Monday, 14 February 2011

Author Spotlight week -Q&A with Melanie Atkins

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?


  1. I usually don't read this type of genre, but I must say your excerpt makes me want to read more on this person. Thank you for the excerpt.


  2. I was attracted to this book because of the cover and the New Orleans setting. I wasn't disappointed in the read. It was a wonderful story and I plan to go back and read the rest of the series. Congrats on a great book!

    And I agree about Amy Atwell- she's a great writer and a doll!

  3. The cover is excellent, but then all your covers have been great!

    Great interview!

  4. 6 weeks to write your book! That's really good. Congrats on the new release!

    I read Amy's book and loved it too.

  5. I know this will be another in a line of successful novels. You amaze me with your productivity. I think you should give a workshop on how not to procrastinate.

  6. I have to second Sylvia's request!
    the title should be "How to Write a Novel in Six Weeks"!!!
    I'll be downloading this to my reader-- as soon as I get the thing working again! Oy!

  7. Thanks everyone for popping in, I've read 2 books of the series and I'm currently working on Beloved Captive and I have to tell you, Melanie gets you from the first page and doesn't let go.

    Her covers are drop dead gorgeous. I love them. They capture the mood and tone of the series well.

    As for 6 weeks, that's amazing. For me, it takes close to 3 months. I'm not complaining. LOL!!

    It's great to have Melanie here today! Thanks to everyone for popping in and leaving a message.

    Moderator Steph

  8. Melanie, I'm so impressed with your writing 'area' and can just visualize you in that chair. You are prolific! Your series sounds good. Congratulations!