Q&A With Melissa Pearl

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Q&A With Melissa Pearl 

I have the honor of doing a Q&A with Melissa Pearl. Melissa Pearl is the author of Fantasy Romance, Contemporary Romance & Romantic Suspense.  


Q: So Melissa, when did you realize your calling was to be an author?


A: My whole life, I’ve always had stories running through my head. I spent hours making things up, creating characters or writing myself into movies and TV shows I loved. It wasn’t until I was in my early 20s, though, when my best friend challenged me to write one of my ideas into a book. I went home that night and wrote five chapters in one go and I was hooked. I fell in love with writing and spent the next decade studying the craft and learning everything I could. I’ve never enjoyed studying so much  


Q: What made you want to write contemporary romance, fantasy romance and romantic suspense? Do you prefer to write one genre more than the other?


A: I love variety and it’s good for me to test and challenge myself by writing in different sub-genres of romance. I think my favorite is romantic suspense… or at least contemporary romance with elements of danger. There’s something very fun about an underlying mystery. Danger lurking in the shadows lays the foundation for some very exciting emotion in a story. Anything that is going to make the reader feel and pull them into the story is what I love the most.  

Q: Is it fair to say that the characters and places you write in your novels are based on people you know and places you’ve been? I love it that authors are able to use real life and people to create fictional worlds and characters. 


A: Yes – I definitely draw from experiences I’ve had in my life – especially emotional experiences – and there are definitely traits of people I know included in my books. It’s hard not to think of people in your life when you’re designing characters. It helps make them more authentic. I’d never write someone I know exactly like they are, I just steal traits from here and there to create new people in my books. 

As for the places I’ve been, I tend to create fictional towns when I write, as then you can do whatever you want in the world – make your own rules, so to speak.  This is all within the bounds of realism of course. I’ll often base a fictional place off another place and then adapt it to suit the needs of the story. It makes for a more liberal writing experience. 


Q: What’s your advice to anyone on writing great romantic suspense, contemporary romance and fantasy romance?


A: Learn the craft of writing. Learn how to develop characters. Learn story structure. Learn how to write in an engaging way that sucks readers into a story. It doesn’t matter what genre you write in… you need to know those basics. (I’ve actually started an online writing course to teach these things, as I’ve read too many undeveloped, poorly constructed books. There are so many courses out there to teach writers how to self-publish, but there aren’t enough to teach writers how to write excellent books! )

Another piece of advice is to read a lot of the genre you want to write in. Just to get a really good feel for it, so you know what readers want and expect from stories like yours. 


Q: I read in your bio you live in New Zealand. From the pictures I’ve seen it’s gorgeous. I would love to travel one day when my blog makes me financially independent. Which part of New Zealand do you live in? Where’s your favorite spot in New Zealand?


A: I live in Hamilton, NZ. It’s an inland city with a beautiful river flowing right through it. I love it because it’s so central and easy to get to. We’re not far from Auckland where my husband’s family lives, so it’s easy to pop up there for visits. 

My favorite place in New Zealand is Te Anau and also Queenstown. These places are in the South Island and they are absolutely stunning. I love the mountains and lake. It’s so beautiful down there and always fills my soul to overflowing. 


Q: Does Hollywood have any interests or rights to your novels? The entertainment industry is long overdue for originality. 


A: One of my dreams is to have my books made into movies. It’s VERY hard to get the attention of movie producers, though. But I will keep trying to put my feelers out there and hopefully one day, I’ll see that dream come true  

Thank you so much for asking all of these wonderful questions.

It’s been a pleasure to answer them  


If anyone is interested in the writing course, here is some more information about it:


Let me know if you need anything else.

Thanks so much