Melinda: Hope Robinson, a middle school principal and perpetual klutz, must play by the book even when Dr. Colin Calaway, a widower and father of a student, steps in and challenges her to break the rules and follow her heart.
Rose: What was the inspiration for Breaking the Rules?
Melinda: I knew I’d write about middle school, since I’m a middle school teacher. Hope spoke to me first. Then I watched my brother-in-law try his hand at dating a few years after his wife passed. I thought to myself about how hard it must be to start over. Bam! Colin was born. Colin is a widow taking care of his preteen son and keeping busy as a surgeon. The ideas rolled from there.
Rose: What is your favorite line from one of your books?
Melinda: "It's just us, Hope. You don't need to worry what others are thinking. Just be you and I'll be me."
Rose: What started you on the road to writing romance?
Melinda: I have been an avid romance reader since I was thirteen. While on maternity leave with my littlest, I decided I should try writing what I read. Luckily I did! What I love the most is that I love what I do. It’s fun. I enjoy it. It’s not something I dread. My dream is to become a full-time writer in the near future.
Rose: Do you remember the first romance book you read? If so, who was the author? What made it stick with you?
Melinda: Harlequin Superromance, Prize Passage by Dawn Stewardson. I still remember picking up the book in the grocery store. It was the first Harlequin I read and I think it really stuck with me because it made me realize I wasn’t the only romantic out there. Also, it was way more than the young adult books I read and it intrigued me!
Rose: Are you a pantzer or plotter?
Melinda: Total pantzer who tries to plot and it never quite turns out how I originally planned.
Rose: What are the three books you’d have if you were stranded on a deserted isle?
Melinda: Pride and Prejudice, Any Jill Shalvis book and the Bible. Quite a mix, right?
Rose: Name two blogs you read everyday.
Rose: Describe your workspace.
Melinda: Most of the time it’s on my bed, in my comfort zone. I also have an office that is shared with the other three men in my house, so it’s not very comfortable.
Rose: Where would you like to travel to if you had to research an area?
Melinda: I have several books that take place in New York that I’m hoping to make a series called MOMENTS IN TIME. I’ve never been to New York, so that’s at the top of my list.
Rose: If you could have any other job, (not your current writing or day job) what would it be?
Melinda: I originally wanted to be a Political Campaign writer. I know, crazy, right? But I love politics and writing, so why not mix the two? I was a Poli Sci and Communications major in college and my dream was to work in PR, so I think I could do that too. If those didn’t work out, a nice quiet library would be nice!
Rose: What do you do when you are not writing?
Melinda: Read. I read far too much and it takes away from my writing time. Besides that, I enjoy blogging and social networking.
Rose: Best and worst part of being a writer.
Melinda: I love having the opportunity of sharing my work with others. I’ve also met a great community of other writers and readers, which has added so much to my life. The worst part of writing is the rejection. It makes you second guess yourself as a writer and de-motivates you. I have had to learn ways to deal with it, because even the best receive rejections!
Rose: What was the best piece of advice given to you?
Melinda: Keep writing. Write, write, write!
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