Thank you so much for joining me today, Melanie! I am excited to get to know you a little more and share you with our readers!
Hi, Paula! Thank you for having me as a guest. I’m looking forward to chatting with you as well!
PM: I know your home is in Texas, where about in Texas though? I have never been and live to learn about new places! Can you tell us what your favorite place in Texas is to take visitors to?
MDS: I live in the Texas Hill Country near San Antonio. We just moved here in the spring, though, so we’re still getting to know the area. I love it, though! My favorite flower is the bluebonnet, and I’m excited to know that we’ll have a lot of them next March and April. I’ve also lived in the Dallas/Fort Worth and Midland areas as well as Abilene. I think one of my favorite places to take visitors to in Texas is probably the Kerrville and Fredericksburg areas. It’s beautiful there with so much to see and do, plus some gorgeous places to camp!
MDS: When I was a young child, I loved everything by Beverly Cleary and would read them again and again. Later, it was probably the Narnia series closely followed by the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. My mom read a lot of books to my brothers and I, and I like to do the same with my kids now.
PM: I sometimes look at my hubs and wonder – where did he get that idea from?? What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite gender?
MDS: The most difficult thing for me is during those times when my hero and heroine aren’t together. I try to write what they are thinking about and how much the other person is on his or her mind. I know what the woman might be thinking and how the man she’s interested in might occupy her thoughts, but I often struggle with the guy’s perspective.
PM: If you couldn’t be a writer, what career path do you think you’d choose to be on?
MDS: I grew up with three different goals for my future: To be a stay at home mom, an author, and a marine biologist who studies sharks. I’ve accomplished the first two, and I have to admit the third doesn’t hold a lot of appeal to me any longer. LOL So if I couldn’t be a writer, I’d probably be focusing more on hobbies like photography and crocheting.
PM: If we were to open you your refrigerator right now, what would we find in it?
MDS: The first thing you’d notice is the giant jug of apple juice (for the kiddos) and a big container of homemade dog food. There’s other stuff in there, I promise, but those two definitely take up a lot of refrigerator real estate. LOL
PM: Do you write stories more from your own experiences, or do you spend a lot time doing research on the type of characters you’re creating?
MDS: I definitely tend to write more from my own experience. I’ve done research into the type of characters I create, but most of the time, I do research into the situation around the characters. For example, in Finding Joy, Parker works on a cattle ranch that includes Longhorns. Chelsea starts working there with zero farm or ranch experience. I happen to have a friend whose family owns a Longhorn ranch. I was able to go and talk to my friends, see the Longhorns in person and watch them come running across the field like I wrote about in my book. I even got to feed one of them. It was an experience I’ll never forgot, and it was fun to be able to write Chelsea’s viewpoint from the experience of seeing Longhorns up close for the first time myself.
PM: Tell us what you enjoy doing the most when you are not writing or reading?
MDS: When I’m not writing, I enjoy photography. I love nature photography the most, but I also enjoy taking portraits of our kids and our family portraits every fall as well. I haven’t done a lot of photography work lately, but hope to change that soon. I mentioned my excitement about living in an area that will see a lot of bluebonnets this next spring, and I have a feeling I’ll be photographing them a great deal.
PM: If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?
MDS: I would want the power to heal injuries, both mental and physical. If I could choose a second superpower to go with that, super speed would be fantastic for SO many reasons.
PM: How can readers keep up with you and your new releases?
MDS: The best way to keep up with my new releases is by following me on Facebook and signing up for my newsletters. Readers can also follow me on Amazon to get notices.