Author Feature: Deborah Fletcher Mello

There are very few authors that I will automatically read without hesitation and I’m thankful that one of those authors stopped by the blog today for a little chat. Deborah Fletcher Mello is here to discuss a few things and  share a little bit about her books that are scheduled for release in 2016.  Take a few moments and get to know this author who truly knows how to write romance novel!!!


1. When did you decide to become a writer?

 I don’t know that the decision to be a writer was one I made consciously. Storytelling and writing have been something I’ve loved to do since I was a little girl. It was something I felt compelled to do. Writing was therapy and it gave me immense joy to weave a story from beginning to end. Pursuing a publishing deal and wanting to share my writing with others came many, many years later after raising my family and working a very successful corporate career. It was in that decision that I realized I was meant to do this.

2. Why do you write?

 I write because I have an innate need to do so. I often joke that there’s a whole lot of crazy going on in my head and I’ve been called to make sense of that crazy. I firmly believe that I’m just a conduit for the characters who want their stories told and when I do that, I honor this gift that I’ve been blessed with. And I truly believe it’s a gift so I don’t take it lightly.

3. Which writers inspire you and why?

 That list is long and distinguished. I have great admiration for the many writers who paved the way before me, whose words and stories have enthralled me. Writers who managed to draw me so deeply into their stories that I lost all sense of myself. Writers who are creative, prolific and emotionally engaging. From Maya Angelou to Zora Neale Hurston, that list is a cornucopia of phenomenal women and men who absolutely loved the written word. To pick one or two would be a great disservice to all the others.

4. What is your favorite book and why?

 Standing at the Scratch Line by Guy Johnson. Guy Johnson is the son of Maya Angelou and this book was absolutely everything! It was romance, drama, historical, suspense and so much more! I fell head over heels in love with King Tremaine. The author’s characterizations were on point and his talent for storytelling exceeded my wildest dreams. This book left me breathless!

5. Of all of the characters you have created, which is your favorite and why?

 James Tucker from my literary novel, Rested Waters. James had my heart from start to finish. He embodied the spirit of my father and uncles and men who I have loved and respected. Writing his story was a celebration of everything I adore about strong black men.

 6. Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?

 I do read my reviews and I read them because I believe that it’s necessary to be mindful of what readers think and feel about my stories. Although not all criticism is constructive it’s important that a good writer be able to learn and grow from other people’s opinions about their work.

 I typically don’t respond other than to say thank you because every reader is entitled to their opinion, whether I agree or not. And I appreciate every reader who takes the time to tell me and others what they think because far too many don’t say anything at all. I also know that not everyone is going to like everything I write. And that’s okay. I tell young writers all the time, you need to have thick skin in this business or you’re not going to last long.

 With my very first book, one of the very first reviews, the reviewer said, “I hope she doesn’t quit her day job.” Had I taken that to heart I wouldn’t be where I am today. She also said that I needed to “write less and plot more”. That comment struck a cord and I instinctively knew what she was trying to say. I took that advice and used it to get better. Her review of the book that followed was glowing!

7. How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?

 My stories have much more depth than they did in the beginning. I am more aware of my word choices and I allow the characters to evolve into their own beings instead of trying to force them into what I think they should be.

 8. If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?

Interesting question but I don’t have an answer for it. I believe all of us are here to do what we are meant to do. I wasn’t meant to write any story other than my own.

9. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

 Continually improve your craft! Take classes, join writer’s groups, learn from other authors. You owe it to yourself and to your readers to try and get better with each new book or story. And write! Your story is as important as anyone else’s so don’t be afraid to tell it. Just make sure you tell it well and insure that your final product is the very best that it could possibly be! What you invest in yourself and your books, especially if you are self-published, will be reflected in what you ultimately produce. Make sure it represents you well.

 10. Why do you think so many well-written books don’t sell?

 The publishing industry has undergone some significant changes in the past few years. Self-publishing has changed the literary landscape. It’s given voices to writers who would never have seen a book deal and it’s also allowed some really bad writing to flood the marketplace. All writers, traditionally published or self-published now have to work exceptionally hard to get their books noticed because there are so many books out here. The days of large promotional budgets is long gone and ultimately, people can’t buy what they don’t know about. Throw in an ever changing economic climate and some readers no longer have the flexibility and ease of buying books that they once may have enjoyed.

 11. Where do you see publishing going in the future? How do you think we can promote and increase diversity within the literary industry?

There is immense power in being vocal about what we want and don’t want. Publishers buy books and support authors who they can see being read and who have a significant following. Publishing has always been about the bottom line and will continue to be that way in the future. If you love an author’s work, buy their books. Ask your libraries to buy their books. Tell your friends and family about their books and ask them to pass the word along. Tell the publishers the kinds of books you want to see more of by leaving book reviews. Book reviews can literally keep an author published. And don’t think that you’re just one person so what you do and say won’t make a difference. One person can move mountains!

 12. What are your ambitions for your writing career?

 I hope to keep telling great stories. Although traditionally published I plan to spread my wings and write more literary works under my own imprint. I also hope to see my stories on the big screen. And ultimately, I will continue to strive to keep getting better and better with each and every book.

 13. How can readers discover more about you and your work?

 I love to hear from readers so I tell everyone to please reach out and connect with me. I’m all over the internet so just Google my name – Deborah Fletcher Mello! I can also be found easily at the following websites:

Website / Blog: http://www.deborahmello.blogspot.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DeborahFletcherMello

Instagram: http://instagram.com/debbmellowrites

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DebbMelloWrites

Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/TheDeborahMello

Amazon Author Page: http://amazon.com/author/deborahmello

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/DebbyM

14. Are there any final words for the readers of Reading in Black & White?

I just want to extend my sincerest appreciation to you Tiffany for all that you do. Your support of writers and your love for the written word validate what I and other authors strive to do. We tell stories hoping that they will touch someone’s spirit and you have given many of us that opportunity by reading our work and sharing our books with your followers. So, thank you! And to your readers, HAPPY READING!



Writing since she was old enough to put pen to paper, Deborah Fletcher Mello firmly believes that for her, writing is as necessary as breathing. Her first novel, TAKE ME TO HEART, earned her a 2004 Romance Slam Jam nomination for Best New Author. In 2008, Deborah won the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice award for Best Series Romance for her ninth novel, TAME A WILD STALLION. Her publication, CRAVING TEMPTATION was named one of Publisher’s Weekly Best Books for 2014 and was also nominated for a 2015 Emma Award for Book of the Year. As well, her novel PLAYING FOR KEEP was a Library Journal Best of 2015 and won the Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice award for Best Multicultural Romance. Most recently, Deborah was named the 2016 Romance Slam Jam Author of the Year. Born and raised in Fairfield Country, Connecticut, Deborah maintains base camp in North Carolina but considers home to be wherever the moment moves her.


Released March 29, 2016

 Former NBA star Alexander Barrett has slam dunked his career into second gear with the grand opening of his hot new gym in Boulder, Colorado. But his excitement is tempered when his estranged twin brother, MMA title holder Zachary “The Hammer” Barrett returns home from Thailand. Alex has never forgiven Zach for marrying his college sweetheart. And while they’re now divorced, his bitterness lingers.

 Zach hoped to re-connect with his brother, but when his personal assistant and trainer, Sarai Montri, arrives, their rivalry is soon reignited. Highly educated, not to mention gorgeous, the former Miss Thailand captivates Alex for the first time since his heartbreak. But Sarai’s devotion to Zach only stirs up the past. Will the brothers’ competitive natures tear them apart once more–with Sarai caught in the middle?


Coming October 1, 2016

Nicholas Stallion’s championship dreams are almost within reach. The star quarterback has lucrative endorsement deals, A-list friends and beautiful women on call…until a play-off injury changes his life. He’s angry at the world—and butting heads with family friend Dr. Tarah Boudreaux. Yet the ambitious neurosurgeon’s unwavering encouragement sparks an intimacy that blindsides them both.

 The Nicholas that Tarah met before the accident had wealth, fame and charm. All of that pales in comparison to the driven, determined man she’s falling for now. And when a captivating first kiss leads to an intensely tender moment, she knows she’s in way over her head. But with a jealous rival in the mix, Nicholas must be willing to make the ultimate play, or lose a love he had never dreamed of finding…


Coming October 25, 2016

World famous MMA champion Zachary Barrett has returned to his home in Phuket, Thailand, and his elite training camp, Revolution. Thanks to his twin brother, a renowned pro trainer in Colorado, Zachary is primed and ready for his next title bout—but his toughest match may be with the sports journalist assigned to write an exposé on him. Not only is she gorgeous, she’s after a well-guarded secret that Zach soon realizes makes her off limits in every way…

 It’s true that Kenzie Monroe has an ulterior motive for pursuing Zachary. The half-Asian beauty believes he’s connected to her estranged father, a former MMA fighter who disappeared years ago. And the more Zachary avoids her, the more determined she is—and the hotter their game of cat and mouse becomes…until they both surrender. But as lust, love, and friendship combine, Zachary knows he has to answer all of Kenzie’s questions—because outside of the ring, the heart makes the rules…

Comments

  1. Toni Bonita says:

    As always Deborah I enjoyed your interview I am waiting on Zachary’s story . Thank you Reading in Black & White, I will be returning to your blog.

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