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Friday, January 29, 2016

**AUTHOR FEATURE** Melissa A Hanson

Our latest author feature is with the lovely Ms Melissa A Hanson! Melissa is the author of the YA/NA Riverview series.. Show her some love! :)

1) Why did you decide to start writing?

At the end of summer in 2010 I had just finished a set of books which I flew through in less than a week, by the time I finished the last page I just had this burning urge to write again.  I had done a lot of writing in high school, but nothing for almost twenty years. I couldn't get it out of my mind, it was there taunting me when I was driving, at work, laying in bed.  I tossed ideas around in my head for a few weeks and then one evening sitting on the couch watching TV I grabbed some paper and before I knew it the prologue was there on the paper.  A couple days later I had a rough draft for an ending and from that moment on it was something I knew had to be written. 
I spent almost every weekend for the next 6 months writing, not during the day, but usually in the middle of the night when the house was quiet, one chapter after the next unfolded.  I would sometimes formulate a rough outline ideas for what might come next, but for the most part all I can say is that it was an experience.   I would sit at my computer and the story just unfolded I don't know where it came from for the most part.  The images would come into my head, the words poured from inside through to my fingers as they flew across the keyboard.  Sometimes though I'd sit and write, then delete, write and then delete, but most of the story just came easily.  I remember sitting thinking, what is the character feeling right at this moment?  What do they see, hear, smell...and the words just came.  I remember thinking on several occasions, am I crazy??  Is the story any good? 

The few people I let read as I wrote were all encouraging, but I always wondered deep inside were they just being nice because they didn't want to hurt my feelings.  But I kept at it, and when I was done I went into editing, and had someone do my copy writing for me. But I designed everything, the cover, the text, the fonts, the format, everything.  I guess it is the designer in me that just wanted total control.  Seeing it out there and having others enjoy it and be touched has been one of the most exciting things for me.

The decision to write the second one was easier, it just took a couple of years before I could find the time to write out Mia's story. 


2) Do you think authors can succeed in multiple genres or should they stick with a single genre?

I think that authors can write in different genres if that’s what they choose to do. The key is to be passionate and enjoy what you are writing about.


3) What do you feel is the biggest reward to you with writing?

When I get messages from readers about how much my writing touched them or helped them through a tough time in their lives. 


4) Who are some of your favorite authors & why?

There are so many, but the ones that hooked me on reading so many years ago are Mary Higgins Clark and Sidney Sheldon. I love reading Catherine Anderson, and Nora Roberts. I like how Catherine Anderson’s books are often stories of how a character pulls through a dark time or the main character might have a disability. More recently I’ve been introduced to some new authors through some of the great friends I’ve made on Instagram. Colleen Hoover is a relatively new author for me and the five novels of hers that I’ve read I’ve really enjoyed. Specifically “Ugly Love”, “Hopeless” and “Confess” I loved how she set up the story and tied things together. I like being surprised when reading a story and there were moments when I was shocked and I’ll admit shed some pretty ugly tears.  


5) What are the biggest hurdles to overcome as an author?

For me it’s finding time to write and marketing. Getting the word out to the public.


6) Is there any advice that you can offer for new writers?

Don’t give up. Read a lot. Find what people are reading that’s similar to the genre you want to write about. Read those and know what’s out there.


7) Tell us a few random personal things about yourself personal & professional!

Some fun facts…My day job that pays the bills is not writing. Daily I’m an architect and I run my own company. I’ve been in the architecture field for almost 25 years. I love what I do. Architecture is like writing in some ways, you’re creating something and seeing it come to life. I’ve always enjoyed reading since I was in grade school. I read primarily on my iPhone and iPad with my kindle app. When I was in high school I was at a wedding where one of the guests had just won an Oscar and he had brought it and I got to hold it and have a picture of me holding it. I have two boys. I’ve recently accepted that I have a thing for pink, hot pink specifically. I had a fellow author that I met at a signing give me a free pair of Lularoe leggings, and umm.. I think I might be addicted. LOL. Seriously I’m seeing more and more authors and others start selling this clothing line and if you’ve never tried on a pair of their leggings they are the softest things 
EVER!! Mountain Dew is my all time favorite soda. I’m a vegetarian and have a weakness for all types of sweets. :)

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