Interview with Melissa Schroeder

A Little Harmless PleasureJen: This week we welcome Melissa Schroeder to Book Talk. Melissa, will you share a short bio with us?

Melissa: Thanks so much for having me! I’m an AF brat who was born in an Army hospital, so I have been kind of screwy from birth. Of course, I vowed not to marry military. My husband, though, is a Major in the AF, we have two human kids, one dog kid, and we are living in the DC area at the moment. Since my first publication in 2004, I have had close to 30 short stories, novellas, and novels published with 7 different publishers.

Jen: Tell us about A Little Harmless Pleasure and where it’s available.

Melissa: The print version of A Little Harmless Pleasure is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Borders and the My Bookstore and More website.

This is the sequel to A Little Harmless Sex. People kept asking me if Cynthia would get her book, and it took me awhile to come up with it. Cynthia has always been the “good girl.” She did what her parents wanted her to, almost marrying a man she didn’t really love just to help her father’s business. When she called off that wedding (to the hero of A Little Harmless Sex), she pretty much gets disowned. This book is really about her journey to become an individual. The first little act of rebellion is going home with the best man, Chris Dupree.

Chris has had some bad relationships in the past but almost immediately feels a kinship to Cynthia. Their romance takes on a whole different realm when Cynthia moves to Hawaii, where Chris lives. It has some soft bondage in it, and a ménage scene. A lot of it is about acceptance and trust—which play big in a lot of my books.

Jen: At what age did you discover writing and when were you first published? Tell us your call story.

Melissa: I started writing in college, but mostly short stories. I tried tons of other genres before settling on romance. My first contract was in Feb 2004 with Whiskey Creek Press. It was funny because the book had been turned down earlier that day by an editor who told me I couldn’t write, Ha!

Jen: Have you noticed your writer’s voice has changed as you’ve gained experience? If so, how?

Melissa: Yes it has. I see more depth to my characters, and I think I show much more introspection on their motives and goals. I also see that some of my plots are getting darker.

Jen: How do you approach your writing? Do you plot or go with the flow?

Melissa: PLOT. I used to be a panzer, but Shelley Bradley showed me the way and now I plot all my books out on a board. It does keep me on track better. The ideas come to me at any time, but to write the story, I have to plot now. Shelley has ruined me!

Jen: Do you have any “must haves” with you while you’re writing?

Melissa: I would love to say quiet, but unless I am writing during the day, that never happens. So now it is usually my iPod, a cup of something to drink and my noise canceling headphones.

Jen: What is it about the romance and erotica genres that appeal to you?

Melissa: I like happy endings. All of my books are romances. I never write outside of the genre.

Jen: What’s the most rewarding aspect of writing?

Melissa: I get to wear PJs all day!

Jen: Do you do anything special to celebrate a sale, new contract, or release?

Melissa: PEDICURE, it is the bomb!

Jen: Who has inspired you as an author?

Melissa: It would be hard to list everyone. But in romance, Nora Roberts, Jayne Ann Krentz, Jenny Crusie, Liz Carlyle, Amanda Quick…okay this could go on so I will stop there, lol

Jen: Do you have a favorite character or one that you identify most with?

Melissa: I have two. Grace Michaels, in Grace Under Pressure. She is clutzy, nerdy, and a bit of a goofball history professor. And Mila Simmons in Hunting Mila. Smart mouth…okay, just her smart mouth is like mine, lol

Jen: Who are some of your favorite authors and books? What are you reading now?

Melissa: I love Shayla Black/Shelley Bradley, Kally Jo Surbeck, Karen Marie Moning, Nora, Jayne Ann Krentz, Stephanie Laurens, okay again, another list. But I am reading Running Hot, by Krentz right now.

Jen: What’s next for you?

Melissa: I have two proposals making the rounds right now. One for a contemporary series and one for a Medieval. But presently I am working on A Little Harmless Obesession which features May and Evan who appear in A Little Harmless Pleasure.

Jen: Where can you be found on the web?

Melissa: http://www.melissaschroeder.net and I am a Wicked Writer, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/wicked_writers

Jen: Do you have anything you’d like to ask our readers?

Melissa: What is one romance genre you would like to see more of?

Jen: Thank you Melissa for joining us this week. Readers, Melissa is generously giving away a signed copy of A Little Harmless Pleasure to a random commenter. Answer Melissa’s question or ask her something and you’ll be entered in the drawing. Melissa will be here all week to answer your questions, so ask away. The contest will end on Thursday, January 22 around 5pm PDT. And as always, if you leave your email address in the comments, it’s the easiest way to be notified if you’re picked as our winner. Otherwise, please stop back by the blog and look for the winner announcement post on Thursday evening/Friday morning.