5-STAR Fantasy / Sci-Fi

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Indie Author Interview: Melissa Toppen

Indie Author Interview with Melissa Toppen - Author of the Contemporary Romance Series Breathless.

Melissa Toppen is a lover of books and enjoys nothing more than losing herself in a good novel. She has a soft spot for Romance and focuses her writing in that direction.

The Breathless Series will do just as it promises: Leave you breathless!

Interview with Melissa Toppen

Author Melissa Toppen
Author Melissa Toppen
Alan Kealey (Indie Author News): What is your (writing) background?
Melissa Toppen: Growing up I loved writing short stories, songs, and poems but it wasn't until March of 2013 that I finally sat down and started writing my first novel.

Who are your favorite writers, your favorite books, and who or what are your writing influences?
Wow, that's a tough one. I love so many different authors and books, I have no idea how to narrow it down to favorites. Let's see.... I think if I had to pick an all time favorite it would be J.K. Rowling. Harry Potter has to be one of my favorite things ever put on paper!
Other than that, I love a lot of Contemporary Romance Authors; S.C. Stephens, Sylvia Day, J. Kenner and Nashoda Rose, just to name a few.
My biggest writing influence hands down is music. I can draw so much from the emotion of one song.

When did you first know that you wanted to be a writer?
I knew I wanted to be a writer when I started my first novel. I mean, of course I knew how much I loved to write, even as a child but honestly, I didn't know I had it in me to actually create a full length story and have it actually mean something to me. Once I finished my first novel, I realized just how much I enjoyed it and I really seemed to have a knack for it. After that, I just couldn't stop. I have written seven novels in the course of a year, four of which are available for purchase.

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Honestly I don't. I have tons of journals from when I was a teenager that have a bunch of random stories, poems and quotes scribbled everywhere but I can't really remember which came first:)

Tell us about your writing process. Do you have a writing routine?
Not really. An idea comes to me, I jot it down and then when I am ready to start my next story, I browse my ideas and find a point to start with. I usually don't have a real plan of where the book is going to go until it's there. It just kind of happens and it's a wonderful thing!

Please, describe your desk/workplace.
Hmmm. Well, I guess I would say everywhere. I write anywhere and everywhere I can. I usually end up at the kitchen table though. I have a bag that I carry with me everywhere I go with my notebooks and laptop. For whatever reason I never write in the one place that makes the most sense, my office.

"Promoting is definitely the hardest."

What do you find easiest about writing? What the hardest?

I don't know that anything is really easy but I would say the actual writing is the easiest process for me. Coming up with where I want to go is pretty hard but the writing part just flows really well once I get there.
Promoting is definitely the hardest. I can create the story but figuring out how to get it out to readers is a completely different ball game!

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Falling in love with my characters and then watching the world fall in love with them too!!

What inspired you to write the The Breathless Series?
A friend of mine had this thing for a bartender. He was quite a ladies man but he seemed to really care for her. We would spend hours talking about this man and how he made her feel. There was something about their story that really had me rooting for them and I wanted to see a connection like that on paper.
I told her my plan, of course, and she ended up being my biggest resource in bringing the story to life.

Consumed (Melissa Toppen)
Click to Read an Excerpt

Who do you see as your target audience and where can we buy the books?
The target audience with any good romance is mainly women. Due to the content of the books, I think it would be women between the ages of 17 and 45.
My books are available on Amazon, iTunes, Kobo, and Barnes and Nobles. The paperbacks are also available to order through Amazon.

What makes your series special?
I think what really makes it different is that it is based on something that actually happened. Okay so not everything in the book happened but a good portion of the emotion and the connection between these two characters is based on real people. I think this not only makes it more real for the readers but it also gives us all hope :)

How would you describe the success of your books so far?
For a pretty much unknown author, I think I am off to a good start with The Breathless Series. I know that I have an amazing story. It's gaining visibility that's the hard part.

How long did it take it to write the series?
About six months start to finish.

"Don't write an outline, it restricts the creative process."

Can you give some advice for other Authors regarding the writing process?
Don't write an outline, it restricts the creative process. Sit down and just write. If you've got the talent, I think you'll be surprised how easily the rest will come to you.

Are you working on another book project? Can you tell us a little about it?
I am currently working on my next novel, COLLIDE. I can't give you a whole lot of detail yet because it is in the very early stages, but I promise it's going to be the best yet!!

"There's nothing like holding an actual paper novel in your hand."

Where do you see the book market in 5 or 10 years? Will there be only eBooks and will book stores disappear like record stores disappeared?
I think it is very probable that the majority of the industry will be digital and a good portion of book stores will go out of business but I don't think real books will ever be gone. There's nothing like holding an actual paper novel in your hand.

What is your e-reading device of choice?
I read on my Kindle and iPad. I don't have a preference between the two, the both do the trick!

Do you write full-time or do you have a day job? When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
As of right now, I write full time and work a full time job as well. I essentially have two full time jobs which take up a great deal of my time. So free time pretty much does not exist but I always make time for my two children and my husband :)

How can readers connect with you?
Twitter Handle @mtoppenauthor
Facebook www.facebook.com/mtoppenauthor
Goodreads www.goodreads.com/mtoppenauthor
or they can visit my website at www.mtoppen.com

Thank you very much for the Interview, Melissa.

About the Book Consumed (The Breathless Series)

Consumed (Melissa Toppen)
Click to Read an Excerpt
Addison Grant thought she had life all figured out. Attend college, land the job of her dreams, and marry her high school sweetheart. Everything seemed to be falling into place, or at least that’s what she thought.

Having moved from Vermont to Las Vegas with her boyfriend Grayson, the last thing Addison expected was to come home one day to find all of her belongings packed up in boxes and her eight year relationship over.

Heartbroken and lost, Addison finds herself, for the first time, unsure of what the future holds. But a chance meeting with a gorgeous bartender sets her on a path she never expected.

Liam Mason isn’t just your average bartender. There is something about him that doesn’t quite fit but Addison can't put her finger on it, nor can she deny the sparks that fly between them. As much as she tries to fight her quickly forming feelings for Liam, his constant pursuit of her makes it impossible to resist his charms.

When Addison lands a major project at work, she unknowingly sets herself up to discover that Liam is not who he says he is. When Addison learns the truth will she be able to forgive the lies or will she be forced to walk away from the one man who has consumed her entire existence?

The Breathless Series: Consumed, Taken, Released

Links to the Book

Link to the Paperback Consumed (The Breathless Series) with Excerpt on Amazon

Link to the eBook Consumed (The Breathless Series) with Excerpt on Amazon