Interview of Author Mel Ballew

Please help me welcome Mel to the laboratory. Do you all have your dissecting tools ready? Okay, let’s see what makes this particular victim… *clears throat* I mean author, tick.

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Welcome, Mel. Why don’t we start by telling the folks a little about you?
I am a wife, a mother, and Meme to four beautiful grandkids. I am loyal, honest (sometimes too brutally honest), and deeply passionate about life. I am an avid reader, a soulful storyteller. I am a Mama-bear when anyone messes with my immediate family and I have pretty sharp claws and a tongue to lash just as sharply, if/when needed. Although I do not allow her out of her cage, most times. LOL! Right is right. Wrong is wrong. Grey areas do not exist. Karma always plays her card, three-fold. I am a simple country gal who enjoy finding positivity & blessings in each day. Simple.
Well, I’ll make sure not to poke the bear. When and why did you start writing?
I have written my entire life. I am also an avid reader. Both were instilled and encouraged early on in life by my mother.
Who is your favorite author and why?
Impossible to choose just ‘one’ fav! Each author reflects his/her own voice within the pages they transcribe while storytelling. Each one, holds favorite resemblances for me because each is truly unique in his/her own style.
Do you feel that [insert favorite author here] inspired your writing? Do you feel that your writing is modeled after him/her?
I cannot answer this the way I believe you are expecting. Personally, I just write. I tell the stories my characters dictate. Therefore, each one is not “inspired” by any particular Author nor do I feel my style is modeled after any certain Author. Each of my stories is truthfully inspired by my characters. They come to me in my dreams and I pen their stories.
What do you hope to accomplish with your writing?
Good question… Hmm… I think, for me, it is as humble as being able to deliver well executed stories with structured plots that offer twists and turns and lots of hopeless romanticisms. Love is the ONE and ONLY thing in the whole big picture of life that hardens the concrete to the foundation of LIFE. It is the ONLY legacy we will ever leave behind. Therefore, love will always find its way woven intricately within the fabric of my stories.
Very well said. Traditional or self publishing and why?
This is a tough one. Honestly, I believe it is a matter of personal preference upon completing a novel in which direction to pursue. Having said that, pub-ing is pub-ing, regardless who handles its intricacies. At this stage in my professional and personal life, I opted to self-pub because it finely tuned with our life’s demands. If a traditional publisher takes notice and decides, they love my stories as much as I do and the readers that have shared their amazing feedback with me, thus far, and want to join elbows working as a team to help promote my works, I will respectfully consider that, as I come to or need to cross that bridge. Of course, this is my approach; my position. Each of us have multi-faceted reasons that may or may not dictate the direction we have to choose, short or long term.

award
From one fellow Indie author to another, I applaud you. Tell us about your most recent book and why we should love or hate your characters.
Ah, … swoon! ShameLess is my standalone Contemporary Romantic Suspense. S’renaty and Stefan are special to me. Their story is vibrant, complex, inspiring, filled with note-worthy emotional highs/lows and impactful. It is about finding yourself, facing loss, making difficult decisions, learning to trust again, love again, live again. It is about love…through good, bad and everything in between. I am ecstatic about this one!!

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If your book had a soundtrack, what is the first 5 songs you would include?
All of my books have a soundtrack. Music provides the perfect backdrop my soul needs to allow the characters access through my fingers. Literally. I already have their story in my mind before I start writing. So, I search for and find songs that speak to me. They are added to each playlist, and I put them on repeat as I sit my ass in the chair to let the characters speak to me, giving them full permission to shout, yell, scream, whisper, cry, laugh, and literally just flow through me onto the pages of what eventually becomes the book in its completed form.
Oo, you’re keeping the actual songs a mystery. Interesting. Aside from writing or reading, what is your favorite pastime?
Making the most of each day with my husband, children, grandchildren, & friends … no matter what the moment in time entails. We could do anything (cookouts, camping, going to the beach, watching movies, playing cards, sitting around the fire pit laughing & talking, etc…) as long as we are just together making memories and sharing life, my heart is smiling. These are the simply d’vine moments in my life – my favorite pastime!
Sounds like a great life. What is the one thing you want to do, or the one place you want to go, that you would put at #1 on your bucket list?
I have always wanted to visit Italy (I love Tuscan Villas and their inspirations), Ireland (I am part Irish), Australia (Aside from loving the accents, I love koala bears since childhood), Europe (Oh, the romance!!), and New Zealand (Always wanted to see this beautiful countryside) – these are only a few.. However, in the big picture of life, I do not feel visiting these places deserve a spot on my personal bucket list, per se’, (no offense) … For me, I have faced death and lived. Materialism is not my favoritism. Therefore, for me, deserving bucket list mentions are more like, impacting a life, being respectful, saying what you mean and doing what you say, honoring your integrity, paying forward a blessing, listening to a friend in need & actually being there, giving my time to serve another, offering a smile to someone I know is down, etcetera. – these are my personal bucket list items; not places to visit or things to spend monies on, unless I am doing so to make lasting memories with my immediate family or friends. Sorry, not sorry!
OMG! You and I should join forces and go to Tuscany. It is one of the places I’ve always dreamed of going to. Finally, what else would you like readers to know?
I will continue to write as long as my dreams allow, literally. My ideas may come in my dreams, but my ability, which is extremely limited most days due to health-related issues, dictate when and how I am able to deliver. There may be times I need to push back a release date, etc. but I will always do what I say & will bring these stories to you, regardless. Stay the course.  I wish to thank each of you from the bottom of my heart for allowing me to share my stories, for your interest, honest feedback, for believing in me & offering your support. Mwah! {hugs}

Thank you for being my guest today, Mel. I loved having you. I can’t wait to read your book! Shattered into Beautiful was fantastic and I am betting that this one will be as well.

~Genevieve~

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