Book Nerd Interview
"Melissa Foster is a wonderful connector of readers and books, a friend of authors, and a tireless advocate for women. She is the real deal"--Author Jennie Shortridge
Melissa Foster is the bestselling, award-winning author of three novels, Megan’s Way, Chasing Amanda, and Come Back to Me. She is the founder of the Women’s Nest, a social and support community for women, the World Literary Cafe, and Fostering Success. Melissa hosts an annual Aspiring Authors contest for children, she's written a column featured in Women Business Owners Magazine, and has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Melissa is currently working on her next novel, and lives in Maryland with her family.
Melissa's interests include her family, reading, writing, painting, friends, helping women see the positive side of life, and visiting Cape Cod.
2011 Beach Book Award Winner (Spirituality)
2011 Readers Favorite Awards, Winner (Fiction/Drama), Finalist (Women's Fiction)
2010 Next Generation Indie Book Award Finalist (Spirituality)
2011 Readers Favorite Awards, Winner (Paranormal), Finalist, (Women's Fiction, Mystery)
2011 Dan Poynter's Global eBook Awards, Winner, (Paranormal)
Top 10 Books of 2011, Pixel of Ink
Amazon Top 100 75+ Days running
Indie Reader's Bestselling List That Counts (8 weeks)
Top Books of 2011, The Write Agenda
Come Back To Me
2012 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, Finalist
2012 Readers Favorite Awards, Finalist
2012 Kindle Book Review Best Indie Books Award, Semi-Finalist (Winners TBD Oct. 2012)
2011 Dan Poynter's Global Ebook Awards, Finalist
Top 5 Must Read Books of 2011, IndieReader
Top Ten Books of 2011, Tea Time With Marce
IndieReader Best Reviewed Books of 2011, Huffington Post
Was there a defining moment during your youth when you realized you wanted to be a writer?
I wish there was, but it came a bit later for me. I was around twenty-three years old when the urge to write struck me with such power that I was unable to deny it.
Why is storytelling so important for all of us?
I believe that any type of creativity is important. Life is such a serious journey, and along the way, it’s very easy to get swept into the negative or less interesting side of things. Storytelling provides an escape from reality, much like an artist’s paintings provide something to dream about. There’s something wonderful about suspending real life for a bit and living in someone else’s world.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author?
Hands down, it was not to change my writing style to appease anyone, including readers. You might ask if readers aren’t the most important aspect of who I write for, but the truth is, if I don’t write what I feel, it will come through in my writing. Some readers don’t like profanity, others don’t like sex, or harsh endings. Everyone has their own opinions, and you can’t please everyone all the time, so I’ve followed her advice and I try to write the stories as I feel them.
In your book; Megan's Way, can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about it and why they should read your novel?
Megan’s Way holds a special place in my heart. It’s a story about a single mother whose cancer has returned—and this time it’s terminal. She makes the most unselfish decision she possibly can (I won’t give away any spoilers), and it’s the most difficult decision a mother might ever have to make. Megan’s fourteen-year-old daughter, Olivia’s life is falling apart as she learns of her mother illness, and it takes all her strength to survive and find her way through the hurt. Meanwhile, Megan’s closest friends are struggling with secrets of their own. The story is really a look into the depth of the mother-daughter bond and the intricacies of friendship. There are some lies that bond people together, and some that tear us apart. Megan’s Way explores both sides of the coin.
The reason it’s a special story to me is that it stemmed from a real life event with my mother many years ago. The reason your community should read it is that it will make them think about what they might do for those they love. Megan’s story, I’m told, brings readers into a place of introspection, and it leaves them thinking about forgiveness with an overwhelming feeling of hope.
What part of Megan did you enjoy writing the most?
Gosh, Megan’s story was a very tough one to tell. I actually acted out scenes prior to writing them, some until I was in tears so I could feel what the characters might feel and better portray that in writing. The most enjoyable part, as a writer, was writing Olivia’s character. I love writing about rebellious, selfish, and lost teens. It’s so easy to fall right back into that horribly uncomfortable place of teenagerhood.
For those who are unfamiliar with Olivia, how would you introduce her?
Olivia is a sweet, intelligent young girl who is forced to grow up very quickly. She’s loving and caring, witty, and challenging, all wrapped up into one delightfully confused teenager.
What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us?
I wrote three books this year, and summaries of each can be found on my website. My next release, TRACES OF KARA, will be published early next year, and it is a psychological thriller/dark women’s fiction. This story is very different than my other books, and my beta readers have loved it, so hopefully your audience will, too. Below is a brief summary:
TRACES OF KARA
Kara Knight can't wait to leave her hometown for the promise of nursing school and a fresh start on her future--leaving behind an over protective mother, a broken heart and painful memories. However, twenty-five miles away, the twin she doesn't know exists is determined to be reunited with the sister he cannot forget.
Kara is abducted and thrown into her obsessive captor's delusional world. As the past she thought she knew unravels around her, Kara struggles to make sense of the memories that come creeping back, threatening her sanity and her safety. Meanwhile, Kara's mother races against time to save the daughter she fears she will lose when a long-held secret is revealed. The hours tick away as her captor plays out his plan--to take Kara with him into death at the exact moment of their birth, never to be separated again.
TRACES OF KARA is an action packed, pulse pounding psychological thriller/suspense novel that features a determined killer who slowly loses his grip on reality as his carefully detailed plan starts to fall apart and a heroine determined to move forward with her life who now must reconcile everything she believed to be true about her family with the reality of their tragic past.
If you could introduce Megan to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
Wow, great question! I would love for Megan to meet Molly Tanner from Chasing Amanda. I think that they would get along really well and enjoy each other’s company. Megan might offer a bit of calm to Molly’s desire to take on the world.
When asked, what’s the one question you always answer with a lie?
Ha! Another great question. I think I have shrunk to 5’2”, but I still tell people I am 5’2 ½”
What’s the best advice you can give writers to help them develop their own unique voice and style?
Developing your own voice and style comes with practice. I’ve found the best strategy for learning/finding your own style is not to emulate others. That’s hard to do at first, because new writers want to sound like someone they love to read, but it actually makes it a bit harder to find your own voice.
Who is the first person you call when you have a bad day?
You want all my secrets (LOVE IT!). My mother, hands down. I adore her and can count on her to tell me to pull up my big girl panties, spin it positive, and move on. THEN I post on my private WLC Volunteer group and commiserate with them. The volunteers of WLC are the most wonderful friends a woman could have.
What's the worst summer job you've ever had?
You know that weird person who loved every job she ever had? That was me! I worked in an ice cream store and a men’s clothing store and loved them both. I worked as clown for birthday parties and at craft shows. Life is so glorious! It takes a lot to make me unhappy.
Who was your first boyfriend?
Really? You are asking awesome questions! My first “real” boyfriend? Like first love? Lee Rosenthal. He was a cocky and adorable neighbor that lived two houses down the road. We went out for several years and I adored him.
Tell me about your first kiss
Ahem…with Lee…all I remember is that it was more than I’d ever imagined and he tasted like Colgate, lol.
When was the last time you cried?
Today. I never cry, but today I received some very bad news and cried angry tears.
What do you think is the single best decision you've made in your life so far?
Can I only pick one? Having children. Hands down the best decision of my life.
What is the one, single food that you would never give up?
Where can readers stalk you?
MY SOCIAL NETWORK FOR WOMEN, THE WOMEN’S NEST: http://www.TheWomensNest.com
When Megan Taylor, a single mother and artist, receives the shocking news that her cancer has returned, she'll be faced with the most difficult decision she's ever had to make. She'll endure an emotional journey, questioning her own moral and ethical values, and the decisions she'd made long ago. The love she has for her daughter, Olivia, and her closest friends, will be stretched and frayed.
Meanwhile, fourteen-year-old Olivia's world is falling apart right before her eyes, and there's nothing she can do about it. She finds herself acting in ways she cannot even begin to understand. When her internal struggles turn to dangerous behavior, her life will hang in the balance.
Megan's closest friends are caught in a tangled web of deceit. Each must figure out how, and if, they can expose their secrets, or forever be haunted by their pasts.