Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I’m an indie author, and my debut novel, A Beautiful Bounty, is a western historical romance. I also published a Master’s thesis in 2016, but that’s another story altogether! I am hoping to complete book two of the trilogy by the end of 2017, and then on to book 3. I have also written a few chapters of a suspense novel … which might have to sit on the back-burner for a while.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
A Beautiful Bounty: Book One of the Davenport Trilogy, is a western historical romance. I live on the west coast of Canada, and became very interested in the history of the Pacific Northwest. My story begins in Oregon and ends in the vineyards of California. I believe in romance, and strong female characters. My main character, Shiara Montgomery, is unconventional and has a penchant for defying rules. I also believe that a story can’t just be about well-defined characters … a great romance must have some intrigue and adventure, which keeps the reader invested.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I am not sure what would classify as “unusual”, but when I write I get so focused that my house could be falling down around me and I wouldn’t hear it. I also prefer writing dialogue, as opposed to descriptions, so sometimes I go back and expand the descriptive sections to make sure I’ve done justice to the setting and historical elements. It’s my least favorite part!
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I read every genre, but in historical romance, my first novel that I read was by Johanna Lindsey … Gentle Rogue. I was hooked. That being said, I can’t even recall many of the romance novels I’ve read, but I will never forget my first. I wonder if that is like never forgetting your first love?
What are you working on now?
I’m writing Book Two of the Davenport Trilogy, which tells the story of the youngest Davenport sibling, Amelia, who makes an appearance in Book One. The story will travel from Sonoma to San Francisco and move north. It is tentatively titled “A Captivating Captive”, and will be another adventure-filled story involving a magnetic ship’s captain.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I am on Twitter, Goodreads, Google+, Pinterest, and Facebook, but I have a blog on Tumblr where I share my journey and lessons learned as I pursue my writing career as an indie author. I love to hear from others, so drop me a line!
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Yes, lots! I am a new author, and feel that we can help each other as a community. That is why I share my learning journey on my blog. I hope others can learn from my mistakes. https://melissalurquette.tumblr.com/
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
I was fortunate to connect with a published author who works with other authors to help them market and promote their books. She has been invaluable, but I would say that the best advice I got was to do a marketing plan … with a marketing timeline. This really helped me to learn more about the industry, my primary reader base, marketing strategies, and budget. It is a worthwhile investment of time. Oh yeah, and keep writing!!!
What are you reading now?
I am reading two books… one is called “P.S. Don’t Tell Your Mother” by Margo Bates – a fantastic and unique Canadian author. It’s very funny and the characters are larger than life!
I am also just finishing an historical romance novel “To Save a Sinner” by Adele Clee. I quite enjoyed it, and would read more of her books. I particularly liked the female protagonist, who had a mind of her own.
What’s next for you as a writer?
More writing. More writing. More writing…. well, in between marketing and promoting!
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
Hm. Tough one! I always enjoyed 1984 by George Orwell, even though it was dark. I also enjoyed the Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, and could read that over and over again. Maybe I would take War & Peace because it’s very long, and would keep me entertained for a long time. Then, I would probably take the complete works of Shakespeare. I have a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre, and would never tire of reading Shakespeare.