Today, the Write Way Café welcomes Crimson Romance author Melinda Dozier.
When did you first have the thought you'd like to write a book? Was that first thought related to writing romance?
I’ve read category romance books since I was a teenager. Ever since I was thirteen, romance writing has been in my blood. I have fond memories of sitting on my bed with my BFF from high school, writing sweet romance stories and sharing them with her. I even went as far as composing music and playing it to accompany my chapters (I was an avid piano player back then). Through the years, it stuck with me. As I sat on maternity leave with my youngest child several years ago, I decided that I could write as well as the authors I read. So, I gave it another shot. So glad I did! My first full romance was published last year!
What was your path to getting this book written and published? What type of research did you do?
For Breaking the Rules, the idea stirred in my mind for a few months. My characters started forming and they spoke to me in dreams. I sound crazy, right? So, I started to map out my ideas, creating my characters and the book just fell out of my fingertips. I’m usually a “pantster,” so planning just that little bit was a huge feat for me. Like most of my work, I send it off to critique partners. Since I live out of the country in a Spanish-speaking country, I found a great online critique group (www.critiquecircle.com) who supported me through this process. Finally, I submitted my work to one of my dream publishers, Crimson Romance, and voila!
Where did the idea for your story come from?
All of my stories stem from characters. In Breaking the Rules, Colin spoke to me through my actual brother-in-law. Like Colin, my BIL lost his wife in a tragedy a few years ago, leaving him lonely and a single father. I wondered how hard it would be to date again and to actually find romance when he least expected it. So, I created Colin – a sexy, single father widower who was too busy for love. Hope knocked him on the butt and opened his eyes anyway.
Why did you pick the setting you did?
Harbor Bay, Florida is a fictional beach town taking after St. Petersburg, Florida. I lived in the Tampa Bay area in 2007 and have fond memories there. Immediately, I knew that this book would be perfect in that atmosphere. I loved writing several beach scenes!
Are your main characters completely imaginary or do they have some basis in real people? Do they reflect aspects of yourself?
Although I based Colin’s character on my brother-in-law, they really are nothing alike. When it comes to my heroine, Hope, I have to say that she is just like me! I am a hopeless klutz and I work in a middle school, though as a teacher, rather than an administrator. Hope is also a romantic with a huge bucket list that Colin helps her with. Shhh … No one knows, but many of her items on the list are the same as mine!
What did you learn? For instance, what did you learn about yourself, your process, the writing world, and about school administrators and doctors (what kind of doctor is Colin Calaway)?
Hope is extremely clumsy and has broken many bones. Luckily, I haven’t, so I had to research about fractures and hospital procedures. I also had to decide on Colin’s profession, and what better job than an orthopedic surgeon, one Hope would have to visit or see in a clinic.
What aspect of writing gives you the most trouble?
Always the endings. I become attached to my characters and I never want to say goodbye.
What are some of your favorite books and why?
Reading is my first love, so I have so many favorites! My favorite authors are Jill Shalvis, Kristin Higgins and Shannon Stacey. I love their humor and way with words. I eat up every one of their books!
What are you working on now?
My latest novella was just released with Swoon Romance – Love and Other Games: Trouble with Gold. If you like winter Olympics and hot athletes, you should check it out.
I’m also finishing a novel with a working title of New York Minute. This is a hot, spicy romance about a very shy, introvert who is taken out of her shell by a sexy, Argentinean rocker. Stay tuned for more!
Would you like to try your hand at writing a different genre? Which one and why?
Definitely! I dipped my foot in New Adult and I really enjoy reading that “genre.” I am also joining another group project that is a bit historical (1940’s) and paranormal at the same time.
Thanks so much for having me today! I love to hear from readers. Find me on twitter at www.twitter.com/melindadozier or comment below: Tell me what is your favorite rule to break?
A forbidden love affair in the past has led Hope Robinson, a middle school principal, to Harbor Bay, Florida, where she commits herself to play by the rules. This can be difficult for a perpetual klutz, who—even strapped in a cast—has to uphold a competent attitude at all times.
Luckily, she has Dr. Colin Calaway on her side, a widower and father of a student, who is ready to give love another try. When Colin convinces Hope they should explore the connection between them, a steamy romance develops, though it could destroy them both. They must decide if their jobs—and their hearts—are worth the risk.
Crimson Website: http://www.crimsonromance.com/upcoming-releases-romance-ebook/breaking-the-rules/
About Melinda: Melinda Dozier lives in Guatemala, Central America, with her husband, three boys and German Shepherd. She enjoys being the queen of her household and dreams of being pampered fully by her boys once they’re grown. Learn more about her at www.melindadozier.com.