Interview: Author Melissa Foster

In 2011 Beach Book Festival Award Winner, Amazon, Amazon Rankings, amazon sales, Amazon Sales Rankings, Author, Author Watch, Authors, Awards, Best Sellers, Bestsellers, Book, books, CHASING AMANDA, Come Back To Me, e-books, ebooks, Interviews, Megan's Way, Megan's Way (2011 Beach Book Fe2010 Next Generation Indie Book Award Finalist, Melissa Foster, Publishing, Self-Publish, Self-Published, Self-Publishing, Women's Fiction, WoMen's Literary Cafe, Writers on November 29, 2011 at 4:45 pm

“… I would like to suggest that authors never give up. If you have a story you feel others will benefit from reading, then write it, no matter who tries to dissuade you.”

Author, Melissa Foster

 Author Melissa Foster has the very unique distinction of having not one but three books on The Write Agenda’s Author Watch – Best Sellers List. See: Best Sellers – November 19, 2011 (Click here) and Best Sellers – November 26, 2011 (Click here).  As of today, November 29, 2011, Come Back To MeChasing Amanda are both ranked #1 and #2. Megan’s Way is not far behind at #11. We expect her books to remain on The Write Agenda’s Author Watch – Best Sellers List for several weeks. Melissa’s historical (not hourly) Amazon Sales Rankings are worth noting:

Come Back to Me (Published October 11, 2011)

Current Rank 7-Day Average 30-Day Average 90-Day Average Lifetime Average Best Rank Worst Rank
103 65 57 57 57 37 112

Chasing Amanda (Published April 12, 2011)

Current Rank 7-Day Average 30-Day Average 90-Day Average Lifetime Average Best Rank Worst Rank
78 76 72 72 72 58 91

Megan’s Way (Published July 19, 2009)

Current Rank 7-Day Average 30-Day Average 90-Day Average Lifetime Average Best Rank Worst Rank
1,100 931 1,240 3,334 6,674 258 158,754

The Write Agenda was fortunate to have the opportunity to have a Q & A with this amazing self-published author and book marketing maven. This is truly developing into another great success story and demonstrates the right mindset that authors need to have that choose to not go the “traditional” way.

TWA: Where are you from? Tell us about yourself.

Melissa: I grew up in Rockville, Maryland, and have never strayed far from the area, although that’s been more by circumstance than design. I’m sister to six warm and talented brothers, daughter to an incredibly smart and generous mother, and mom to six wonderful children. I’m a wife, mom, author, and major brownie addict. The things that make me happy are the things that can’t be bought. I love to share happy thoughts and repel negativity like reverse polarity. Nothing shocks me and I find the good in most everyone.

TWA: Tell us your latest news?

Melissa: Biggest news?  I actually spent an entire 2 hours with my husband today with no one under 13 years old around us. Oh, you want book news? We’re about 18 months out from Megan’s Way becoming a film, and I’m knee deep in my fourth novel, Thirty-six Hours.

TWA: When and why did you begin writing?

Melissa: This sounds very cliché, but after setting my son down for a nap about 20 years ago, I was overcome with a pull toward pen and paper.

TWA: What inspired you to write your first book?

Melissa: When I wrote Megan’s Way, the story was driven by an incident with my mother. She’d had surgery and didn’t tell me that the doctors thought she had cancer, and if they’d have found cancerous cells, she wouldn’t have consented to treatments. That was 20 years ago, and treatments have, thankfully, come a long way. A year later, she told me the truth, and the memory festered for 15 years, until Megan’s Way was born.

Come Back to Me was born of my innermost fears the summer before my husband served a tour in Iraq, and Chasing Amanda blossomed from a mother’s worse fears—the abduction of a child.

TWA: Do you have a specific writing style?

Melissa: I’m a total pantzer. I write what I feel, and even when I try to outline, I don’t follow it very well. The ink leads and I follow.

TWA: What book are you reading now?

Melissa: I’m reading The Ophelia Trap, by Kate Burns, and its very good. I’m also rereading The Color Purple, by Alice Walker—a timeless masterpiece.

TWA: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members?

Melissa: An entity? I’m not sure about an entity, but I have the full emotional support of the women I think of as my Nest sisters. The Women’s Nest is a social and support community that I founded a few years ago, and the women on the site have always been there for me, pulling me through the moments when I’m having difficulties, and cheering me on in my moments of excitement. I’ve also found tremendous support from my Twitter friends. That seems funny, I’m sure, but we’ve become such a social network world, that I don’t find it odd at all that many friends—and although we’ve never met, I do consider them friends—have been there to support me. It’s a wonderful universe that we live in, and I think the universe brings us those that we need in our lives.

TWA: Do you see writing as a career?

Melissa: I see writing as a gift, and a career. Even if I never make another penny off of writing, it’s a career I’m passionate about, one that is fulfilling on many levels, and one that allows me to give back. I feel very lucky and blessed to be a writer.

TWA: There’s many author blogs on the internet that warn writers, like you, regarding the pitfalls of self-publishing. Did these sites have any bearing or impact on your choices? Do you spend any time monitoring these sites?

Melissa: I don’t have time to monitor such sites, and I did not let any of those sites shape my decisions. We are in a very unique era in time for publishing. There are more opportunities for authors now than ever before. I tend to follow my own path and desires, and when I hear that I can’t do something, it only fuels the fire for me to work harder and prove that I can.

TWA: Do you have any advice for other writers?

Melissa: Yes, I would like to suggest that authors never give up. If you have story you feel others will benefit from reading, then write it, no matter who tries to dissuade you. Writing is a solitary and often lonely process (unless you’re like me and have conversations with your characters!). You need to write for you, not to satisfy others, or you’ll probably give up. It’s also vital that writers see their work as important and as a product. You should always produce the best product that you are able, even if it takes longer than you’d hoped, or costs more to produce. I firmly believe that every book in print should be professionally edited—not by a relative or family friend, but by a completely separate, professional editor who will not only copy edit, but content edit. I believe that we authors see the story that we believe we’ve written, rather than the words on the page. We see what we know to happen next, and it makes sense to us, we wrote it. Editors see books from a reader’s perspective. They don’t know where the book is headed or the backstory of the characters. Their eyes are fresh and they can quicken the pace and show where more depth is needed. It’s a pricey process, but very valuable. I feel we owe it to our readers to produce quality products. After all, we have one reputation, why take a chance at marring it?

TWA: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Melissa: Thank you, readers, for taking the time to read my books and share them with others. I appreciate your faith in my writing. As a means of giving back to the literary community as a whole, I am developing the WoMen’s Literary Café, a literary community to whose purpose is to bridge the gap between readers and authors, and to promote great literature. We have several exciting events in December, including The Year of the Indie Celebration (Buy 3 eBooks and Get 1 Free), two book launches, and our New Release feature which brings books that were released last month to our readers. We’re giving away free books, bringing wonderful new authors and household names to readers, and generally having a wonderful time. I hope you’ll join us.


Melissa Foster is the bestselling, award-winning author of three novels, Megan’s Way, Chasing Amanda, and Come Back to Me. She has also been published in Indie Chicks, and anthology. She is the founder of the Women’s Nest, a social and support community for women, and the WoMen’s Literary Cafe, a cross-promotional site for authors, reviewers, bloggers, and readers. Melissa is currently collaborating in the film production of Megan’s Way, and hard at work on her next novel.

Melissa hosts an annual Aspiring Authors contest for children, she’s written for Calgary’s Child Magazine and Women Business Owners Magazine, and has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Melissa 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.

Melissa is available to chat with book clubs and welcomes comments and emails from her readers. Visit Melissa on The Women’s Nest or her personal website.

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.

Link to Melissa Foster’s Books

Link to Melissa Foster’s Website

Follow Melissa Foster on Facebook, Twitter, or her FB Fanpage

Chat with Melissa Foster on The Women’s Nest

The WoMen’s Literary Cafe, Where readers and authors unite! (for men & women)

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