Friday, January 11, 2013

Welcome Marliss Melton today

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Welcome to my Reading Nook, Marliss Melton. Please make yourself at home and let my cabana boys/girls get you a drink.

Comfortable? Wonderful. Now let’s get started.

What’s the first thing you did when you received word you’d sold a book? 

It’s been over ten years since I sold my first book, so the memory has faded, but I believe the first thing I did was to call my parents and tell them the good news. Every writer should be so lucky as to have parents like mine, who believed in my dream. 

Tell us about your latest/upcoming release. What inspired it?

THE GUARDIAN is the second book in my Taskforce Series, following THE PROTECTOR, which tells the story of a former Navy SEAL called out of seclusion to protect the daughter of a top U.S. Commander when her life was threatened by terrorists.
The hero of THE PROTECTOR now heads up an Inter-Agency Counterterrorist, which infiltrates suspected terrorist groups by sending FBI, ATF, or DEA agents undercover to investigate them.
In THE GUARDIAN, FBI Special Agent Jackson Maddox pretends to be an ex-convict in order to investigate a reintegration program that may have ties to terrorism. His deep cover is threatened when a hot-as-hell journalist shows up with a camera and a secret agenda that threatens his own.  
THE GUARDIAN was actually inspired by an event that took place close to my home, where the body of an unidentified male had been found on fire! It was later learned that he had been burned alive and that his tattoo linked him to a powerful gang. My imagination linked that gang to a terrorist movement, and my story was born from there. 

If one of your books became a movie, which celebrity would you like to star as your characters?
       Funny you should ask. I’m writing a screen play for THE PROTECTOR right now, since I think it would make an awesome movie! I describe this first book in my Taskforce Series as a cross between the movies SHOOTER and TAKEN. While Mark Wahlberg is neither tall nor silver-haired, he plays the brooding reclusive soldier very well, so I’d choose him to play former Navy SEAL Ike Calhoun.
      If THE GUARDIAN were to be made into a movie, then Jesse Williams would play the role of Jackson Maddox perfectly. He’s a light-skinned African American hero with gray-green eyes.
      On my website, I have picked out celebrities to portray the main characters of all my Navy SEAL books, which would make an excellent mini-series for television. You can check out the celebrities that my readers and I have chosen by visiting my fun stuff pages at

What genres would you like to try writing in but haven’t yet done so? Why?
       I got started in my career writing medieval romance, of all things, and I plan to add a third book to my first two to create a trilogy. But what I’d really like to do is to pen inspirational romantic suspense, where the inspirational part is very subtle, so that readers never feel like I am preaching. Nor would I want to eliminate any of the violence or sex just so my story fits the inspirational genre. In a sense, then, I’d be creating a whole new genre of realist, gritty, yet inspirational romantic suspense.

What is your normal writing day like? 
     I write from 8 am to 3 pm Monday through Friday, while my youngest is in school. (Summers and holidays call for more creative use of my time.) Some writers do their best work at night, but I need my sleep! Still, a critical part of my writing takes place just after I lie down to sleep and let my thoughts dwell on my story. In the twilight realm between waking and sleeping, I am very often inspired about what to write next. This is an invaluable resource for me, and I encourage all writers to tap into it.  

What are some of your hobbies/favorite past times to indulge in? 
    I am a soprano soloist and a bit of a fitness buff, so singing and exercising are pastimes that I indulge in frequently.  During holidays, I enjoy wine tasting at various vineyards, boating, fishing, and sightseeing. I look forward to traveling abroad in the next decade, as I did growing up. 

Who are some of your favorite authors, and if we were to visit your home, what books would we find on your bookshelf, end table, floor or e-reader?
     Suzanne Brockmann is the author who inspired my earlier writing, especially my Navy SEALs series. I still have all of her Tall, Dark, and Dangerous books. Lately I have expanded my reading to include books by Vince Flynn, Laura Griffin, and Andrew Gross. Plus I read a lot of nonfiction about Navy SEALs to inspire my creative side. I have a Kindle App on my Ipad, and I have to confess that e-readers make it so easy to be a reader!

If you could be any character of any book or movie, who would you be?

    Did you see the comedy Crazy, Stupid Love? Well, many people have told me that I resemble Julianne Moore, a compliment that I take every time and run with! I love that movie because it addresses the ennui that affects marriages over the long haul. Keeping a marriage alive and exciting is a huge challenge, so that particular movie really speaks to me. I could take Julianne Moore’s place and no one would know the difference. Truth to tell, though, I’d much rather be Emma Stone in that movie because the secondary love story between the daughter and actor Ryan Gosling was so incredibly romantic and sexy that it curled my toes! Here’s the link if you missed it! Crazy Stupd Love, the Movie

Do you have a favorite TV show you can't miss?
     It’s like this:  I grew up overseas where the wasn’t any television, so I never got hooked on TV. I rarely ever watch it, even though I know I should, if only to get ideas for my books. The only thing I ever watch with some regularity is HGTV and Animal Planet while working out on my elliptical.

What is your writing process? Do you outline, fly by the seat of your pants or a combination of both?
    I love the idea of outlining. I have tried and tried to do it. I’ve even tried Suz Brockmann’s technique of writing mini-chapters and then going back and fluffing them up. Nope. Can’t do it. I so often have no idea of what’s coming up next until one of my characters reveals the plot to me by doing or saying something totally unexpected.

Could you tell us about any work-in-progress, current projects, what we can expect from you in the future?
    I’m dying to tell you about Book #3 of my Taskforce Series because I am in love with the storyline and the characters! When the Taskforce suspects a militia in West Virginia of a recent car bombing in DC, Special Agent Tobias Burke goes undercover with his bomb-sniffing dog to incriminate the militia’s leader. Toby is prepared to play the role of a disgruntled veteran and to seduce former lieutenant Dylan Connelly, if that’s what it takes to prove her guilt. But fiery-haired Dylan is unlike any woman Toby has ever encountered. Determined, intelligent, and achingly vulnerable, she sparks a white-hot desire in Toby to posses her, body and soul. As the evidence against the militia stacks higher, Toby must choose between loyalty to his country and the impulse to protect Dylan’s future. 

Who has been the most delightful character to write about? The most challenging to write about?

 Heroes with a sense of humor are often a delight to write about. In my current WIP, Special Agent Tobias Burke wears T-shirts that suit his frame of mind. He’s laid back and easy-going, which makes him so likeable. But then again, those dark brooding heroes that rarely crack a smile and are so intense they make it hard to breathe are also fun to write about. I suppose the most difficult heroes for me to enjoy are the ruthlessly logical heroes who neglect the impulses of their heart. The same is true for heroines. Lucy Donovan of SHOW NO FEAR (Navy SEAL Book #7) is a tough and capable woman who detests showing any signs of weakness. She was the hardest heroine for me to portray because I’m exactly the opposite!

What do you do to unwind and relax? 
 I love to visit my lake house and sip a robust Shiraz on the deck while listening to the cicadas buzz in the treetops. Or, when weather prohibits that, I sit by the fire at my lake house doing jig-saw puzzles or reading a good book!

What is the last line of your last WIP you worked on that you wrote? 

(I have to preface this by explaining that my hero is alone and fantasizing).
Dylan. He ground his teeth to keep from growling his pleasure as he ejaculated in an embarrassingly short amount of time. 
As he cleaned himself up, he considered what a hypocrite he’d be sitting in church with her tomorrow. Dylan might be the terrorist, but at least her intentions were noble. He couldn’t say that much about himself. 

Anything you would like to add? 

If you’ve never read my Navy SEALs Series, you are in for a treat! Here there are, in order, along with two recent additions to the series, a novella entitled LONG GONE and a Christmas short story, RECLAIMED.

TOO FAR GONE (read with the novella LONG GONE)
(RECLAIMED—A Christmas Short Story)

Click here to read THE PROTECTOR or THE GUARDIAN.

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The Guardian by Marliss Melton


A journalist’s harrowing vendetta becomes an undercover agent’s nightmare.

The Taskforce sends Special Agent Jackson Maddox to pose as an ex-convict in a reintegration program believed to have ties to terrorism. Out of the blue, a beauty snaps Jackson’s picture, putting his deep cover in jeopardy. Journalist Magdalena Alexandra won’t be chased away. She has an agenda of her own—to send her sister’s killer back to jail. As the nights heat up and peril looms, Jackson and Lena find benefits to uniting forces. But teaming up means more than looking out for each other—it requires sharing secrets dangerous to tell.


Lorelei's Lit Lair said...

I enjoyed very much the interview and it's always great to learn about you and how you work. I'm so glad that on a whim I picked up your book Next To Die a few yrs back and was hooked and been a fan since. Thank you for entertaining my days! Smiles ;D Lorelei

Marliss Melton said...

Thank you, Lorelei,
What you do for authors is so much appreciated. I'll be sending you a paperback version of THE GUARDIAN just as soon as I get one in my hot little hands!

Amelia said...

I've read and enjoyed all of Marliss Melton's Navy SEAL and Protector series books.

If you haven't read them I would suggest starting with either Foreget Me Not or The Protector. They are the first in their respective series but I would also say they are excellent at drawing you into the books that follow them.

Bridget C said...

Interesting blog! I got here from Lorelei's Facebook page, she is a terrible influence, always suggesting great authors and books... ;)

marlene said...

Marliss is the best military romance writer out there, everything she writes lives you waiting for the next book. Thank you Marliss

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