What's happening in your writing life and mine; Book Updates and recommendations; The wonderful world of reading, writing, and everything in the middle.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Hot Tea, Some Chocolate, and a Little Time with God. What Could be Better?
We're going to talk with the tea lady, Becky Melby for a bit. Read on.
Becky Melby has been married to Bill, her high school sweetheart, for 38 years. They have four married sons and eleven fabulous grandchildren. Becky has co-authored nine books for Heartsong Presents. She is currently working on a contemporary fiction series with a historical thread for Barbour Publishing. Her favorite pastimes are spoiling grandkids and taking trips with Bill in their RV or on their Honda Gold Wing.
SDC: Welcome to A Pen for Your Thoughts! Before you tell us about your newest release, Becky, please fill us in on what keeps you going.
BM: Prayer and deadlines! I try to start every writing day in my “prayer chair.” If the morning begins with hot tea and time with God, the rest of the day goes so much smoother. I’m not an internally motivated person, so I write weekly word count goals on my calendar when I start a project. That, and a looming deadline, keep my fingers moving on the keyboard. Oh, and then there’s chocolate. . . A favorite afternoon pick-me-up is raw pumpkin seeds stirred into melted dark chocolate.
SDC: Mmm. That sounds good. While you're snacking away tell us what theme you like to run through in all your writing, if any. That, and what kind of responses you hope to receive from readers who have not yet come to know the Lord, or who have been influenced greatly by one of your books.
BM: The tagline on the Web site I share with Cathy Wienke is “Second Chance Stories.” That’s the theme I hope to weave through every story I write. God is the author of second chances. In Dream Chasers, the second book in Minnesota Moonlight, a 3-in-1 collection Cathy and I wrote for Barbour Publishing, the main character relies on God to overcome some huge fears. We were so blessed by letters from reader who felt empowered to face their own fears after reading it.
SDC: God, the author of second chances. I like that! How else do you make faith, love, and hope work together in your stories?
BM: Whether my characters are believers at the beginning of a story or not, they are all on a faith journey as they strive to overcome an obstacle or achieve a goal. Hope generally seems elusive in the early chapters, then it glimmers, and finally radiates. As I write romance, love is often what seems most hopeless to my characters. It is thrilling, as a writer, to introduce them to, or remind them of, the true Lover of our souls while orchestrating an earthly love encounter.
SDC: Yes. That's right. Tell us now about your publisher and how did you come about this company? How long ago was it?
BM: Over the course of several months in 1992-1993, Cathy and I sent out nine proposals for our first book, Beauty for Ashes. Heartsong Presents requested our full manuscript and accepted it two weeks later. We wrote three Heartsongs, then stopped writing for several years while we both homeschooled our children and were involved in other ministries. Since 2008 we’ve written six additional Heartsongs and a novella together. I’m now working on a three-book full-length series for Barbour.
SDC: What’s your favorite Bible verse or verse that has sustained you recently and why, Becky?
BM: God has recently been showing me, in so many ways, the importance of abiding in Him. John 15:4 says, “Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” That’s such a vital verse for a Christian writer...or a Christian anything else! We long to “do something” for the Lord, but it’s so easy to forget that we have to be with Him before we can do for Him.
SDC: A wonderfully inspiring verse for so many of us. Thanks. I understand you have a book you would like to share with one of our readers if we receive enough responders. Tell us which one you are planning to donate and a little about it. Also, what question would you like one of our viewers to answer to help me select the winner?
BM: I had the wonderful privilege of writing a novella in a Christmas collection with Cynthia Ruchti, Eileen Key, and Rachael Phillips. They are now good buddies, not simply writing partners. All four stories in A Door County Christmas take place in the picturesque and touristy “thumb” of Wisconsin. In my story, Christmas Crazy, Jillian Galloway thinks she’s come to Door County to enjoy the fall colors and do publicity for her uncle’s comedy dinner theater. But a storm and a betrayal have left the theater in dire straits. Jillian rolls up her sleeves to save the day, but finds she can’t proceed without the help of a knee-weakening handsome Brazilian she’s been warned not to trust. Two eccentric actors and an odd-ball director help create comedic scenes on and off stage.
SDC: Sounds great. And that question for our viewers?
Becky: Have you, like Jillian, ever experienced a disappointment that turned out to be an amazing blessing?
SDC: Oh, we ought to get some interesting answers with this one. Let us know where we can reach you and where we can find your books, please Becky. We have greatly appreciated having you here at A Pen for Your Thoughts!