Friday, March 16, 2012

My Guest! Melissa Keir


Morning Crew! I want ya ta crawl outta yer mangy hammocks and give a warm welcome to me guest, Melissa Keir! I met this lass while wanderin’ the streets a Facebook city, when she popped up to say how much she enjoyed my book! In fact, she reviewed it! (Good review, too…)

We got to chatting and I ended up blathering on her blog and invited her ta come blather with us. She be a newly published author, but she been doing more than writing, as ya’ll see as ya read along!

*****
Melissa – I very much enjoyed your short story, Forever Love, especially the hero arriving with the entire fire department to make it clear his intent to the heroine. When we chatted, you mentioned fire crews areintensely close to each other. Was this scene something you had experience with?

Maureen, thank you for having me and for reading my book. It means a lot to have feedback from other authors, especially ones that I admire. My best friend is married to a firefighter with the city of Detroit.

They are a family in all sense of the word. They share life and death daily with each other. When something unfortunate happens, the whole fire department rallies together to take care of the each other and their families. For my friend’s wedding, the guys all showed up on a fire truck to take her to the wedding.

Tell us how you found yourself taking part in the anthology with Ruby Lioness Press.
The owner of Sizzling Hot Book Reviews is also the part owner of Ruby Lioness Press. When my previous publisher closed, Marissa suggested that we take a look at Ruby Lioness Press. They were just beginning as a publishing house and put a submission call out for second chance stories for their anthology. I knew many of the authors in the anthology and wanted to be a part of a book with them.

What is it like working as a reviewer for Sizzling Hot Books?

I love reading books. Marissa gave me a chance to read books and write my thoughts on the books for fun. I’ve been able to find some wonderful series and fabulous authors to read and even become friends with.

Does it help or hurt with your writing to be looking at other books with a critical eye?
Having read a great deal of other stories I am very careful that my stories never cross the lines into someone else’s story. I love many other authors’ ideas and it can be challenging to think of a new plot or storyline.

I know for a lot of us, once we start writing it’s difficult to separate the writer from simply reading for joy. With you, editing, reviewing and writing, is it difficult to sit down and just enjoy a good read?

I have certain authors that I read for enjoyment that it is no problem to read and let myself go. Most of what I read these days is not for pleasure. I don't have a lot of extra time in my day, so I read more for reviews (which I do love and have found some new favorite authors) and read for editing. For me, it isn't that I can't separate the different types of reading, but having the time to do what I used to take for granted. I would rather earn my keep, than read for pleasure many nights.

And wearing a third hat as an editor? I’m impressed! Writing, reviewing, editing…do you ever wake up uncertain what day it is? Is it difficult to switch gears? Does the editor ever block the writer or the reviewer get too critical with the writer? Does the writer ever send chocolates to the reviewer?

Wearing all the different hats… I am also a full time elementary teacher, can get in the way of just writing. Time is limited. I can’t write in my sleep yet, and I do still need sleep in order to be a human. So all my extra jobs sometimes get in the way.

I write with passion, not that part of my brain that the editing comes from…at least for the first draft. Then after I get the story down, I think it is helpful to have that critical eye. I am able to take a look at my work and make changes that help make my story clearer. Of course, as we all gain experience with writing and editing, our writing gets better and clearer. I wish that someone would send me flowers or chocolate on occasion. Any offers??

I read on your website that you wanted to be a race car driver…what series? Do you follow racing now? Who is your favorite driver?

I don’t follow a particular racing series. I do love the funny car races. Cha Cha Muldowney was an inspiration to me, as the first woman of drag racing. I used to watch her race and loved the idea of going as fast as I could and controlling all that power.

Second chances is a big theme for me, too! Tell us about ‘Second Times the Charm’.

Second Time’s the Charm is a story of a middle-aged divorced woman who finds love where she least expects it. She falls for her best friend’s ex-husband! Divorce can often shred a person’s self-esteem. Lissa’s divorce hit her like a ton of bricks. She didn’t expect it, nor did she expect that her husband would cheat on her. Lissa and her best friend commiserate about the horrible things that their ex’s have done and she develops a picture of Alex that doesn’t fit the guy she meets and falls for.


And what is your next book from Rebel Ink Press? Tell us about it!

My June 3rd release from Rebel Ink Press is titled “Protecting His Wolfe” and tells the tale of a police detective, Mr. Pigg who must protect a witness to a murder when the murderer comes after her. Her last name is Wolfe and she is a secretary for a transportation company. The story has a cleaver play on the fairy tale of “The Three Little Pigs”. I plan on writing three stories in this series, telling the stories of Detective Pigg’s two brothers.

Okay, now the nitty gritty…Who is this pirate ancestor you claim as yours?

My maiden name is Watling. We did some research on our family. Watling is a popular name both in fiction and real life. You’ll find a Belle Watling in Gone With The Wind. There is also a famous actor in England named Watling that is related to my family. Back before San Salvador became the name of that island in the Caribbean, a pirate by the name of George Watling was working the waters around the island. But he was a kind pirate and helped the people who were living under an oppressive rule. The people elected him the governor and renamed the island Watling’s Island for a while. I know that a kind pirate sounds like a strange oxymoron but I like that he was helpful for the people.

Last words?

I love to hear from my readers or people who love books! I have a bunch of keeper books that I’d never part with and have read over and over again. Not to mention that I have a blended family and often write about the stresses and blessings of being a parent. Okay, you found me out… I love to chat!
http://www.melissakeir.com/
www.facebook.com/#!/melissakeir
http://www.facebook.com/#!/AuthorMelissaKeir
www.twitter.com/melissa_keir

Now, keep in mind, Melissa is a teacher so I doubt we’ll be hearing from her until later in the day. I for one, want to know how to get in on an anthology…

25 comments:

Melissa Keir said...

Thanks for having me! Ruby Lioness Press has some wonderful anthologies that they are currently seeking submissions for! One is a hot and steamy summer anthology while another is a sinfully scary Halloween and a sweet holiday anthology. Inkspell Publishing is also looking for authors for a holiday anthology! I can see your characters Maureen doing their Christmas shopping! What do you get a pirate and her crew?? After all, they could sieze just about anything!

Scapegoat said...

Welcome Melissa! Just popping in to say hi and that I have meetings at work until around noon so I'll be back then.

Maureen said...

Hmmm...what does one get a pirate for the holidays? And shopping? A pirate's mall is the high seas and what they can 'liberate' from other ships...

I could do this!

Welcome ta the ship!

Whoa, it's dark this early now...darned DLST!

MsHellion said...

See, I want to read the Second Time's a Charm! That one really speaks to me!! And I love the built in conflict!

But I love the thought of the kind pirate. We just have weird ancestors in our family--the first SINCLAIR was a big strapping man who used to carry snakes (live) in a bag at his waist and every once in a while would take one and bite its head off. (Like a pre-Ozzy Osborne or something.) No one messed with him, strangely enough.

Maureen said...

You know, Hels...that speaks volumes for your abhorance of snakes...

My ancestral tree is a total mystery...though eldest sis recently discovered we have a totally different branch of Native America then we thought... She keeps researching, who knows what we may find out?

Though...wait...there is the suspected polygamous group in Mexico, we think brought one of my grandma's into the world... Gee, she could have been in a reality show nowadays!

MsHellion said...

In fairness I didn't know about the snake story until last year and I've hated snaked far longer, but if you mean in a subconscious, family-memory sort of way--then YES, I'm sure it is connected. *LOL*

Maureen said...

The snakes probably set a curse on your family after the biting-the-head off stuff...

TerriOsburn said...

I just happen to have a hot and steamy summer short story ready to go. Must look into this!

Welcome aboard, Melissa and congrats on getting published. There's too much adoption in my family to trace ancestry very far, but I know there's Native American on my dad's side. I'd like to learn more about that.

A kind pirate. I knew there had to be one!

Marnee Bailey said...

Thanks for stopping by, Melissa! I think it's cool to have a pirate in the past. (That sounds like it could be a title for a book: PIRATE IN HER PAST).

For my part, I have the guy who invented the ferris wheel, a great, great uncle. Not that the family ever saw any benefit. Someone swiped the idea from him and produced it. Only thing he got out of it was the name. Oh well. Fame instead of fortune I guess. :)

Melissa Keir said...

Thanks everyone. Now we are sharing ideas! Maureen is going to have to do a Pirate Holiday story and I'm going to have to write that Pirate in her Past story!

I'm glad you are looking forward to Second Time's the Charm. It is a perfectly short read for a nightcap before bed. The story spoke to me because of the idea of remarriage. I got divorced after 20 years of marriage and ended up getting remarried to someone that I knew for a couple of years as a friend.

I loved the idea that there was an island named after my family. Of course it was changed but for a little while, there was an island with my family name on it.

I am learning a lot more about my family as well. I always thought we were German on my grandma's side but have learned that we are Romanian! In fact from the Capathian mountains! So there might be a vampire in the family tree too ;)

Melissa Keir said...

Hey Hels,
I have a wonderful cat that kills snakes! He is a great thing to have if you are afraid of snakes!

Maureen said...

Held might want that cat!

Maureen said...

Darn phone! My Dell is being a butthead and trying to use my new phone to comment.

Now, I have an idea for a pirate short. Hmmmm!

TerriOsburn said...

Your Dell is using your phone to comment? That's one smart Dell.

:)

Maureen said...

I wish! See, this is what comes of using a smart phone...it's smart enough to connect, but the buttons are difficult to manage... I was trying to use my phone to comment...

Steph fixed the touchpad problem, though he's still confused as to how I mucked it up.

I suspect a gremlin snake did it.

Melissa Keir said...

Did you feed that gremlin after midnight, Maureen? Remember that movie? I loved how silly it was!

Maureen said...

Most of this problem did begin after midnight on wedne

Melissa Keir said...

Oh no!! You fed the Gremlin!! ;)

Maureen said...

Well, I know I cursed it a great deal... Sometimes, the fingers fly so fast, they aren't sure what keys they hit...and there is no undo on the keyboard...

TerriOsburn said...

That only happens to me when one of the animals charges across the keyboard, mucks something about and then I have no idea what they hit to know how to undo it!

Maureen said...

I hear about animals doing that... My cat has considered it but something about the way I glared at her worked... She backed away...

Melissa Keir said...

This has been fun chatting with everyone. I appreicate the time you took to visit with me. And if you are interested in that cat of mine, my husband would love to give him away (although my son would be upset).

TerriOsburn said...

Thanks for being with us, Melissa. I already have two cats and a puppy. That's more than enough entertainment for this household. :)

Maureen said...

Yeah, but Hels...she might like the idea of a snake attacking cat...

Thanks for stopping by the chat with us, Melissa! And good luck on the new books!

Melissa Keir said...

My household has the reverse, two dogs and one cat. But it could always be worse!! when my daughter was younger she used to have 5 pet rats! The scary one was the white one with the pink eyes. That is hard to take until you had to hold them all evening because they were dying. Then you realize that they are just animals like us (and at least I didn't let her get the snakes she wanted!)

Thanks for having me!!