STEPH: I don't know much about Unwilling Accomplice. What's it about?
MELANIE: Unwilling Accomplice is the fifth book in my New Orleans Detective series. In this book, Marcy Moretti believes that anyone can be redeemed, until she witnesses a murder at the hands of her ex-husband and is forced to go on the run with her young son in order to survive. The only person who can help her is Joe Riso, her former brother-in-law, a detective staggered by the loss of his wife and daughter. If he's going to protect both Marcy and her boy, he must first find a way to unfreeze his icy heart -- and along the way find his own redemption.
STEPH: Where did the inspiration come from?
MELANIE: Joe Riso. I introduced his character in Beloved Captive, the book before this one, and he just took on a life of his own.
STEPH: How long did it take you to write?
MELANIE: About six weeks, give or take a day or two.
STEPH: What's your writing space like?
MELANIE: Much neater and more organized than it used to be! I write in a corner of my room in a recliner with my laptop and a cat on my lap. It’s cozy and used to be quite cluttered with notes and such, but I went on a rampage not long ago and organized them all. I’m much more at ease now.
STEPH: If you could cast the movie, who would play the leads?
MELANIE: Gerard Butler and Jennifer Lopez. In a perfect world.
STEPH: Tell us a little about the place you live in.
MELANIE: I live smack in the middle of the Deep South in Mississippi’s newest city—Byram, a town with a lapsed charter thanks to the Depression. We fought the capitol city of Jackson for years in our quest for sovereignty and finally became a city again on June 30, 2009. Wahoo! Byram is a small but growing city, with small town values. I like that.
STEPH: Do you have an ebook reader? Which one?
MELANIE: I have a Nook, and I love it. It takes almost any format, has adjustable fonts, and the screen isn’t backlit, so it doesn’t hurt my eyes.
STEPH: How long have you been writing?
MELANIE: I’ve been writing all my life, but got serious about it and started my quest for publication in 2001.
STEPH: What's the latest book you read?
MELANIE: Lying Eyes by Amy Atwell, a romantic suspense from Carina Press. It’s a great book! I highly recommend it.
STEPH:Fun question: Which country would you like to visit that you haven't yet?
MELANIE: Italy. My dad was stationed there during WWII, and I’ve always wanted to see the places he told me about. One day, I hope to make that trip as part of a Mediterranean cruise. Why not shoot for the best trip out there?