As part of Australian Romance Month, Romance Specialist Haylee Nash will be interviewing one Australian Romance author per day. Much like a beauty pageant, each author will be using their charm, wit and grace (and the power of social media) to take home the Booktopia Romance Bestseller crown. Booktopia invites bestselling Mills & Boon author Melanie Milburne to the stage.
1. Describe the perfect date.
A candlelit dinner, soft romantic ballad playing in the background, champagne and scintillating conversation with the man of my dreams (who happens to be my husband, fortunately!)
2. Which of your books are you most proud of?
I’m proud of my 50th Book Never Say No To A Caffarelli because of the milestone it is, but also a recent Medical romance –Their Most Forbidden Fling. I cried while I wrote a couple of the scenes in that one. It’s a redemption plot and very emotional.
3. What is the hardest thing about being a romance author?
My desk is never clear. There is always another book to write, a blog to compose or follow comments on, a website to update, a tweet to send, a Facebook comment to write, etc. The digital age means there is nothing 9-5 about the workplace. I work in every time zone there is! I even work in my sleep as I often dream about my characters.
4. What is the best thing about being a romance author?
The readers who email me or comment on Facebook or Twitter that a book has spoken to them in a really special way. One reader recently told me the book had actually changed her life. That was just so awesome to hear. Comments like that mean far more to me than great reviews or winning awards. Telling a story that makes a reader think and laugh and cry is what makes me sit at my desk every day.
5. Who (aside from a significant other) do you swoon over?
Bradley Cooper, but then, who doesn’t?!!
7. Describe your writing style in three words.
Fast-paced, passionate and sexy.
8. What is your definition of a good book?
One that makes a reader feel emotion, with sympathetic characters and strong believable conflict.
9. Which author would you invite to a dinner party and why?
Mary Stewart. It’s a pity she is no longer alive because I would love to contact her on Facebook and tell her that Nine Coaches Waiting is the best romantic suspense novel I have ever read and that it’s the reason I am a romance author today. Modern day authors… I would love to chat to Sophie Kinsella. I think she would be a hoot.
10. Finish this sentence: I would do anything for love, but I won’t do_____
…anything that diminishes me as a person or contravenes my values, such as lie, cheat or cover up for someone who has.
It was while she was supposed to be studying for her final high school exams that Melanie Milburne read her first Mills & Boon novel. She was 17 and decided right then and there she would continue reading romance novels, and not only that, she would settle for no less than a tall dark handsome hero as her future husband. Well, she’s not only still reading romance but writing it as well! And the tall dark handsome hero, you ask? She fell in love with him on the second date and was secretly engaged to him within six weeks.