Interview: Historical Romance Author Melissa Maygrove

Hey, gang! Absolutely thrilled to share an interview I did recently with one of THE coolest writers on the block. Melissa Maygrove recently self-published her first book, Come Back. It's historical romance, and I was privileged to be able to beta read for M.

I say privileged, because Melissa is truly a wonderful writer, and she got me invested in a genre of story I normally wouldn't touch with a Texas-sized pole! 

How did she do it? How did she navigate the choppy indie waters on her own? Does she have tips for anyone else considering the plunge? Let's find out!

Interview: Come Back Author, Melissa Maygrove


EJ: We're about a month into the release of Come Back. This was your first publication, which you handled yourself. What are two things you wished you'd done differently going in? Two things you did right?

MM: I gave a detailed list in a guest post titled Woulda Shoulda Coulda, so I'll choose my top two glad-I-did's and regrets. First, the regrets.

I wish I...

Would have searched for stock images sooner. That was far more time consuming than I thought it would be--especially for a historical.

Would have learned more about the publishing industry sooner. I managed to find my way, but some of it was dumb luck.

I'm glad I... 

Hired out the graphics and formatting. It cost me a couple of extra shifts at work, but it was soooo worth it. 

Took time to learn the craft before putting my work out there. We can't and won't please everyone, but we don't get a second chance to make a first impression.

EJ: You sold me on Come Back as a beta reader, and I'm not remotely your target audience. (It being Historical Romance, and me being the reader of all things NOT Historical Romance.) What's the secret ingredient to telling an accessible story that will appeal to fans across genres?

MM: I'm not really sure, but betas have told me that about all three MSs (Come Back is my third). I guess it's because at the heart of the story are people wanting to be loved and accepted, and them struggling to find safety and happiness. That's something we all can relate to. 

EJ: I know you labored over which publishing path best suited you for a while. Was self-publishing everything you thought it would be? What would you say to another writer trying to make a similar decision?

MM: Re: publishing path... Yes, I did. Though, when I was honest with myself, I knew deep down indie was the way for me.

Was it everything I thought it would be? For the most part, yes. Some things were more difficult than I'd anticipated, but others were easier.

My advice to other writers: Spend plenty of time in the writing world before you even THINK about making a decision. Don't be in a hurry to self-publish and don't be in a rush to query either. Be a fly on the wall and watch and listen. Get your work critiqued by writers who are more experienced than you, then don your rhino skin and LISTEN to what they have to say. Be open and teachable. Keep learning and practicing until you're sure you're ready.

It doesn't matter which publishing path you choose if you jump the gun and put an inferior product out there. Rejection hurts, no matter whether it comes from publishers or readers.

EJ: Like many of us, I know you want to tell many different types of stories. (Paranormal, historical, etc.) However, I saw on your blog that you're committing to writing more in the historical romance genre to meet fan expectations. How important do you think establishing a brand or identity is to a beginning author trying to grow and maintain a fan base, and would you view it differently if you hadn't had as much initial success?

MM: The quick and unexpected success of Come Back had a big impact on my choice of genre for the next book. As I said in the post you mentioned, I'd been so busy with all the tasks of editing and publishing, I hadn't given enough thought to how the genre of my debut would brand me. 

Had my debut fizzled like a firework dud, I doubt it would matter what I wrote next. As it is, I have fans begging me for another book. So, yes, I would advise authors to consider carefully what genre they choose for their debut.

EJ: As always, here are the most important questions: Where do we find out more about you and get our hands on Come Back?

ABOUT COME BACK

Sometimes a single choice alters the course of a person's life forever.


Left behind by everyone she loves...
Rebecca Garvey had the promise of a California future dreams are made of, until the wagon train her family was traveling with left her behind. Now she’s slowly dying in the wilderness, abandoned and stripped of her self-worth. Once the shock of her desertion turns to embittered despair, she doesn’t want to be found. Then a handsome stranger challenges her convictions and changes her mind. 

Headed for Texas, chased by the demons of his past...
Seth Emerson knows exactly what he wants. Working to save for a cattle ranch of his own keeps him busy and keeps his pain buried. Rescuing a stubborn woman from the hills of New Mexico Territory isn’t part of his plan—but she’s exactly what he needs. 

Making greater sacrifices than either of them could foresee...
Seth and Rebecca set off on a risky journey and a quest for truth, each healing the other’s love-starved soul along the way. Will they give in to their growing attraction? Or will they honor their commitments when Seth returns Rebecca to civilization... and her betrothed?


Where to buy Come Back:

Amazon / Kindle / Barnes & Noble / Nook / Kobo 

Come Back on Goodreads.




ABOUT MELISSA


Native Texan Melissa Maygrove is a wife, mother, nurse, freelance editor, and romance writer. When she's not busy caring for her tiny nursery patients or shuttling teenagers back and forth to after-school activities, she's hunched over her laptop, complicating the lives of her imaginary friends and playing matchmaker. Melissa loves books with unpretentious characters and unforgettable romance, and she strives to create those same kinds of stories for her readers.

Where to find Melissa:

Website / Blog / Twitter @MelissaMaygrove / Facebook / Google+/ Goodreads

For autographs, I use Authorgraph.

21 comments:

  1. So happy to hear about your success, Melissa! Having fans begging for another book is a sure sign you hit this one out of the park. Can't wait to read it for myself.

    Hi, EJ! :)

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    1. Thanks, Julie.
      It was a combination of hard work and the perfect storm. ;)

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  2. Great interview! I'm chuffed that you've had such awesome success already. There's nothing wrong with continuing down the historical romance route, but I think people are willing to take a chance on a different genre for an author they love. Look how much EJ loved your book for an avowedly non-historical romance inclined reader! Either way, I'm sure you'll have many more hits to come. :)

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    1. I agree, Nick. Melissa is doing all of the right things. Once she has her fan base established, they'll read whatever she puts out.

      On the first read of your comment, when you said, "chuffed" I thought you meant annoyed! I was, like, "Well, Nick is certainly being honest today." LOL I'm guessing it's another way of saying you're "excited"?

      Great seeing your face over here, and hope you're doing well.

      ~EJ

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    2. Maybe he meant chortled. LOL

      Thanks, Nick. I hope you're right... ;)

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  3. I'm really looking forward to reading this novel. I'm thrilled that Melissa is having such great success!

    Terrific interview!

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  4. Doing almost everything yourself is quite a feat. Here's a well-deserved pat on the back.

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  5. Excellent interview, Melissa and EJ!

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  6. Awesome interview and book trailer. Good luck Melissa.

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  7. Great interview. I agree with Melissa that it's definitely worth taking time to decide on the publishing path one needs to take. It's really a big decision, and often we rush into it without the necessary amount of thought.

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  8. I enjoyed the interview and and glad to see that things are going so well with this publication. I hope things continue to blossom and grow and prosper for you :-)

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    1. Thank you, Angela. Same to you. :)

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  9. Great interview! It says something that E.J. is a convert. I just read my first ever historical romance. I added Come Back to my TBR Goodreads list. I wish Melissa great success!! And congrats on Come Back's rave reviews!

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    1. Thanks, Robyn!

      Yes. E.J. got brownie points for just finishing it. LOL

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  10. Wonderful interview! I definitely agree with being a fly on the wall.

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“Much unhappiness has come into the world because of bewilderment and things left unsaid.” ― Fyodor Dostoyevsky