Author interview with Breaking the Rules’ Melinda Dozier

Melinda DozierWhat a pleasure to have a return visit from talented – and prolific – romance author, Melinda Dozier. Full disclosure: Melinda just happens to be one of my fantastic critique partners, too. If you missed my author interview with Melinda on her first novel, Time Changes Everything, you can see it here.

2013 has been a pretty exciting year for Guatemala-based Melinda, with the release of her first novel, and a novella, The Boy Next Door, then on 8 July, the release of her second novel, Breaking the Rules.

I read and enjoyed the early chapters of Breaking the Rules when Melinda was workshopping them – and she’s created enjoyable, quirky characters you’ll relate to and be pulling for.

Here’s the synopsis:

A forbidden love affair in the past has led Hope Robinson, a middle school principal, to Harbor Bay, Florida, where she commits herself to play by the rules. This can be difficult for a perpetual klutz, who—even strapped in a cast—has to uphold a competent attitude at all times.

Luckily, she has Dr. Colin Calaway on her side, a widower and father of a student, who is ready to give love another try. When Colin convinces Hope they should explore the connection between them, a steamy romance develops, though it could destroy them both. They must decide if their jobs—and their hearts—are worth the risk.

Congratulations, Melinda! It’s exciting to have you back.
It’s great to be here! I’m ecstatic to have another book out!

Okay, two books released in a few months – how did you manage?
I know, right? I’m not going to lie. It’s been a bit stressful, in a good way. I wouldn’t advise releasing so close together, but I’m not complaining. I’m lucky I have the summer off to spend the much needed time on releasing two books and finding a way to juggle both is key!

What’s different with the release of your second novel? What have you learned during the process?
With my second novel, Breaking the Rules, I have to handle most of the publicity on my own and that takes a HUGE amount of time. I’ve set up my own blog tour and hired another company, Tasty Book Tours, to lead another. With my debut novel, Time Changes Everything, Entranced Publishing assigns a publicist who does all the work. If I could choose, I’d have a publicist always!

How did you find your publisher?
Early in my writing career, I created a list of romance publishers who I’d like to submit my work. Crimson Romance was one of my top three! So, you can imagine how happy I was to sign with them. For someone starting out, I advise you research the publishers in your field. There’s so many out there. Questions include: Big house vs. small house? Ebook vs. Traditional? Royalties? Book Covers? Promotion?

Are there things you do differently with marketing and promotion?
Well, I’ve already mentioned how much time promotion takes. I actually really enjoy it, but it is a job in itself. Once an author finishes the editing rounds with their publisher, I suggest to start writing guest posts right away. Since I live in Central America, most of my promotion is done entirely online through blogs, twitter and facebook. I can’t really sit down in a Spanish-only bookstore to promote my novels, though I may try once I get my paperback copy of Breaking the Rules in my hands. It’s a learning process for me still!

Are there aspects that worked well for you for your first book that you want to repeat with this release?
I tried to think of creative ways to promote my book release. With Time Changes Everything, I took a virtual book tour around my city, Guatemala, and took photographs. I then asked readers to take photos of them holding the book. It was a lot of fun. I may do this again! Here’s an example:

Melinda Dozier

This time around, I’m holding a Twitter contest. Grab this badge, hashtag #breakingtherules and share how you’ve broken the rules. You could win one of my books!
Breaking the Rules

I think many aspiring authors assume that once they’ve sold their first book, most of the hard work is done. What do you think about this?
This makes me laugh, because it’s so true. In my experience, the hardest part was editing my baby. Changing and – God forbid – cutting my words was tough, but in the end it made my work better. BUT a writer isn’t finished there, either. We move on to promotion. Blog tours, writing guest posts, interviews (like this one) takes up a lot of time. So, plan it well!

What are you working on next?
I’m actually working on two novellas. Kimberly was an amazing beta reader for Trouble with Gold, a romance short story about the Olympics that will hopefully be published along with a few other amazing romance authors in a sports anthology.

Additionally, I’m working on a Valentine’s Day short story tentatively titled Time Out, Valentine. This one has been so much fun because I have a beta male and an unruly female hooking up.

Melinda Dozier

Author Melinda Dozier

Congratulations again, Melinda, on this release. Happy writing, and can’t wait to have you back for your next novel.
Thank you so much, Kimberly! I wouldn’t have made it this far without you. You’ve been an amazing critique partner and a good friend. Thank you for having me at your blog!

To follow Melinda and to order the book, take a look at the following links:



  1. Melinda Dozier (@MelindaDozier) on July 12, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    Thanks Kimberly for having me today! I laugh everytime I see that picture of me with my book in the bakery. I have a love affair with that particular bakery. Yum!

  2. kimberlysullivan on July 12, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    Thanks for the author interview, Melinda! You have so much great information to share with other writers. One of the things I love about the on-line author community, is how much help, advice and encouragement you can find out there. Your interview is a great example. And you know how much I love your books – look forward to reading your next! Oh my, I have a soft spot for bakeries, too. : )

  3. Catherine on July 12, 2013 at 11:21 pm

    A great interview with useful insights especially for an expat author also trying to hustle her second book. It’s almost impossible to organise events, but I find English language bookshops are easy to approach and happy to stock books. But I don’t think there is any easy way around book promotion. You’re right – it’s a different job!

  4. kimberlysullivan on July 16, 2013 at 8:42 am

    Thanks, Catherine. True that ex-pat authors living in non-English-speaking countries face an additional hurdle. The flip side is that internet and social media help you reach out well beyond where you live. BTW, I’m pre-booking you here when your short stories come out!

  5. […] Melinda’s been a guest on my site before, with interesting author interviews when she released Time Changes Everything and Breaking The Rules. […]

  6. […] I’ve hosted Melinda on my site before, where she’s given great author interviews about her writing process, the romance market, social media and much more. See my earlier author interviews with Melinda when she released Time Changes Everything and Breaking the Rules. […]

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