Our guest today is Melody Carlson, the award-winning author of over two hundred books. Despite having so many, she does tend to be known for her many Christmas stories. Today we talk to her about her latest Christmas book, A Christmas by the Sea.
Due to the timing of publishing, Melody mostly has to write her Christmas books in July with the air conditioner on. It's fun to hear how some of the parts of her real life made it into this book. Melody even has some “sand dollar angels” that she'll be giving away as part of some upcoming Christmas contests. (Be sure to go sign up for her newsletter to participate!)
When asked how she came to be such a prolific writer, she explains that when she first started she had to write fast because that was all the time she had. (She wrote her first complete book long-hand on a yellow legal pad!) The good thing about that, she says, is that it teaches you not to edit as you go along. And you can prove to yourself that you can finish a book. 🙂
We also talked about how to keep a series going with new ideas and how to keep coming up with new ideas on the same topic, like Christmas. Having a full cast of characters is a big help, especially if you like to write character-driven stories. Having some heartaches or low places for the character at the beginning of the stories but ending them with hope is another way Melody likes to write. But she makes sure the character is likable enough for readers to want to follow them.
Melody shares her thoughts and advice on how to be prolific, picking a genre and sticking to it – or not, and finding your best way to write despite other writers' advice. 😉 One of the great things about National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is that you can find out if writing fast works for you. Melody encourages us to give it a try!
As we move into the Christmas season, it's a good time to check out A Christmas by the Sea. There's also another new series,The Legacy of Sunset Cove, and book one is already out – Harbor Secrets. You can find all of Melody's books at your favorite online retailer and by ordering from your local bookstore. You can also follow her on Facebook at MelodyCarlsonAuthor.