“Hi! My real name is Melanie Noto, and I live in Byram, MS. I’ve been writing for almost twenty years.”
Tell us a little about yourself :
Melanie Atkins a multi-published author of romantic suspense, a fan of crime dramas, and an avid reader. Writing is more than an escape for her — it’s a way of life. She grew up in the Deep South listening to tall tales and penning stories about her cats. Now she writes gripping stories of love, suspense, and mystery with the help of her furry little feline muses.
When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve written since I was a child, but stopped after high school when life got in the way. I began writing again twenty-plus later but never did anything with my first, second, or third books—the books I wrote to learn how to write a book. They are under my bed gathering dust, and there they will stay. I sold my fourth book, plus eleven more, to a publisher that has since gone out of business, then found a couple of new ones… and just kept writing.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
After I wrote my first book.
Do you have a mentor or writing group? How does that impact your work?
I’ve had several mentors over the years and have attended various writing groups. I do believe that communing with other writers helps my work and expands my consciousness, so I continue to attend the groups as time allows. I also attend writing conferences when I can, because I never want to stop learning.
What book or are you reading now?
Mississippi Blood by Greg Isles. Love it!
How do you help new writers?
One of my mentors once told me that “writing is best fostered in community”, and I take this to heart. I’ve started a fledgling writers’ group in my hometown to encourage new writers and give them a place meet others who share their passion.
What are your current projects?
I’m currently working on a single title main stream suspense targeted at a major NY publisher. Once I finish it and submit, I will dive into Proving His Love, book six of my Bayou Bounty Hunters series for Desert Breeze Publishing.
Do you see writing as a career?
Writing—and editing—is my career. I’ve published 25 romantic suspense novels and novellas, and I edit on the side.
Novels, term papers, short stories, letters, just anything. I call myself the “edit ninja”.
Who are some of your favorite authors? What really strikes you about their work?
Lisa Gardner, John Sandford, Linda Castillo, Karen Rose, Greg Isles, Tami Hoag, Sandra Brown, Steven King, Harlan Coben, Linda Howard, and Linda Fairstein are my auto-buy authors. They write edge-off-your-seat suspense that keeps me turning pages.
Who designed your covers?
Most of my covers are designed by Jenifer Reneiri, the marketing director from Desert Breeze Publishing. A few were done by other artists from that same company, but the covers for the back list books I put up myself were done by Syn.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Just write… and keep writing. Write every day. All writing is good writing—and the more you write, the better you’ll get.