Tell us your name and then a bit about yourself.
I’m Mellanie Szereto, a USA Today Bestselling Author of nearly forty romcoms and contemporary romances, most with characters who have plenty of life experience like myself. Whether you call them older, seasoned, mature, experienced, or later-in-life protagonists, they deserve love too! My stories are often set in small towns with quirky main characters, fun secondary casts, and lots of humor. I enjoy gardening, cooking, and baking—as well as hiking to work off the fruits of my labor—and incorporate food into all of my stories. I live in an old farmhouse in rural Indiana with my husband of thirty-six years.
When you are writing a book, which is harder? The first book in the series or the others after it?
I’m mostly a pantser, so the first book iusually takes a bit longer than the others in the series. I spend time getting to know the characters, naming the characters, learning details about the setting, etc. as write the first story. Ideas for additional books in the series start to develop during book one and tend to go a little faster.
When writing a series how do you keep things fresh, for both your readers and also yourself?
I always make notes as I’m writing. I track character details, story tropes, and other information so I don’t overuse conflicts, plots, and other elements within the series. One of the main ways I keep things fresh for myself is to remember that every character is an individual just like real people!
Writing can be an emotionally draining and stressful pursuit. Any tips for aspiring writers?
Time time to recharge and exercise self-care on a regular basis. Burnout is real, and preventing it takes significantly less time and energy than trying to recover from it.
On a typical day, how much time do you spend writing?
I typically spend 4-6 hours writing and another 4-6 hours working on writing-related tasks like engaging on social media, writing newsletters, and promoting my books.
Do you have a favorite character that you have written? If so, who? And what makes them so special.
My favorite character is often one or more that I’m actively writing. Right now, Kyle Morton from Hot Tamale Nights (Love on the Menu 3) and Cerise Wethers from Hang-Ups (Romancing the Phone 3) are most interesting to me. Kyle is an incredibly private person and he has a complicated personality and a touching backstory. His story arc has really surprised me. Cerise, on the other hand, is very much a what-you-see-is-what-you-get woman with intelligence, loyalty, snark, and loads of sex appeal. I’m just learning what makes her tick, and I have a feeling she’s going to have more layers than I expect.
If any of your books were to be made into a movie, who are the celebrities that would star in it? What book and who?
I would love to see The Homegrown Café Book Club series made into a movie, but I’ll settle for Makin’ Bacon (book 1). Jason Mamoa would make an awesome Big Jim Cochon (pig farmer and all-around sweetheart) opposite Amy Adams as Tate Madison (Jim’s lifetime crush and his best friend’s older sister)!
What is your definition of success?
Making money is nice, but doing what I love, loving what I do, and entertaining readers are just important to me.
What are your social links?
Facebook reader group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/worththewaitseasonedromancereaders
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.)
Apple Books: https://books.apple.com/us/author/mellanie-szereto/id540431015
Audible: Audible page: https://www.audible.com/author/Mellanie-Szereto/B00GYKKZ7I
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/Mellanie Szereto
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/author?id=Mellanie+Szereto
Want tickets to Writers on the River #2023?
They are available starting November 4th at Writersontheriver.com
$45 VIP sell out quickly – 12-1 VIP hour, 1-4 General Admission time. You get a filled VIP bag and admission to the after party is included.
$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.
$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.