I’ve begun a Wednesday weekly post to present interviews with authors across all romance genres. Although I’m primarily an historical romance writer, I do read outside my genre and suspect a lot of you do as well. And what’s more fascinating than finding out more about either your favorite authors or new ones? I plan to change up my questions (most of them at least) every three months or so, just to keep the interviews lively.
So now gather round the tea table, grab a scone or cookies, and a cup of tea or coffee and discover a new friend in the writing world.
This week on Be My Guest, I am interviewing an incredible author and friend, Melissa Keir. Melissa is one of the most supportive writers you would ever want to meet–not to mention that she’s a fantastic writer of contemporary cowboy romance! We’ve been in the same critique loop and worked together on an anthology last year, but I still want to find out more.
For my wedding in Vegas, my books and computer came with me but there wasn’t enough room for my wedding shoes. It’s all about priorities! As an avid reader, I was probably born with a book in hand. Luckily my mom was also an avid reader, so it was easy to “borrow” her books when my books were finished.
I was reading from an early age about dashing men on horseback riding to the rescue of strong willed and capable women who didn’t really need rescuing. I came to expect that women in fairy tales should have fought their own battles. When I was older, I found Margaret Atwood and realized that women could re-tell history in their own way and I experimented with changing those basic fairy tales.
Fortunately for me, my husband allows me the opportunity to be myself (spend my salary on books) and still takes care of the really important things for me like killing spiders and opening jars. As an elementary teacher, teaching children about the many worlds inside of books is a gift that I’m lucky enough to do for a living. Teaching the next generation to love reading is a lot of fun! Reading the right book can make a new world come alive!
Currently living in the suburbs of Ann Arbor, Michigan with my darling husband, way-too-grown-up children and spoiled dogs, I enjoy getting away through a book to escape the harsh winters or summer road construction.
I’d love to hear from you!
Fantastic, Melissa! Now, on to the interview.
Thank you for having me. I’ve been enjoying the interviews and a chance to get to know some amazing authors.
Awww, thank you Melissa!
For being so nice, I’ll start you off with an easy one. Who was the first romance author and book you read?
The first author I read was Johanna Lindsay. Her Captive Bride book started my love of strong heroes and began my journey through all her books.
That one was pretty racy back in the day. I really love her Mallory series!
Who has been the greatest influence on your writing?
My mother was my biggest influence. She was a huge romance reader. Books were always close-by her. When I was old enough, I would ‘borrow’ her books and then, began to buy my own. When I was in high school, my mother wrote her first novel. She submitted it to a variety of publishing houses but wasn’t published. Because of her dream, I gave my own writing a chance. However, she died many years before seeing my name on a book. And just recently, I was given the original copy of her manuscript and hope to publish it for her.
Awww, Melissa, how totally sweet and awesome that is! I wish you luck and hope to see your mom’s book on Amazon soon!
Who or what inspires your writing?
Love inspires my writing. I believe every person deserves a happily ever after. Many people are still looking for that connection and special person. Being able to share a variety of stories about happily ever after’s, I hope to give readers a chance to dream of what might be or be reminded of a love lost or long gone.
Which of your own books is your favorite and why?
I really enjoy all my books but I have a few which have a special place in my heart. Second Time’s the Charm is one of my favorites. It was one of my first books and a story which seemed to write itself, spilled out of my thoughts very quickly. The Heartsong Cowboy was my first cowboy story. I loved writing about the Heartsong Ranch which used equine therapy for a variety of disabilities. But all my stories feature some piece of true life in them. One of my stories, features an event that happened to my mother, while another story featured a character based off of a former student.
How cool! I love it when authors weave true incidents and people into their books!
What is your favorite holiday and why?
Memorial Day is one of my favorite holidays. I enjoy the first stirrings of warm weather and the chance to enjoy some family time, cooking out and parades. When I was a little girl, I carried the banner in the Memorial Day parade which ended with a picnic at the local cemetery where we visited with our family members who had passed on. Our small town took great pride in the many young men who had given their lives for our country’s peace.
That sounds like an idyllic summer for childhood! No wonder that holiday’s your favorite!
If you could have one wish granted just for you (not world peace, LOL), what would you wish for?
I would wish to win the lottery so that I could help my own children with their dreams and not have to worry about the health and care of my loved ones. It’s hard to see your parents getting older and knowing that they need more care…as well to worry about your own health and how to pay for all the necessary things required to keep yourself healthy.
That’s a great and selfless wish, Melissa. But you’re right, wishing for the ability to care for loved ones is a wonderful wish.
What is the most exciting/daredevil thing you’ve ever done?
I have been a part of Fireplay. I loved learning about how to control the fire on the skin. As well, the feeling of finally being warm, was such a blessing. It is one thing I can’t get enough of.
I had never heard of that, Melissa. See, these interviews reveal all kinds of wild and crazy stuff!
Do you have any hobbies/passions outside of writing?
I love to do a variety of things such as create jewelry and sewing. I do needlepoint and have made a few outfits for my children when they were younger and jewelry for my sisters. I’m also a local radio station movie reviewer so I get to see a lot of movies.
How cool is that!
Who is your favorite non-romance genre author? What is your favorite book of theirs?
I’m in love with Margaret Atwood. In college, I was exposed to her essay giving Hamlet’s mother a voice. Since then, I’ve read her book, Good Bones and Simple Murders. The way she provides a different perception of known characters shaped my own writing.
I love Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and I bet you’re looking forward to the series as much as I am!
Now, tell us a little bit about one of your books.
In the box set, Dreaming of a Hero, I have a novella titled Beach Desires. This is a female/female story of a woman from a small town who had to hide her interest in other women from her family, friends and the town. She’s learning how to accept her own desires on a vacation to South Carolina.
What was your inspiration for this story?
The town of Garden City, South Carolina is a real beach town on the Atlantic Ocean. For over ten years, I vacationed there, along with my family. My children grew up on the stretch of sand, played games at the arcade and ate dinner at many of the fabulous restaurants. The main character came about after a lengthy discussion with former classmates. Our small town was seeped in traditions, many of which we had no clue about… like why the town fire siren went off each day at 6 pm. Diversity didn’t exist in our town, or maybe it was hidden so well, no one really knew. This had me wondering about how someone could hide their sexual orientation and my heroine was born.
This sounds like a fantastic read!
Now, the Infamous Lightning Round:
What is your favorite amusement park ride?
The Gemini at Cedar Point. One time I rode it 10 times in a row before I puked.
LOL! Lord, I wouldn’t have made it once!
Tea or coffee?
Mocha (flavored coffee)
Beach or mountains?
Can I have both? Beach during the night and mountains for the day?
Boxers, briefs or commando? (preferred for your heroes)
Commando does cut down on the laundry!
Blond, brunette or redhead? (preferred men’s hair color)
Now that’s a different answer!
Would you rather vacation in Hawaii, Vegas or London?
Vegas. I was married there!
What’s the one thing you would never do?
Swim with sharks…too scary!
Now let’s dream of the perfect hero!
Heroes fill our nights with stories of passion and love. These six full-length novels and a bonus novella each feature a hero sure to fill your nights with desire…You’ll never want to wake up!
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Loved by the Linebacker – Lyssa Layne
In a man’s world, Camila Lemos is one of the top sports agents in the market. Linebacker Evan Purser is the newest man in his family to join the NFL and doesn’t make for an easy client for Camila to handle. When the walls are broken down, will a touchdown be scored, or will it be yet another fumble for both?
Destiny’s Child by Deb Julienne
Cherie and Jason are thrust into an endless web of deceit created by their families. As the truths are revealed, can they find the inner strength to band together in order to get to the bottom of it all, or will it lead to their demise when their unknown nemesis returns to finish the job?
Nine by K.S. Thomas
Nine. That’s the number of years between us. Age is just one reason it’ll never work. I have eight more. One for every year I’ve been alive longer than he has. And they all add up to the same thing: A thirty-something woman covered in ink doesn’t belong with a twenty-something soldier destined for a life in politics. Only he doesn’t seem to know that.
Safe to Love You – Jude Ouvrard
When Abbie and Presley see each other, their mutual attraction flares first. The unconventional guy seems like an intriguing choice for the still-wounded Abbie, but is he actually someone she can feel safe with? Will she be able to move on, continuing with her life unscarred?
With Love; Now & Forever by RaeAnne Hadley
Can one person really have more than one soul mate? Years after losing the one man that meant everything to her, Ana has met someone whom she intuitively feels could mean as much or more. But Rick has some secrets of his own, and there is darkness in the future for them both. Will they open themselves to the power of love or will they exile their hearts forever?
Desert Heat by D’Ann Lindun
All Mike Malone wants is to run his Arizona guest ranch in peace. But an environmentalist group hell bent on destroying his business, a friend who wants to be lovers and now a dead prospector keep him otherwise occupied.
Mallory James traces her father’s bootsteps to buried treasure, but can she trust her heart to the man who found his body?
Beach Desires by Melissa Keir
Can a summer fling last a lifetime?
Can Stacey and Mandy make their long-distance relationship work? Or will they let the prejudices of their upbringing ruin their chance at happiness?
Beach Desires video: https://youtu.be/Gku05f17jxs
Fabulous trailer, Melissa! And such a fun interview! Thank you so much for being my guest!
Next Wednesday my special guest will be Jessica Subject, a wonderful author of sci-fi romance guaranteed to keep you guessing. Her current work, however, has to do with Zombies! Hope you return to you favorite Wednesday spot to meet Jessica!