Tell us your name and then a bit about yourself.
Melonie Johnson – I’m a lifelong Star Wars fan, my dining room has been converted to the “Star Wars bar” and I decoratre entire trees devoted to Star Wars every Christmas. I’m a former high school English and Theatre teacher who started writing as a new mom in search of something to stimulate my brain. Always loved reading romance, gobbled up the classic bodice rippers starting around age 12 even though the local librarian would give me the stink-eye whenever I checked out a stack of Johanna Lindsey books. I write rom-coms and contemporary romance under my real name, and am launching a new romantasy series under the pen name Emoline Thorne (fun fact – Emoline is an anagram of Melonie). I met my husband when we were both teens working across the hall from each other at the local mall, we’ve now been married 20+ years and have two lovely redheaded daughters. My favorite drink is pretty much any cocktail that starts with the letter M. Cheers!
When you are writing a book, which is harder? The first book in the series or the others after it?
I think the first book in a series is definitely the hardest, still getting to know the characters, getting a feel for the world.
When writing a series how do you keep things fresh, for both your readers and also yourself?
The characters keep things fresh! They are always surprising me with what they decide to do, ha. But also, feeding my brain by reading, listening to music, researching odd things that spark my curiosity all help to keep new ideas and scenes coming.
Writing can be an emotionally draining and stressful pursuit. Any tips for aspiring writers?
Create a space that helps trigger a “time to write” response in your brain, a specific spot in your home, a playlist, a candle, a drink – all things that help create a habit and signal your mind it’s time to write. Another important thing to do is to stock up on energy pennies, you may think you have no time to do anything else but write, but that mindset is the fastest way to burnout. Taking time to rest, to move your body (like a walk), to enjoy other hobbies – these all feed your soul and enrich your life and will make your writing better and the time you do spend BICHOK (butt in chair, hands on keyboard) more productive.
On a typical day, how much time do you spend writing?
In a perfect world, I’d spend about 4 hours on writing… in the real world, many days I spend zero, and others I spend 20.
Do you have a favorite character that you have written? If so, who? And what makes them so special.
So hard to answer! I’m going to go with a fan favorite, Theo Wharton, the hero of Smitten by the Brit. He is my “Prince Eric” as I like to say. And he can still make me swoon.
What is your definition of success?
Frankly, I’m still figuring that out. Unfortunately, whenever I think I’ve hit a milestone I thought would make me feel like a success, the bar moved and I was convinced the next thing and the next would mean success. I’m trying to change that mindset, but it’s not easy. I will say, one thing that ALWAYS makes me feel like a “real” author is when a reader reaches out, either in person or on-line, to share how much they enjoyed one of my books. THAT feels like success every time.
Do you have anything you want to share that didn’t fit on one of these questions?
I’m an avid audiobook listener who also narrates audiobooks under a pseudonym. I have a fun series on YouTube called Kiss List Confessions where I talk with other authors about all things kissing! I als have an interview series on Instagram called Mad About Meet Cutes where I chat with other romance authors about their their favorite meet cutes in books, movies, and TV, as well as hear about their real life meet stories!
What are your social links?
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/MelonieWrites
Facebook Reader Group THE READING LUSHES: https://www.facebook.com/groups/141817033159064
TikTok: @thewritinglush https://www.tiktok.com/@thewritinglush
TikTok: @melonie_johnson https://www.tiktok.com/@melonie_johnson
Instagram: @MelonieJohnson https://www.instagram.com/meloniejohnson/
Instagram: @thewritinglush https://www.instagram.com/thewritinglush/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/ UCRo7jtdZ83ASTaHSrhIq5OQ
What are your buy links? (Provide links to your Amazon/iBook’s/Koko/etc Author Home Page if you have quite a few. Also include audible links if applicable.)
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/meloniejohnson
Audible Author Page: https://www.audible.com/author/Melonie-Johnson/B07GTF5CFL
Want tickets to Writers on the River #2024?
They are available starting November 6th at Writersontheriver.com
$75 VIP Plus – 11-12 Lunch with the Authors , 12-1 VIP hour, 1-4 General Admission time. You get a filled VIP bag and admission to the after party is included. *Limited Quantity expected to sell out first day*
$50 VIP -12-1 VIP hour, 1-4 General Admission time. You get a filled VIP bag and admission to the after party is included. *Expected to sell out first day*
$25 Early Access – 12-1 VIP house, 1-4 General Admission time. You also get a filled VIP bag but NO admission to the after party. *Expected to sell out opening day*
$10 General Admission – 1-4 General Admission time. You can purchase a bag but it is not filled with VIP swag. There is no admission to the after party included.
$35 After party – 7-11 After Party with food and cash bar. Dj with a photobooth is also included in the fun.