Welcome to another interview with Enclave Publishing. Today we have the pleasure of interviewing Melissa Turner Lee.
1) When did you realize you wanted to become a writer?
When I was I was in 3rd grade I decided I wanted to be either an actress, a singer, or a writer. I tried all of those but realized I don’t like people to look at me. Watching me while I do my art is kind of part of the first two. No one watches writers while they write so that was the winner.
2) Tell me a little about your books.
My books are mainstream but from a Christian worldview. If I felt my calling was to be a banker, no one would expect me to go find or start a Christian bank to work at. No one would think that as a Christian banker that I should interrupt every business transaction to present the gospel. But if I were a Christian and a banker, it should influence my work as a banker. Christ goes with me when I write. When there is a natural place to present the gospel, I’m not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ because in it is the power to save.
3) What are some of the strongest influences on your writing?
Music often inspires a scene or the personality of a character. I still love the classics I used to read. I just started reading contemporary author within the last 10 years. Pauline Creeden, who is my friend and editor, is very talented and influences my writing along with my talented beta readers.
4) How do you write? What’s a normal writing day like for you?
I am a writing sinner according to the writer’s bible. I don’t write daily. I write in chunks. I write a huge chunk. Take days or weeks off and mull over it. Write again and weave in the new ideas back from the start to that part. Write. Mull. Write. Mull. It takes me about 9 month to a year to write a book.
5) Who are your books aimed at? If applicable: What are some of the challenges of writing for your audience?
I write for middle aged women who read books about younger people falling in love. That’s who really reads YA and NA these days. The NA crowd are looking for “hot books” and that’s not what I write. Those scenes are either off the page or are poetic in the style of Song of Solomon so I get some 1 and 2 stars for the lack of heat in my secular books. Some folks don’t like the moral undertones at all. But I write the books I want to read and I have found an audience.
6) What is the one author, living or dead, who you would like to co-write a book with someday, and why?
CS Lewis. He got the idea before I did that it was okay for a Christian to write about fantasy and the supernatural. I also find his love story interesting since I write romance. I imagine an English professor and his wife who grew up Jewish in New York City to sound like an episode of The Nanny.
7) What were some of the challenges for you writing your book?
I’m always about to quit writing. I am always upset that the story world in my head and the one on the page never match. I wish I were a natural at writing but I’m not. I have to work really hard at writing. The storytelling comes very natural for me. I just wish I could tell it better.
8) What do you want readers to take away from your book?
I want readers to have hope that there is more to this world than we can see. I hope they consider the idea that there is a Creator who is still involved and has a plan. I hope they consider the idea that wisdom comes from above and is given to us. Most of all, I hope these ideas are planting seeds that God will use to reveal Himself to them on a personal level.
9) Star Wars or Star Trek?
Star Trek. Had a huge crush on Spock as a kid. Married a man very similar but without the pointy ears.
10) Favorite place to vacation?
11) Does anyone else in your family have musical/writing/artistic skills?
My husband is an artist and our story inspired aspects of my book The Earth Painter. Our oldest son writes and draws. He wants to create video games one day.
12) What is your favorite thing you have ever written?
I don’t like to read my work.
13) Who would you most like to thank for their involvement in your writing career?
Pauline Creeden. Meeting her online was a divine appointment for sure. She is amazingly talented and patient with me.
14) What have you learned about yourself through your writing?
I’m a big whiny baby.
Thank you, Melissa, for joining us today. You can find Melissa’s latest novel, a time travel romance, here: Forever Layla