Q&A With Melissa Wiesner

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Q&A With Melissa Wiesner 

This afternoon I have the pleasure of doing a Q&A with Melissa Wiesner. Melissa is the author of women’s fiction and rom com (short for romantic comedy in case you didn’t know) books. This year her novel “Our Stolen Child,” comes out in September of this year. “The Second Chance Year,” comes out December 2023. 

Q: What advice do you have for anyone wanting to write rom coms and women’s fiction like you do? 

A: I love this question because I didn’t grow up wanting to be a writer or studying the subject in school. I was well into adulthood before I wrote my first novel, and I’m living proof that anyone can do it! My first draft of my first book was terrible. Embarrassingly bad. But it’s supposed to be bad, that’s why it’s a first draft. I think that’s where so many writers get stuck, though. They get in their own head and start worrying that their work isn’t good enough. You’ve got to move past the doubts and just get the book out in all its jumbled, disorganized, sometimes embarrassingly bad glory. Then you can focus on turning it into something great. 

Q: Which book or books did you have the most fun writing? Which books were more challenging for you to write? 

A: All my books were fun to write at moments, and really, really challenging at other moments! 

The Second Chance Year, my romcom that will be released in December 2023 was fun because there’s a bit of a fantasy element to it, and it was my first time writing comedy. The book is a about a pastry chef who has the chance to save her job, fix her love life, and redo her terrible year when a carnival fortune teller grants her a wish. Envisioning my character’s reaction to experiencing a year she’s already lived through once was an entertaining challenge.

On the more serious end of the spectrum, my most recent book, Our Stolen Child (release date: September 13, 2022) is about a woman who underwent years of failed IVF treatments in order to have a baby, only to learn that her last embryo was accidentally given to another woman and is now a 4-year-old child. I felt a lot of responsibility to convey the heartbreak and struggles of infertility in a sensitive and realistic way, so this was a challenge. But it was so much fun when it all came together, and especially now when I hear from readers that it resonated with them!

Q: Which novels that you read this year were your favorites? 

A:  I’ve been writing some pretty emotional stuff this year, so when I’ve had time to read, I’ve gravitated toward books that are more lighthearted. 

I adored Again, Rachel by Marian Keyes. Marian’s book, Rachel’s Holiday came out years ago, and I loved it then. Again, Rachel is a peek into the characters’ lives over two decades later. I read somewhere that Marian struggled with addiction, and she portrays this topic in a such beautiful, heartfelt, and yet somehow laugh-out-loud funny way. I aspire to write as well! 

Currently, I’m reading By the Book by Jasmine Guillory. It’s a modern take on the Beauty and the Beast tale about a publishing assistant who ends up living with a writer to help him finish his book. The main character, Izzy is just so appealing and delightful, and her love interest, Beau is so hilariously grumpy that I can’t help rooting for them to fall for each other!

Q: Does Hollywood have the rights to any of your novels yet? 

A: Not yet, but fingers crossed that someday they will!

Q: I saw a post of yours saying that you have 4 novels to write from now to 2024. Can you spoil what any of them are about?  

I think I just spoiled a couple of them above! In addition to The Second Chance Year and Our Stolen Child, I have a novel, His Secret Daughter, that will be released in February 2023. And, well, I think the title might give a little bit away! It’s emotional women’s fiction about a wife who has to unravel her husband’s secret double life while he lies in a coma. And in 2024, I’ll have another romcom, but I can’t tell you what it’s about because I’m not sure myself! I’ll be spending late 2022 and early 2023 working on that book. But I’ll keep you posted!