Thursday, March 7, 2013

#AuthorInterview Melissa Foster on her #NewRelease TRACES OF KARA

Hi Melissa, thanks for dropping by and talking about your writing. I've always been intrigued by the dramatic storylines you portray so vividly. Tell me first off, where do you get your ideas?

Thanks for allowing me to share your blog with you today. I’m really inspired by life and by my own insecurities and fears. When I begin to write, I think about what the biggest obstacles are for my characters. Then, while I’m writing, the ideas I started with tend to change and morph into something else all together.

Traces of Kara was an absolutely terrifying yet heartwarming story. How did you manage to pull off the horror of being trapped with a maniac in a decrepit power plant while writing such a tender mother and daughter story?

KARA was the most difficult book that I’ve written to date. It was so different than anything that I had written before, and I was really attune to every page pulling the reader forward, and Roland is much darker of a character than any of my previous characters, too, so I had to strike a balance between that spine tingling fear and the emotional story of Kara and her mother. I found myself taking breathers before switching scenes and characters. It was really important to me that my readers experience the strong emotional bonds that I love to write about, and that’s where Kara and Mimi came into play. Separating my writing self from the dark side to the lighter side took a cognitive decision each day.

I know you have many great stories in the pipeline. Are there any you'd like to share with us today?

I wrote three books last year, and I’m almost done with my first for this year. I’ll be releasing HAVE NO SHAME in early May, and that’s my first foray into historical fiction, but it’s really an enjoyable women’s fiction read as well. I am very proud of that story, because I think it’s the most important story I’ve written so far, and it has made it through to the second round of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award.

I’m honored to share the summary with you:

The racially-charged prejudice of the deep South forces eighteen-year-old Alison Tilman to confront societal norms—and her own beliefs—when she discovers the body of a hate crime victim, and the specter of forbidden love turns her safe, comfortable world upside down.

Alison has called Forrest Town, Arkansas home for the past eighteen years. Her mother’s Blue Bonnet meetings, her father toiling night and day on the family farm, and the division of life between the whites and the blacks are all Alison knows. The winter of 1967, just a few months before marrying her high school sweetheart, Alison finds the body of a black man floating in the river, and she begins to view her existence with new perspective. The oppression and hate of the south, the ugliness she once was able to avert her eyes from, now demands her attention.

When a secretive friendship with a young black man takes an unexpected romantic turn, Alison is forced to choose between her predetermined future, and the dangerous path that her heart yearns for.

HAVE NO SHAME is an emotionally compelling coming of age novel featuring a young woman who cannot reconcile the life she wants with the one she’s been brought up to live.Have No Shame will resonate with anyone who has ever fallen in love, and those who have been forced to choose between what they know in their hearts to be true, and what others would like them to believe. 

I'm looking forward to Have No Shame. You write about family secrets a lot. What is something no one, not even your husband knows about you?

Really? You want me to share that with a zillion people that I don’t know? Hmm…I have a wicked crush on Clint Eastwood.

Ha, ha, that's one less secret. What is the most exciting adventure you've been on? Did you incorporate it into a story?

Wow, that’s a great question! I have to think about it. I fear I’m a bit boring. My most exciting adventures were probably when I was very young and did something nutty, like visiting bars and toasting “every drink that’s a little bit pink”.  It hasn’t made it into a book yet, but there’s still time.

What is your favorite part about being an author? Least favorite?

My favorite part is that every day I get to do exactly what I LOVE doing. That’s the truth, too. I love my work so much that it’s almost shameful. My least favorite part of being an author was always that it meant I had to sit for too many hours each day, but now…with my treadmill desk, there is NOTHING that I dislike about being an author.

What is the strangest thing a reader has ever asked you to do?

Sleep with them.

I think I know who it is, hee hee. You've written books that span genre boundaries. Is there a genre you most look forward to exploring in the near future?

I think about this all the time. The genre I’m itching to write is a gritty teen book. I love teenage voices. I find it very easy and incredibly enjoyable to revert to a rebellious teen (in voice). I’m working on it, determining plot, storyline, etc. One day…it will see the light of day (I hope).

It was great talking to you, Melissa. I can't wait to hear your voice in the gritty teen book. You certainly keep readers on their toes with wonderful surprises.

Thank you so much, Rachelle. I really enjoyed our chat and I really enjoyed reading your latest book, HIDDEN UNDER HER HEART.

Melissa Foster is the award-winning author of three International bestselling novels. Her books have been recommended by USA Today's book blog, Hagerstown Magazine, The Patriot, and several other print venues. She is the founder of the Women’s Nest, a social and support community for women, the World Literary CafĂ©. When she's not writing, Melissa helps authors navigate the publishing industry through her author training programs on  Fostering Success. Melissa has been published in Calgary’s Child Magazine, the Huffington Post, and Women Business Owners magazine. Melissa hosts an annual Aspiring Authors contest for children and has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Melissa lives in Maryland with her family.

Visit Melissa on The Women's NestFostering Success, or World Lit Cafe. Melissa enjoys discussing her books with book clubs and reader groups, and welcomes an invitation to your event.

Melissa Foster's Books:

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