Melissa Foster Passionate Romance for Fiercely Loyal Hearts

Are you famil­iar with that burn­ing in the pit of your stom­ach that sets in right before you do some­thing very scary? You know the sen­sa­tion, a chill runs up your arms, your heart pounds against your ribcage, and you ask your­self, Do I really have to get on this roller coaster? The stairs are right there. Surely I can descend into the crowd and those peo­ple who are laugh­ing at me will lose sight of me. I can become invis­i­ble. Writ­ing a book, and releas­ing it to the pub­lic, is a lot like step­ping onto that roller coaster — you’re sure you’ll be okay in the end, but it’s going to be a wild, ter­ri­fy­ing ride.

When I was writ­ing Megan’s Way, I didn’t think about if read­ers would enjoy the sto­ry­line or what would be said by review­ers. I had a story to write, and I focused on that. Every word I typed was scru­ti­nized — was it com­pelling, did it incite the emo­tions I was shoot­ing for — most impor­tantly, was the story being told in the best pos­si­ble way I could tell it at the time? Fear came into play the moment that I was fin­ished with pol­ish­ing and edit­ing, the moment I wanted to query my novel to peo­ple who did not know me, who might not be so kind and for­giv­ing as fam­ily and friends. At that point, I felt as though I was stand­ing on the street cor­ner naked — unsure if peo­ple would throw toma­toes or whis­tle. I was petrified.

Thank­fully, Megan’s Way was very well received, and I was able to breathe once again. New, greater fear was born with the writ­ing and release of my sec­ond novel, Chas­ing Amanda. When I was ready to query Chas­ing Amanda, I was cer­tain that my sec­ond book would prove that I wasn’t a writer at all — some­one would get on a loud speaker and scream, “See, she didn’t know what she was doing! Ha!”

When faced with anx­i­ety, I usu­ally approach it head-​on. Chas­ing Amanda was quite dif­fer­ent for me. It had me par­a­lyzed. I was con­vinced that it was going to be a fail­ure. I held it over the dreaded file drawer, where, once dropped in, it would surely never be seen again, and then my phone rang. An author I had been cor­re­spond­ing with, Geral­dine Solon, had asked me to please sub­mit my man­u­script to her pub­lisher. I told her of my con­cerns, and she pushed me to put those thoughts away and, as I tell oth­ers to do, “Just do it!”

Sub­mit­ting Chas­ing Amanda to Sol­stice Pub­lish­ing was the best thing I could have done. Twenty-​four hours after sub­mit­ting my man­u­script, I was called with an offer of rep­re­sen­ta­tion. Chas­ing Amanda has been receiv­ing rave reviews, is nom­i­nated for Dan Poynter’s Global eBook Award, and I feel as though those sought after whis­tles are com­ing through loud and clear.

A dif­fer­ent type of anx­i­ety was born when Megan’s Way was picked up by Dream Real Pic­tures for the film adap­ta­tion. Although I have full con­fi­dence in my direc­tor, there is still that nag­ging feel­ing of never want­ing to let my read­ers down. I won’t have con­trol of the actors, I can­not make peo­ple per­form in dif­fer­ent ways, or work the cam­era to get just the right angle, or cor­rect the lines or emo­tions of the actors. What I can do, is have faith in oth­ers. The fact that Megan’s Way is being adapted to film is good enough for me. I’ve been able to push past want­ing per­fec­tion, push past the anx­i­ety, and move for­ward (or at least keep the anx­i­ety at bay).

I don’t believe that fear and anx­i­ety will ever dimin­ish. I still get ner­vous when some­one tells me they’ve pur­chased my book. The fear that they will not enjoy it is very real for me, even with many pos­i­tive reviews. I believe that fear will drive me to always push myself to be the best writer I can be, and for that, I’m thank­ful for the image of myself, stand­ing naked, on that street cor­ner. It may not be a pleas­ant image to think of, but it sure is a great motivator.

The next time your anx­i­ety takes con­trol, pic­ture your­self in an uncom­fort­able posi­tion, and then pic­ture your­self push­ing past that posi­tion and suc­ceed­ing. You can do it — enjoy the stom­ach churn­ing, arm tin­gling, anx­i­ety. Use it to your benefit.

If you’d like to chat about writ­ing, con­tact me via email Thinkhap­py­girl (at) yahoo (dot) com.

About Melissa:


Melissa Fos­ter is the award win­ning author of two nov­els, Megan’s Way and Chas­ing Amanda. She is the founder of the Women’s Nest, a social and sup­port com­mu­nity for women, and is cur­rently col­lab­o­rat­ing with Dream Real Pic­tures in the film pro­duc­tion of Megan’s Way. Melissa hosts an annual Aspir­ing Authors con­test for chil­dren, she’s writ­ten a col­umn fea­tured in Women Busi­ness Own­ers Mag­a­zine, and has painted and donated sev­eral murals to The Hos­pi­tal for Sick Chil­dren in Wash­ing­ton, DC. Melissa is cur­rently work­ing on her next novel, and lives in Mary­land with her fam­ily. Melissa’s inter­ests include her fam­ily, read­ing, writ­ing, paint­ing, friends, help­ing women see the pos­i­tive side of life, and vis­it­ing Cape Cod.


  • Megan’s Way – Film adap­ta­tion, sum­mer 2011

    • 2011 Beach Book Award Win­ner (Spirituality)
    • 2010 Next Gen­er­a­tion Indie Book Award Final­ist (Spirituality)
    • Nom­i­nated Dan Poynter’s Global eBook Award 2011 (Win­ners TBD sum­mer 2011)
  • Chas­ing Amanda

    • Nom­i­nated Dan Poynter’s Global eBook Award 2011 (Win­ners TBD sum­mer 2011)

Mem­ber: Mary­land Writ­ers’ Association

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