Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Indie Insider - Melissa Foster

What is the best way to create tension?

Do you mean in a suspense novel? I think tension can be created in many ways. When someone is in jeopardy, tension can be created with time constraints/deadlines, or tension between two characters can be created through body language (discomfort), or of course, the obvious argument scene.

Do people judge a book by it’s cover? Who makes yours?

I’m a cover girl. I always choose by cover first, back cover second, and first three pages third. So yes, I think some do judge books by the cover.

I designed Megan’s Way and Chasing Amanda’s covers, working with photographers, of course, and Croco Designs created the cover for Come Back to Me.

What are the best ways to ‘show’ and not ‘tell’?

That is the million dollar question. When you “tell”, you are spelling out, with words, not actions, what is happening in a scene, and when you “show”, you are creating mental pictures through your words.

How many books do you produce a year? Are you meeting your goal?

My goal has been to produce one book each year, and I’m doing pretty well. I hope to produce two new books in the next twelve months, but I’m not sure if I’ll make it or not. I’ll sure try.

How many words do you produce a day? Do you have a daily quota to fill?
My goal is 3000 words per day, which should allow time for marketing, the WoMen’s Lit Café, and the Women’s Nest, as well as social media attention. If I can hit that mark, I feel as though I’d dong pretty well.

What is your greatest challenge as an author?

There never seems to be enough time to read. My TBR pile is taller than I am (which isn’t saying much). In terms of writing, I think the greatest challenge is making sure that what I’m writing will be exciting for the reader all the way to the end.

Do you use a professional editor, critique partners, or beta readers? Briefly describe your process.

I use all of the above. I use an editor several times throughout my writing process. Each manuscript is edited about 5-6 times. I always use several beta readers and often times they’re different readers than the book before. As for critique partners, I wouldn’t call my writing friends formal critique partners, but I have several writer friends that brainstorm with me as I do with them.

What is you favorite part of the whole process? (Besides receiving a check or 5 star review!)

The check doesn’t even come close to the best thing about writing. In fact, that’s near the bottom of the list for me. I love the creative process. The feeling of bringing characters to life and watching the stories unfold is exhilarating. Meeting and talking with readers is probably my favorite part of being an author. I never get tired of meeting new people, and discussing my books – even when controversial, is thrilling to me. I do a happy dance for every positive review I receive.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

Yes, writing is a solitary process, but not a solitary profession. There is an Indie movement on the rise, and incredible support can be found between Indie authors and bloggers, reviewers, and publishers who work with them. If you’re an Indie, be sure to check out WoMen’s Literary Café after we launch our site. Our goal is to promote great literature without breaking your budget. There’s a lot to be learned from others, and the Café will be the place to share.


"Melissa Foster is a wonderful connector of readers and books, a friend of authors, and a tireless advocate for women. She is the real deal"--AuthorJennie Shortridge

Melissa Foster is the award-winning, bestselling author of three novels, Megan’s Way, Chasing Amanda, and Come Back to Me. She is the founder of the Women’s Nest, a social and support community for women, and WoMen’s Literary Café, a literary community. Melissa is currently collaborating in the film production of Megan’s Way.
Melissa has written for Calgary’s Child Magazine, and Women Business Owners Magazine. She hosts an annual Aspiring Authors contest for children, and has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC.
Melissa is currently working on her next novel, and lives in Maryland with her family.

Melissa's interests include her family, reading, writing, painting, friends, helping women see the positive side of life, and visiting Cape Cod. A portion of every book sold is donated to Provincetown Cares.
Melissa enjoys discussing her books with book clubs and reader groups, and welcomes an invitation to your event.

Megan's Way
2011 Beach Book Award Winner (Spirituality)
2011 Readers Favorite Awards, Winner (Fiction/Drama), Finalist (Women's Fiction) 
2010 Next Generation Indie Book Award Finalist (Spirituality)
Chasing Amanda
2011 Readers Favorite Awards, Winner (Paranormal), Finalist, (Women's Fiction, Mystery)
2011 Dan Poynter's Global eBook Awards, Winner, (Paranormal)

Member: Maryland Writers' Association
Member: Independent Author Network
Member: RABMAD, Read a Book Make a Difference.


Website: http://www.MelissaFoster.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Melissa-Foster/240064542695303
Twitter: @Melissa_Foster
My social network for women: http://www.TheWomensNest.com
Facebook Melissa Foster : http://www.facebook.com/MelissaFosterBooks (profile)
Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3023973.Melissa_Foster

Melissa's Books:





  1. Great interview, Melissa! I hope we do see those two books this year!


    Writing as A. R. Silverberry

  2. Great blog, wonderful insights, and much luck to you Melissa! Love the cover by the way. I look at the cover first too! Funny how much it can influence you!

  3. I love the covers of your books! I'll be sure to check out Croco Designs (who created the cover for COME BACK TO ME). Thanks for sharing all of this helpful writing and marketing advice!

  4. Thank you for stopping by! I have to say, I'm also very fond of my cover! Croco (Frauke Spanuth) did an excellent job, and she's great to work with, too.

    Mary, nice to meet another Cover Girl!

    Thanks, Peter, so do I!


  5. I like your view on the fact that writing is a solitary thing - but not a solitary profession! Very true!

  6. Dear Melissa,

    I loved this post and you are an inspiration and that helps aspiring writers like myself. I think you are truly amazing. Congrats to you and I love all your books and I love how you articulate all your stories together- it is so amazing!

    Syl Stein