Author Spotlight - Rochelle Melander's Write-A-Thon
K.S. Hello and welcome to the blog. I am very excited to have you here. Why don’t we start off with a small introduction? Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m a certified professional coach, author, editor and speaker. I’ve done this full time since 2001. I’m married to a writer, and we have two children. When I am not writing, I love to read, exercise, and hang out with friends. In the winter, when I cannot be outside, I spend a lot of time beading and crocheting.
K.S. Any interesting writing quirks or stories you would like to share with my readers?
I like to write in the morning, after I exercise and eat breakfast. Even though I know I can also write at different times of day, I’m a bit superstitious about my morning time. If I do not write in the morning, I am afraid I will never get it in.
K.S. When did you realize you wanted to be a writer? What sparked the desire to pen your first novel?
I have been writing since I was a kid, but it took years for me to have the confidence to pursue writing as a career. I did some freelance writing in graduate school, but it was not until I was working in my first job that I realized I wanted to do this full time. Since then, I have written and published 10 nonfiction books. I have also written a memoir, three children’s novels, several picture books, and half of a mystery novel. As a big reader of fiction, I have always been interested in writing one.
K.S. What genre do you write?
Writing Reference/Non Fiction
K.S. What would you say has inspired you most in your writing career? Or, who is your favorite author and why?
My favorite author and inspiration is Madeleine L’Engle. I discovered A Wrinkle in Time when I was seven, and it opened up the world to me. I have reread that book more times than I can count. In my 20s, when I was trying to figure out how to make writing work as a career, I rediscovered L’Engle and her interesting mix of books—both fiction for children and nonfiction for adults. She became my role model because I admired her ability to cross genres. I was fortunate to meet her several times and even take a writing workshop with her.
Today, my main inspiration is the children I teach in the inner city. Every time I work with them, I learn something about how to better communicate. The children are so excited by reading and writing. After I have spent time with them, I am aware of what a wonderful job I have—reading and writing all day!
K.S. What does your family think of your writing?
My family is very supportive. My husband is also a writer, and we have written several books together. He is a great source of encouragement for me. Both of my kids are proud of what I do. And both have allowed me to come to their schools and teach writing in their classrooms. My daughter has even started designing book covers for my current works-in-process!
K.S. What was one of the most surprising things you learned while creating your book/s?
Write-A-Thon was written very fast during National Novel Writing Month in 2009. After it was accepted, I needed to write 25,000 additional words very quickly and revise the whole book. I could not clear my schedule for the project—so I knew I would have to write in the midst of doing everything else, including other writing projects. I was surprised and delighted to find out that I could (and did) write at any time of the day. Because I was writing about something I was passionate about, I always felt engaged when I was writing. That made the process a lot of fun!
K.S. What inspires you?
I find inspiration in lots of places—books, music, plays, concerts, and in ordinary conversations with friends. I think Julia Cameron offered amazing advice when she encouraged people to take an artist’s date once a week. Anytime I can get out of the house and do something inspiring—walk in nature, visit a museum, spend time in a bookstore or art store—I am inspired to write.
K.S. Can you tell us a little about any of your books?
Write-A-Thon provides the blueprint for people to write a book in less than a month! Write-A-Thon contains three sections: Training, Write-A-Thon, and Recovery. Each section utilizes introductions, brief valuable essays filled with practical tools, and just enough encouragement for the writer to press on and finish what may very well be the challenge of their life (or simply the challenge of the month). Perfect for accomplished authors or those who simply write, Write-A-Thon provides the complete guidebook for brainstorming, writing, and finishing that novel or nonfiction book (preferably with all sanity intact)!
K.S. Where can we buy your book?
R.M. on Amazon.com – here’s the link
K.S. Do you have a website, fan site, or Blog that we can visit?
K.S. Do you have any closing advice to aspiring writers?
Follow your passion. Yes, you can write about just about anything to build your portfolio. There is nothing wrong with that. But, as soon as you can, forget about trends and all that and spend time writing something you care deeply about. In my experience, success comes to those who follow their curiosities and passions.