Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Writer's Life: Melissa Tagg

Welcome to another edition of Writer's Life! Every Wednesday features a romance writer of inspirational or sweet romance novels. I'm excited to share some of my favorite authors and hope you'll find new books for your to-be-read pile!

Today we have the fabulous Melissa Tagg!! Melissa writes contemporary romance for the inspirational market. Her latest, Here to Stay, released this week! I spent ten minutes debating with myself about the cover, and in the end, I decided it's my favorite romance cover of 2014. Isn't it pretty? I'm a sucker for small towns, brick sidewalks, and cute couples. :) My review is posted at the end of the interview.


Let's get to it!!

1. What about writing makes your heart sing?

Writing The End. LOL! No but seriously, probably what most makes my heart sing are those moments when I'm deep in a scene and the characters suddenly start doing things I didn't expect, saying things I didn't plan on...when the words almost don't feel like my own. Especially if it's a serious scene...those are just amazing moments as a writer. And it's often those moments when a nugget of truth comes to light and I have the realization that God has me writing this story at this time for a reason...and that he's changing me or working in my heart. 

2. What is the biggest hurdle you're facing right now as a writer?

Hands-down my biggest hurdle is time and focus. I work full-time at a nonprofit organization, and I do try to, you know, have a social life. Haha! So doing the writing thing on top of that is a lot. I often feel like I'm working two full-time jobs. But I keep telling myself, this is the season I'm in right now. Embrace it! 

3. What do you do to fill your creative well?

Spend time with family for sure. Nothing relaxes and reenergizes me as much as spending a Sunday afternoon with family. Too, I love classic movies...especially classic movies with witty and fast-paced dialogue. (I'm sorry, so many of today's movies are sooo lacking in brilliant dialogue! If that makes me sound like a snob, well, so be it.) So sometimes if I'm feeling less-than-creative, I'll go watch one of my favorite movies to get inspired.

4. What are you working on next?

Well, when this interview goes up, I will be just days away from the deadline for my third book! It's called From the Start and it comes out in spring 2015. It's the start of a new series that takes place in Iowa and features the Walker family. The first book in the series is about Kate Walker, a romantic movie scriptwriter who doesn't believe in love, and a brooding-but-adorable ex-NFL-er named Colton Greene. This summer I'll be writing a novella to preclude and introduce the new series, and soon after, I'll start on the second book in the series. So...lots of writing in my world this year!

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 Melissa, I think we can all relate on struggling to balance our time. You really are working two full-time jobs. Writing involves so much more than just putting words down! I'm with you on classic movies. In my twenties, I had a thing for Cary Grant movies. Just love the dialogue, sets, and proper clothing! Congratulations on finishing book three (I have complete faith you'll make that deadline without any problem)! And thanks for being my guest today!

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Blake Hunziker has played nomad for five years and landed in his fair share of trouble too. But now he’s finally returning to his hometown–the Lake Michigan tourist town of Whisper Shore. Counting on a not-so-warm welcome, he’s surprised at not only a positive reception but also a job offer. Determined to settle down and prove himself responsible, he agrees to the catch that comes with the job offer–coordinating the annual Christmas festival–even though he has no idea how he’ll pull it off.
Autumn Kingsley, inn owner and experienced organizer of the Christmas festival, has always dreamed of traveling the world. Now she has a job opportunity in Paris and a surprise potential investor coming to town who just might take on her family’s inn and finally leave her free to go. The only problem is that she has just two weeks to whip the inn into shape.
Their families have a long history of not getting along, but when Blake comes to Autumn for help with the festival, she actually agrees…in exchange for his help with the repairs to her inn. They may have struck a simple deal, but complications are quick to pile on when the guy who’s had enough of running away and the woman who can’t wait to leave join forces.

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Melissa Tagg, author of Made to Last and Here to Stay, is a former reporter and total Iowa girl. In addition to her homeless ministry day job, she is also the marketing/events coordinator for My Book Therapy, a craft and coaching community for writers. When she’s not writing, she can be found hanging out with the coolest family ever, watching old movies, and daydreaming about her next book. She’s passionate about humor, grace, and happy endings. Melissa blogs regularly and loves connecting with readers at www.melissatagg.com.


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My Review ~ 5 Stars!!
Charming, whimsical, and oh-so-warm, I loved Here to Stay! Ms. Tagg excels at writing lovable characters. Since I spend time every summer on Lake Michigan, I especially enjoyed the autumn setting on the lake. Look for fun cameos by Miranda Woodruff from the first book in the series, Made to Last. With a strong romance, touching spiritual journeys, and comedic situations, Here to Stay is a must read! 

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What do you look for in a cover? Does a gorgeous one make you more likely to read a book?

Have a fantastic day!!

17 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for having me here today. Love that you love the cover. I do too...totally squealed when I saw it. The artist is Jennifer Parker from Bethany House...love, love, love it!

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    1. The cover is amazing!! Jennifer did a terrific job. It really captured the story, and the colors just make me happy!! Thanks so much for being my guest today, Melissa!!

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  2. Melissa is one of my new favorite authors!! I can not wait to read this story!!!

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    1. She's one of my faves too!! You're going to fall in love with this one (but I was already a tad in love with Blaze from the first book!)!!

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    2. Yay, thanks, Susie. And Jill, I'm glad you loved Blaze...let me tell you, the man was a challenge to write in Here to Stay, but I love the guy!

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  3. A gorgeous cover definitely makes me more likely to read a book, especially if I'm unfamiliar with the author. I'm currently reading Here To Stay and loving it! The dialogue is amazing. This is one I will recommend to everyone, for sure!

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    1. Same here!! I've been trying a lot of new authors lately, and the cover makes a difference. Thank you SO much for stopping by! Enjoy the end when you get to it!

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    2. YAY Courtney I'm so happy you like the dialogue...it's my favorite to write!!

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  4. Jill, thanks for such an insightful, FUN interview! Melissa, I couldn't be happier for you. CONGRATULATIONS!!

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    1. Aw, thanks, Donna! You always know what to say to make me smile!

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  5. This book cover is truly exceptional. I finished reading the book but I'm keeping it out where I can see it because it's just so fun to look at. Fun interview, I was inspired by Melissa's positive attitude about embracing the season of life we're in.

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    1. Thanks, Heidi! So glad you love the cover...I feel like it's going to be hard for me to ever love a cover that much again. :)

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    2. I know! We need that positive attitude--it's contagious! Thanks for stopping by!

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  6. I love that cover. Very Fall-ish...and isn't Fall just about everyone's favorite time of year? Certainly the best time to fall in love!

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    1. I love the fall feel, too. This is kind of a silly little thing, but I was pumped to see the chapter headings had fall leaves--and the leaves are in color in the Kindle Fire version of the book. :) Super cute!

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    2. I know I love fall! It IS the best time to fall in love!

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