Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?
Never Date a Doctor is a steamy medical romance where Sasha, a nurse going to school at night to become a nurse practitioner, does her best not to fall for the hot new British doctor in her unit, Cal. He’s got his own issues, plus there’s the whole forbidden workplace romance aspect. It’s the first book in a series where each book can be read as a standalone.
Have you ever had a minor character evolve into a major one? Did that change the direction of the novel at all?
The first series I wrote started with one main love interest. I introduced another male character that was just supposed to inject a little tension, but he pretty much took over the series after that, in an apparent traditional romance novel no-no. So it’s a good thing I’m self-published because he’s a reader favorite!
What factors influenced your decision to self-publish your book(s)?
I looked into traditional publishing and was surprised to learn that you still have to pretty much do or pay for all your own marketing regardless. Being confident in my writing and business skills, I didn’t feel like I really needed to hand over most of my royalties for things I could do myself. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t ever go traditional, but I also believe it’s really good to try things on your own, so at least you know what you’re paying someone else for if you decide to go that route.
What is your writing process? Do you listen to music or do you like silence?
For the most part, I need silence. As much as I can get with a five-year-old in the house, anyway. I spend a lot of introspective time thinking about how characters would respond to what’s happened thus far, which is hard to do with noise. The actual writing can be done with some background noise, but nothing too distracting. I’m in awe of people who can write with music or in public. I’d probably get so much more writing done if I could!
Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you?
I do go in with a plan, but the wonderful and maddening thing about creating dimensional characters is that sometimes they take you unexpected places. So I often have to have a loose outline of the major things I want to happen, then attempt to steer the characters there. Attempting to plan the nitty-gritty doesn’t leave room for anticipating how a character would really react to something, and I never want to force a plot at the expense of authentic emotion.
Did you hire an editor to review your manuscript before publishing?
Absolutely. Though I’m extremely lucky that my best friend of more than twenty years is a professional editor. Even if she wasn’t, though, editing is the one thing no author should ever do completely by themselves. You just don’t know what you don’t know, and once you’ve re-read your own book a dozen times you just don’t see errors that you otherwise would normally. I also have my beta and ARC readers point anything out that they find. The more pairs of eyes the better!
Besides Amazon, are there any other sites where your books are for sale?
My first book, The Safeguarded Heart, is permafree on eBook on all major retailers (check it out at books2read.com/TheSafeguardedHeart). The rest of my catalog is available in eBook exclusively on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited. All of my books are available in paperback at both Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book?
A bit, though I’m the kind of person that can’t write all the time. I tend to do big chunks every so often rather than slow and steady. So fitting marketing and all the other author-business stuff between works out pretty well, for the most part.
Some fun facts about you, which do you prefer – dogs or cats? Chocolate or vanilla? Coffee or Tea? Talk or Text? Day or Night?
Cats (though I love all animals), chocolate (but I won’t turn down almost anything sweet), neither (sorry! How about cocoa?), text (introvert here!), and day (though I used to be a night person pre-kid).
What’s next for you?
More books! There are two more planned in the Life Lessons Series just this year, then a holiday-themed novel at the end of the year. But I’m really digging the Life Lessons Series because they’re each standalones and, though all are medical romance, I’m changing each up to hit different tropes and themes. So I’ll definitely be picking it up again next year for more installments!
Never Date a Doctor
Melanie A. Smith
Publication date: February 25th 2020
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
From best-selling author Melanie A. Smith comes the first book in a new series of steamy contemporary medical romance standalone novels about life lessons that break all the rules.
What’s the first rule of nurse’s club? That’s right: Never date a doctor. Which Sasha Suvorin has no intention of doing anyway, since she’s a nurse at Rutherford Hospital by day and working on her master’s degree by night. Who has time for dating, much less dating someone you work with? Bad idea much?
That is, until the sexy British Dr. Caleb Thompson starts at her hospital. It also doesn’t help that he’s exactly her type with his dark hair, blue eyes, and rockin’ bod. Or that he’s not your typical arrogant and bossy surgeon. But Sasha isn’t so easily convinced, and she soon discovers Dr. Hottie has a past that puts a stop to whatever she might have been feeling before anything ever starts between them.
Unfortunately, working together means facing temptation. Every. Single. Day. Is Sasha strong enough to resist what might just be the perfect man? And if she gives in, will Cal’s past stay in the past? Sasha may be used to playing it safe, but life has a way of teaching its lessons … one way or another.
Melanie A. Smith is the best-selling author of The Safeguarded Heart Series and other contemporary romance fiction. Originally from upstate New York, she spent most of her childhood in the San Francisco Bay Area before moving to Los Angeles for college.
After that, she spent almost fifteen years in the Seattle Area, and now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area of Texas with her family.
A voracious reader and lifelong writer, Melanie’s writing began at a young age with short stories and poetry. Having completed a bachelor of science in electrical engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles, and a master’s in business administration at the University of Washington, her writing abilities were mainly utilized for technical documents as a lead engineer for the Boeing Company, where she worked for ten years.
After shifting careers to domestic engineering and property management in 2015, she eventually found a balance where she was able to return to writing fiction.
Melanie is also a Mensan and enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, and driving with the windows down and the stereo cranked up loud.
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