MELISSA FOSTER AUTHOR AND WRITER ADVOCATE
Melissa is an accomplished writer with a number of published novels but she hasn’t stopped there. She is an advocate for writers and readers across the web and supports them by attending events, offering classes, and building online communities. As a woman, avid reader, and active writer, I could not be more excited to feature Melissa at The Indie Chicks.
I write in a very passionate way about topics that mean something to me, so every one of my novels carries with it tough emotions for the reader to deal with. In MEGAN’S WAY, the main character is a single mother dying of cancer—not an easy topic. CHASING AMANDA deals with every parent’s worst nightmare—child abduction. COME BACK TO ME is about a woman who loses her husband. None of my books are light, easy reads. They all make the reader think about how they might handle certain situations. I think you could say that my books bring family dramas to life.
I have written three novels this year, TRACES OF KARA, WHERE PETALS FALL, and HAVE NO SHAME. Summaries can be found on my website. I will warn readers, TRACES OF KARA is a definite thriller, much different and much darker than my other novels. Author Clare Ayala describes it as, “Hannibal Lector, Freddie Kruger and the Tami Hoag villains combined with the emotional bond of Jody Picoult, Jane Fitch, and Steel Magnolia.”
WORLD LITERARY CAFE IS A PLACE WHERE READERS CAN ACCESS NEW WRITERS AND WRITERS CAN INTERACT WITH READERS. WHAT SPARKED YOU TO START THIS SITE?
As a writer, nothing is more fun than connecting with readers. WLC was developed for two reasons, to bring readers and authors together and to provide a way to help authors learn about marketing. We are amidst a redesign and the redesign will bring much more of a “community” feel to the site.
I launched Fostering Success, the educational arm of the World Literary Café, a few months ago, and that’s a training ground for author with effective and affordable avenues to learn how to self-publish, how to create an online platform and presence, and how to effectively market books.
WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO DEDICATE SO MUCH OF YOUR TIME TO HELPING OTHER WRITERS AND START FOSTERING SUCCESS?
When I first began publishing in 2009, I had to learn everything on my own and I made a few big mistakes that cost me a lot of money. It was like swimming upstream in a sea of sharks—and I was the little fish. Self-publishing was snubbed, not many authors were taking the self-publishing route, and even gaining reviews was an accomplishment. I am a pay-it-forward person by nature, so it was a natural feeling for me to want to help others. I vowed that I’d always help authors. It was that simple of a decision and I’ve never looked back.
YOU RUN A COMMUNITY FOR WOMEN ONLINE, WOMEN’S NEST, THAT SEEMS TO REALLY BE TAKING OFF. TELL US ABOUT IT. WHO IS IT FOR? WHAT IS DISCUSSED THERE? IS THERE A COST TO JOIN?
The Women’s Nest is a social and support site for women. It’s a community for all women—a community where every woman fits in and is welcome. There is no cost to join, and we’re like a virtual family of sisters. We discuss everything from family issues, work, and dreams to fears, books, and relationships. Another fun feature on the site is our online book club where we meet online to discuss the books as much as we can.
YOU HAVE BEEN QUOTED AS BEING A “TOUCHSTONE IN THE INDIE PUBLISHING ARENA”. WHAT MAKES YOU SO PASSIONATE ABOUT INDIE PUBLISHING?
I’m passionate about all types of publishing, not just indie publishing. There is no right or wrong way to publish, and I enjoy helping with all avenues. I like to help, and authoring is what I do. Again, a natural bridge was formed between what I love doing and helping others. I feel like I’ve been given the gift of being able to do for a living what I love most. I want others to feel that joy.
YOU HOST EVENTS FOR CHILDREN WHO ASPIRE TO BE WRITERS. I LOVE THAT YOU ARE GETTING THE YOUTH EXCITED ABOUT WRITING. TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT THAT EXPERIENCE.
School has changed so much since I was a kid. Now homework is often done on the computer, many classrooms have iPads, and reading, writing, and penmanship have become less vital of a learning step. If kids don’t fall in love with reading and writing when they’re young in this virtual world of ours, it’s easy to see how they might avoid it all together when they’re older. What I do is work with classes to excite children about writing. We talk about the boring aspects and how to make the act of writing more exciting. We discuss types of writing, reasons to write, and even how as an author, you can make your own dreams come true. There is no set path to authoring, and kids find it exciting to see that they can write comic books or graphic novels and someone will enjoy reading them. Kids need confidence, and writing is a great way to gain that feeling of being successful, achieving your goals, and doing something they can show off to friends and family.
I hold Aspiring Authors contests where I challenge the kids to write a short story. I give them a beginning writer’s kit and a deadline, teach them about storyboards and then they go for it!
WHAT IS NEXT FOR YOU? WHAT’S NEW AND EXCITING IN YOUR LIFE THAT YOU WANT TO SHARE WITH OUR READERS?
I’m in the midst of something very exciting but I can’t divulge it yet! I can tell you that it will include new and exciting ways to connect with readers in person. Stay tuned…
WHAT’S YOUR BEST PIECE OF ADVICE FOR ASPIRING WRITERS?
Just do it! Write, polish, then write some more!
You can connect with Melissa who requested a STALK ME section so you can reach her. She LOVES interacting with readers/writers so do not be shy. You can find her at the following links.
You can find her books here!