Sunday, February 21, 2016

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Michael Melville talks five things learned writing ALL THE ROADS HOME

After nine months of living in the Highlands of Scotland with just his dog while recovering from a devastating divorce, Shawn Stewart, a changed man, begins an interesting and emotional journey back to his hometown of Astoria Oregon. He reconnects with lost parts of his heart, mind, spirit, and forgotten memories and says goodbye as he begins the next stage in getting his life back.

Along the way, he reconnects with his best friend Billy who, unbeknownst to Shawn, has a lot riding on his recovery and future happiness.

Once arriving home, an old romance begins to blossom but teeters on a precipice as personal struggles and serious family conflict begin to make cracks in his new life.

Shawn struggles not with just who he wants to be but also with who his family needs him to be.
The appearance of an old man named Pockets leads to life-altering choices for Shawn, and life changing news for his best friend.

All the Roads Home is a story about how a group of people come together not just for the benefit of one man, but also for each other.


This has more to do with the print version then the Kindle version.

With my first novel, RUNNING NORTHWEST, the formatting went pretty easy.

With ALL THE ROADS HOME, it was such a pain in the ass. I don’t know if it was because of the new update for Word, but it took me forever. My word file was showing me one thing and the online proofer for CS was showing another.

Then I ran out of coffee day... Ugh.

In fact, this last week I’ve basically done nothing but get the print edition of ATRH right.

So, I learned that I will be paying for formatting for the next book in the series which is The Diner. Not because I can’t do it, but it’s just too much of a pain in my ass.

It sucks but I learned a lot in between the first book and the newest one.
Financially, with ALL THE ROADS HOME, I wasn’t able to put as much money into pre-release marketing (and post-release so far) as what I would have liked. However, I took the things learned and made a lot more headway, this time.

Blogging and my circles (NETWORK! NETWORK! NETWORK!--PJW) have helped significantly.
So for the next one, I’ll be having more money to spend on promotions.

Although I don’t buy into the belief that writers write every day, I learned I do need to make more time every day to at least try and write. If that means I sit in front of the computer and type nothing for an hour because nothing is coming, then that’s the way it is.

I learned while writing ATRH to not push it. I did a warm up write to get the juices flowing. It helped a lot but sometimes it didn’t. So if that means I write a blog post, and no novel words, then I do. (Writing is writing. Writers write. So, yeah, Mike, you're going about the right way. Bravo!--PJW) Considering how much is involved in actually being a writer, it’s not the end of my world if a week or three goes by and I don’t write anything of substance in my current WIP. I know it will get done. I’d rather write nothing in my WIP then have what I’m writing feel forced or even half-assed. I have no desire to be one those authors whipping out 3 novels a year for marketing reasons.

Very early on I was so worried about ALL THE ROADS HOME and the Oregon series for which the novel is a part of. I wasn’t sure where it would fit in. Where its niche was, or even what genre since the early idea crossed several genres and made it feel overly complex even though I loved the story.
I read so many silly ass blog posts and advice in writing groups for indies that it scared the shit out of me because I wasn’t clear on my genre definitions and target audience.

Then, on vacation, I ran into a friend of mine who publishes with HarperCollins and talked to him about the book. At that point, I was six chapters in.

He gave me the best advice I ever got.

He said, “Write the damn book that you want to write, and don’t worry about all that garbage, Melville.” (Best advice ever!--PJW)

It was simple, but clear advice.

From that point on, I finished the book without worrying about the things that I had, and am very happy with how it turned out. Sometimes you just gotta let the cards lay where they fall.

I think because of the way the business side of this makes us feel, we authors get too side-tracked by the marketing, and rules and stuff. I know I do, and I know it gets in the way of my writing.

5. WORDS...
I use a lot of random, pointless words. I found this out with RUNNING NORTHWEST after my new editor got a hold of it and she pointed it out.

It was the same with ALL THE ROADS HOME.

One of the biggest is “though” and ending a sentence with it.

My writing patterns for dialogue are mirrored by real-life speech and "though" is a word I hear used often in that way, and use it myself. In a novel, however, it's generally completely unnecessary. I think I took out over 80 of the word “though” during the editing of ALL THE ROADS HOME. I know a few slipped in.

“However” is another one I have issues with. LOL


Praise for Melville's ALL THE ROADS HOME:

"...another beautifully written book by Michael Melville. His unique painterly style of writing truly transports you to the location of each character. In the beginning chapters you slowly become acquainted with the main character, Shawn, taking in his surroundings and connecting with his heart. As you journey with Shawn from Scotland back to the US and across the country, you find yourself being sucked further into the story and truly caring for each of the characters. I would HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone looking for something new and fresh to read."

"RUNNING NORTHWEST was an amazing book, but this one blew it out of the water. He (Melville) did a really terrific job showing the story through the main character, Shawn. I felt extremely close to all the characters, like I've known them my whole life. As you follow Shawn through his adventures you find yourself not being able to put the book down. I was reading this at work, home, and whenever I could find the time. Another amazing book by Michael, and I look forward to more. Job well done, 5 stars all the way."

"I loved this book from the very beginning. I've never been to Scotland, but I feel like I have from reading this (Oregon too). Michael has a talent for making his characters and places so real. Honestly, it's a great story..."



 Michael is 37, a novelist, former entrepreneur and a senior at Grand Valley State University. He is a proud father of an amazing year and a half-old little boy named Jax and happily engaged to his mother; an amazingly inspirational woman named Stacey. He is now trying to make his mark in the literary word in some noticeable way as an author and writer.

He has published two works so far in his writing career. The first was Running Northwest; a romance novel about a single father raising his adopted son alone on the Oregon Coast. The second is a short story called Christmas Senses, which is about a man stricken with blindness and how he experiences Christmas with his family in his own unique way.

He recently released his second full-length novel and 3rd published work titled All the Roads Home in January 2016. This novel is the first book in his new and exciting Oregon Series. He is already hard at work writing the second book in that series titled The Diner, which will come out later in 2016.


Twitter: @BooksbyMelville
Amazon Author Page:
Instagram: @oregonmike98


Imagine a place where dreams come true and new ones are born. A place where friends laugh, kids smile and new love blossoms. Where walks on foggy ocean beaches or misty woods become memories that will last a lifetime. A place where people and nature peacefully coexist and enjoy the company of one another. A place where lost love can be reborn and lives made simple and perfect. A place where you can get lost in your future and leave the darkness behind. Find that place in Running Northwest.

Set against the unpredictable Pacific Ocean, on the rocky, forested northern coast of Oregon is a story about heartbreaking loss, rebuilding, fate and love. Running Northwest takes the reader on a journey as an unexpected road weaves its way through the life of single father, Thomas James and his 8-year-old son, Daniel. In Michigan, newly single Stephanie Davis is about to begin her own journey down a path she never expected and never even knew existed which will change her life in ways never imagined.

RUNNING NORTHWEST is available for Kindle and Paperback