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20 Sep

Start from a bully English teacher into an author, meet Melanie Mole…

JR: Tell us about yourself, and how would you describe yourself?

MM: I would have to say that I am an honest and supportive person, with a passion for writing and books. That I care about people and the environment, and genuinely want to make things better whenever I can. That I am a good listener who tries not to judge too. Physically – rounded, with rosy cheeks, and a good heart!

 

JR: When did you first realise you wanted to be a writer? Who spotted that talent and what was the first thing you do knowing that?

MM: I have no idea why, but I always knew that I wanted to be a writer, from the time of my earliest memories. Unfortunately one of my English teachers was a bully, and so they continually told me that I wouldn’t ever write well and made really nasty comments to, and about me. They really knocked my confidence. It was cruel to do that to a child. I now realise that it was more about them than me. It made me really sad for many years. But then I got angry, and that is when I started to fight back through my writing. At the time is was horrible. But, in a way it was a blessing really. Although I didn’t see that at the time.

 

JR: Do you have any formal education in creative writing? Do you think formal education in writing is necessary?

MM: No, I don’t have any formal education in creative writing. I would love to do at least one course, but have chosen to spend my time writing instead. I live a simple life, so have to make choices regarding how I will spend my time. It is a lifestyle choice for me.

There are many writers who do it without a formal education in creative writing. So, I would have to say that it isn’t always necessary to have formal training.

 

JR: Are you a full-time author? Do you have other activities as main source of income? How do you organise your schedule and time in writing a book?

MM: I am actually a full time live-in carer for a relative. It is quite demanding at times and can be both physically and mentally draining. I can be called upon at any time both day and night. So need to be able to start again from whatever place I left my work at. At first I found this really difficult. But now I know that it is the only way that I can get anything written. So, I think positively about it, and just go with the flow. It is less stressful that way.

 

JR: What made you decide to start writing something? What or who influences you?

MM: Because I have wanted to write for as long as I can remember, it just feels natural. So I never actually made a conscious decision to write, I just knew that it made me happy, and so wrote whenever I could.

Regarding what influences me – The first would be my grandchildren. I have four now and the eldest is 11 this month. I look at the photos of them that I keep near my computer, and I just about burst with happiness. I want to do my best writing for them. It would be nice one day if they read my books and thought that they were a good read. That would be great!

Secondly it would be the simple things in life. I have never been a materialistic sort of person, so the little things have always inspired me. That can be as simple as raindrops on a leaf, an animal, spending time with someone special etc. I feel lucky to be inspired by little things as I tend to notice them more. So I am blessed.

I was inspired to write ‘Man + Woman = Trouble‘ because of my own experiences. I thought that if I have  those sorts of problems, then other must do to. I wanted to look at them in a comical way, whilst also trying to show how not to make the same mistakes that I did. I keep the price at 99p on Amazon.co.uk so that almost anyone can afford it.

My inspiration for writing Simply Does It was the amazing experiences that I have had by living a more simple life. I can’t stress enough how different my life is now that I live more simply. It has soothed my soul like nothing else, and reduced my stress levels beyond compare with the life that I once led. It has truly been a breathtaking experience.

 

JR: What is the greatest lesson you have learned and/or greatest achievement you have reached as a writer?

MM: The greatest lesson I have learned is to never give up. I now know that persistence and determination are as valuable an asset to a writer as actually  being able to write.

I hope that my greatest achievement is yet to come.

 

JR: Do you have habits in writing? Any specific time and/or place to write?

MM: Basically I write whenever I get the chance. I can often be found writing during the night as that is when it is quieter. So I would have to say that my writing habits are sometimes ‘little and often’.

 

JR: How long do you normally finish writing a book? What is the hardest part in the process?

MM: It took me 25 years to write my first book, and then I took it off from sale again. I realised that it was not what I wanted, so I revamped it and now it is for sale again. I am genuinely pleased with the newer version.

Since my second book was published my aim is now to write three books a year. I have now found the formula to writing more, and so will use that to write many more books now.

 

JR: Do you have professional editors to furnish your books? If you do, any recommendation you would like to share to fellow authors?

MM: Yes. I think that it s very important. My publisher has an editor that does this for me, although I edit my books many times before submitting the manuscripts. But there is always something that you can miss.

 

JR: How do you think you have evolved creatively?

MM: Slowly! But, I now feel much more confident about my abilities.  I believe that we never stop learning. I am passionate about reading Julia Cameron’s books on writing. They give me great tips no matter how many times I read them. So I feel sure that my creativity will continue to evolve. I am really thankful to all of the writers who share their view and tips about writing.

 

JR: Do you ever face Writer’s Block? If you do, how did you overcome the situation?

MM: I don’t actually believe in writer’s block. If I have trouble writing I will either take time away from the page for a while, do something which I enjoy, then come back to the page refreshed. Or I will just write anything. That can be the start of a shopping list, a copy of what is on the page of a newspaper article, or it could be me writing what the newsreader is saying on television. We have to hone our craft. That means that we can’t be choosy about what we write. Sometimes our brain is telling us that we need to do it differently. All writing practice is useful, so I think that we need to go with the flow more.

My next book is called ‘Write Yourself Happy‘. It is the story of how I did that during one of the darkest times of my life.  I wrote part of the book without even realising it. Just odd words or sentences at a time. Then, when I eventually looked at them all, I saw that I had themes. You will need to read the book to see how I did it. But, we can write at any time if we are not choosy about what the words actually say.

 

JR: Do you have professional designer to design the cover and/or interior of your books? If you do, any recommendation you would like to share to fellow authors?

MM: Yes, always. The cover is the first impression. So if that is poor, either readers won’t be inclined to look further at it, or they will have a bad impression of you or your books. Neither is good. So I always have a professionally designed cover for any of my books.

 

JR: How do you involve in promoting your books? Any marketing technique you can share?

MM: I am fully involved in promoting my books. It is something which all writers need to do. Even if you are already famous, with thousands of followers, you still need to let readers know about your work.

I am on a lot of networking sites where book promotion is part of the deal. I also do author interviews like this one. It is great to get the word out about my books to different audiences.

Marketing is just something that, as writers,  we have to do.

 

JR: Give your thoughts about traditional publishing Vs. self-publishing?

MM: I think that it is great that writers now have the choice. Obviously if you choose to submit your manuscripts to traditional publishers you can have a long wait for them to look at your work. Self-publishing can be much quicker. I think that there are good and bad points for each. It is important that each individual writer makes the decision for themselves. Only they know what is right for them.

 

JR: How many books have you written (published and non-published)?

MM: My first book, ‘Simply Does It‘, has just been published. My life has been changed for the better in so many ways by living more simply. This book chronicles the start of my journey towards raising my writing capacity by over 800% in just a year! I wanted to keep the quality of my writing, so I edited again and again. I can honestly say that I have found the magic formula for being able to write much more, even though I was also a full time, live in carer for a relative at the same time. The demands of this mean that I never knew, day or night, when I would be called to help them. Plus I had surgery of my own during this time too. So, if you want to know how I started that journey then ‘Simply Does It‘ could really be the book for you.

My second book, ‘Man + Woman = Trouble‘, came about because I had so many stories to tell about the mountain of relationship mistakes I had made. I also wanted to give tips on how not to behave if you want a great relationship. So this book encompasses these, and more. I tried to keep it lighthearted so that it would be both interesting, and also make readers laugh. It is aimed at both men and women no matter what type of relationship they are in. So I hope that my readers will enjoy it.

 

JR: What genre that you normally write, and what draws you to this genre? Do you always write in the same genre?

MM: Until now I have always written non-fiction. I know that my books will often be about writing, as I think about it so often. But they will also be about the benefits of simple living. The world seems to be running at such a frantic pace now that something has to give. Either we find a better way to live which is less stressful, or we could quite literally spontaneously combust. The choice is our own to make. I just hope that more of us make it sooner than later.

My only piece of fiction is my short story ‘Blossom Sines at Buttercup Bay‘. I did have some sort of outline before I started to write it. But it tended to be very fluid during the writing process. I have a whole series of Buttercup Bay books already outlined, so you will be able to read them soon.

 

JR: Of all the books that you have written down, which book that you think the best one? And what do you think readers will find most appealing about this book? What’s the “real story” behind this book?

MM: I think that my book ‘The Simple Writer Experiment’ will be my best yet. It is something which I truly believe in. It follows on from my book ‘Simply Does It‘. They chronicle  my journey to find a life where I actually have both the time and energy to write. The results of my experiment were amazing. Because I was able to increase the level of my writing productivity by over 800% in just a year, I wanted to share how I did that with other writers. I think that it is important that writers help each other.

 

JR: Any other works in progress?

MM: Yes. My next book is called ‘Write Yourself Happy’. I am diagnosed with Depression. During one of the darkest times in my life, writing helped to pull me through. As I am diagnosed I know that it is never easy to overcome your Depression. But, I also know that writing can help. This book is the story of how I literally did write myself happy. If it inspires even one person then my objective will have been met.

 

JR: What advice would you want to give to an aspiring writer?

MM: Never, ever, give up! Use whatever keeps you going to do just that. Also, read about J.K Rowling’s story for inspiration. I don’t just mean about how many publishers turned her down. I mean about what she went through in her personal life before she even got to that point. Keep fighting for what you want, always.

 

JR: How can readers discover more about you and your works?

MM: They can visit me at my website / blog

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