the things in life that make them happy—like motivational speaking on steroids.
9. What do you do in your free time when you aren't writing?
Free time? What’s that?
I spend my time with my family. I’m pretty boring. My days are filled with exercise, my children and husband, reading, writing, and the dreaded running of errands.
10. Tell us what you’re working on now.
Coming Soon: Come Back to Me (working title)
Tess Johnson has it all, Beau, her handsome photographer husband, a thriving business, and a newly discovered pregnancy. When Beau accepts an overseas photography assignment, Tess decides to wait to reveal her secret—only she’s never given the chance. Beau’s helicopter crashes in the desert.
As Tess struggles to put her life back together and deal with the pregnancy she can no longer hide, a new client appears, offering more than just a new project.
Meanwhile, two Iraqi women who are fleeing Honor Killings find Beau alive in the middle of the desert, his body ravaged. Suha, a doctor, and Samira, a widow and mother of three young children, nurse him back to health in a makeshift tent. Beau bonds with the women and children, and together, with the help of an underground organization, they continue their dangerous escape.
What happens next is a test of loyalties, strength, and love.
Thank you, Cheryl, for having me on your blog today. I enjoyed answering your questions and I look forward to continuing our friendship.
I love to chat with readers and book clubs, and I’m currently running a Kindle Giveaway promotion for anyone who purchases my books. You can find details on my site: www.MelissaFoster.com. If you’d like to talk about my books or writing, please email me: Thinkhappygirl (at) yahoo (dot) com.