Melanie Bennett Jacobson is an avid reader, amateur cook, and champion shopper. She consumes astonishing amounts of chocolate, chick flicks, and romance novels. After meeting her husband online, she is now living happily married in Southern California with her growing family and a series of doomed houseplants. Melanie is a former English teacher and a sometime blogger who loves to laugh and make others laugh. In her downtime (ha!), she writes romantic comedies and pines after beautiful shoes.
1. How did you get started as an author? What or whom inspired you?
I've been "writing" since I was a kid, when I stand by my dad's typewriter and dictate poetry to him before I even knew how to read. I loved stories. I grew up among a bunch of Louisiana storytellers, and I was raised by two major bookworms, so I've just always loved stories.
2. What writing project are you currently working on? What can you tell us about these projects?
I'm just finishing up a story for my publisher, Covenant. I haven't done a book set in the LDS world for a while, so that's what I'm doing, and even better, I'm setting it in Louisiana. I hope it gives readers a sense of what the Mormon church experience is like outside of the western U.S.
3. How important are the names in your novels? How do you choose names for your characters? Do you have any name resources you would suggest?
Names are a big deal to me and often change. In the one I'm working on now, the main guy's name has changed twice and the main girl's name has changed four times. My two biggest rules in contemporary stories are that you can't have TOO many weird spellings or unusual names or it's distracting to the reader, and you can't choose "traditional" names that are way too old for the character. For example, you might know a lot of Debbies, but how many of them are twenty? Probably none. So make sure the name matches the character's age.
4. What authors inspire your writing?
It's a TV show: Gilmore Girls. I love the very fast, dialogue driven feel of that show.
5. What period of history interests you the most? Does this influence your writing?
Everything I write is contemporary, so I'm not too influenced by history. but on a personal note, I love American history, starting with the revolution.
6. What inspired the idea for your story in the Mariposa Hotel novel?
I saw a hilarious article about a woman who checked into a luxury hotel and when the customer service app had a space for requests, as a joke she asked for a picture of Nicolas Cage to be sent up. It turned into a days-long joke between her and the staff, with her trying to stump them and them trying to outdo her. I wanted to do something like that but with Tom Hiddleston, because I love him as an actor. I just had to figure out who would request it and build a story around it.
7. If you could choose someone famous to star in one of your books made to a movie, who would you choose and for which character?
This almost stumped me, but I think Anna Kendrick would be the perfect Pepper Spicer from Not My Type.
8. What other hobbies do you enjoy when you are not writing?
Reading! And I love board games. And watching TV. And shopping. Hm. I'm not exactly an outdoorsy, sports-type, am I?
I had the priviledge of meeting Melanie Jacobson at the 2015 Vegas Valley Book Festival...
Back row: my friend Renee Hardy and me
Front row: authors Melanie Jacobson and Christene Houston
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