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Oh, you guys are in luck, two giveaways at once! Welcome to Melissa Schroeder!
Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

Of course as soon as I hit ‘send’ on my post, Melissa sent me her stuff, so we have TWO giveaways today…Melissa Schroeder’s here and mine below. Woo Hoo!

Melissa is a lovely lady that I recently met through Samhain (We both are lucky enough to have Laurie Rauch as our editor.) I’m very happy to welcome her here today. Melissa has generously offered to give away one copy of HER MOTHER’S KILLER to one comenter on her post–Stepping Out of the Comfort Zone.


Stepping Out of the Comfort Zone by Melissa Schroeder

As some of my readers know, I have recently started writing a new series that is in a new genre for me. It came about after some hard thinking on what to send to my agent next. Granted, I took her advice on what was looking good in the marketโ€”which unfortunately doesn’t include action adventure futuristics which I truly love to write. What was gaining a lot of steam was vampires. Which was odd because a year ago you couldn’t say the word vampire without making an editor run away screaming. The success of True Blood on HBO and the Twilight series, not to mention several things on the horizon, publishers saw a new uptick in interest.

I wanted to write in vampires, but, let’s be honest, there has been a lot done in that realm in the last few years. So, I knew I needed to do something different, something unique. Historical has a few vampires, but I went a completely different direction, melding together what I knew about historicals, vampires and world building and came up with a unique concept. Granted, still not sure if NY is going to take a bite of it, but I am hopeful. What I took away from the experience was a renewed excitement.

When I started planning By Blood, I was at a tough place. I had three proposals out, all of them sort of seemed stalled, and I was having problems writing my contracted work. There were various reasons for that, stress, work issues, family…other writers know what I am talking about. I wasn’t sure I could pull it off because I will be truthful, 2009 has been a tough year for me. Thankfully, not as bad as the dreaded hospital year of 2007, but I kept getting knocked down metaphorically by problems mostly related to my work. So, taking a chance on a different genre, melding two genres together in a way I had never attempted was daunting.

I was pretty lucky thought. Shayla Black, aka Shelley Bradley, and Kris Cook helped me through the concept. Still, when I sat down to write the proposal, I was a little worried. This was going to take a chunk out of my time, where I could be writing things for my publishers now, and it was going to make me take a hit in royalties because my releases would be spread out. I had also been through 9 months of disappointments with projects I sent to NY. Was it worth the risk?

I found out the answer to that was a resounding YES. I loved delving into a world of my own creation. I know some readers will say that I can do that every day I write. But, when you build the world, you can break the rules, and recreate the kind of rules you like. I got my creative juices going, and gave me a renewed optimism about my writing on a whole. Don’t get me wrong, I always have my down days, but for the first time in a long time, I feel a real energy about writing, ideas that just keep coming to me.

I think we can all learn that a comfort zone is just that. Some place warm and cuddly, where we are never challenged, and if we are, we know we can beat that challenge without much effort. A person can get complacent, lazy. You can still succeed there, but for someone like me, I need a challenge. That challenge presented itself in a Victorian vampire world, one that tested not only my writing skills but also my plotting abilities. Rising to confront the new genre has given me a new outlook on my writing and has me looking toward the future again. That is something I could have never had without it.

Melissa Schroeder is the author of over 25 short stories, novellas and novels spanning from historical to futuristic and sensual to erotic. She loves to laugh and always believes that everyone deserves a happy ending. Her most recent release was Turning Paige from Ellora’s Cave. She finally lives with her AF Major husband and two military brats where the bugs die in the winter. She can be reached via her website.

49 comments to “Oh, you guys are in luck, two giveaways at once! Welcome to Melissa Schroeder!”

  1. Mary G
      · September 30th, 2009 at 10:26 am · Link

    Hi Melissa & Beth
    I really loved A Little Harmless Sex – the premise is one of my faves which is friends to lovers. I also loved Grace Under Pressure which is the sexy neighbor story. Looking forward to A Little Harmless Pleasure. It’s great that you’re trying a new genre. Vamps aren’t my faves but I would probably like anything you wrote. Best wishes.

  2. Fedora
      · September 30th, 2009 at 10:31 am · Link

    Melissa! Another one of my favorite authors! I love following authors out of their comfort zones–it’s exciting to see where that brings them! Congrats on finding such sure footing even when exploring new territory!

  3. Melissa
      · September 30th, 2009 at 10:56 am · Link

    Mary, thank youso much. I am deep in writing A Little Harmless Obsession right now, just about done with it. Grace was my first release ever, and I based a lot of it on my experiences when I worked as a student assistant while in college.

  4. Amy M
      · September 30th, 2009 at 10:57 am · Link

    Melissa- You are a new to me author, but holy smokes does your stuff sound good! I am so interested to start reading your work…now just to decide where to begin ๐Ÿ˜•

    Amy M

  5. Brandy W
      · September 30th, 2009 at 10:59 am · Link

    I have Her Mother’s Killer and firmly believe that EVERYONE should read it. It was fantastic.

    I love the sound of the vampire book as you know. I’m so happy you have gone out of your comfort zone.

  6. Billi Jean
      · September 30th, 2009 at 10:59 am · Link


    I loved this post. Today of all days it really was a great reminder that even my favorite authors still struggle with their ideas, but even when you do, you still keep plugging away at it. Bravo for being so strong and brave!!!

    billi jean

  7. Melissa
      · September 30th, 2009 at 10:59 am · Link

    Hey, Fedora, hun!
    It has pushed me to be more risk taking in my writing. I am a Cappy, so I like to take calculated risks. In a way this one was, but in the beginning, I thought there was no benefit if I failed, ie didn’t get it published(still waiting, biting my fingers). But, thankfully, there was:)

  8. Melissa
      · September 30th, 2009 at 11:02 am · Link

    It is your comments that made me add more suspense to A Little Harmless Obsession. I am really digging that part of the book:)
    I am driving my husband, Shelley, Kris, and anyone who will listen crazy about By Blood. I am not a patient person.

  9. Melissa
      · September 30th, 2009 at 11:05 am · Link

    I truly believe the only way to fail is to stop trying. It is hard to remember some days, and I growl when a friend or my hubby says it to me, but it is true. I think without challenging your work suffers also. Yeah, it doesn’t make me happy when someone says it to me, but it is the truth:) And I am not sure I was brave. I just sort of sat down with the world I built and wrote. It was kind of easy at that point so I thought it truly sucked, lol. My critique partners, agent and beta readers all disagree with that though:)

  10. Jeanette Juan
      · September 30th, 2009 at 11:07 am · Link

    The book looks like an awesome read and I love it when authors try out different subject matters and genres.

  11. Blanche
      · September 30th, 2009 at 11:09 am · Link

    Hi Melissa and Beth!!

    I have A Little Harmless Sex on the very top of my TBR and I can’t wait to grab it off the shelf and read!!! :mrgreen:

  12. Lea
      · September 30th, 2009 at 11:16 am · Link

    Wonderful post and Melissa’s book sounds like a must read for me!!

    Thanks so much, and have a great day!


  13. Gail S
      · September 30th, 2009 at 11:28 am · Link

    Greetings Ladies, ๐Ÿ˜€
    I love your stuff Melissa, and I am looking forward to reading ‘Her Mother’s Killer’. ALHS was a great read and I’m looking forward to ALHP, it can’t come quick enough.
    Beth you are a new author for me and I am intrigued with your take on vampires and I’ll be searching out your book this week. I love historicals and vampires; I can’t wait to check out your book.
    I do have a question for both of you ladies: How much time do you devote to writing? It seems most writers need to hold a full time job outside of the home, I was wondering how do you manage everything that is demanded of you in a day?

  14. Karin
      · September 30th, 2009 at 11:37 am · Link

    Melissa, I think it’s great that you went with your new idea. Sometimes that’s exactly what’s needed to get the creative juices flowing again – for more than one piece of work. I hope the rest of 2009 gets better for you!

  15. Mary G
      · September 30th, 2009 at 11:44 am · Link

    Melissa, as my hubby is a Cappy I am double impressed with your “Stepping Out of the Comfort Zone”. ๐Ÿ˜€

  16. Sandie
      · September 30th, 2009 at 11:58 am · Link

    Hi, Melissa! I’m sorry you’ve been having a rough time lately. Maybe this new book will snap you out of it. I love your books and this one sounds terrific.

    Hugs and sending good wishes your way,

  17. Lisa Guertin
      · September 30th, 2009 at 12:32 pm · Link

    Melissa, I’ve been following the posts on your new books and can’t wait to read it. Your world sounds interesting. I’m really glad you took the chance and stepped out of your comfort zone!

  18. Valerie
      · September 30th, 2009 at 1:17 pm · Link

    Melissa is not only a lovely lady, she is a fantastic author. I love her books and have a few of her paperbacks on my keeper shelf!!!

    Whoever wins this book (and of course I am hoping it will be me) will certainly be a lucky person!!!

  19. Jane
      · September 30th, 2009 at 1:22 pm · Link

    Hi Melissa,
    So glad you took the risk with By Blood.

  20. CrystalGB
      · September 30th, 2009 at 1:32 pm · Link

    I love it when authors step out of their comfort zone. Melissa’s book sounds good.

  21. Jody F.
      · September 30th, 2009 at 1:34 pm · Link

    I love your books Mel! So excited that you’ve branched out into the vampire field and can’t wait to read it (hopefully really soon if the magic number randomizer picks me)!

  22. Terri W.
      · September 30th, 2009 at 1:34 pm · Link

    Hi Melissa and Beth!

    Great interview and I love the cover and storyline!

    Glad to hear you decided to write a book out of your comfort zone!

  23. Armenia
      · September 30th, 2009 at 1:42 pm · Link

    Wonderful things can happen when you come out of your comfort zone. Expanding your potential for one thing.

    Your book sounds like a great read. Looking forward to it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  24. Beverly G
      · September 30th, 2009 at 2:06 pm · Link

    Melissa, I must confess I have yet to read any of your work I have hear great things about it tho so its deff on my to buy list i just havent had the chance to read any yet thank youfor stoping by and i will deff be recomending your owrk to my book group and be going to the lib to see if they have any if not ill be asking them to order

  25. Tracey D
      · September 30th, 2009 at 2:50 pm · Link

    I look forward in reading your books.

    Tracey D

  26. RKCharron
      · September 30th, 2009 at 4:07 pm · Link

    Hi Melissa ๐Ÿ™‚
    Thank you for the great post on leaving your comfort zone. Thank you for doing so. Your paranormal novel sounds intriguing.
    All the best,
    PS – Thanks again for sharing,

  27. Deidre
      · September 30th, 2009 at 4:52 pm · Link

    Yes, vampires have been done, but they are so malleable and can be interpreted in so many ways, more so than probably any other creature. I will never get tired of them in all their forms.


  28. Sharon M
      · September 30th, 2009 at 5:24 pm · Link

    I really look forward to checking out your books. They sound great!

  29. Melissa
      · September 30th, 2009 at 6:12 pm · Link

    Gosh, y’all are wonderful.
    Jeanette-thanks so much. As a reader I am much the same way. I love to see them stretch their limits. The only thing I hate is when they move on from historicals. There are so few writing them, although there are a lot of good ones out there. I just like to keep reading my old favs and add new ones.

  30. Melissa
      · September 30th, 2009 at 6:15 pm · Link

    Blanche: I hope you enjoy it. ALHS is just a straight erotic contemporary romantic comedy. And, I love Anna. She says things I think but would not always have the nerve to say. :mrgreen:

  31. Melissa
      · September 30th, 2009 at 6:15 pm · Link

    Thanks so much, Lea.

  32. Melissa
      · September 30th, 2009 at 6:20 pm · Link

    Thanks so much! ALHP is out right now, in print and ebook. ALH Obsession should be out in 2010, I have no release date as of yet.
    As to your question, I am very lucky. When I started back to writing, I was a SAHM. Then, when I got published, I still had a toddler at home, so my time during the day was limited for writing and I wrote at night, but I averaged about 30 hrs a week. I didn’t see TV shows for a good long while, lol. Then when this one started school, I slowly shifted into writing during the day. I now average 35 hrs a week writing, at least. I don’t always keep track, and there is always something else now. Promo, writing articles, editing…it sucks away time, so I try to make sure I do some kind of writing every day.

  33. Melissa
      · September 30th, 2009 at 6:21 pm · Link

    Thanks so much. It feels good to have ideas popping inside my head again.

  34. Melissa
      · September 30th, 2009 at 6:22 pm · Link

    LOL, you poor thing. I feel for my happy go lucky Cancer hubby. He is always looking for the silver lining in clouds while I am opening the umbrella.

  35. Melissa
      · September 30th, 2009 at 6:25 pm · Link

    Thanks so much. It has felt much better writing the last few months, and I am looking forward to writing some new stuff after the new year.

  36. Melissa
      · September 30th, 2009 at 6:26 pm · Link

    Thank you! whichever you choose, I hope you enjoy it:)

  37. Melissa
      · September 30th, 2009 at 6:27 pm · Link

    Hey, Valerie:)
    Thank you so much for your kind words. I am lucky that so many readers are very forgiving of the forgetful ADD writer that I am, lol.

  38. Melissa
      · September 30th, 2009 at 6:28 pm · Link


  39. Melissa
      · September 30th, 2009 at 6:29 pm · Link

    I am the same way about authors, as I said above. Sometimes it is great, sometimes so so, but I do think it makes for a better writer:)

  40. Melissa
      · September 30th, 2009 at 6:30 pm · Link

    Jody F,
    Thanks. I am keeping those fingers crossed about it, and trying not to let the waiting process interfere with my project I have due in, lol

  41. Melissa
      · September 30th, 2009 at 6:31 pm · Link

    Terri W,
    Thanks! It was kind of scary at first but the process was fun.

  42. Melissa
      · September 30th, 2009 at 6:32 pm · Link

    Thanks so much. Yes, it was hard, but I feel I am a much better writer because of it. Still have a lot of growing to do, but world building really made me a better plotter IMHO.

  43. Melissa
      · September 30th, 2009 at 6:34 pm · Link

    I know that any book I have at Samhain is really easy to get in a library. And, a lot of libraries carry my historicals. I hope you enjoy them if they have it in your library.

  44. Melissa
      · September 30th, 2009 at 6:35 pm · Link

    Thanks, Tracey!

  45. Melissa
      · September 30th, 2009 at 6:37 pm · Link

    Thanks. I wasn’t really ready to try out another paranormal, but Shelley and Kris would not let it go, especially after they read the first chapter, lol. I had a big series I wrote last year that just didn’t go anywhere, so I was a little gunshy. But, as I said, my agent and my critique partners pushed me ahead, thankfully.

  46. Melissa
      · September 30th, 2009 at 6:40 pm · Link

    Thanks. I really enjoyed them and I hope that I get to write the series. It was unlike any of my vampire loving friends had read before.

  47. Melissa
      · September 30th, 2009 at 6:40 pm · Link

    Sharon, Thanks.

  48. Amy S.
      · September 30th, 2009 at 9:47 pm · Link

    Hi Melissa! Love your books! I added Her Mother’s Killer to my to buy list!

  49. Melissa
      · October 1st, 2009 at 10:07 am · Link

    Amy! I hope you like it. It had a lot more suspense in it than my other mysteries, and in turn influenced ALHO. The suspense plays a bigger factor.

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