Hi everyone! Today I’m back on the blog after a summer hiatus. This week I have a special guest, the delightful and bubbly, Melissa Tagg! Don't you just love her blue eyes? - Yeah, I'm talking to you, Tim Tebow...
Melissa’s debut novel, Made to Last, releases from Bethany House this month! I’m so excited for her! I met Melissa through blogging. Make sure to stop by her blog. It's one of my favorites to visit on a regular basis. You'll find the information to her blog and other places at the bottom of this page. But for now, please extend a big welcome to Melissa Tagg!
By the way, make sure to answer Melissa’s question at the end of the interview. She’s been kind enough to giveaway a copy of Made to Last to one lucky commenter. The contest will end next Sunday night, September 8, 2013 at 9:00 pm cdt, when I will draw the winning name at random. This giveaway is open to USA and Canada residents only. I will announce the winner next on next Monday's post. If you have trouble commenting through Blogger, leave a comment on my Author Facebook Page under the link to this blog post, and that will count too.
Welcome to Gatepost, Melissa! So glad you stopped in for a visit!
How long have you been writing? Is this your first novel?
I am your typical, "I've been writing since I was a child" author. I've always loved stories and have long dreamed of writing my own. I finally got serious about pursuing a writing career in fall 2009. This is my first published novel, but I did have another completed manuscript written before this one. And here's some encouragement to other authors: That first novel may never see the light of day BUT it's what opened the door for Made to Last to get in front of my editor.
In your own words, tell us a bit about the book. What is the inspiration behind the novel?
Made to Last is a romantic comedy about figuring out who we are underneath the trappings of success—or lack thereof—and in the process finding a faith and love that’s made to last. It’s about a homebuilding TV show host/DIY guru who’s trying to boost her ratings and save her show, even if it means pretending to be married to a man who’s definitely not the fiancé who ran out on her. And shadowing her every move is a handsome reporter whose digging brings him a little too close to the truth—and to her.
As for what inspired it, I love classic movies, and a few years ago I discovered the 1945 movie Christmas in Connecticut starring Barbara Stanwyck. I could not believe I hadn’t seen it before. It’s about a magazine writer who has basically created a fake identity for herself…and ends up needing to find a stand-in husband. Only problem is she ends up falling for someone who is not said stand-in husband. I took that basic “pretend marriage” spark and ran with it.
Is there a sequel or series planned?
There is a sequel! It's called Here to Stay and comes out on May 1, 2014. It features one of my favorite characters from Made to Last. Now, both books could actually be read as stand-alones. You won't have had to read Made to Last to understand Here to Stay.
They say that there is a bit of each of us in all of our characters. Which character in the book is most like you, and why?
I really want to say Blake/Blaze--he's the fake husband in the story and he is awesome. So I wish I was as adventurous and funny as he is. HA! But actually, I'm most like Miranda Woodruff. Thing is, she's a homebuilding/DIY guru and I'm about as un-DIYish as they come. I can't build things. At all. Dude, buying a new vacuum and putting it together was enough to completely stress me out. So, as far as talents and skills, we are not at all the same.
BUT Miranda's emotional personality very closely resembles mine. I so identify with the emotional and spiritual journey she's on in the story. Which made her both the easiest and the hardest character to write. Easy because I felt like I understood her and could naturally write her responses to situations and obstacles. But difficult because it meant I was sort of experiencing her spiritual highs and lows right alongside her, wading through my own emotions as I wrote hers.
What do you read for enjoyment?
Everything! Okay, slight exaggeration. I love both contemporary and historical fiction. Some of my favorite authors are: Jenny B Jones, Susan May Warren, Rachel Hauck, Jody Hedlund, Beth Vogt, Becky Wade, Laura Frantz, Lisa Jordan, Anne Mateer and oh my goodness, I could go on and on. I also love Ted Dekker's earlier stuff and re-read his Circle series about once a year. And, silly confession: I love reading biographies/autobiographies/memoirs of studio era Hollywood stars. :)
What is your favorite writing nibble or drink?
Anything caffeinated...haha! I'm weird in that when I'm sitting down to write for a good chunk of time, I need to have a can of Diet Coke with Lime, a mug of coffee and a glass of water all within reaching distance. I like having options, I guess. I'm usually munching on baby carrots, grapes and pretzels.
Thanks for stopping in, Melissa! It's been really fun learning more about you!
Now Melissa has a question for you…
Since Made to Last is based on a classic movie, I thought I'd ask, what's your favorite classic movie? (And I'm talking golden era. If you haven't seen any from that era, we need to talk. In fact, consider this your official invite to my place for a movie marathon!)
Melissa Tagg is a former newspaper reporter and total Iowa girl. Her first novel, Made to Last, releases from Bethany House in September 2013. In addition to her homeless ministry day job, Melissa is also the marketing/events coordinator for My Book Therapy, a craft and coaching community for writers. When she’s not writing, she can be found hanging out with the coolest family ever, watching old movies and daydreaming about her next book. Melissa blogs regularly and loves connecting with readers at www.melissatagg.com.
During her reporting days, Melissa interviewed presidential candidates and llama farmers, rode a hot air balloon and flew a plane, and once came face to face with a buffualo. But today she gets her kicks by letting her characters have their own fun. She’s passionate about humor, grace, and happy endings.
Links where you can find Melissa:
My website/blog: www.melissatagg.com
HAPPY LABOR DAY!
Between you, me and the gatepost,
HAPPY LABOR DAY!
Between you, me and the gatepost,