I’ve never had so much fun reminiscing at her memories of Sweet Valley High, a book most of us bookworms are familiar with! From her love for books, her beagles and her husband it seems she has everything she needs to breeze through her career which is on the up!
She is a self-confessed book-a-holic who lives in a small town along the coast in sunny South Africa. She writes contemporary romance with quirky characters and witty banter; a true romantic at heart; she loves the moment of falling in love. Her pet Beagles keep her company while writing and often inspire senseless moments in her stories.
When she is not furiously tapping away on her laptop, Melissa can be found getting up to crazy antics with her husband or scouring online stores for additions to her ever growing stiletto collection.
She balances her day job and conjuring up new romantic tales with a local personal blog with arb ramblings about her life in Durban. Perusing all things Chris Hemsworth also takes up a great deal of her time. A true foodie at heart, nothing makes her day quite like a decadent dessert. CHOCOLATE SOLVES EVERYTHING!!!
- At what age did you decide this is the career you wanted ?
I have been a book worm since the moment I knew how to read. Falling so hopelessly and unequivocally into a story is like experiencing a moment of magic. I started writing when I was in my early teens and have been doing so part time since then. I started writing more seriously in my late twenties and am working as hard as I can to turn this into a full time career so I can quit my day job and turn my dream into a reality.
- What does your work mean to you? Is it fulfilling?
I love the moment of falling in love so being able to write love stories with the push and pull of two characters who want to make it work despite the odds against them is definitely fulfilling. Seeing my name in print is a feeling of accomplishment that is unrivaled by any other.
- Who are your inspirations?
My love for books started with Francine Pascal and the Sweet Valley series. As I grew older, writers such as Rachel Gibson, Jill Shalvis and now Lauren Layne have certainly shaped my love for the genre. Strong, independent heroines and the heroes that soften to their wiles are characters that make for a good book. Snarky characters and witty banter almost always make for a good read.
- What is your favorite type of dance to learn and/or watch?
If I could dance, I would love to be able to do something out of Dancing with the Stars, their ballroom is simply elegant.
- What’s the three things you never leave home without?
My cellphone, labello and kissing my fur babies goodbye and telling them momma loves them.
- Lovelife? Care to share?
I have been married for 5 years now. I married my preschool sweetheart. Funny story…. We were best friends in our youth and when I was 6 my family moved away. I didn’t know his last name to look him up but then this wonderful thing called Facebook was created and I found him!
He’s my best friend and biggest supporter, I couldn’t ask for more in a husband.
- Consider yourself a Masterchef in the kitchen?
Definitely! I love cooking and creating fanciful desserts…. The clean up not so much. I am a dessert queen though and always loving putting out individually plated creations.
- Do you have advice for anyone wanting to start writing?
Write because you love to write, not because it’s a chore. Know your content, do the research if you are writing about a topic you are unfamiliar with. Grow a thick skin because the feedback isn’t always pretty and criticism can really knock your confidence. Take advice from those established in the industry – they know what they are talking about.
- What is your favorite TV show?
I’m hooked on The Walking Dead, hubby and I often discuss the options we would have should a zombie apocalypse strike.
- What is your favorite past TV show?
As a kid there were so many. Friends was everyone’s favorite. More recently I have enjoyed Strike Back, hot military men who can handle their equipment, what’s not to love
- If you were stuck in one TV show which one would it have to be?
Anything that had Chris Hemsworth in it… he’s my TV boyfriend and oh so dreamy.
- What is your favorite movie?
Way too many to choose from. I’m a sucker for a good romantic comedy or a military movie. I don’t mind blood and gore but supernatural stuff scares the hell out of me.
- What was the last movie you saw in the movie theatre?
Beauty and the Beast
- What do you like to do in your free time?
Snuggle in with my two beagles and a good book. Hubby is usually in the house playing on his PS4
- What is your favorite restaurant/food place where you live?
Biera Alta in Ballito – best Portuguese food ever!
- Do you have any pets?
Two Beagle bums – Baxtor and Harley
- If you had a soundtrack to your life what song/songs would have to be on it?
Nothing really comes to mind, my life is a mosh pit of music
- What charity is closest to your heart?
PACT – I believe these ladies do so much more for the animals of Durban than any other institute.
- Do you have a favorite quote or saying that is always on your mind?
You don’t live only once, you live every day. You only get this one life, make it count
- Best travel experience, what made it a special memory?
My first overseas trip to Dubai and Thailand. You never quite understand what is out in the world till you get the opportunity to travel. Soaking in the different food, culture and traditions is incredibly humbling.
Check out th extract from her book ‘It Had To Be You’ by clicking here
Make sure you are following her on Twitter Follow @melissakate_1