Thursday, September 1, 2011

Melva Henderson

Melva Henderson

When I first came into the publishing and writing scene, this wonderful individual was a shining light in the chaotic abyss. She quickly and efficiently answered my questions on different sites such as CreateSpace, Shelfari, and Goodreads (even though she didn't know me).
It was a pleasure interviewing her and learning that we have many thoughts and ideas in common.
Thank you Melva for sharing your experiences and knowledge.

1. Where do you get your ideas?
Maggie: The Early YearsI normally get my ideas from things in my life or from the lives of others.  An idea might come from something I see on the news, in a magazine, or from events described by friends or family.  Ideas might come from childhood memories.  Some might come from dreams, whether sleeping or daydreaming.  For me, sometimes ideas can just pop into my mind as a visual picture.

2. When did you realize that you wanted to be a writer?
I knew I wanted to write in grammar school.  I became responsible for the care of my three younger brothers at the age of 9 while my mother worked.  I began babysitting other children at that time as well, and my brothers and the children I sat with enjoyed the impromptu stories I made up on the spur of the moment in order to entertain them.  It was lonely during the winter months because we lived so far from town.  A wad of modeling clay or a pad of paper and crayons became my mode of entertainment.  I enjoyed art, and a story might go along with my drawings as a child.  I was always accused of having a rather vivid imagination, and storytelling became second nature.

3. What’s the most critical step when you go from an idea to a book?
The most critical step for me is getting the idea down on paper.  I’m not like the conventional writer; I merely begin to write without ever making an outline.

4. What advice would you give to aspiring authors?  
The advice I would give to aspiring authors is to write every day, whether they are working on a novel, short stories, poetry, story ideas, bits and quips of nothing, or writing in a daily journal.  It makes no difference what they write; they just need to put the words to paper or type thoughts or ideas using the keyboard each and every day.  Write, write, write.

5. Did you go through self-publishing or a traditional publisher? What is better? 
I went through self-publishing after years of frustration with enough rejection letters from traditional publishers to fill a landfill.   Attempting to engage an agent was equally as frustrating.  If you aren’t a published author an agent wants no part of you, and so with traditional publishers.

Red Sky (Sequel to Maggie)6. What is the biggest misconception about being a writer?
The biggest misconception about being a writer is the concept that a writer is an outgoing, social individual who makes wads of money through their craft.   To be a writer often requires a degree of isolation, and the monetary returns are far less than one would earn in any other endeavor taking half as long to accomplish.

7. What did you do before you became a writer?  
Before I became a writer I worked as an instructor for developmentally challenged adults, which was a very rewarding experience.  Before that I worked with my husband for eighteen years as his mechanic’s helper and bookkeeper for his heavy duty Detroit Diesel engine repair service.

8. Do you plot out your novel or do you just go with the flow?
I don’t plot out my novels.  The novel seems to write itself, flowing from my mind through my fingers onto the keyboard.

9. Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
I hear from friends who are my readers, but seldom hear from the readers outside of my circle of friends.  Those outside of my circle of friends have commented on my writing style on occasion as being easily read and they find they lose themselves within the story.  A write hopes to invoke an emotional response from their readers, and several of my readers have commented that my writing has accomplished that.  If a writer can rouse a reader’s emotions, they have accomplished the feat in essence of touching their reader’s soul.

10. What do you think makes a good story? 
Return Of The Trogon (Sequel to Red Sky)I think the thing that makes a story good is when the story lingers with the reader long after they have put it down.  If the story leaves the reader with a sense of having been a part of the story somehow, the writer has accomplished conveying their message and the story has seen success.

11. What’s next? 
I have numerous stories still in the works at different stages of development.  Next?  That depends on the day.  Tomorrow the goal might be different.  Next in line is always writing, no matter what it is I am writing.  Right now I am in the process of compiling a collection of short stories, and working on several novels I would like to complete for publication in the future.

For more on Melva Henderson or to order her books, please visit:

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