May 7, 2010

Spotlight On...Melanie Atkins

Today I'd like you to help me welcome fellow romantic suspense author and friend, Melanie Atkins, to my blog. Welcome Melanie, can you tell us a little about yourself?

I'm a multi-published author of romantic suspense, I love crime dramas, and I love to read. Writing is more than an escape for me—it’s what I do. I grew up in the Deep South listening to my relatives spin tall tales, and some of it must have rubbed off.

Tell us about CHOSEN TARGET and where it’s available.

CHOSEN TARGET is the third book in my New Orleans Detective series, which is available from Desert Breeze Publishing. It follows CHERISHED WITNESS and PRIME SUSPECT.

In CHOSEN TARGET, Jadan Calloway’s latest night out on the town ends in the death of the man who charmed her off her feet. Now the people who killed Kent are after her, and the only man who can save her is Cole McAlister, the rugged, willful detective who believes she is behind his brother’s death. Together they become wrapped up in a web of terrorism and intrigue—and they fall in love.

How did you start writing?

I've written since I was a kid writing stories about my cats. Life got in the way after college, but later I took it up again. I finally got serious about publication in 2001.

How many books have you published? In what order should we read your books?

I can't really say, because a good many came out with a now-defunct publisher, their rights reverted back to me, and now I'm trying to get them back out there. I currently have three books out with Desert Breeze (with five more on the way), five out with Cobblestone Press, and one with The Wild Rose Press.

How does your family feel about your career?

They are very supportive.

What is the most interesting comment you’ve ever received on one of your books?
That SKELETON BAYOU, the book that's out in both e-book and print format from The Wild Rose Press, kept one of my old friends up until two a.m. one night—and then she couldn’t go to sleep because I'd scared her to death. WIN!

Who are your favorite authors and books? What are you reading now?

Right now I'm reading The Help by Kathryn Stockett, but I usually read romantic suspense and thrillers. Some of my favorite authors are Lisa Gardner, Tami Hoag, Karen Rose, Tess Gerritsen, John Sandford, Linda Howard, and Greg Isles.

Do you ever become attached to your characters and have a hard time letting them go?

All the time. I get so far inside my characters' heads, I don't want the books to end.

How do you approach your writing, are you a plotter or a pantser?

Usually I'm a pantser, but on my current WIP, a gritty, complicated single title suspense, I'm having to plot using a spreadsheet. It's the only way I can keep up with everything.

What’s next for you?

Trying to sell my single titles. I'd loved to be published by NY, and that is my main goal right now.

Where can we find you on the web?

Shades of Suspense blog:
Murder, Mayhem & More blog:

Is there anything you’d like to ask your readers?

Yes: How did you hear about my books?

Thanks, Melanie, it's been great chatting with you.


Sloane Taylor said...

Excellent interview, Melanie. I love your New Orleans Detective series and have to buy CHOSEN TARGET to keep my set up to date.:)

Melanie said...

Thanks, Sloane! I'm very excited about this book.

Karen Michelle Nutt said...

Enjoyed the interview. New Orleans Dectectives-- sounds like a intriguing series.