Monday, 27 February 2012
Author Spotlight - Q&A With Melanie Atkins
STEPH: I don't know much about "Quest for Justice." What's it about?
MELANIE: In this story, Detective Abby Ryals goes behind the sheriff's back to accept an undercover assignment with another agency to avenge fellow detective C.J. Bowman's death, and is stunned to learn he's very much alive when he leaves witness protection and follows her undercover to help keep her safe. Together, they must race the clock to defeat a notorious drug lord before he can discover their true identities.
STEPH: "Quest for Justice" is in the Keller County Cop Series. Can you give us an overview of the series? Where is it set? The time frame?
MELANIE: This contemporary romantic suspense series set in the fictional town of Hunter's Bayou on the Mississippi Gulf Coast features the tough, handsome men who work for the Keller County Sheriff's office. Can you say hot heroes?
STEPH: How long did it take you to write?
MELANIE: Took me months to write this book. I got stuck at one point and put it down. They usually go much faster for me. Everything came together at the end, though, and I'm very happy with the way the story turned out.
STEPH: What was the inspiration for this story?
MELANIE: I read about a drug bust in the paper, and that kicked things off. I admire law enforcement and appreciate the job they do to help us stay safe.
STEPH: Abby is the heroine. What are her strengths? Weaknesses?
MELANIE: Abby is a cop herself. She's smart, resourceful, and brave. I'd say her weakness, however, is C.J. Bowman. She'll do anything for him... including risking her life and going undercover to avenge his death.
STEPH: What does CJ find attractive about Abby?
MELANIE: Even with her gritty determination and kick ass attitude on the job, she's still all woman. He appreciates that.
STEPH: How did you come up with the title, "Quest for Justice?"
MELANIE: That's what Abby and C.J. are after: justice. Makes sense, right?
STEPH: What's your writing space like?
MELANIE: It's a mess! I write jammed in the corner of my bedroom in a recliner with a laptop on my lap. Works for me, though. It's comfortable.
STEPH: How important is setting to the story?
MELANIE: Extremely important. The setting helps set the mood, and that grounds the reader to the tone and flow of the story. I love using sultry Southern settings.
STEPH: How do you celebrate St. Patrick's Day?
MELANIE: By going to a parade! We have the fabulous Mal's St. Paddy's Day Parade here in Jackson, MS every year, and it draws crowds of 30-40,000 people. It's amazing! And so much fun. It's like a Mardi Gras parade.