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Interview with Melody Carlson

Author of The Christmas Shoppe, Christmas at Harrington’s and The Gift of Christmas Present opens up about writing.

Author Melody Carson

Q. How did you first become a writer?

A. I think I’ve always been a writer, but I didn’t figure out it was possible to get published, beyond school newspapers, until I was in my early thirties. For some reason I suddenly felt like I needed to write or explode. I was pumping out stories, then books, and a few years later my books began to sell. That was more than two hundred books ago.

Q. Tell us about your writing process. Where and when do you write? Do you listen to a certain type of music? Do you work from outlines?

A. I have a writing studio at my home in Central Oregon that’s separate from our house. I sometimes listen to music though not usually. I also write at the beach and sometimes in our motor-home when we’re on the road.

I try to write during “normal” workday hours and consider writing my job—thankfully it’s a fun job. I don’t usually work from outlines—mostly because I like the adventure of discovery and being surprised.

Q. What’s your favorite part of writing fiction?

A. I love that fiction can be fairly true-to-life—and yet the writer has control of the outcome. I can put characters through some tough times, and I often do, and yet they emerge stronger and wiser in the end.

Q. What was your favorite book growing up?

A. I loved a lot of stories, including The Diary of Anne Frank, To Kill a Mockingbird, and The Pearl.

Q. What are you currently reading?

A. Right now I’m reading a Christmas novella that I’m considering for an endorsement—I can’t say the title because I haven’t decided if I’m endorsing it or not—but so but so far I’m liking it.

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