Please welcome Melissa Barker-Simpson,
a woman who inspires me daily with her enthusiasm for all things, her kindness, her support, our shared love of family, her uniquely wonderful writing style, and so much more. I’ve enjoyed three of her novels so far, and I’m looking forward to reading everything else she has written and is now writing. I rated her latest release, Hands of Evil, five out of five stars.
Melissa, thank you for pausing your many writing projects to answer some questions for us. I love learning more about you, and making it possible for others to learn more about you.
Gina: I have a few standard questions that I ask every Inspiring Interviewee, and today I’d like to start with one of them. Mel, what is something you wish everyone knew?
Mel: That everyone is connected in one way or another, and we are never truly alone. It sounds a little trite, perhaps, but I genuinely believe our lives can be touched by the simplest understanding.
Gina: I agree with you on that, Melissa. I find that comforting.
Now I want to move to a specific question that I don’t think you’ve answered in other interviews. If you have answered it before, I didn’t see it. The question is: how did you name your Morgan and Fairchild series?
Mel: I must admit, I struggle with titles. The series as a whole was a simple choice. Brad Morgan and Kelvin Fairchild created the agency, so in a way the stories all link back to them and the team they brought together. Individually, Sins of the Father was the first title that fit, the only one I was happy with. I didn’t have a clue when it came to naming the second in the series. For the longest time it was just JJ’s story! Then my sister suggested Hands of Evil and I liked it so much, I’ll be hounding her again when the time comes!
Gina: Titles can be challenging for me, too. It’s wonderful that you can consult your sister for future titles.
What would you say to anyone reading this interview who is going through tough times right now?
Mel: I have a favourite quote, which I think sums it up – “What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson. It’s what I’ve always believed. Don’t let go of the light. Even in the darkest moments it’s there, burning inside. We can’t always see it, sometimes it’s easier not to, but it’s there.
Gina: Very nice! This is a new quote for me. I can see why it’s a favorite.
Who, and/or what, has influenced you to be the inspiring person you are today?
Mel: My Dad, for his quiet patience and gentle soul. My mum, for her bubbly, effervescent personality. My sisters for making me laugh and always being there when I need them. My brother for inspiring me with his strength and sharing my love for science fiction. My childhood friends for accepting who I am and being there for me, and more recently my online friends, for their acceptance, support and encouragement.
Gina: We share a love for paranormal romance. Do you remember when you first discovered the genre? What book, or author, was it?
Mel: I think it was probably The Donovan Legacy Series by Nora Roberts. I love her work, and I particularly enjoyed those four books.
Gina: That’s one of her series I haven’t read yet. Now I’m really excited about them. Nora Roberts also introduced me to paranormal romance with her Three Sister’s Island trilogy.
You are currently a self-published author. Would you consider signing on with a publisher if the contract was attractive enough?
Mel: I never say no to anything, that’s one of my weaknesses! I do, however, like to weigh things from different angles and though I love the independence and freedom of doing my own thing, I would never rule out collaborative working.
Gina: My final question is a fun one. I read in another interview that you enjoy travel. What is one of the best trips you’ve been on?
Mel: It has to be Pisa. The history, the magic, the culture – it all drew me in. The view from the top of the Tower of Pisa is simply breathtaking. I loved Italy, especially Rome. But Pisa holds a special place in my heart.
I hope you’ve enjoyed visiting with Mel as much as I have. Please feel free to ask questions if you’re curious about anything. She’s wonderfully warm and inviting to talk with.
As always, thank you for reading,