Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
Melanie Weiss is a debut author of the Young Adult novel, Spoken. She is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and worked as a journalist for newspapers and magazines for 20 years. She began writing her novel, Spoken, shortly after her younger child left for college in 2015 and she became an “empty nester.” She currently manages a scholarship foundation at her local high school that provides scholarship support to more than 60 graduating high school seniors each year. Spoken is her first novel but it won’t be her last.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
Spoken I had wanted to write a novel for a really long time. I experimented with different genres and found that my voice and storylines fell easily into the young adult world. I love writing about teenagers as they discover their passions and begin to find their places in the world. Spoken has drama and humor and moments of failure and challenges wrapped within the characters’ journeys, but (spoiler alert) I believe in happy endings.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I write my novel in a word document on two different computers. My desk top or lap top. I know I need to move to google doc as I need to transfer the document back and forth when I write on the different computers. Silly I know.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I love historical fiction and have a great many favorite authors and novels. Books that have their roots in something true are so exciting to me…and that is also what I like to write.
What are you working on now?
My second novel takes place around, during and after the murder of 17 people in Parkland, Florida and tells a story from the voice of two seniors in HS.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Still discovering that! Please tell me!
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Follow your gut. Write what you love. Read a lot. Read a ton! Take writing courses that excite you. Make time for your passion and write, write, write..tell your story and share it.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
What then..Keep the action flowing by sending a character down a road of what then, what then…what happens next!
What are you reading now?
Because of Khalid by local Chicago Author Carolyn Armstrong. I just finished another book by a Chicago author, Mistress of the Ritz by Melanie Benjamin.
What’s next for you as a writer?
promote Spoken to a wider audience
What is your favorite book of all time?
Bel Canto by Ann Patchett. Love it so much!