Monday, May 20, 2019

Interview with romance author Melanie Hansen

Romance author Melanie Hansen is here today and we’re chatting about her new contemporary military romance novel, Keeping a Warrior.

During her virtual book tour, Melanie will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice) gift card to a lucky randomly drawn winner. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit her other tour stops and enter there, too!

Melanie Hansen doesn’t get nearly enough sleep. She loves all things coffee-related, including collecting mugs from every place she’s visited. After spending eighteen years as a military spouse, Melanie definitely considers herself a moving expert. She has lived and worked all over the country, and hopes to bring these rich and varied life experiences to the love stories she gets up in the wee hours to write. On her off-time, you can find Melanie watching baseball, reading or spending time with her husband and two teenage sons.

Please share a little bit about your current release.
I’m so excited to share Devon and Rhys’s story with you! Devon is a member of the U.S. Army’s Cultural Support Team, and as such, she works alongside a platoon of Navy SEALs, deploying with them and going on missions with them. Her job is to interact with the women and children who live in remote Afghan villages since it’s a grave cultural offense for her male teammates to do so. Rhys is an Air Force pararescueman who’s attached to the same SEAL platoon as Devon, and he’s just gone through a painful breakup with his childhood sweetheart. The last thing they’re looking for is a relationship, but as their trust in each other grows, so does the love! From San Diego to Arizona to Afghanistan and back, they find they can’t deny their feelings anymore, but Devon’s career aspirations threaten to drive them apart.

What inspired you to write this book?
A couple of years ago, I stumbled across a nonfiction book about the Cultural Support Teams called Ashley’s War, and wow, the plot bunnies started hopping! Even though a woman hasn’t yet made it through SEAL training or Delta Force selection, CSTs are still required to keep up with the men on patrol, fast-rope out of helicopters, and fight their way out of an ambush. I absolutely had to write a story about such a badass woman, and Keeping a Warrior is the result!

Excerpt from Keeping a Warrior:
The night before, for the first time since he could remember, Rhys had fallen asleep with another woman on his mind.

The same woman now sitting and staring pensively at the plane. After a moment’s hesitation, Rhys gathered his courage and approached her, not sure of his welcome.

“Mind some company?”

Devon glanced up with what looked like a genuine smile. “Not at all.”

Rhys lowered himself to sitting and drew his knees up, ankles crossed, loosely draping his arms around them. “You okay?
With a shrug, Devon mirrored his pose and nodded at the plane. “Just sitting here trying to analyze my feelings.”

“About going back?”


“I can imagine those are some pretty complicated feelings,” Rhys said gently.

“Yeah, well, I’m in a totally different place now, at least. Back then I was so idealistic, so trusting, so goddamn stupid.”

Rhys didn’t say anything, just let her talk.

“I thought that bad things couldn’t happen to me, or if they did, it’d be something heroic, you know? Not—” She shook her head. “And now all I want to do is reclaim that part of myself that someone else took from me.”

A lump rose into Rhys’s throat at the slight quaver in her voice.

“Well, this time around you have me,” he said fiercely. “You have the guys.” He nodded his head toward Matt and Shane, who were leaning against a nearby wall, arms crossed, each with one booted foot propped against it, heads close together.

Devon smiled when she saw them. “Think they worked everything out?”

Rhys was about to say he hoped so when Matt pushed off the wall. As he did, Shane snaked his hand behind him and gave his ass a firm pinch, followed by a discreet pat. Matt elbowed him, hard, but he was smiling while he sauntered away.

“Um, I think that’s a pretty safe bet.”

He and Devon snickered together, and she bumped him with her shoulder. “You’re right. It’s gonna be different this time, for lots of different reasons.”

What exciting story are you working on next?
I’ve just turned Book 3 of the Loving a Warrior series, Trusting a Warrior, in to my editor at Carina! I can wait to share George and Lani’s story with you. It will be out in November 2019.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Even after eight novels, it’s hard for me sometimes to consider myself a “real” writer! Imposter syndrome is a thing, that’s for sure, that feeling of not belonging. All I can do is my best, and that has to be good enough. This year I’m both a Lambda Literary finalist and RITA finalist, so that definitely helps my mindset!

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I don’t write full time! I actually have a full-time day job at a branch of our county library, so my writing time is limited, especially since I also have two teenage boys who play sports and are involved in lots of activities. The only way I can get around my schedule and have time to write is if I get up in the wee hours of the morning, like 3:30 or 4:00 a.m. That gives me a couple of uninterrupted, peaceful hours before the day starts. I write on my lunch hour, at the doctor’s office, waiting to pick my kid up from practice, all thanks to my trusty iPad, which goes everywhere with me! It’s definitely not an easy way to go about it, but it works.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I’m a total pantser, in that I don’t outline before I start a new story. A plot bunny will strike me, and if the story requires research, I’ll start doing that. Then I pick a starting point, sit down and start to write! It’s a difficult, sometimes stressful way to go about it, but it’s my writing process and I have to trust it.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
For a long time, I wanted to be an archeologist or an oceanographer. I’m very interested in both the stories of the past and the unexplored. Unfortunately I didn’t have a real aptitude for science because my strengths are more in the literary arts—grammar, writing, etc.—so I ended up as a court reporter for thirteen years.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Just a huge thanks to Lisa for hosting me today!


Thank you for being a guest on my blog!

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Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Melanie Hansen said...

Thanks so much for hosting me today! ❤️

Rita Wray said...

Sounds like a good book.

Mya Goss said...

I loved learning about you and the book sounds amazing!!

Victoria Alexander said...

Thanks for sharing!

Melanie Hansen said...

Thanks for reading, everyone!