Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Breaking the Rules with Mel Curtis

Back with us today in My Writing Corner is Melinda Curtis, who writes in a variety of genres. She is an award winning, USA Today recommended, Amazon best selling author.  She writes independently published, steamy Hollywood Rules series as Mel Curtis. Tell us a little about yourself and your writing day.

I juggle a writing life with a thriving consulting business, a marriage, and being a mom to 3 kids in college. It has helped my productivity tremendously to be an empty nester.  But I still work 12-15 hours a day, 7 days a week. I get up at 4:30 a.m. every day, hit the gym, eat protein, and get caffeinated.  I usually write in blocks of time (1-3 hours), adjusted by my clients’ requests.  By nine p.m., my brain is a bit fried.  I’ve been on this pace since November of 2012. I’m happy, but tired.
Tell us a little about your newest book.
Breaking the Rules is the 7th installment in the Hollywood Rules series.  What does that mean?  That I’ve produced 3 full-length, fun and sexy books in the series, one sweet new adult novella (that was published in 3 installments), and now my most popular power couple – Jack and Viv Gordon have their own stage in a steamy novella.

Give us an idea of how you develop your characters?
When I get an idea for a character, I try to understand what they want more than anything and why.  Once I know that, I can create a mirror image – someone who wants the exact opposite for just as compelling reasons. This creates great conflict and great conflict drives a story.

What are you working on now?
I’m finishing up book 5 in my sweet Harmony Valley full-length series for Harlequin Heartwarming, have a new adult series being shopped in New York, have the notes to start the next full-length Hollywood Rules story, as well as the notes to start the 2nd Bridesmaid series novella.  Time is always against me.

You’re a very prolific writer, how do you keep all your stories straight and make them sound so different?
My sexier stories have stronger h/h. They fight for what they believe in and want, and occasionally they might fight dirty. They tend to want things like fame, fortune, the bad boy, etc. My sweeter books are less alpha. Harlequin likes them to be politically correct, but real. They’re just trying to make it through life happily against the odds I stack against them.

What would you tell writers who are just starting out that you wish you had known?
Always strive to get better. Take courses, listen to lectures, ask questions. Then take what works for you. The worst thing an author can say is that they don’t need to improve or that their writing hasn’t changed over the years. We all grow and change as people. Our writing should, too.

Please give a blurb of your latest book.
To say Jack and Vivian Gordon’s marriage has been rocky would be an understatement. The Gordons have been on a roller coaster of love and lust, but can’t seem to get on the same page at the same time. This power couple needs a time-out to find their happily ever after.  And life coach to Hollywood’s rich and powerful, Cora Rule, has just the solution – have the couple sign their divorce papers in a safe room…and lock them inside.

How about an excerpt?
            Vivian Gordon had a problem.
            A six-foot-two-inch hunk of a problem.
            Sex with Jack hadn’t solved the problem.  Marrying him hadn’t solved the problem.  Leaving him hadn’t solved the problem.
            The problem was that Viv loved her husband, but Jack didn’t love her.
             It wasn’t as if Jack was incapable of love, as some of Hollywood moguls seemed to be.  No, Jack had passion aplenty, but it was for the NBA team he owned, the L.A. Flash, not for a woman.  Not for Viv.
             Viv watched Jack swim his daily laps with strong, commanding strokes.  Heaven forbid Jack didn’t get his laps in.  If he didn’t, he was the biggest shit.
              Her Gianvito Rossi black suede lace up heels clicked slowly across the white marble tile as she approached the patio doors in the house they’d once shared.  Her cadence was one of a doomed prisoner being shown the open door of the gas chamber.
              This is the end.
              And she’d chosen the execution date.

Buy Links:

B&N: will go live 10/22
Thanks, Melinda, and here are a couple of Special Offers for readers:
Readers of this blog will be sent a FREE sweet new adult novella set within the Hollywood Rules world by signing up for Melinda’s book release email newsletter. Link:

Jayne Ann Krentz says of Blue Rules: Sharp, sassy, modern version of a screwball comedy from Hollywood's Golden Age except a lot hotter.”  Melinda also writes the Harmony Valley series of sweet and emotional romances for Harlequin Heartwarming, and the Bridesmaid series independently. Brenda Novak says: “Season of Change has found a place on my keeper shelf”. 
Twitter: @MelCurtisAuthor

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