Sunday, 22 May 2016

Author Interview on Catching that Golden Snitch

You sort of start thinking anything's possible if you've got enough nerve~ JK Rowling
Release Date: 24.05.2016
Today I have the supreme honor of introducing you to an amazing author from my homeland of South Africa.
Melissa Kate
Melissa & Baxter
Imagine my surprise when I discovered that this author from Durban, the home of my forefathers, had been published, internationally.

Eureka! Shannaro! There is Hope, I thought with excessive enthusiasm. She's done it, she's caught the Golden Snitch!

Upon reading some of her work, the intense talent and voice were clearly evident. Her prose style is both elegant and feisty in its unique flow. I am really and truly humbled to be hosting her while she's on her blog tour before the release of the book.

So without further ado, let's get to know this remarkable author and her Journey

Quick Fire

Favorite Book: 
Tangled up in You by Rachel Gibson

Favorite Author: 
Lauren Layne

Favorite Book Boyfriend:
Mark Bressler from Rachel Gibson’s Nothing but Trouble – moody and broody and simply sexy

Favorite Bad Boy Character:
Ty Garrison from Jill Shalvis’s Lucky in Love – there’s just something about a tortured hero

Reading Hard Cover novels or Reading digital novels (i.e on the iPad): 
Nothing beats a paperback but I only read ebooks these days, purely because of the volume that I get through.

Handwriting or Typing: 
Typing! Do people still hand write manuscripts?

If you had to MAKE UP/INVENT one word, what would it be? And what would that word mean? 
Puthiasimine – someone who is being an absolute moron. There can be no greater insult than this (I’m sure my husband will love this)

Let’s get personal:

How long have you been writing for?
  • I have been writing stories and plays from around ten years old. At age fourteen I tried my hand at my very first longer length story and the writing has not stopped since then.
What inspires you most to write?
  • What does not? I love the moment of falling in love. I love the witty banter, the push and pull between my two protagonists and creating that moment of their coming together… is all the more sigh-worthy. I also write to give an outlet to the voices in my head.
The Big Debate of Traditional Vs. Self-Publishing. What made you choose one against the other?
  • I’m an old soul so for me it wasn’t a biggie. Definitely Traditional print. I have always wanted to be a published author through a publishing house with my name in print. It’s harder to get in the door with traditional publishing but there is so much more support with a team of people who know what they are doing when you have a publishing house backing you. And trust me, I needed all the support I could get.
Tell me about your support structure. Who’s on board with you being an author, who doubted you?
  • I kept my writing very private. Even now, all this exposure makes me feel very… exposed. My husband is my greatest support, despite never reading any of my books. He’s always pushing me to get on with it when he can clearly see that I am procrastinating (that happens a lot). He has often threatened to change the WIFI password and let me tell you, that threat works!
  • My bestie, Tharreshnee is also a great support. She reads my stories as I am writing and encourages me along the way. She’s an extremely positive person and can be a real drill sergeant when you’re dipping your toes in the negativity or self-doubt pools.
  • My Dad has always been my GREATEST supporter in life. He passed on three years ago but I know that if he were here today, he would shout my achievements out to ANYONE who would listen.
  • There hasn’t been any real negativity so far… give it time, though. The reviews will be coming in soon. Eeep!
  • Even then, I will take the negativity in my stride – it comes with the territory. Not everyone will enjoy the book. Someone will love it, some will hate it and some will be pretty indifferent. I didn’t set out on this journey to be famous or rich – my goal was to be a published author and that dream has come to fruition. No amount of doubt or negativity can take that away.
So the novel took you about 4 months to write. Walk me through your process of submissions in your search for an agent/publisher.
  • I Googled… A LOT! I researched how to write a query letter and in my opinion, I still didn’t get this right. I made a list of ALL the publishing houses I could find and made a note of their submission requirements. Then I emailed them one by one, customizing my application to their needs. I kept a record of each publisher, their contact details and when I emailed my application to them. And then came the rejection letters. The first few I took in my stride and then they just started to deflate me. I almost gave up when I saw the special call from Fiery Seas Publishing and was so surprised to get an email with a contract inviting me to join their team. It’s been easier now since I have a foot in the door because my publisher is amazing and is always wanting more stories from me.
  • It’s tough to get published in SA because they are usually looking for authentic South African stories. I love sunny South Africa but I also don’t want to be shoved in a mold to write stories just to be published locally. We each have an individual voice and that should be heard.
Rejection letters play a frequent role in any writer’s life during the submission process. How did it feel getting them? What kept you motivated throughout it all?
  • It’s terrible. In the beginning, you take it in your stride. But then they keep coming and it’s really tough to stay positive, particularly when you sacrifice months of your time to get your story out, another few months polishing it and in a single paragraph, your dreams are dashed. My bestie was always a source of great encouragement and would often, at times, remind me that JK Rowling was rejected A LOT before someone gave her an opportunity. Thinking about that kept me on track. Success in any field is not just handed to you – you have to work for it.
Felicidades ├ępicas! You’ve been published internationally. Talk to me about that day, receiving the email. How did it feel? And What have you done to celebrate since?
  • I woke up at 5am one morning and went over my social media messages and then opened the email from Fiery Seas Publishing, expecting another concise rejection letter. I nearly fell off the bed when I read that they wanted to offer me a contract which was attached. I read and reread the email, not quite sure it wasn’t a joke. I shook my husband awake and shoved the phone in his face to see. Of course in his sleepy state, he simply said “That’s wonderful babe!” and went right back to sleep. So I lay awake in the dark of the morning and wondered at what had just happened. For many months I kept my news private – only a select few knew. I still didn’t believe it and I didn’t want to jinx it. But then the cover was revealed and I knew there was no going back.
Walk me through the process from that email to getting the final book signed off for release.
  • It took many months from the time I got the original email till anything started happening. They sent me a questionnaire about what I expected from my cover, dedication, acknowledgments and so on. So Misty, my publisher could understand the vision I had.
  • First Line Edits started - This was simply correcting grammar, spelling and the like.
  • Second Line Edits - Were a bit more in depth, changing sentences so they make more sense and be easier to read. Getting into deep POV was a learning curve but I seem to be getting better at it.
  • Copy Edits – This was Tough. This is really pulling your story together and making sure it makes sense. The suggestions to change sentences made me sit and scratch my head because I didn’t know how else to make it read. I trudged on and learned so much along the way. 
  • To Print - After surviving the copy edits, the book went to print.

Tips & Tricks:

Do you have any great writing resources that you can share with us?
  • Google has been a great help! I also follow my favorite authors on their social platforms so I can learn from them. This worked best for me because my genre was the same.
Melissa Follows:

What would you say to other aspiring writers out there, especially the ones in our homeland of South Africa?
  • Keep working on your manuscripts. Be open to taking direction and advice from those in the field. Learn to take rejection (it will happen a lot). Success is for those who work towards it, keep going, your success is waiting on the horizon.
If there was just one nugget of wisdom you could share, what would that be?
  • Write because it fulfills your soul. It should never be a job to you, it should be your lifestyle, a piece of who you are. I am a writer…
Bonus Tip: Melissa’s written a great post on her Top 10 Writing Tips for the Up and Comer

Best. Answers. Ever. 
Melissa! I thoroughly enjoyed your spirit in this interview and admire your motivated attitude. It has most assuredly been a Highlight for my blog. I have already pre-ordered your book & cannot wait to devour its pages. 

Waiting For You
Releases, 24th May 2016

Audrey Kelly finds her way back home to Crystal Valley with her bruised pride and a shattered dangerous past mocking her rear view mirror. What she didn’t expect was to be face-to-face with Adam Parker, resident bad boy, sexy Navy SEAL and one of the reasons that Audrey ran all those years ago.

Audrey was the last person Adam had ever expected to see back in Crystal Valley. Over a decade ago, they shared a sizzling night together before he received the worst news of his life and he hasn’t seen her since…until she’d moved back unexpectedly. She was no longer the sweet innocent girl he once remembered, but Adam has his own problems without having to deal with Audrey’s ice princess recital, no matter how tempting the auburn haired seductress may be.

Sparks begin to ignite between them but can they accept Audrey’s past when it threatens to engage them in a dangerous twist? Can they save each other from themselves and stop running once and for all?

Character Inspiration
        Watch the tantalizing Book Trailer Here

***Breaking News***
The #WaitingForYou HYPE is Real!!
Reached +70,000 Impressions & +300 Retweets, Daily!

It's "Waiting For You" to Order Now.

EPIC fan pic posted by AmazeBlog aka Cassarica Nadas
Enjoying her copy of Waiting For You over a relaxing Bubble Bath
InstaGram Pic

Get Connected with Debut Author, Melissa Kate

~Be Kind to one Another~ Ellen Degeneres


  1. Great interview! I love learning more about authors behind their books and getting to know them :)

    1. Thanks for stopping By Claire! Appreciate your comments :)

  2. What a great interview! Congratulations on such an amazing accomplishment :)

  3. He is so talented, writing at the age of 10? That's awesome!

    Mhaan <3 | Mommy Rockin' In Style Blog

    1. Thanks for popping by :) Appreciate you taking the time to read this interview

  4. Doesn't it make you proud when a friend is doing so well with her chosen career? It's so nice to learn more about this amazing author and congratulations on her most recent achievement!

  5. Great interview and good tips..thanks for sharing

  6. Great interview and good tips..thanks for sharing

  7. Congratulations Melissa! Great to know that there is hope for other aspiring writers. Good luck with the release of your novel and do keep us all posted!

  8. Wow, you've done a great job! Congrats on the interview, you rock it all! I wish I can do this on the future, crossing my fingers!

  9. Love reading inspirations of authors for books. Thanks for the interview!

  10. I love author interviews! Lets you get into their head and see where the book really came from.

  11. This is an awesome interview. I love hearing the behind the scenes of what going on in author's heads.

  12. Fab interview, I love reading the story behind the author!

  13. Great interview, sounds like a great book!

  14. She sounds like a hard working author! Love that she's from your home town!

  15. Omw, this message is simply amazing. Just have to stay motivated and never give up. Such an inspiration. B

  16. Great interview and amazing tips for future writers! It is always wonderful to get to know the person behind the book!

  17. This was a great interview with a lot of tips. I can't wait to read this book.

  18. Great interview. I too love the moment of falling in love.

  19. What a fantastic interview and I love that she comes from the same area as you. I've never heard of her book, but I'll def have to check this one out. Love it.

  20. Wow, he's been writing since 10? Writing must be his first love! Lucky you to have done the interview!

  21. I love reading interviews. I like how people are so different and so creative. Great interview, very thorough.

  22. Congratulations! What a great interview. She is so creative.

  23. Writing at age 10 is such an accomplishment. Following the heart and dreams. Love it.

  24. What a great interview. I love reading romance stories, but I haven't read any of her books. This sounds like a great read. I can;t wait to get my hands on this one.

  25. She seems so humble and I like that she took rejection the chin and made it mold her into a stronger person

  26. You did a wonderful job with this interview. Not staying in a certain mold in very courageous of her.

  27. Great interview, getting to interview a author must be so rewarding and meaningful.

  28. Oh my! I could feel your excitement. I'm happy that she graciously accommodated your request to interview, you did a very good job!

  29. What a nice, humble person. In a way I can relate very much to her early beginnings (not as a writer though) and how Google helped me all throughout. It's a nice interview, worth the time.

  30. Great interview! This genre of book isn't my cup of tea, but I'll pass this on to a friend.

  31. This was a really entertaining interview. I love the made up word lol and might just have to use it myself. I'll have to check this author out more.

  32. What a wonderful interview! I have never heard of this book before. I'll have to check it out. Sounds like a good one.

  33. Ooooo fantastic interview!!! Always nice to see who is behind the book!

  34. what a great interview you gave. Really love finding out about new authors

  35. Sounds like the interview went pretty well. Thanks for sharing!

  36. What an interesting interview! I especially liked her nugget of wisdom.

  37. A writer already at the age of 10 is amazing, not all people/ teenagers can do that so kudos to you for being that awesome! I’ll definitely put your book on my must have list.

  38. Great interview and very inspiring! It is always interesting when reading about authors and their backgrounds.

  39. So happy she persevered and got the publish. I just saw a saying that success is not an elevator ride (you have to take the stairs). Writers everywhere can relate. :)

  40. Interviews like these are always the best! I'm so sad to hear that her Father died. "(

  41. Oh my word!! Your comments have put such a huge smile on my face. THANK YOU to each and every one of you who took the time out to read this interview and to post a comment - I have no words (odd occurrence since my business is words). You support and your kinds words mean so very much to me, you can never really know.

    Enricoh, THANK YOU for your constant support and enthusiasm towards this journey of mine. You are truly one of the most selfless and positive individuals I have ever encountered. Great things are coming your way very soon....

  42. I've never seen such a well-rounded interview! You touched on at least a little of everything. Sounds like a great author. I can only imagine how excited they must've felt to be able to call themselves a published author!

  43. Writing at an early age is really amazing. Not everyone can do that. I hope I can read his books in the future. :)

  44. Love the interview, wonderful tips!

  45. i love this interview. its always so cool when you learn more about the authors of books.