Friday, October 18, 2019

Interview with romance author Melody DeBlois

Today’s author spotlight shines on Melody DeBlois. She’s here to chat about her new contemporary romance, That April in Santa Monica, releasing on Oct 23rd.

During her virtual book tour, Melody will be awarding a $50 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!

Born in California, award winning author, Melody DeBlois follows the sun. When she isn’t swimming laps, she’s writing sweet and sassy romances. Her heroines are self-reliant and smart and her heroes are kind by nature and love dogs. She lives in California during the summer and spends winters in Arizona with her husband. She has plotted her novels while hiking the beach or trekking across the desert. Her most treasured possession is family.

Welcome, Melody. Please share a little bit about your current release.
Madison receives acclaim for running a talent agency for people with disabilities, but she doesn't know how to take care of herself. When her altruism becomes life-threatening—a matter of either develop healthy habits or die—she joins a reality TV show that pairs her with hot, raven-haired Brandon. He is witty, sexy, and her teacher. That makes him off limits.
After a successful run on a soap opera, Brandon stepped away from empty fame and now focuses on his work as TV's most noted health teacher. He has one fast rule—never fall for a student. But when he meets Madison, their chemistry is combustible. There's no hiding their conflict or their attraction, especially when it's all caught on film.

The book won a first-place award for Contemporary Romance at the 2017 Diamonds in the Desert Writer’s Conference. It had a different title: I’ve Grown Accustomed to Your Face.

What inspired you to write this book?
I was watching a health coach on reality TV and wondered what would happen if he fell in love with a student.

Excerpt from That April in Santa Monica:
“Don’t you feel the sun’s energy balancing and healing you?”
What Madison felt was Brandon’s body heat radiating through her, tightening her muscles, skimming up her spine. That kind of warmth should come with a warning— exposure might cause side effects. Maybe she could have blamed it on chemistry or like attracting like— called it a lethal injection. She was dying for want of him.
She managed to say, “I see a halo around the sun.”
“Feel it vibrate?” he asked, turning to look at her, and his eyes turned molten-blue.
Somehow, she didn’t think watching the sky had anything to do with it. The heat had gathered at the sweet place between her legs— another side effect of her being close to him. If this didn’t end up in a kiss, she didn’t think she’d be able to bear it.
Drawing in a long shaky breath, she said, “I do feel the vibration.” Oh, did she!
“Being out in the middle of nature, with the birds and the sea creatures, it does something to a person, don’t you think?”
“Amen to Mother Earth,” she said dreamily.
“There’s harmony in the sounds.” His breath seemed to have caught in his throat.
“Yes, a more beautiful melody could not exist.”
“Do you feel your eyes blur? It’s the sun cleansing you.”
Cleansing? Try heating up as if some crazy so-and-so had switched on the gas.
She moaned, “My eyes have become pools of marvel.” No, that wasn’t right. They were pools of longing, no mistaking

What exciting story are you working on next?
I am currently writing Undercover in Venice Beach; Book 2 in the Love is a Beach Series.

Struggling small business owner Audrey Powell has just lost her mother. In secret, she’s returned to Venice Beach to take over the tea house her mother made so special. She’s determined to keep Mama’s spirit of helping others alive. But she has no one to help her run things—until enter Liam James, the hunky poet who works miracles with food.

Liam James is a spy with British Intelligence. He sets up surveillance in the tea house where secrets are being leaked that threaten national security. To fit in with the clientele, he must work under the guise of a bloke who opposes technology. Never has he allowed a woman to get in the way of a mission until he meets Audrey. Trouble is, she isn’t who she claims to be.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
All my life I wrote stories and books, but it wasn’t until my youngest son went off to school that I wrote a book at the dining room table and sent it off to Bantam. It was rejected, but the note was so very kind I felt encouraged. I haven’t stopped writing ever since.

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’ve written full-time for three years. I am a slow writer. I begin with a draft of 50,000 words at least, which takes a month, but after that, my method is one of constant revision. While working my way through a book, I loop back to earlier sections to rewrite in order to remain consistent, fluid, and to maintain voice. I’m trying to step up the process. Most writers only take a few months to finish their books. A single chapter can take fifty rewrites before I am satisfied enough to move on. There are times I want to toss the WIP out, but I just keep plugging along, a turtle in a world of hares, and even when I’m in the last phase of the copy-editing, I find a word here or there I want to change.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I dream a book into existence, in that every night I’m writing in my sleep. And, yes, it gets exhausting at times. Mistakes in the writing pop up in nightmare form, startling me awake. A-ha moments happen around three in the morning—the witching hour.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I vacillated between wanting to be an actress and longing to write. In my early twenties, I wrote plays for the neighborhood children. I directed sometimes as many as sixty children, made the costumes, and choreographed the dances. The strange part was I never had a dance lesson, and even with a name like Melody, I couldn’t sing a note. I was playing, but my playing was profitable. We made lots of money that we donated to local charities. It was a good time in my life. I hadn’t yet been hit by any sort of rejection. I thought I could do anything.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I’ve always lived by a quote by Henry David Thoreau:
If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.


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James Robert said...

It has been great hearing about your book and although I am not the reader myself, my 2 sisters and 2 daughters are. They love hearing about the genre's they like and me helping them get to find books they will enjoy. Thanks for sharing!

Melody DeBlois said...

Thank you, Robert. It's wonderful that you've introduced your daughters to reading. Your sisters must feel fortunate that you take an interest in finding them just the right book. You are a good brother and dad to enrich the girls in your family with literature.

Rita Wray said...

Sounds like a great read.

Victoria Alexander said...

Happy Friday! Thanks for sharing the great post.

Melody DeBlois said...

Thank you Rita and Victoria! And a big thank you to Lisa for hosting me today. It has been a pleasure.

marisela zuniga said...

Great interview, thank you for sharing

Glenda said...

Both this book and your next one sound interesting!

marisela zuniga said...

beautiful cover, i need to read this