Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Made to Last: Interview with Melissa Tagg!

You are in for a treat today! Melissa Tagg, author of the inspirational contemporary romance, Made to Last, is here, answering my questions. Melissa writes for Bethany House (publishing home of several authors I love including Jody Hedlund and Becky Wade), and yes, I loved her debut novel! My review is later in the post. :)

Melissa, thanks for being here today! Let's get to it!

1. In Made to Last, the main character, Miranda, has a natural talent for working with wood. Do you have wood-working skills? What are you naturally talented at?

Haha, um, no…I’m really not at all talented at wood-working. Although, truthfully, I guess I’ve never really tried that hard. But I do have a clear memory of my high school shop class teacher walking past me and just shaking his head. LOL!

I am naturally good at dumb things like remembering tons of classic movie trivia and saying the alphabet backwards (for real). I’m also good at accidentally starting fires and tripping. And to be serious for a moment and in hopes of not sounding at all cocky, I do think writing comes somewhat naturally to me. But I know I’ll always have more to learn as a storycrafter. :)

2. Miranda has an assortment of men in her life: her manager Brad, fake husband Blake, ex-fiancĂ© Robbie, and, of course, Matthew, the hero and reporter. Let's say you had these men to choose from, who would you pick? (I'm loving Blake!!)

Ohhhh how I love this question. Brad and Robbie are easy no’s…Brad because he’s a little too suave and polished for my taste and Robbie because he flaked out on Miranda. :) But choosing between Matthew and Blake? I don’t think I can do it. If we were just talking Made to Last, I’d choose Matthew in a heartbeat…he is funny and sweet and he sees deeper into people than most, probably because of his career as a journalist. I love that about him.

But now that I’ve been working on Blake’s story for months now (it’s called Here to Stay and comes out May 1, 2014), I’m seeing all his deeper layers too. Plus, he’s just hilarious. And underneath his goofiness, there’s a wounded vulnerability that tugs on your heart.

I don’t think I can choose! Ooh, how about this: Whichever one goes the Pinnochio route and becomes “a real boy!” first…that’s the one I choose.

3. What has surprised you the most about publishing your debut novel?

Hmm, two things, I think:

     1. The busyness of it all. People said this would be a busy season. But I think in the back of my head I was all, “Yeah, yeah, cool, I can handle it.” Um, now I’m a little less confident of my ability to juggle. Haha!

     2. The joy of reader support. Ever since I’ve started on this writing journey, I’ve been blown away by the support of fellow writers. But now it’s also readers, too, who are encouraging me on a daily basis. I’m so grateful for that!
Melissa, you've been an inspiration to me in many ways. Your deep faith comes across in everything you do. Your talent as a writer sucked me into your book (can't wait for your next one!). And your friendship means the world to me. Congratulations!

Made to Last

Miranda Woodruff has it all. At least, that’s how it looks when she’s starring in her homebuilding television show, From the Ground Up. So when her network begins to talk about making cuts, she’ll do anything to boost ratings and save her show–even if it means pretending to be married to a man who’s definitely not the fiance who ran out on her three years ago.

When a handsome reporter starts shadowing Miranda’s every move, all his digging into her personal life brings him a little too close to the truth–and to her. Can the girl whose entire identity is wrapped up in her on-screen persona finally find the nerve to set the record straight? And if she does, will the life she’s built come crashing down just as she’s found a love to last?


Melissa Tagg ~

Melissa Tagg is a former reporter turned author who loves all things funny and romancey. Her debut novel, a romantic comedy titled Made to Last, releases from Bethany House in September 2013, with a follow-up slated for summer 2014. In addition to her nonprofit day job, she is also the marketing/events coordinator for My Book Therapy, a craft and coaching community for writers founded by award-winning author Susan May Warren.

During her reporting days, Melissa interviewed presidential candidates and llama farmers, rode a hot air balloon and flew a plane, and once found herself face to face with a buffalo. But today she gets her kicks by letting her characters have their own fun. She's passionate about humor, grace and happy endings.

My Review (5 Stars!!)

Wow! *fanning myself* Melissa Tagg blew me away with her debut novel! This is the kind of romance I love--terrific writing, lovable characters, gorgeous setting details, humor, a little sizzle, and a very satisfying happily-ever-after! I loved this book!!

From page one I sympathized with Miranda (Randi) Woodruff. She's in a predicament, feels very guilty about it, and has strong reasons for staying in it. Enter two men new to her life: Blaze and Matthew. I'll admit it--I loved Blaze. Praying he gets his own story. Yum! But Matthew is the hero in THIS book, and he's fabulous.

I laughed out loud so many times, I lost count. I can't wait to read more from this talented author!!

(I received an advanced reader copy of this book with no obligation to review it. All opinions are my own--I loved this book!!)


Thanks so much, Melissa, for being my guest!

Do you watch home-improvement shows? Which one is your favorite?

Have a wonderful day!


  1. Hey Melissa and Jill! Fun stuff here today!

    I love the fact that you're a movie trivia buff, Melissa, and that you have an appreication for old movies! You know--I thought about you just last night in fact! Did you watch the classic (on TMC) All That Heaven Allows with Rock Hudson and Jane Wyman? Sooo good. Magnificent Obsession is another great one they've paired in--I love the spiritual thread in that one!

    Jill, one of my favorite shows (though not necessarily a home improvement show) is House Hunters. I like to guess which one the couple will choose and I enjoy seeing the updates after they've moved in. :)

    Congrats on your debut, Melissa!

    1. Cynthia, I don't think I've seen that one. I love Jane Wyman though! I have a great-aunt who looks exactly like her!!

    2. Cynthia, you know I love House Hunters!! It's been a fave of mine for many years. HGTV used to have a show called Before and After--that was my all time fave!

  2. What a great interview, Jill and Melissa! I loved learning a bit more about you, Melissa. And I can hardly wait to read Blake's story. :)

    I'm backward when it comes to watching television. We really don't watch much, except for the Olympics and football. :) But, when I've done research for something for a story, I always get sucked in to learning more about whatever home-type project I'm studying. :)

    1. That's a good thing, Jeanne. :) We watch a lot of sports--football, baseball, Olympics.. It's good stuff!


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