I'm so excited to share with you Melissa Kay Clarke. She's a new author who is fabulous. Let's get right to it. Hello and welcome to my blog. I’m so excited to have you here today. I know that the readers are looking forward to learning more about you. Please tell us a little about yourself.
I was born and raised in Mississippi and except for a short time in the late 1990's, have lived my entire life here. I am the oldest of four children with my brothers, Barry and Kevin next then the baby, Jana. We lost our parents in 2015 to Cancer I attended Mississippi State University where I met my future husband, Robert, when he was hired by my then boyfriend to tutor me in a class. We were married a year later.
Writing has always been a dream of mine, but one that I didn't embrace fully until 2013. It took loosing a very good friend, Robin, before settling down to write. My first novel was self published in 2013 and was followed by 2 more in 2014. Though I feel it is one of the highlights of my life, the day we adopted our daughter, Rebecca will always be the pinnacle of my accomplishments. She really is our little gift from God.
Family is important to me too. Like you, I didn't get into writing really until later. Now onto some fun questions!
If you could change one thing about our world, what would it be and why?
I would love to see selfishness obliterated from this world. I know it's not something that is possible, but I hope to see it much reduced in the future. Every time I think of the senseless violence and the wake of destruction left behind because of selfish people, my heart aches. We deserve better and our children deserve much more. Every bad thing that has happened to humanity can be traced back to one or more selfish acts.
If you knew the exact date of your death down to the minute, what would you change about your life starting tomorrow?
Spend more time with my family and try to see more of this wondrous world. Most of all, I would try to not leave behind a single regret and know that I always did my best to be the person that people will remember for the good I've done and not for the stupid mistakes I've made.
When was the last time you felt alive? I mean really alive!
Standing on the top deck of a cruise ship with the wind blowing so hard I could barely stand. The sky was filled with beautiful oranges and reds as the sun slipped towards the horizon. I will remember that moment for the rest of my life.
When was the last time you helped someone that was desperately in need? What did you do? Was this person grateful?
It wasn't the last time, but one that really stands out to me was several years ago. My friend, Robin, had a son was a brand new father. She wanted to go see him and the baby but was unable to because of financial difficulties at the time. I organized a group together and was able to purchase a round trip airline ticket for her. It couldn't have happened without everyone helping out, but it was the moment when I could be proud of what we as a group could accomplish together. Sadly, Robin passed away not too long after that, but at least she got to see her first grandchild and spend some time together.
What television sitcom is most like your family? Why?
The Last Man Standing - Mike Baxter is a lot like my husband, opinionated, stubborn, intelligent but also very supportive, nurturing and protective of his family. I can relate to Vanessa with her concerns about following her career choice vs following her heart. She chose to be a teacher instead of working with her geology degree. I have a degree in Business Information Systems but much rather be an author full time. Our daughter, Rebecca, has all the characteristics of the Baxter girls - she is smart and opinionated like Kristin, sarcastic and stubborn like Eve and has a wicked flare for fashion and being pretty like Mandy.
What’s your favorite thing to do to relax?
I love spending time with my family and online friends.
Let’s find out a little bit about you as an author.
Did you always want to be an author?
I learned to read by the time I was 5 and would devour everything I could get my fingers on from cereal boxes to magazines to any novel I could find. I always loved how authors could create people and places in your head and wanted to have that magic as well. I've written lots of short stories, some poems and even started a couple of novels over my lifetime but only became serious with it in 2013.
What authors had an impact on you growing up and as an adult?
I love all books, but discovering Piers Anthony in high school became a huge impact on my choices in literature. To this day, I still have stacks of his books. I've devoured everything I could find including Xanth series, Adepts, and Incarnations of Immortality to Letters To Jenny and Bio of a Space Orge. I've also enjoyed Melanie Rawn, Anne McCaffrey, Steven R. Donaldson, Terry Brooks, David Eddings, C.S. Lewis and a host of other fantasy writers.
Piers is one of my must haves. I loved his Incarnations of Immortality series. Do you have any “must haves” with you while you’re writing?
Just my computer and my music.
What have you learned the most from being in the writing business?
Patience is a virtue and even when you are 100% sure that you are ready to submit a book, it's still not quite ready. At those times, you have to say, "Enough". Otherwise, you will keep tweaking it and it will never be really finished.
Tell us about your latest release:
One woman, one man, one Legacy, one chance to save them all.
Something malevolent stalks the world spreading chaos and discord, targeting those individuals who are destined to provide a great service to humanity. Most are not aware of their sinister plots, but one is.
To the casual observer, Scarlet is only a bicycle courier, however, she is so much more. When the shadows lengthen and evil walks, she is judge and jury, exacting justice. Perhaps some may call it an honor but she calls it a curse because she can't have a family or friends and can't relinquish it until the day she dies. With no help, she muddles through best she can, hoping to make a difference at the price of her own happiness.
Gage Williams, Senior Detective, is searching for a mysterious vigilante who leaves behind a sea of destruction and a grateful public. When all the evidence points to Scarlet, he has to weigh it against his own heart. Is it possible the woman that has captured his attention is the one they are searching for?
When the Legacy calls, Scarlet must answer.
Even if it costs her everything.
Reclamation: Book One of The Legacy Reborn - Coming November 26,2016
Preorder: Amazon Kobo
How did you decide on your story plot?
I was listening to a talk show on the way to work one morning and they were discussing the plot of a television program where the killer had all the faces and names of his victims tattooed on his body. I got to thinking, what if the opposite happened and instead someone got the names of people who they had saved tattooed onto their body. That morphed into Scarlet and The Legacy.
How did you choose your characters names and location for your story?
I never said exactly where my locations are in this book, but they have a striking resemblance to the Meridian, Mississippi area. I always wanted to have a character named Scarlet. It's a strong name and reminds me of someone full of fire and righteousness. As for Gage, I took a poll with several friends and that is the name they chose.
Do you have a favorite scene? Why?
That moment when Scarlet realizes that she has been wrong all these years and not only is it possible to have an intimate relationship, it actually strengthens her. It's almost like a V-8 moment. She slaps herself in the head and says, "Oh, you mean I could have had this all along?" It's a humanity moment.
Do you have a character that you identify with? Who and why?
As strange as it seems, I can identify with the Sitrians fairly well to a point. It's extremely easy to be caught up in the promises and lures of getting everything you wanted. I think, as humans, we are naturally drawn to those things that tempt and persuade us. Those that can overcome that temptation and continue to do what is right and avoid our own selfish pursuits are the heroes of this world.
Let our readers know how they can get a hold of you…
Is there anything else that you want to share… feel free!!
I've been asked a few times how do I write a book. I tell them it's different for everyone. Some people make elaborate outlines and storyboards. For me, it's just sitting down, putting on my music and typing. Think about where your mind is and who it sees. Put those visions down on the screen. Don't worry about if people will like it or not. All that matters is that you like it. Writing is just a lot of letters placed on a page and arranged in a fashion to express your own soul. There is no wrong or right as long as you are true to yourself.
Thank you for stopping by! I hope people pick up this book and check out your work!
Musings from Michigan