Where do you get your ideas?
From everywhere. Story ideas for me most often begin with a real life experience that I can draw from--outstanding romantic personal experiences I have that are etched so clearly in my mind that I weave them into my storylines. Sometimes I also get ideas from old movies, TV, or something that happens in my personal life that gets me thinking. Story ideas almost never come to me fully formed. I usually have to spend a long time turning the initial idea into something that would make a decent book. The process is a lot like sculpting with clay - it takes some time and work with my hands for the story to get to its final form.
How long does it take you to write a book?
Always longer than I think it will take. Like all my writing, The Untold Love Story was a labor of love that began in November of 2002 and took us nearly three years to complete.
How long did it take for you to sell your first book?
I had been writing for almost ten years before I sold my first book. I wish I could say they were wildly productive years, but I had almost no confidence in my writing ability until I met the love of my life. I have loved to write since I was a teenager, so I kept all my poems and lifelong musings in a large box until they were accidentally thrown out one day by a careless friend that was helping me move. The lesson here is, if you make up your mind to pursue a goal, pursue it with passion and single-minded determination - or fall in love with someone that wholeheartedly and passionately believes in you and supports your dreams! Over the past three years Iíve become an occasional contributor to poetry.com. If you would like to read some of my poetry, simply do an author search at www.poetry.com for Melissa Dawn.
Do you think a critique partner or editor-partner is a good idea?
For me it was absolutely essential. I'm a prolific writer, but my spelling and punctuation leaves much room for improvement (thank goodness for the invention of computers and spellcheck). You have to be careful though - careful about the advice you take, the advice you give out, and the effect other people's critiques may have on your writing. Some people find that being critiqued completely shuts down their creative process, so for me, letting my thoughts and feelings flow, then writing them down solo works best. Once the thoughts are on paper, my editor-partner proof reads and edits for spelling, punctuation, and syntax. This seems to result in the best finished product. Right now I have the best writing partner a romance writer could have, since he is also the love of my life!
Who are your favorite authors?
In romance, Iím a huge fan of Danielle Steele. She is an incredibly prolific writer. Other authors I love are Nora Roberts, Keats, Chaucer, and of course, the love of my life.
How can I get my new book published?
The best way to get paid for your book is to find an agent who specializes in a certain genre and likes your work. The internet has also made it possible to publish yourself.
Click Here to learn how to publish your own eBooks!
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