Today I'd like to welcome Meline Nadeau, author of HOT OFF THE PRESS.
Tell us about your book.
Hot Off the Press is the story of Leigh Cameron who, following the death of her father, returns to the sleepy seaside town of her youth, where she’s shocked and surprised to learn she’s inherited the family paper. For a seasoned journalist with the country’s largest daily, running a small town newspaper should be a piece of cake.
But, she hadn’t counted on having to share the reigns with David, her father’s right hand man. Leigh sees him as an arrogant tyrant who believes that his way is the only way. David can only see her as the private school brat who’s had everything handed to her on a silver platter. To top it all off, the paper’s in serious financial trouble and the town’s people are keeping some ugly secrets about their correctional facilities under wraps.
Despite their differences, Leigh and David are going to have to work closely to save the failing paper – very closely. Their major scoop and saving grace comes by way of a prison break from the local penitentiary. And when an escaped convict highjacks the presses and holds Leigh hostage, only one person can come to her rescue.
Galen: What was the inspiration for Hot Off the Press?
Meline: I worked in a small town newspaper when I first started my journalism career. From the old printing press to the building’s dust-covered dark room, I loved everything about the Georgian-Federal building and so it seemed the perfect setting for romance.
Galen: What’s your favorite line from one of your books?
Meline: Here’s a passage from Hot Off the Press I like.
She pressed her face against his bare chest and breathed in his scent. Cinnamon, sandalwood, and musk mingled with dizzying effect. Her blood coursed through her veins like an awakened river. To hell with propriety. She pushed away the urge to cover her bare breasts and teased the tip of his nipples with her tongue. She’d go back to worrying about her weight tomorrow. Tonight, she was a wanton goddess of love.
Galen: What started you on the road to writing romance?
Meline: I’ve always wanted to write for a living – it’s why I became a journalist. It seemed like a smart, safe way to make a living from my writing. Then, in the late 90s, I interviewed a romance author for a TV show I was working on. She spoke so eloquently about the power of love and seemed so happy and fulfilled, I went out and joined the Romance Writers of Toronto a few days later.
Galen: Do you remember the first romance book you read? If so, who was the author? What made it stick with you?
Meline: The first romance novels I read were Angélique Books, a series of 13 French historical romance-adventure books by the novelist duo Anne and Serge Golon. Angélique was a young, impetuous heroine who wasn’t afraid to fight for what she wanted. And although she was breathtakingly beautiful, she was seriously flawed, which made her victories all that more inspiring. I spent a summer reading the series when I was about 13 or 14 years old.
Galen: Did you sell the first book you wrote?
Meline: Yes. Hot Off the Press is the first book I wrote. I’ve written two more since.
Galen: Are you a pantzer or plotter?
Meline: When I have an idea for a new book, I start by writing the first couple of scenes. Then, once I’ve gotten a feel for the characters and the setting, I stop writing and spend a good month plotting the story, beat by beat. I like to know exactly where I’m headed when I write. Laying the structure gives me the freedom to let the characters reveal themselves. That said, things do change along the way.
Galen: What are the three books you’d have if you were stranded on a deserted isle?
Meline: That’s a tough one. I read voraciously and across genres but I honestly can’t say I have one particular book I’ve read over and over again. I would need at least one funny read from Janet Evanovich, though.
Galen: Name two blogs you read everyday.
Meline: I drop in and check out Crimson Romance’s Ladies in Red (I’m a contributing member) every day and I drop in about once a week to check out Heidi Ruby Miller’s Just a Girl (http://heidirubymiller.blogspot.ca) for great author interviews and articles on writing and Lauren O’Nizzle’s LaurenOutLoud.com for a spacy, geeky take on fashion and pop culture.
Galen: Describe your workspace.
Meline: I write everywhere and anytime I can steal a few minutes. A lot of my plotting and story ideas come to me while I’m driving and singing along to music but I prefer to write in complete silence or to the animated chatter of a busy café.
In fact, in the last 10 years, I’ve written just about everywhere I’ve been. Waiting rooms, buses, planes, cafés, on the corner of the kitchen table and, even ocean side. But the reality is that I’ve done most of my writing in my home office, butt in chair for hours on end, after working well over 40 hours at my day job.
Galen: Where would you like to travel to if you had to research an area?
Meline: I’m dying to go to south-east Asia but I think I’m going to have to wait until my daughter is a little older. She’s already flown a bunch of times and she has a passport (I know!) but I’d like to make sure she’s old enough to remember a trip of that magnitude. I can’t wait to discover the world through her eyes!
Galen: If you could have any other job, (not your current writing or day job) what would it be?
Meline: Hmm…My current day job and writing are the two things I’ve always wanted to do. That said, if I had to pick something else, I’d like to be a travel writer (does that count?) and file stories from exotic locations all over the world.
Galen: What do you do when you are not writing?
Meline: I’m currently on mat leave and spend my days with my infant daughter, Chloë Echo. Long walks around the city, baby music classes, Mommy and Me Yoga and Mommy Movies are my regular activities these days. I had the opportunity to go back to work this fall and decided to stay at home with Chloë for at least the first year of her life. I just can’t bear the thought of being away from her. Not, yet!!
That said, I will eventually have to go back to work. I love what I do, I just wish I could bring Chloë with me! I’m a freelance TV writer-producer and I’ve produced lifestyle and entertainment programming for networks such as CMT Canada, Teletoon and Cosmopolitan TV, to name a few. I also enjoy photography, yoga and combing through markets and thrift shops for that special find. I speak four languages which really comes in handy for haggling and negotiating – whether I’m buying a purse in a South American market or producing a shoot overseas.
Galen: Best and worst part of being a writer.
Meline: The best part about being a writer is being able to give the voices in my head a home all the while sitting in my jammies in front of my computer. That’s also the worst part. Writing is a very solitary pursuit.
Galen: What was the best piece of advice given to you?
Meline: Just write. Bad pages are better than no pages at all. They can be edited and rewritten. Set a daily page count and don’t stop writing until you’ve met it.
You can read more about Meline at the following links: