Posted on 08/12/2019 at 08:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek
Today we’re interviewing Melanie P. Smith, a multigenre author who writes paranormal, criminal suspense, police procedural, and romance novels.
For over twenty-six years, she was employed as a civilian member in law enforcement, serving most of that time in the special operations division where she worked closely with SWAT, search and rescue, and the child abduction response team.
For years, her writing was limited to web articles, professional magazines, and internal commendations and brochures. She now uses her education and experience to make her novels action-packed, gripping, and realistic.
Smith is an adventurer and a photographer. When she’s not writing, she can be found riding her Harley, exploring the wilderness on her ATV, or capturing that next great photo.
SADYE: How did you come to see yourself as a writer, and what inspired you to seek publication?
MELANIE: I can’t remember a time when I didn’t write. It’s just a part of who I am and always has been. This took a backseat after I graduated from high school and began attending college.
Once I started my career, time became an issue, and my writing shifted from something I did to entertain myself to professional and work-related projects.
A few years ago, I realized I missed my creative side. One particular storyline kept running through my mind and wouldn’t let go. The more I thought about it, the more it took off.
Finally, I sat down and wrote the first book in my Warrior series — which now contains seven novels and two novellas.
I honestly had no intention of publishing my work. It was something I did for me to express my ideas, to relax after a long day at work, and to stimulate my imagination.
My husband gets the credit for changing that.
First, he convinced me to let him read my story. Then, he snuck it out of the house and gave it to my mother to read. She, in turn, loaned it to my sister.
Without my knowing it, my story was making the rounds around my family and their inner circle of friends.
Eventually, I gave in to peer pressure and published my first book. The rest, as they say, is history.
SADYE: Which of your characters would you most and least like to trade places with?
MELANIE: This is a difficult question. I love all my characters. By the time I tell their story, they feel like old friends to me.
If I had to choose one character to trade places with, I think I’d choose Alex Deveraux from my Warrior series.
She is a strong, compassionate leader who, as the fae queen, possesses some interesting and special powers she uses to help her people. She is also fiercely independent with a huge capacity to love.
There are two characters I would not want to change places with: Cole and Reese from Mount Haven.
These two are rich, spoiled, and evil to the core. I wouldn’t want to be anything like them.
SADYE: What has been the most surprising, rewarding, and challenging parts of your writing career?
MELANIE: Most surprising would be the amazing support I have received from all over the world.
I have friends I never dreamed of having in the UK, Canada, Spain, Australia — the list goes on.
Most rewarding would have to be touching the lives of everyday people in a positive way.
It still surprises me when I’m approached by someone that wants to tell me how much they love my stories.
There is so much pain and suffering it the world, it is rewarding to know I can bring some joy, at least for a little while, into the lives of everyday people.
Most challenging would definitely be time management.
There is so much more to writing than simply telling the story. Life can get hectic, and I’ve had to learn to balance my time between the work and my personal life.
Both are important, and both deserve love and attention.
SADYE: What has been the most touching or memorable piece of reader feedback you’ve received?
MELANIE: This one is easy. I know you’re not supposed to have a favorite fan, but I would have to say HayLee is the most memorable fan I have.
She is an amazing ten-year-old girl who loves to read. She picked up Dusk – the first installment in my Warrior series – and was hooked immediately.
When I heard she would like to meet me, I couldn’t resist.
I met up with HayLee and her mom one afternoon where we talked warriors, shifters, and fae over ice cream.
It was an honor to meet HayLee and see the love she has for my stories.
I have since learned that she brags to her friends that she met and spent an afternoon with her favorite author.
SADYE: What experience in your past or general aspect of your life has most affected your writing?
MELANIE: I grew up on a farm, which meant long days and hard work. But my parents also understood the need for balance.
Once the work was done, they gave us the freedom to explore and seek out our next adventure – we just had to be home before dark.
As a child, my only limitation was my own imagination. The same holds true for me now, as a writer.
Those younger years helped me to expand my horizons and conquer the impossible. As a writer, I continue to do that with my characters.
In addition, my career in law enforcement has definitely impacted my writing. They say write what you know.
I love a good mystery, and my experiences, as well as the training and knowledge gained throughout my career, help to make my novels action-packed, suspenseful, believable, and accurate.
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Categories: Author Interview