5 from 35: Author Q & A with Melonie Johnson

Johnson_MelonieMelonie Johnson, 42, publishes her first book, GETTING HOT WITH THE SCOT, from St. Martin’s, today.

How long did it take you to write your first (published) book, start to finish?

Two years, but that included taking some time away from the manuscript after my dad died. This is one of the reasons why the first book is dedicated to him.

What kind of work did you do to earn money while writing your first book?

At the time I began writing, my husband was out winning the bread, while I was home taking care of our girls (which, as any parent knows, is a full time job all its own). I do narrate audiobooks as well, but once I signed the book deal, all my work time became writing time, and I stopped taking on new projects. I hope to pick it back up, but am grateful it is not something I need to do as a source of income.

What compelled you to write your story?

I’ve always enjoyed stories. Both reading and writing them. I began dabbling more seriously with the idea of writing an actual book when my youngest was a toddler. I decided to give NaNoWriMo a try. While the result of that effort is still under the bed, it lit the fire within me to continue writing. And as I scribbled down story ideas, what became the heart of the “meet-cute” in my debut came to me fully formed, so clear and real I could barely keep up as I typed out what I was watching play out in my head. From that first moment of inspiration, the characters in this series have been very real to me. And I’ve wanted to tell the story of their journey to happily ever after ever since.

What’s your biggest source of encouragement?

My husband and daughters are all very supportive, but I have to say, my biggest source of encouragement are my fellow writing buddies. Friends who know and understand the struggle in a way that can’t be fully explained. They get it. They keep me going and cheer me on, and are right there with me, down in the trenches. I don’t think I would have made it to the point of publication without their support.