This interview was taken via email on December 7, 2009.
So Melanie, please tell the readers your latest news and current projects you are working on.
My single title, SKELETON BAYOU, is now available from The Wild Rose Press, with release to many other outlets in both e-book and print formats in mid-December. Then in February, the second title in my six-book New Orleans Detective series, PRIME SUSPECT, will be released in e-book form from Desert Breeze Publishing.
Wow, It seems as though you have a lot going on right now. Lets talk about your latest book , "Skeleton Bayou." It sounds very intriguing, how did you come up with the title for the book?
"Skeleton Bayou" is a fictitious place name I came up with after setting the book in south Louisiana. A pair of skeletons are vital to the plot...so the name just seemed to fit.
I love your book cover is very artistic and gives the reader a good visual expectation of what they are about to read. Can you tell me who designed the cover?
Rae Monet, a friend in California who designs covers for my publisher, The Wild Rose Press, in addition to running her own web design firm. She also does my website.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
It didn't start out that way, but the book turned into an eco-suspense, meaning that it has a "green" theme: Hazardous waste kills.
I think a lot of readers will appreciate your book having a "green" theme, it makes the story seem all the more real. So how much of the book is realistic?
I'm not sure what you mean by this question. The book is a work of fiction, but I do a lot of research and work hard to get law enforcement, medical, and natural facts (such as those for a certain locale) right.
What did you find, was the hardest part of writing this new book?
Entwining the subplot with the main plot. It was an intricate dance.
Are any of the experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
No. All of the people, events, and places are purely fictional.
Lets talk about you for a moment. Where are you originally from?
I was born in Jackson, MS and lived there until I was six, when I moved to Florence, MS. I'm a Southern girl, though and through.
When and why did you begin writing?
I've written since I was a child, penning cat stories in church on the back of the bulletin. I can't NOT write. It's just what I do.
When did you first consider yourself a writer and what inspired you to write ?
I had drifted away from writing and even reading for a while after college when life got in the way, but came back to it after attending a continuing education creative writing class at Millsaps College. I knew then that I wanted to be a writer.
What books or authors have most influenced your life?
Lisa Gardner, Linda Howard, and Sandra Brown have had a great influence. They write fantastic suspense, and I want to be like them.
Can you name one entity that you feel supported your writing outside of family members?
The Magnolia State Romance Writers, the only chapter of Romance Writers of America in Mississippi. Once I joined them and RWA, I knew I had come home. You won't find more supportive writers' organizations anywhere.
Do you see writing as a career?
Yes. I write and edit (freelance, and I also copy edit for an e-publisher), in addition to acting as my mother's care-giver.
Do you have to travel much concerning your books?
I attend several out of state conferences each year, but that is the extent of my travels except for an occasional trip to New Orleans, etc. to scout the location of a new book.
If you learn anything from writing your books, what was it?
I learned never to quit. Perseverance equals success.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Write every day, and never, ever quit.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I hope you enjoy SKELETON BAYOU'S roller coaster ride of suspense, romance, and mystery. This book is one of my favorites.
Thank you Melanie Atkins, author of Voodoo Bones , Haunted Memories, Emily's Nightmare, Whirlwind. Cherished Witness, Cosmic Intervention, and now Skeleton Bayou and Prime Suspect. Check out Melanie's websites at:
Melanie Atkins is also in the anthology Mad Dogs & Moonshine where her short story Moving the Finish Line can be found.
You can purchase Skeleton Bayou now at:
After the 11th, the book will also be available at many other online outlets such as Amazon and Barnes & Nobles.