KAYLEE: Hi Melanie! I'm so glad you're here on my blog today! How long did it take for you to write The Time Key?
MELANIE: I finished writing the first draft within six months, but the ideas and background behind the book are a compilation of short stories and world building that I started in high school. So to put a time frame, it took me at least a decade to write this story.
Wow! I love that you incorporated ideas that you've had since high school. I'd love to hear your publication story.
To be honest, it’s very uneventful. I finished the book and sent it to a few competitions, but nothing happened. One or two publishers rejected it, but gave me good feedback. I left it alone for over a year before I submitted it to Cedar Fort, and was very surprised when two weeks later they offered me a contract!
That's exciting! Where did you get the idea for this book from?
A lot of ideas from over the years went into writing The Time Key, but it really all came together just before my daughter turned one. My husband and I were having a discussion and he mentioned that if anything ever happened to our daughter and me he would probably turn into a miserable drunk. That’s when Stanley came to life for me, and the rest of the plot just came along as I wrote.
What are you working on next?
Really I’m just trying to build a stronger portfolio for my illustration. As far as writing, I’m starting the research stage of a story I’ve wanted to tell since high school. There are a lot of doodles, but no solid storyline yet. I will say it follows a minor character in The Time Key and a lot of it takes place during a similar version of our own World War I.
Sounds intriguing. Tell me a little bit about yourself.
I’m a dairy farmer’s wife and a mother of two. I was born in Venezuela and came to the US at the age of nine. I studied illustration and it is my absolute passion. I live in Utah and love to find places to hike and be outdoorsy with my family.
What is your favorite writing snack?
Honestly, I don’t snack when I write. But since I do my writing late at night, I do keep a 12 oz Mt. Dew on my desk to keep me awake.
What are your top 3-5 favorite books?
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon.
The Inkheart Trilogy by Cornelia Funke.
The Book Thief is one of my favorites, too! Thanks for joining my blog today, Melanie. I loved learning more about you and your process!
Click here to learn more about Melanie and her books.
Click here to purchase The Time Key.