Today, Reader’s Entertainment welcomes Melanie Jayne to Behind the Words.
Welcome Melanie, first, tell us a bit about yourself. Where you’re from, where you live? Do you have one of those day-jobs?
Hi Everybody! I’m Melanie Jayne and I live on a grain farm in central Indiana. It’s rural county life with no stoplights, nor cable and we have well water. For the last year, I have taken a break from having a full-time job. I’ve been writing and organizing several home projects which may never get finished.
How long have you been writing?
My first book was published in March of 2015. My grandparents were both writers so I was encouraged from an early age to write. I tended to produce very bad musicals that I would perform in tap shoes. In college, I was told that I had zero creative writing talent and I believed that instructor. About six years ago a friend suggested that I try my hand at writing and I fell in love with the process.
Briefly describe your writing day.
Some days I am so ready to plop on the sofa and open the laptop. On those days, I’m writing by nine and I usually write until twelve or twelve thirty. That includes stopping for laundry and taking the puppy out. Other days, when it isn’t flowing-I start a load of laundry, dogs out/dogs in, light candles, take some time making my song selections to fit the scene for the day. Then I sit down and start. That is usually an afternoon and I write about two to two and a half hours. The key is to write-whether you are feeling it or not.
Tell us about your latest release?
The Casino Nights series is brand new. In April, I released Let It Ride, a free prequel and in early June, All In will complete Remy and Francesca’s story. It is casino based and since I endured eight years being employed in a local casino, I get to share some of the things that I experienced.
Are your characters entirely fictitious or have you borrowed from real world people you know?
I totally borrow from the real world- so you’d better be nice to me or I will make you pay in a book! I love to eavesdrop and people watch. There are parts of my closest friends in my books.
Where did you get the idea from?
Cliché Alert!—I get a lot of my ideas from dreams. I hate to admit that but it’s true. I also work on a lot of dialog when I’m mowing our five acre yard. In my book, You Only, I heard a song on the radio and boom the entire idea was there with character names. I kept driving around the block to finish the story.
Would you share one detail from your current release with readers that they might not find in the book?
Hmm. I have planned for there to be a coupling of three characters that you meet in All In. I think that I need to hold off and that book and perhaps build the tension in one in between. I’m still thinking about it and I need some input from my editor. I want to do it right because I really like these characters and each one of them is prickly and head-strong.
Who has been the most difficult character for you to write? (Any of your books)
I’ve been haunted by an idea for a dark paranormal romance for many years. I started writing it last fall and I wasn’t doing it justice so I set it aside. Raider Black is the Packleader and he is ruthless, cruel, determined, self-sacrificing, loyal and cruel. When in human form, he is still a predator. You are either a foe or prey. There is a delicate line between awful and redeemable.
I just thought up a torture scene that involves a large crochet hook and the brain. His love interest is a human who has been taken prisoner by the pack. They are kind to her but she is still a prisoner. Theodora is thrust into this kill or be killed world and she has to adjust or die.
In this new scene, she knows what he is going to do, she doesn’t witness it but he explains it in great detail. Afterward, she has to decide if she can stand those hands touching her. He’s awful but he isn’t human so his way of surviving is different from ours.
If you could be one of your characters for a day which character would it be? Why?
Zoe from A Change for the Good. She now has a hot, younger lover and she is a survivor. She’s getting to live her life on her terms and with Tony by her side it will be exciting and fulfilling.
What are you working on now?
Edits for A Change for the Better which will be out-Septemberish. It is a contemporary romance with an element of suspense.
Writing the second book in the Cameron Farms Trilogy, You Always. This story involves two people who have been married for years and what happens when the cracks in their perfect relationship start to show. It’s scheduled for December.
We all know how important it is for writers to read. Are there any particular authors that have influenced how you write and, if so, how have they influenced you?
Jayne Rylon has been a major source of information, hand-holding and ass-kicking. I met her at Lora Leigh’s RAW many years ago and was a fan. We became friends and I consider her to be my mentor.
Kristen Ashley (another Hoosier Girl) has been a major influence. Her style – I call it quick paced. Her women have as many pluses and minuses-they are human.
I’ve become a fan of Skye Warren in the last year- her dark characters aren’t always likeable but they are fascinating. Her books push my buttons and I like that challenge.
I like the authors that are pushing the boundaries- The more human characters. The Happy for Now endings, giving readers something new.
If you could have dinner with any writer living or dead, who would it be and why?
Anne Perry. What a dark and fascinating life. Google her. Convicted for murder along with her best friend as a teen in New Zealand. After serving her sentence she returned to England, and goes on to write two mystery series that I adore. Wow!
Do you have a secret talent readers would be surprised by?
I know and can perform most of the choreography from the Broadway show, A Chorus Line.
Your favorite go to drink or food when the world goes crazy!
Junk Food- Cheese pizza with extra sauce, Ranch Doritos, Fried Cheetos, Dove Milk Chocolate, and Coffee Ice Cream.
What is the one question you never get ask at interviews, but wish you did? Ask and answer it.
I write about older characters with hot sex scenes. I’m over fifty and I’m never asked about sex.
Q: Your books have older characters and they have active sex lives – do you believe that is accurate?
A: I consider myself to be sexual at 52. I think as we age there is still attraction and hunger but we also carry a lot of other responsibilities that in the way. As women, we put everything before our needs and wants so I think we’ve been brainwashed to believe that as we gain years those feelings wane. For me, I try to pack so much into a day that when bedtime comes, I want to sleep. I can’t wait to sleep! So I have to adjust my priorities and expectations.
Thank you so much Jocie! Thank you for joining us, Melanie!