AW: Tell us about yourself…
Rochelle Melander: I've been an avid reader since I could read, at about age 3. Reading is still one of my favorite activities in the world. I get a big treat out of going to the library and stocking up on books! I have also been writing since I was young--though in elementary school I wanted to be an actress. Currently, I split my time between three vocations: writing books and articles, coaching (I coach writers and do wellness coaching), and editing. When I am not writing, coaching, or editing, I am hanging out with my children and husband. We love taking walks with our two dogs, reading books, watching movies, and playing games.
AW: What general do you write and why?
RM: I spend most of my time writing nonfiction--both about spiritual matters and writing. I've always been curious about how we can live happier, more efficient lives. I spend a good deal of my time reading spiritual nonfiction and positive psychology—and love passing on the information to people who read my books and articles.
AW: Tell us about your book….
RM: Write-A-Thon: Write Your Book in 26 Days (And Live to Tell About It) provides writers with a complete toolkit for writing their nonfiction or fiction book in less than a month. The book includes three sections: training, the marathon, and recovery. In the training section, writers learn how to overcome their fears, train their lives, and create a plan for their book. In the marathon section, readers get a bunch of short, helpful chapters designed to get them over any writer's block that happens during the writing marathon. The recovery section teaches writers how to shape up their manuscript for submission. The book concludes with a resource section.
AW: What was your inspiration for this book?
RM: In 2004, my friend Sue Lang and I wrote a book in 9 days. Every book I have written with my husband has been written fast. I wanted to write a book that would help both nonfiction and fiction writers write fast and not lose their minds.
AW: Do you have a favorite character and why that one?
RM: I've always loved Meg from A Wrinkle in Time (and the rest of the series). That's my favorite book of all time--so I have read and reread Meg's story. Plus, I love that she is imperfect and uses her imperfections to help save her father.
AW: Did you find anything particularly difficult in writing this book?
RM: I wrote it fast--in just 26 days during National Novel Writing Month. Then I added another 25,000 words in just two weeks. The difficulty for me came in the revising. I was surprised to find out how much I repeated myself. When I did the revisions, I did a document search for every single quote I used to make sure I did not duplicate them. I also had a couple of trusted readers review the book for repetition. Sometimes I hated cutting chapters that repeated ideas, but the book became better because I was willing to do that.
AW: What project(s) are you currently working on?
RM: It is National Novel Writing Month, so I have just begun to work on a series of books for children. I started the series during last year's NaNoWriMo and wrote 2 1/2 books. I am taking the same characters and writing more books about them this year. It's fun to go back to their world.
AW: Do you have any interesting writing quirks you want to tell us about?
RM: I do not know if this is a quirk, but I like to be disconnected when I write. I do not check email or Facebook or Twitter until I have my word count in. Once I get online, I feel pulled in too many directions to settle down and write. My other quirk is that I do not like talking about a book before I write it. It uses up too much of my writing energy.
AW: Do you have any advice for writers out there?
RM: Get in the habit of writing every day. Also get in the habit of submitting. Once these habits are habits, you will find that writing is much easier!
AW: Where can we find you? (facebook, twitter, blog, website, etc)
RM: Here are my various online places:
AW: And of course we have to know, where can we find your book? (your website, publisher, amazon, etc)
The book is available at my site http://www.writenowcoach.com/
Writer's Digest: http://www.writersdigestshop.com/product/write-a-thon/
And of course, on Amazon and wherever books are sold!