is also the author of many teen books, including Just Another Girl, Anything but Normal, Double Take, and the Life at Kingston High series. She is the winner of a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her many books, including the Diary of a Teenage Girl series and Finding Alice. Melody and her husband live in Oregon.
Melody, welcome to Interviews & Reviews!
For those who aren't familiar with your work, can you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m really just an ordinary person—I love the ‘simple pleasures’ in life, including gardening, home décor, and being in the great outdoors. I also love stories (in all forms) and I think of myself as a ‘story-teller.’ My husband (of 39 years) and I live in the Pacific Northwest with our yellow lab dog Audrey. We have two grown sons and a granddaughter. One of our favorite pastimes (when not in the midst of a remodeling project) is to travel in our motor-home. Our bucket list includes visiting all the national parks—which might take a while!
How long have you been writing?
I feel like I’ve been writing my whole life—even before I knew how to spell I made ‘picture books.’ But I got serious about writing around 25 years ago. Something inside of me just wanted to break loose and create stories. Without really knowing what I was embarking on or where I would lead, I started to write books—and I’ve been writing ever since.
And how many books have you written since then?
I’ve published more than 200 books for women, teens and children. It’s a crazy number and my only explanation is that I write extremely fast. One reason I write so fast is because my life was so jam-packed and busy when I first started to write. But it’s also just the way I’m wired—I tend to do most things quickly. Although I’m trying to slow my writing down. I look forward to having more time and less deadlines.
relationships, Nicole’s summer turns out better than ever.
Do you have any other books in the works?
I always have something in the works. Right now I’m writing the fourth and final book in The Mulligan Sisters series. The stories are set in the World War 2 era, about a family in San Francisco and their individual roles in the war effort.
Sounds interesting. Do you talk to your characters?
Occasionally I do talk to them—usually to ask a question. But more often than not, I feel they’re talking to me. Sometimes I’ll have a specific dream or wake up hearing a conversation in my head. One time it was a character who sounded just like Holly Hunter . . . that became a book called Looking for Cassandra Jane. Part of the fun of writing—and what keeps me going back—is my desire to get acquainted with the characters, to find out what makes them tick, and help them to resolve their problems . . . because, just like real people, they always have problems.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
First of all, just write, write, write. The more you write, the better you’ll get at it. Also, you might need to ‘turn off’ your inner editor. The most important thing is to get a whole story down—then go back to edit. It’s also helpful to be part of a good critique group. And consider attending a good writers’ conference. And, finally, read the kinds of books you aspire to write.
Finally, for something a little off topic, what are your favourite types of movies?
I love old classic movies. My favorite era for film is the 1930s and 1940s. And although I’ll watch almost anything in that era, but I adore romantic comedy.
Melody, thank you so much for stopping by. For more information about Melody, visit her website at www.melodycarlson.com.