I'd like to welcome fellow IWU author, Melissa Smith to my blog today.  In addition to being a wife, mother, and a booboo soother at the preschool where she works, Melissa has six, count 'em SIX, books out, wth no plans of stopping her awesome creativity.  So without further ado, take it away, Melissa!

SR: Please tell us a little snippet about yourself, like where did you come from and where you went to school.

MS: Well, I was born in Germany when my dad was in the army, so I hold dual citizenships. I am both a German and US citizen, anyway, I always thought it was kinda cool.  I'm the oldest and have a beautiful sister and a strong brother. Living almost all my life in the Midwest, its where I now live with my own family. Married for the past 15 (almost 16) years, I actually met my husband on the school bus when we were in the 7th grade (although then, I thought he was gross---wait. He's still gross, but I love him anyway :D ) We have two teenaged boys, 16 and 13 and holy cow am I swimming in the testosterone. I work as a preschool teacher, so right now is the start of my annual countdown to Summer Vacation! Which from the day this will post is 72 total days! WOOOHOOOO!
SR: Please share with us what inspired you to write your first book.

MS: As the oldest and with almost 8 years between me and my sister, I was left to my own imagination. At that time, I used to imagine myself with a genie who could and would grant my every wish. It was from this that Cloud Nine was born. It's been a grand adventure ever since I sat down to write and I'm loving every minute of it!
SR: In regards to what genre you read for pleasure, does this have any influence on what you like to write about?

MS: I read almost everything, but write paranormal and sci-fi romance. Don’t know why, that’s just want seems to roll out when I sit to plan.
SR: What is one of the best writing tips you've ever gotten?
MS: Wow! I’ve gotten so many, I’m not sure which one to choose! I guess the easiest one is just to put one finger in front of the other and just type ;)
SR: What is your work/home schedule like when you're writing?

MS: I have a wonderful husband who, about 3 years ago, has taken over the cooking. And who am I to tell him to go sit down? :D He loves cooking while his music blasts from the kitchen speakers. Shortly after buying our home he wired the whole house for sound :/ Anyway, since I don’t have to worry about cooking, but merely helping out, when I get home from work, I sit down and start spilling out everything that accumulated during the day. My boys are both old enough that they have their xbox/ipod/stereo/computer/telephone to keep them occupied. And when those don’t suffice, they’re off to their friends. So my writing schedule is rather open and my family, wonderful that they are, let me keep it that way.
SR: What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

MS: I really don’t know.  None have ever been brought to my attention, so I really don’t know :)
SR: Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

MS: So far, all of my ideas have come from stories I wrote as a teenager. Although at the time I wrote them, they were assignments for a creative writing class. But the new ideas keep coming and to keep them all in order, I’ve had to create a new file where I jot down all the grand and wonderful ideas for future use!
SR: What does your family think about your writing and what impact does your writing have on your family life?

MS: Surprisingly they think it’s cool! When they’ve had enough of my clickity clackity dance along the keyboard, they moan and groan until I put my computer to sleep for a little while. (and by a little while, I mean until they wander off to find other things to do)
SR: How do you create your characters?

MS: Well, they’re a little bit imagination and a little bit of family and friends.
SR: Tell us about your latest book release? Is it part of a series?

MS: Silver Lining is a prequel of sorts to Cloud Nine and Thunderhead. It’s the story of Ariana and Argento and how it all began. It’s a short story but it’s full of their wonderful quirks and love.  Here's a blurb  from Silver Lining:

"Looking for a distraction, any distraction, I prodded. “Tell me about it. When did you two meet? What happened? How did he get you to fall in love with him?”
Another laugh. This one was full of genuine happiness and it made her cheeks glow. “I’ll tell you all about it another time. I promise.”
I told her I would make sure she kept her promise and she laughed saying it wouldn’t be a burden to gush about their love story. "

Well that promise has been kept. Finally find out how the Key unlocks how the Bell rings.

SR: Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?

MS: Just the same advice I was given, just keep writing. Plain, I know. Basic too, but it really makes sense. How are you to become better if you don’t keep at it? So I do.
SR: Have you ever considered traveling the traditional publishing road? What turns you on/off about that?

MS: Before discovering self-publishing, I did try the traditional route. Where I was told, in countless - ok so not countless but too many- rejection letters that while they loved the idea of my story, they weren’t sure they could sell it. “The market is overly saturated with the paranormal romance genre” and therefore, sorry. Better luck next time.
SR: I see from one of your FB pages that you are a Steelers fan. Two questions: Do you write on Sundays and how did you feel when the Steelers didn't cut the mustard for the payoffs, and my beloved Giants jingled all the way? (winks)

MS: LMAO!!! Actually, I’m a fan by marriage :) I only watch football because my husbands a fan. I do write on Sundays. I am even known to take my computer with me to the bar when he wanted to watch the game without the running commentary of our boys.  And to watch the Giants win…well, he was just happy it wasn’t the Patriots. 
SR: What's next for Melissa Smith, regarding future goals? Where do you see yourself?

MS: Hopefully to keep creating worlds people want to visit and live in.

Thank you so much, Melissa, for visiting me today!  It was a pleasure!

For further information about Melissa Smith, or to order her books, please follow the links below:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00784T8KY - Silver Lining

http://www.amazon.com/Melissa-A.-Smith/e/B004SWTV6U - Amazon Authors Page

http://www.facebook.com/Melissa.Smith.Books - Facebook Authors Page  


Contact Melissa on Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Melissa__Smith_