I consider each of my blog tour guests pretty special but this month we have an extra special guest and a dear friend of mine, Melissa Wathington.
Melissa has worked both sides of the writing industry as writer, editor and as a publisher as my former partner at our company. A college graduate with an AA and BA in Journalism, Melissa has had over 20 years in the writing industry working as layout editor and content editor for three college newspapers, as well as two county papers. Soap Opera Digest and Soap Opera Weekly have featured her writing and she's done numerous freelance editing jobs. She served as editor in chief for two national magazines, Street and Ultimate Black Hair, has been a book reviewer for over 4 years at The Romance Readers Connection and has had numerous short stories and three books published under the pseudonym, Elissa Scott Kyle. Surrender Your Heart, a short story duet is available under her given name.
Melissa also divides her writing time with designing websites, running PRAIZES website (a community of inspirational writers and readers) and Homebound Hugs, an organization for homebound kids.
Melissa gave me an interview and some more insight into her writings that she's happy to share with her readers.
Q: How would you describe the genre in which you do most of your writing?
I write romantic fiction. All of my stories have the common theme of love, romance and family throughout. My favorite genre to read happens to be romantic fiction. This includes chick lit, fantasy and even a touch of paranormal! If there’s romance to be found, more than likely I’ll enjoy it. I especially enjoy series---following characters that you grow to love to the next adventure always excites me.
Q: Who would you say has influenced you the most?
The person who has had the biggest influence on my life, both in and out of the writing world is my mother. She is one of the strongest people I know and has taught me so much during my lifetime. From love to school to politics and more, she showed me how to cultivate my life experiences and have my own voice. I don’t know where I’d be without her in my life. As far as writing goes, I’d have to say Beverly Jenkins and Francis Ray. Not only do I admire and enjoy the writing of both of these bestselling authors but they are smart business women who are able to incorporate their careers and family lives. They also treat their fans with respect and love and are encouraging role models to aspiring writers.
Q: What would you say are the biggest challenges that you face?
I have many medical challenges I face every day and unfortunately those make the biggest impact on my writing career. I deal with a heart condition, multiple sclerosis and chronic fatigue so even when I have the energy to grow new story ideas, the ability to work on the computer or go do research is sometimes just not an option.
Q: How do you deal with these challenges?
It’s hard, I won’t lie. There are times I get very down about not writing enough or losing the muse when I’m feeling poorly. I try to get as much done as I can on the days when I’m feeling well and I attend conferences, workshops and book signings when I’m physically (and financially) able. Being online has afforded me greater opportunities to network, write and spread my wings creatively. I have a good friend who keeps me up to date with publishing happenings as well as following several publishing blogs. The best thing is the encouragement and support I receive from fellow writers and professional mentors. They definitely help keep me focused and on my path.
Q: What will your next book be about?
I have a short story called “Prescription For Love” which was supposed to be coming out the end of this month but will now be released in April. It’s a story of two people finding love where they least suspect it. Jarrod is running away from a shocking family secret when his paths cross with single mother Stacey who has sworn off love after losing her husband to cancer. They both have pretty strong personalities so of course their meeting causes fireworks. The question is will they both be able to get over their pasts to see their future?
I’m also working on a novella at the beginning of a series to release later this year. The inspirational series is called “Fruits of the Spirit” and each story covers a different “fruit” spoken of in the Bible—love, joy, self control, faithfulness, and peace. The first story is about a couple and their second chance at a love of a lifetime. I’m very excited about it so be sure to check in regularly at my site and my blog for updates!
Thanks so much for stopping by Melissa!
Learn more about Melissa's works on the web!
Melissa Wathington, The Freelance Diva
The Diva’s Digs found @ http://freelancediva03.blogspot.com
“A Knight’s Illusion” on sale at Lady Leo Publishing (www.ladyleopublishing.org)
“Surrender Your Heart” on sale at Romance At Heart Publications (www.rahpubs.com )