Interview with Melanie Stanford
How long have you been writing?
First, thanks Vanessa for having me on your blog today! I started writing in grade two, but I didn’t start taking it (and myself) seriously until I turned 29. I really wanted to finish a manuscript before I turned 30.
Where did you get the idea for SWAY and how long did it take to write?
SWAY is a modern-day retelling of PERSUASION by Jane Austen. So obviously the idea comes from the book, and the 2007 movie version which I love. It took me about two months to write the first draft, but it needed a lot of work after that.
The book is set in LA and Vegas. Have you been to either place?
Yep. I first went to Vegas when I was a freshman at university. It was a really fun weekend (*wink wink*)! I’ve since visited multiple times. My husband and I went to LA for our honeymoon—my sister used to live about twenty minutes from Disneyland. We’ve been back twice since. I’ve never seen any of the gigantic mansions like Ava’s home Kellynch though. While I’ve visited both places, I still had to do a lot of research.
Ava plays piano and Eric is a jazz singer. Are you musical in real life?
I play piano (though not nearly as well as Ava) and I’ve sung in choirs and performed in musicals before (though I don’t sing nearly as well as Eric).
Something personal about you people may be surprised to know?
I got my hair caught in the vacuum once, and glued my eye shut on another occasion. Then again, if you know me, this might not surprise you.
What are you working on now?
I’m working on a companion novel to SWAY currently called COLLIDE which I’ll be submitting to my editor early next year. It’s inspired by Elizabeth Gaskell’s NORTH AND SOUTH. Plus I’m organizing ideas for a third retelling.
She’d be happy to forget…if the past would just stop hitting “replay”.
Ava Elliot never thought she’d become a couch surfer. But with a freshly minted—and worthless—degree from Julliard, and her dad squandering the family fortune, what choice does she have?
Living with her old high school friends, though, has its own drawbacks. Especially when her ex-fiancé Eric Wentworth drops back into her life. Eight years ago, she was too young, too scared of being poor, and too scared of her dad’s disapproval. Dumping him was a big mistake.
In the most ironic of role reversals, Eric is rolling in musical success, and Ava’s starting at the bottom to build her career. Worse, every song Eric sings is an arrow aimed straight for her regrets.
One encounter, one song too many, and Ava can’t go on like this. It’s time to tell Eric the truth, and make a choice. Finally let go of the past, or risk her heart for a second chance with her first love. If he can forgive her…and she can forgive herself.
Product Warnings: Contains an actor whose kisses taste like chocolate, a pianist with scores of regret, and a sexy crooner who just wants his ex to cry him a river.
Melanie Stanford reads too much, plays music too loud, is sometimes dancing, and always daydreaming. She would also like her very own TARDIS, but only to travel to the past. She lives in Alberta, Canada with her husband, four kids, and ridiculous amounts of snow. You can find her on Twitter @MelMStanford, on Facebook @ MelanieStanfordauthor,
and her website melaniestanfordbooks.com