Thursday, March 16, 2017

Friday Five with Melissa Tagg!

Y'all, I am SO excited to be hosting my precious friend Melissa Tagg today! You're going to love this spotlight on her today--she is so fun to hang out with! She's talking swoon-worthy heroes, favorite new fiction, and indie publishing. You don't want to miss a word. Thanks so much for being with us, Melissa! -- Ashley


1) You have an all-expenses paid ticket to go anywhere in the world tomorrow. Where do you choose and why?

I barely even have to think about this one! Lately, I really don’t know why, but I’ve been reading the journal I kept when I studied abroad in London during my junior year of college. It’s fun to read the thoughts of Younger Melissa and even more so to remember the joy and wonder and the sorta self-and-world-discovery that happened during that season of my life. I’ve had the fun of returning a few times, but it’s been a loooong time since my last visit.

So I’d leave for London tomorrow, no holds barred. And then as long as I’m over there, I’d also work in side trips to Ireland and the Continent. J

2) What are you reading lately?

My reading time has been sadly lacking lately, but I have managed to read some fabulous books in the past couple months, including:

The Illusionist’s Apprentice by Kristy Cambron
A Fine Gentleman by Sarah M. Eden
A Portrait of Emily Price by Katherine Reay
The Lost Girl of Astor Street by Stephanie Morrill

I absolutely adored every one of them. Kristy’s for the beautifully-told, enchanting story; Sarah’s for the witty banter and swoony romance; Katherine’s for the gorgeous writing and the personal way it touched me; and Stephanie’s for one of the best writing voices I’ve come across in a long time!

3) Tell is a little bit about your experience indie publishing.

Great question! Having had a foot in both the traditional and indie publishing worlds, I can say very buoyantly that I love and am thankful for both.

For me, indie publishing has meant freedom. It’s given me room to breathe after a few rather frantic and both physically and emotionally taxing years. I have a full-time day job that’s as much a calling for me as writing, so that coupled with deadlines just kicked my tail for awhile there. So now, setting my own deadlines has been a lifesaver. And strangely enough, I’m writing more and faster than I ever have before. Plus, I love getting to have more of a say in my cover art, my release dates, my price points, all of it. In other words, indie publishing is a perfect fit for my lifestyle and personality.

That said, despite my deadline anxiety, I’ve also had such a wonderful experience with traditional publishing! I’ve had the joy of working with some fantastic people. And, in fact, some of those same people—namely, editors—are continuing to work with me on the indie side. 

I’ll tell ya, one of the things I’ve learned in the past year is that readers really don’t care how an author is published. Authors can spend a lot of time handwringing, debating the merits of traditional or indie or hybrid, but to the reader, it’s all about a good story (and a pretty cover and a price they can afford!). There’s a world of readers out there waiting for our stuff, waiting for our powerful stories! And we are blessed to be writing in a time when our options for getting those stories into the hands of readers are more wide open than ever before. It’s really a fabulous time to be a writer!

4) You just released the cover for your upcoming release All This Time (which we are all SO excited about!). Tell us a little about the story.

YAY! I loooove this cover…and I love this story. This is the final book in my Walker Family series and it features Raegan and Bear (*heart flutters!!*) who have shown up multiple past books. My regular readers are familiar with them, but I think they’re probably in for a few surprises as they get to know more about them in this last book. It’s set to release in late August.

To be honest, I have a long way to go on the book so I can’t say a whole lot about the story itself except to say that it’s probably one of the most challenging stories I’ve written just in terms of plot movement and action. The stakes are a little (or a lot) higher this time around and my characters are going to face situations I’ve never delved into before. Plus, even this early on, it’s already deeply personal. I’m very excited about it…and very hopeful that God will help me tell this story exactly how it’s meant to be told.

5) If you could go out with any fictional guy (on the page or screen!) who would you choose?

Oh my word, hands down…Logan in my book, Like Never Before. But I feel like maybe it’s copping out or cheating or something to name someone from one of my own books. I just can’t help it. I will love that character forever.


But just in case it is cheating to name one of my own characters, I will switch it up and say Charlie Lionheart from Joanne Bischof’s The Lady and the Lionheart, which is one of the best books IN THE WORLD. I think Charlie and I would have a pretty hilarious date, considering we’re from different time periods. He’d be all, “What’s an iPhone?” and I’d be all, “Can I please pet your lions?”

6 comments:

Jeanne Takenaka said...

Awww, it's so fun to see you here, Melissa! I've never been to London. Well, I take that back. I had a layover there on my way to Germany once. A long time ago. I've always wanted to visit England and stay for more than a few hours. I'll join you, okay? ;)

This was such a fun interview, Ashley. Loved reading it!

Courtney Clark said...

Now I'm even more excited for Raegan and Bear's story!

Logan and Charlie are both excellent choices ;).

Sylvia said...

England sounds fascinating. I don't have a huge travel bug, so am probably more of an armchair traveler. :)

Are you permanently indie publishing now or just finishing this series in that format? I know you have some indie published novellas too.

Pepper Basham said...

Melissa!
We are kindred spirits!!!
Tallyho!

So glad to have you on TWA today!! YAY!! And the cover to your upcoming release is LOVELY!!

Amen on this statement: Authors can spend a lot of time handwringing, debating the merits of traditional or indie or hybrid, but to the reader, it’s all about a good story (and a pretty cover and a price they can afford!). There’s a world of readers out there waiting for our stuff, waiting for our powerful stories! And we are blessed to be writing in a time when our options for getting those stories into the hands of readers are more wide open than ever before. It’s really a fabulous time to be a writer!

Glynis said...

Great interview! Can't wait to read the conclusion of the Walker family stories! Your books make me smile.

Melissa Tagg said...

Hey lovely Writer's Alley ladies! Sorry it took me so long to stop over here and say thanks for having me. I was hiding out writing from Fri-Sun, so I was oblivious to the world. But still... THANKS FOR HAVING ME! :D

Sylvia, to answer your question...I honestly don't know. At this point, I don't have any plans to return to traditional publishing anytime soon. I'm having an awfully good time with the indie thing and to be blunt, sales are going quite well. :) But really, more than that, I'm just so convinced this is where God wants me right now. I was really struggling to manage both careers for awhile and now, well, it feels like I can breathe again. But that said, I have no idea what God might have in store years down the road. If you'd told me four or five years ago that I'd be doing indie instead of traditional, I'd have been shocked. Just goes to prove you should never say never. I really believe God has individual journeys in mind for all of us and one writer's career doesn't have to look the same as another. :)