Welcome, one and all, to another author interview! Today, Mel Gough is stopping by again.
Hi Mel, welcome back to the site! Today, we’re talking about your two new books, Tainted Life and He is Mine. He is Mine is actually available for pre-order now on Amazon. Now, they’re different to your previous releases insofar as you chose to self-publish them rather than go through a traditional publisher. First up, what made you decide to go down this route this time around?
Hi Matt, thanks so much for having me back on your blog! It’s always a pleasure and a privilege.
When I got my deal with NineStar Press I was over the moon. And that’s still true. I love them, I love what they’re doing and what they stand for. It was the perfect place for my first foray into publishing.
I’m extremely inquisitive by nature. I also find it really difficult to not be busy. The whole writing to be published journey was as much about getting my books out there as it was about learning something new. And once I get my teeth into something, I don’t stop.
From learning the writing craft (which is a never-ending journey) I quickly got into book marketing. I’ve worked in marketing in my day jobs so it’s not a totally alien concept to me and I quite enjoy trying strategies and working with designers and other professionals in developing great campaigns.
I also enjoy technology. It fascinates and excites me how new inventions constantly change our lives. I got curious about the wheels and cogs that make the publishing industry produce its products. To my delight, I found that today it’s as easy as never before to publish your own books, and I simply had to try it!
So, with my marketing hat on, I wrote Tainted Life, which is what’s called a reader magnet: The ebook is available to everyone who signs up to my newsletter, free of charge. I decided to launch it a couple of months before self-publishing He is Mine, which is a full novel. These two are my trial run, to see how it all works and whether it’s a viable way of getting my books to my readers. I’m not at all opposed to staying hybrid (which means self-publishing some and going with a publisher for other books).
Have there been any major challenges with self-publishing process? Have you found marketing easier, harder, or much the same?
The thing that’s amazed me the most is just how busy I’ve been since starting this writing to be published malarkey. I’ve changed jobs to work part-time, and when I get home for my afternoon it’s usually non-stop until it’s time for bed. Often, weekends are full-on, too. I’m not complaining because I genuinely enjoy every minute, but it’s shockingly hard work!
One of the great uncertainties about self-pubbing is Amazon. It’s a fantastic thing for indie authors – until it’s not. Amazon has business interests that go far beyond even the biggest authors, traditional or indie, and the feeling of uncertainty is ever-present. Will Amazon change its algorithms and push my book onto the back pages? Will they change something and not tell us and suddenly we lose half our revenue? Will my ARC reviews be deleted? The list goes on.
But the good thing is, that there’s a growing community of authors in the same boat, and not only are they the most supportive bunch I’ve ever come across, they’re also organizing into lobbies that are talking to Amazon and other big players in the field to make the case for indie authors.
Our protagonists are NYPD detective Brad Moretti and actress Vivienne Aubert. And then there’s a third player, actor Damien Thomas. In what order did they come to you, and how does it all fit together?
The first of the three that came to me was Vivienne. I’ve been wanting to write an unlikeable character for a while, and then she came to me, pretty much fully formed. I hope that people will find her interesting, though.
The second main character is Brad, and he’s the hero who gets the boy. Maybe. 😉 He and Viv both fall hard for Damien, who is sweet and handsome, so it’s not really a surprise. Things definitely pick up when the three of them meet.
Do you have a favorite scene, or a moment in the book that you feel really sums up the two leads?
The scene where Brad meets Damien and Viv for the first time is really crucial. He realizes right away that there’s something not quite right with Viv, and Damien piques his interest for several reasons. That’s a scene early on in the second half of the book, and the way the story changes after that was really exciting to write.
Do you have a favorite side character in the book, or is the focus squarely on Brad, Viv and Damien for you?
My favorite side character is Eric, who is Brad’s partner with the NYPD. He’s very smart, and he has an interesting back story of his own. And he’s a really good friend when Brad needs one. I wouldn’t mind writing about Eric again, and finding out more about him.
When I read your previous novel, A World Apart, it wasn’t without some harsher moments. Do you find it easier to write stories with a touch of darkness to them, or have the stories just turned out that way so far?
I definitely like to write dark stories, yes. He is Mine is a story about fatal attraction, obsession and stalking. The other focus is the havoc that Brad’s last relationship played on him. His previous boyfriend had a lot of mental health issues, and as much as they both tried, in the end it was too much. I like to write about lovers who take care of each other and support each other, but this time, I’m also writing about the toll that takes on the relationship. And you can’t always ‘fix’ things, as much as you’d love to. There’s a lot of sadness in this book, but also some happy moments, and to be honest, I live for those.
A World Apart featured a realistic portrayal of some severe medical issues. Given the mentioned ‘angsty’ tag, what sort of things can readers expect to be broached this time around?
Definitely. There’s a strong focus on mental health issues this time, and some other long-term conditions. I do like the hurt/comfort trope, and it’s definitely going strong once again.
Does the book have a HFN ending or a HEA one? Also, is it a world that you want to return to at all, or is it more one that you wanted to leave it open for readers to imagine what may happen next?
For some of them, it’s a HEA ending. 😉 At least I hope so… And yes, I’d love to return to it. I think I’d like to do what Garrett Leigh does a lot and write about some of the side characters in the book. There’s a lot on my plate for at least a year, though, so I might not get around to it anytime soon.
If you could sum up the story in one or two sentences, what would they be?
What do you do when you think you finally found the love of your life, the one person who will be able to give you everything you want, and it turns out that they don’t share that dream?
What other projects are you currently working on?
I’m in the middle of editing my first historical romance, which is set in the 1950s. I have three projects in mind for next year: A new series with a reverse harem theme, a dystopian novel that could turn into a series, and a novella. I haven’t done much yet with any of those, and there’s one other project I can’t say much about yet, but it’ll be another busy year.
Finally, I wanted to thank you for stopping by again. Did you have any final messages for readers, and where can they go to find out more about you and your work?
Thank you for having me!
In He is Mine, Instagram accounts play quite a pivotal role for the story, so I created an account for Viv and one for Damien. Over the next few weeks, the two of them will share some details of the story on there:
If readers would like to try one of my books before committing to reading He is Mine, they can now sign up for my newsletter and get my novella Tainted Life for free: https://melgough.com/newsletter/
I mostly hang out on Twitter and Facebook, and I post my news there, so come and follow me: