Monday, June 10, 2013

Guest Post: Melissa Keir

Today I have a dear friend and talented author visiting. Please welcome Melissa Keir to the blog!

Ideas from the World Around Me

Thank you for having me visit your blog today. Authors are often asked about how they come up with ideas for their stories. It is probably the most asked question. While I’m sure that each author has their own tricks, my ideas come from my life and the people around me. I love to take small snipets of things that have happened in my life and use them in a story. For example, my series- The Wilder Sisters Series- is set in my hometown. This allows me to share the love of my hometown with the world. I also can still feel, smell, taste and hear life in Amherst as if I was there, even though I haven’t lived there since I was eighteen.

I’ve also used family and friend’s names when I’m writing. Alex Hunter is the combination of two different students in my class. I took their first names and put them together to create a strong male character. Lissa Vincent’s name came from a friend’s last name and the nickname that someone called me when I first started as a teacher. I find that names are a struggle for me, so using real names allows me to focus on the story, rather than worry about the names.

When I do pull ideas from my life, I don’t use the whole situation but pull pieces that fit the story. Using only small parts allows me to tailor the storyline and help move it forward. But not everything in my story is based on real-life. For example in “Three’s a Crowd”, I don’t have a best friend who set me up with her ex-husband. Chloe is a figment of my imagination. So while I’m remarried to a wonderful guy, we found each other on our own, not through the help of my best friend or his ex-wife.

Do you have an event that you’ve thought would make a great story?

Blurb for Three’s a Crowd:

For Lissa, the second time at love was a charm but in marriage, three’s a crowd.

Single mother Lissa Vincent found her soul mate in her best friend’s ex-husband. Alex Hunter couldn’t believe his fortune when his ex-wife told him her best friend was available. After divorce, finding love again could be a challenge but it appeared Alex and Lissa had gotten lucky. Yet as they start their lives as newlyweds, Alex and Lissa don’t realize just how difficult it might be to blend a family.

When Alex’s ex new marriage begins to unravel, she sets her sights again on Alex. Does Alex still have feelings for the mother of his child? Will Lissa keep her best friend or lose her husband?

Fairytales promise a happily-ever-after. But what really happens after the after.


I throw myself into cleaning when I’m under stress. With Chloe moving in, our house was spotless. You could eat off the bathroom floor, which was a miracle with the boys’ lousy aim. I was anxious about how things would work out. Glad to be doing something to help Chloe and Joe, I spent time fixing up their room. Alex had gone over with Chloe to get their things while Joe was at school.

Hearing the back door open and the sound of voices, I rushed downstairs only to stop short at the sight of Alex. His face was red and swollen. There was a small cut on his bottom lip, yet a thousand-watt smile lit up his face.

“Alex!” I rushed toward him and gently touched his face. “What happened?”

“Mike took exception to the fact Chloe and Joe were staying with us. He thought Chloe and I were having an affair so he punched me.”

“Aw, sweetheart. I’m sure Mike’s just striking out at anyone and everyone. I kissed his lip gently. “Let me get an ice pack for your face. Heading over to the refrigerator, I pulled out an ice pack and walked back toward Alex and Chloe.

Chloe grabbed the ice pack from my hand and placed it on Alex’s face. “You should’ve seen Alex. He was amazing. I would’ve hit Mike back but Alex just stood there all stoic and told him he was wrong. Mike didn’t know what to do.” Chloe kissed Alex on the cheek. “He’s my hero.”

“It was no big deal. I didn’t want to make things worse. He knew he was wrong about the affair. He was just angry about the situation. I would’ve been livid too, but the punch was unnecessary. We got all of Joe and Chloe’s things. Give me a minute and I’ll unload the truck and we can put them up in your room.”

Chloe smiled at Alex. “It’ll be nice to get things all settled before I have to go pick up Joe at school. I’m sure he’ll feel better coming into a house that’s ready for him. Thanks for everything.”

“Then let’s get started,” I demanded as I pulled Alex away from the table. “No more rest. We’ll put the ice back on when we’re done.”

Buy Links:



All Romance Ebooks:

Thank you for having me visit your site. I’ve truly had a wonderful time connecting with your readers. Three’s a Crowd is the sequel to Second Time’s the Charm- which shows us how Lissa and Alex get together.

Blurb for Second Time’s the Charm:

How does a middle aged, divorcee with two children find her way back to love after a devastating divorce
leaves her with no self confidence and no faith in love? Lissa's ex-husband has shredded her self-esteem so she's thrown herself into her children and her work, leaving time for nothing else.

When an life threatening illness in her best friend's family puts Lissa on the path to romance, Lissa finds new love in a most unexpected way--an introduced by her new guy's ex-wife.

Who knew that first time loves could lead to second chances?

About The Author

As a writer, Melissa likes to keep current on topics of interest in the world of writing. She’s a member of the Romance Writers of America and EPIC. Melissa is always interested in improving her writing through classes and seminars. She also believes in helping other authors and features authors and their books on her blog.

Melissa doesn’t believe in down time. She’s always keeping busy. Melissa is a wife and mother, an elementary school teacher, a book reviewer, an editor for a publishing company as well as an author. Her home blends two families and is a lot like the Brady Bunch, without Alice- a large grocery bill, tons of dirty dishes and a mound of laundry. She loves to write stories that feature “happy endings” and is often found plotting her next story.

Watch the Trailerd to Three's A Crowd ans Second Times's The Charm:

Melissa is giving away a swag pack with a necklace.
To enter for a chance to win just fill out the Raffle copter below.


Tamaria Soana said...

Thanks for hosting today!

Melissa Keir said...

Thank you for having me visit! What name do you think I should choose?

Jennifer Wilck said...

Hey Melissa, I love how you combine names. I tend to use baby name books because I want to know the meaning behind the names. And I usually add some small piece from my own life into my books--great test of who knows me!