Writing since she was old enough to put pen to paper, Deborah Fletcher Mello firmly believes that for her, writing is as necessary as breathing. Her first novel, TAKE ME TO HEART, earned her a 2004 Romance Slam Jam nomination for Best New Author. In 2008, Deborah won the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice award for Best Series Romance for her ninth novel, TAME A WILD STALLION. Her publication, CRAVING TEMPTATION was named one of Publisher's Weekly Best Books for 2014 and was also nominated for a 2015 Emma Award for Book of the Year. As well, her novel PLAYING FOR KEEPS was a Library Journal Best of 2015 and won the Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice award for Best Multicultural Romance. Most recently, Deborah was named the 2016 Romance Slam Jam Author of the Year. Born and raised in Fairfield County, Connecticut, Deborah maintains base camp in North Carolina but considers home to be wherever the moment moves her.
A Stallion Dream (The Stallions)by Deborah Fletcher MelloPublish: Sep 01, 2018Series: The Stallions SeriesContemporary Romance
Seduced by the Badge (To Serve and Seduce)by Deborah Fletcher MelloPublish: Jun 01, 2018Series: To Serve and SeduceRomantic Suspense
Tempted by the Badge (To Serve and Seduce Book 2)by Deborah Fletcher MelloPublish: Mar 01, 2019Series: To Serve and SeduceRomantic Suspense
Brawn (A One Love Short Story)by Deborah Fletcher MelloPublish: Apr 17, 2018Contemporary Romance
I was born and raised in Fairfield County, an affluent little community in the southwestern corner of the state of Connecticut. I was spoiled rotten by two loving parents and an adoring grandmother. I have always loved books, devouring as many as I could from our local library on a weekly basis. It was middle school when I started to write. I use to journal poetry in the margins of my science lab book. I hated science and was failing the class miserably! But one day, the teacher pulled me aside and said that if I continued to write she would give me a passing grade in her class. That was all the validation I needed and I haven't stopped writing since.What made you decide to write romance? What is one misconception that many people have about this genre?
I fell into romance quite accidently. I'd written my first book and I was certain it was going to be a literary masterpiece as I shopped it around to publishers. After multiple rejections I tossed it into a drawer to regroup. Months later I received THE CALL from what was then BET Books wanting to publish my story. It was working with a wonderful editor who deleted 80 pages of the manuscript to help me refine the story and my romance career was born!
Admittedly, I was a bit of a literary snob when my first book was published. I had not read romance and truly knew nothing of the genre. Although my first book released to rave reviews, diehard romance fans HATED it! It didn't follow the formula they loved and they had no qualms letting me know where I'd gotten it wrong. I was captivated by the passion they had for the genre and the authors and I took time to educate myself before writing my second book. I started reading every romance I could get my hands on, and what I discovered was that I had been missing out on some truly incredible stories. I think one of the biggest misconceptions is that romance novels are poorly written and that the stories are trite and that is just so untrue.If you could describe your book "Seduced by the Badge" in three words, what would they be? How did you first get the idea for this book?
Three words...hmm...I would say CAPTIVATING...EMOTIONAL...and ENGAGING! The idea for the story came because I wanted to shine a spotlight on the complexity and horrors of human trafficking and the girls and women who get caught up through no fault of their own making. Most especially for the children. It was an important story for me to tell in a way that I knew I could tell it well.Who inspired the character Collin Stallion and who would play him in a live action adaptation? What was the most challenging aspect of creating his character?
Collin Stallion first appeared in my book SEDUCED BY A STALLION, which was the story of his mother Katrina Broomes and Texan billionaire Matthew Stallion. He was fifteen years old and had stolen Matthew Stallion's Mercedes. Fast forward and Collin is all grown up with his own story in A STALLION DREAM. The challenge for me was aging him appropriately with minor guest spots in other Stallion stories so that when I gave him his own book, it rang authentically with my readers. Now, if ever there was a live action adaptation, I would love to see a young Keith Hamilton Cobb or Lenny Kravitz play the role! Someone sexy, and laid back with a thick mane of dreadlocks!What were some fears/doubts you had while publishing your first book? Did you expect your first novel to earn you a 2004 Romance Slam Jam nomination for Best New Author?
My biggest fear was that readers would hate it and the book would fail. And that fear came true! Diehard romance readers hated the book but they loved my writing. style One of my first reviews said that I should not give up my day job! I took that as a challenge and I was determined to get better and make readers love my books! Earning that Romance Slam Jam nomination came out of left field. I was stunned but it was the motivation I needed to keep pushing.What inspired the idea behind "TAME A WILD STALLION”? What was the best review you got for this book?
TAME A WILD STALLION was inspired by my late grandmother, Susie Cole. She helped raise me and she was such an inspiration. There was nothing she wouldn't try and she taught me to not be afraid to take risks, that failure was in not trying. She rode a motorcycle and she was unapologetic about living life to the fullest and putting her happiness before all else. She was the inspiration for the heroine, Michelle "Mitch" Coleman, a woman who owned an engine repair business, rode motorcycles, and made men weak simply walking into a room. The best review I received for TAME A WILD STALLION was winning the 2008 Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award.How long did it take you to write "PLAYING FOR KEEPS"? According to you, what makes a Best Multicultural Romance? What were your thoughts on winning the Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice award?
PLAYING FOR KEEPS was one of my books that truly took no time at all to write. The story had been haunting me for some time so when I actually sat down and put pen to paper it flowed like water. For me, a great multicultural romance is one with an authentic voice, where the characters could be friends or family that you know. They shouldn't feel contrived or stereotypical, like the writer has no experience with the culture they're writing about. I knew my hero Malcolm and men like him. Men who had struggled with their own demons and were fighting to be the best versions of themselves that they could be. Being honored by Romantic Times was affirming. It validated that I was still getting it right even when I might have had doubts.Have you ever written a character based on a hot stranger you saw in public? How do you usually create your characters (from real life people or entirely from your imagination)?
I frequently model my characters after people I know or have interacted with and have no qualms about giving a character physical attributes of a hot stranger I might have bumped into! The most memorable stranger who inspired a story was a woman I chatted with in line at the supermarket. She was a single mother with a handicapped child and we talked only briefly about the challenges of parenthood. She joked about not ever finding love with her circumstances and that broke my heart. I went home and wrote THE RIGHT SIDE OF LOVE, which remains one of my favorite books to have ever written.Which is your favorite book in the series "The Stallions"? What was the most difficult thing about writing a series of 12 books?
The first book, TO LOVE A STALLION will always be my favorite and I truly love them all. But I didn't want to write a series and had no expectations that it would be successful. It was only supposed to be four books and readers refused to let me let them go. That first book changed the trajectory of my career. The challenge came when Harlequin asked me to continue the series. I had written four books about four brothers who had no other family. Finding family in a credible manner that wouldn't have the readers looking at me sideways took some effort. Writing each subsequent book and having each story be unique and individual and not just a regurgitation of the previous stories allowed me to push myself creatively.Who is your favorite member in the "The Boudreaux Family"? How do you make your characters and your scenes feel real to your readers?
I really love all my characters. But I have to say that the youngest sister, Tarah Boudreaux is probably my absolute favorite in the Boudreaux family. Initially, being the baby in the family, she was spoiled and self-absorbed and very much a pain in the neck with her siblings. She had this spirited personality that couldn't be contained! I loved how she evolved into such an admirable woman. Watching her blossom and become this unselfish, compassionate human being who could love a man confined to a wheelchair was quite the accomplishment.
What most people don't know about me is that I am extremely shy and very much an introvert. In social situations I'm usually the wallflower, watching others engage. Watching people, studying their mannerisms and behavior, and just listening has been educational. It has helped me flesh out my characters to make them realistic and credible.Out of all the books you've written, which scene/phrase/character are you proudest of? Have you ever written a scene you loved but had to cut out because it didn't fit the flow of the story?
There is a character in my book GRAYE that I am most proud of. Graye McAdams was a man who was flawed beyond repair. He was not a likeable character and he did some despicable things. My greatest accomplishment was creating empathy for him and his situation.
There haven't been many scenes that I've written that didn't fit the flow of the story I was writing. Usually when that happens it's because there's another story or character trying to get my attention. Those passages go into a file folder until I can focus and then I use them. It always seems to work the way it should.What are some important things you try to remember as an author so that you don't get discouraged from writing new stories?
Writing is a very solitary endeavor. An author finds their own rhythm and makes it work for them, however they need it to work. But the business of publication is just that, a business. Authors are constantly concerned with the numbers. If one book doesn't sell well, it can be the end of a career. I try not to let myself get bogged down with the numbers. I think it's more important to remember why I write in the first place. Because for me, it's akin to breathing. It's necessary. If it gets hard, I think about the readers who continually cheer me on, who take the time to tell me that they love my characters and my stories. They are why I write. I adore my readers!What are some of your upcoming projects?
I'm very excited to be writing for Harlequin's Romantic Suspense line. I recently completed the second book in my TO SERVE AND SEDUCE series and now I am knee deep writing the third. The series follows members of a Chicago family dedicated to law enforcement. The family is headed by patriarch Jerome Black, the superintendent of police, and his wife, federal court judge Judith Harmon-Black. The stories follow sons, Armstrong, Ellington, Parker, Davis, and Mingus and daughters Simone and Vaughan, all seasoned veterans in the Chicago judicial system.
I'm also working on CLUTCH and DRAMA, the third and fourth books in my ONE LOVE series that's published under my own imprint, MaGregor Press. ONE LOVE is a series of novellas that break the boundaries of love and what that should look like. The first book, ARCH, dealt with mental illness in a relationship and the second book, BRAWN dealt with homelessness.
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by:Free with KU