Today we have an interview with published writer, Matthew Melillo. I met Matthew via Facebook, while posting an ad that I was looking for authors to interview back in January. Matthew has been really busy since, as he was working on the release of his second book. Though it took some time, we managed to get the interview done, and I’m happy for the opportunity to have interacted with him.
Now on to the interview!
Short Bio: A graduate of Franklin Pierce University in Rindge, New Hampshire, with a major in history and minor in Secondary Education. He married his wife, Genevieve Melillo, in 2002 and has two boys, Dominic and Cody. After teaching for some years, he went into several other fields while working on his writing.
Published works: Caston's Revenge
Current Projects: The Unknown - suspense/horror thriller, should be out this summer
The Last Order of the Templars - a historical drama, should be out around the end of the year
When did you begin writing?
I began writing about eight or nine years ago as a hobby but one day got the bug to finally finish a book. It took me several years and I finally finished Caston's Revenge about three years ago.
Did you receive any special training or attend a school?
I am a graduate from Franklin Pierce University and was a history major, didn't take any special courses but found a gift when having to write papers.
Where do get your inspiration from?
Everything inspires me from the news, to people in my life. But movies and good stories are one of my passions that I do when I get home to relax from a long day at work.
Do you use any special resources when writing?
Not really. I love listening to music in the background and sometimes depending on the scene I am working on will playing certain types of music to help me set the scene in my mind.
What is the important thing to remember when writing and why is it so important?
Have fun when writing. Remember your readers are reading what you are feeling and no matter how you write, how you are feeling at that moment when you are writing, it will reflect in what the reader sees and feels.
What is the most challenging part of writing and how do you overcome it?
Writer's block. Every writer gets it and will probably say the same thing. In the process of writing my second book I got so stuck that I couldn't get one sentence written down before deleting it about halfway through. After about three weeks I had to put the book down and actually started a new project. The new project flowed right through and am currently beginning the rewrites for the editor so it can be published hopefully at the end of the year. Then I went back the The Unknown and finished it within a few weeks and was extremely happy with how it came out. It just went back to the publisher and should be out by the end of summer.
Did you use an agent?
No. I spent a lot of time looking for both an agent and a publisher and got real lucky meeting a publisher from Whimsical Publications. It happened to be perfect timing because she loved the books and signed me for all three of my books. I am still looking in what little time I have for an agent thinking with the right agent I could get someone other than myself to help with the marketing...lol
Did you use an editor?
Well fortunately with my agreement with Whimsical Publications they provided an editor for me who gave me great incites that truly helped me better round out my books and storytelling.
How did you get your book published?
I spent a lot of time talking to other writers in different Facebook chats and just got lucky. I had brought up a question that I had posted on the site about which do you look for first a publisher or an agent. The next thing I know thirty people are actively posting on it and it became a major conversation. Then while in the midst of the conversation I got a pop up from someone from Whimsical Publications asking me what my books were about. After telling her she advised me that she was a publisher and sent me a link to send her each book to review. A few days later she got in contact with me and offered me contracts on all three. I truly got lucky being in the right place at the right time as I had been looking for over two years.
Do you handle your on marketing?
Yes. But my wife has been a tremendous help as social marketing is extremely time consuming and working a full time job makes time scarce.
What is your best marketing tip?
Get reviews! You can post all you want about your book, but unless people are actively talking about it, sales will flatten.
Do you have any advice for writers?
Don't ever give up. I know it sounds cliché but its one hundred percent true. Even while trying and getting no's from publishing companies and agents I continued to keep writing and all it takes is to get in front of the right person and amazing things can happen. There are many people that think they can write a book, never-the-less finish it. But then even those that can only a few can get it published and I truly cherish the fact that I have done so. I just picture in my mind the reader sitting on their couch or bed, with a snack and a drink reading one of my books while picturing in their mind what it would be like if they were there as the main character.
In closing, I felt an odd sense of relief after reading Matthew’s interview. Up until now, every writer I spoke to seemed to write entire novels in only a few short months, I was happy to see I am not the only one who can take several years to write a book. I would like to thank Matthew for volunteering to be in my blog interviews, especially amid all the chaos of finishing a second book. As someone who is still in the process of finding himself as a writer, I look forward to hearing more about him in the future.
Until Next time,