Author Q&A With Melanie K. Moschella

Author Q&A With Melanie K. Moschella

Melanie is an escapist reader and writer living in the beautiful White Mountains of New Hampshire. Her two true passions are parenting and writing—both of which require stamina and creativity, but only one of which allows her to sit down. Despite Melanie’s overpriced English degree from an overrated university, she attributes her debut work, The Raek Riders Series, to the isolation of new motherhood—after all, what could make a person crave adventure and romance more than dirty diapers? Meet Melanie: 

You are an author, but is it your day job? I’m an author and a mom! My husband and I don’t have childcare, so we split time with our two year old daughter every day. It’s a lot—both working and parenting full time—but we’re surviving so far.

Did you always want to be an author? I never thought I would be an author. I always knew I was creative and a relatively good writer, but for a long time, I had too much self-doubt to actually pursue writing anything. It wasn’t until I became a mom and cared more about setting a good example for my daughter that I ever considered sitting down and writing out one of my daydreams. But then I did it, and it was amazing! I had finally found a career I could be truly passionate about. I haven’t been able to stop writing and planning ever since, even when I try.

What is your most recent book and what inspired you to write it? My debut series, The Raek Riders Series, comes out March 19th! It’s a five-book Fantasy Romance series. The first book, Iron-Bound Flames, centers around the main character, Meera, who makes a string of impulsive—potentially lethal—decisions. She’s motivated by her loneliness and isolation, and it was those same feelings that inspired me to start writing when I was a new mom during the pandemic.

How do you hope your book uplifts those who read it? When readers finish my series, I hope they are left with a sense of, well—hope. My characters overcome a myriad of struggles and experience immense personal growth. I want readers to feel inspired to make progress in their own journeys and to keep the series’ central message in mind: to choose love, acceptance, and forgiveness over hate and judgment.

How did writing a book help your career take off? My career hasn’t taken off just yet, but completing my series has given me something to be proud of. I have never accomplished anything like this before, and now that I know what I’m capable of, I’m sure I’ll keep writing and channeling my creativity into something others will hopefully enjoy. I already have a few fans that have been really kind and supportive, and their love for my series makes all the work I put into it feel worthwhile.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to succeed in your professional industry? Do what you want to do, and don’t take anyone’s advice! I haven’t taken any of the advice I read online for beginner authors, and I have no regrets.

How do you handle setbacks and criticism? Getting my first couple of bad reviews was really hard. All authors get them because every reader has their own tastes and opinions, but knowing that didn’t make the criticism any easier to take. Instead, I reminded myself why I started writing to begin with: my daughter. I wrote this series to make my daughter proud and show her that she can accomplish anything, not for the approval of strangers. My daughter will always be my true purpose. She makes me invincible.

Being an author today is like running a business. How do you manage all your publicity, social media and keep your engagement up with readers? It’s so hard to find time for everything! I keep a lot of lists—like, an obsessive amount of lists in order to stay organized. I also let things go when I feel like the amount of time they take doesn’t amount to much. When I first joined Instagram, I felt obliged to make reels, but the time it took to make them just didn’t translate into engagement, so I let that go. Now I primarily post staged pictures of my books and graphics I make on Canva—both of which I enjoy producing more than videos.

How do you hold yourself accountable and achieve the goals that you set forth? Anxiety … Seriously, though! I tend to have a lot of anxiety and feel like I need to be productive all the time. The goals I set for myself tend to be unreasonable, and I still kill myself to not just meet them but beat them. If anything, I have a hard time giving myself a break or a day off.

How do you structure your day and make time for writing? My day is always structured around my daughter and when my husband is able to take her so that I can get things done. Some days I prioritize writing, and other days I prioritize exercise and chores. But whatever it is I’m hoping to accomplish, I do in the morning. I’m a morning person, and my attention span and energy deteriorates throughout the day.

What do you find most fulfilling in the career that you’ve chosen? I love having an outlet for my creativity and capabilities and the sheer satisfaction of producing something. Watching my word count climb is a simple pleasure in my often hectic and overwhelming life. The laundry will never be all the way done or the house all the way clean, but I can complete a page, then a chapter, then a book, and that sense of accomplishment is everything.

Connect with Melanie and learn more about her and her books via her website.

Images Courtesy of Smith Publicity, Inc. 

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