To start things off, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background as an author?
I’ve always been a writer of some sort: short stories, poetry, fan fiction, erotica, romance, even some therapeutic journaling. I have been an avid reader from the time I was old enough to hold a book and it seemed, at times, like the stories never really went where I wanted them to, so I decided to start writing my own stories. My first book, “Distance and Time” started as a fan fiction piece involving New Kids on the Block, but with encouragement from friends, I rewrote it and published it. I never intended anyone but close friends to read what I’d written. Now, the inspiration himself (Joe McIntyre) has copies of my books. It’s pretty crazy. As far as me personally, I’m a wife and a mom to three adult “kids”. I keep busy with a part-time job and traveling whenever I can. The traveling motivates and inspires my writing.
You mention in your Goodreads bio you are collaborating with three other authors on a project. Can you tell us more about the project? How did you get started working with this group of authors?
EEEP! This project is so exciting! We are all four very different types of writers. One of us writes historical fiction and non-fiction, another writes suspense, the third writes contemporary fiction, and then I write a little bit of everything. We came together online as friends many years ago and began talking about great it would be to write a series of novellas. We decided to incorporate real history into our stories that will all tie together with one unique heirloom that is passed from one story to the next. It has a very “If These Walls Could Talk” feel to it. It is still in the early stages, but it’s really fascinating to see how we all work together.
One of the reviewers for Distance and Time wrote: “A story that breathes life into such realistic characters, you cannot help but want for more.” How did you come up with the idea for Carlene and Josh’s story?
As I said, it began as fan fiction many years ago. A friend had written a story in which she’d introduced a character that she based off of me. Unfortunately, that character never really had much history or future in the story and I was curious about her. Where did she come from? What led her to that point? Where did she go from there? How did her story end? So I wrote it myself. Carly has flaws and sees herself with a critical eye, much like my readers do. So when she meets this celebrity, she can’t help but wonder what he sees in her. I love how down to earth Josh is when they meet and how she doesn’t really treat him like a celebrity. She just accepts that that world is just part of who he is, not his all-encompassing persona.
You’ve now written and published an entire series. What did you learn along the way? What advice would you give someone just starting out as an author?
Write. Write, write, write, write, write. Write some more. The first and third books in my series came very naturally for me. The words flowed easily and I didn’t struggle with anything. I refused to let anything get in the way of telling my story. The second book (which was actually written last) was a bit tougher because I knew where the story began and where it ended. Filling in the spots in the middle were much tougher. I finally realized that I just didn’t have Josh inside me anymore telling me what to say, so I let him speak his mind then I let him go. That was hard for me. My biggest struggle right now, I think, is fear. Time After Time was SO well-received by my readers, and I worry that what I come up with next won’t be loved like Josh and Carly are. It’s not something I ever envisioned being afraid of, so I’m not sure how to deal with that.
What can you tell us about your next series? How will it be different from the Time After Time series?
The collaboration will be entirely different for me. First of all, it’s a series of novellas written with other authors, so my focus will be on just a small portion of the storyline. Secondly, it’s not as based in romance as what I’m used to. The historical factor will also be a big change for me. I tend to research even for contemporary stories, but this will amp that factor up considerably. I am working on a couple of other stories that are a little different, too. Time After Time wasn’t so much an erotic story as it was a love story. I’d like to dabble with a little hotter story and have some great ideas in mind. Another story I’ve been working on is more the lines of chick lit with far less focus on romance and love. They’ll all be big challenges for me, but it’s exciting to think that I can branch out of my comfort zone and write whatever comes to me rather than be stuck in one genre.
What have you read lately that really wowed you? What’s coming up next on your TBR?
Oh geez! I have something like 1,400 books on my TBR. I have NO idea what I’ll choose next. I think my favorite read lately has been the Bright Side series by Kim Holden. That sucker tore me UP! I love books that bring out all my emotions and Bright Side and Gus did just that. It was phenomenal. I’m also anxious to read more of Jacquelyn Ayres’ GEG series. I love her stuff.
Where can readers find out more about you or your work? On which sites are you most active?
I spend most of my time on Facebook. You can find me at facebook.com/MelHenryAuthor. As you mentioned, I also have a Goodreads profile: goodreads.com/MelHenry. My twitter profile is @Mel_Henry, and my blog is MelHenryAuthor.blogspot.com.
Any parting words for our readers?
I hope you’ll check out my books and if you like what you see, you’ll let me know! I love hearing from my readers. You’re why I do what I do!
Thank you so much for joining in on the Author Interview Series!!
If you enjoyed this interview, check out some of the other interviews in the series!