We chat to one of my favourite South African authors, Melissa Delport. She's all sorts of awesome.
Have you always wanted to be a writer? Or did life step in and change your plans?
Funny thing, this “life” business. It did exactly that. Writing was my greatest passion as an up-and-comer until life got in the way. Between running a business, perpetual studying and getting married and having 3 kids, writing just wasn’t a priority. I think it was inevitable that I would come back to it eventually. Passion will always triumph.
What was the first book that you wrote?
A children’s story about a dinosaur egg which my grade 5 teacher kindly typed up on the school computer for me. I guess you could say it was the first time I’d been in “print”. For commercial purposes, and with a bit more experience, I released The Legacy in 2013.
Out of all your books that you've written which has been the most well-received?
Hands down it has to be Rainfall. The romantic suspense/women’s fiction genre helps.
Out of all your books, which one did you enjoy writing the most?
That is an excellent question and one I can’t actually answer. The Legacy was my first and I wrote it with all the confidence of a new writer who believes he or she is going to skyrocket to fame based on pure talent. I miss that naïve arrogance! Rainfall took me the least time to write (barring the accompanying novella, My Name is Simon). The Guardians of Summerfeld series was my first foray into third person POV narrative and required little research but a lot of world-building, which was new and exciting. The Traveler has a lot of action scenes and a strong romance theme, which I adore. The Clock Keeper was my way of indulging my love of the roaring twenties. I think I take different things from each book. I can tell you which has been the most difficult to write: my second attempt at romantic suspense. With Rainfall having received such an amazing response, I’m plagued with doubt that this second offering won’t be good enough. It’s why it’s been gathering cyber-dust on my laptop!
Do you have a specific place to write?
I just recently set up a home office in the bachelor flat on my property! Prior to that, I worked everywhere and anywhere, trailing coffee cups all over the house. It wasn’t ideal, and my work was spilling over into my personal life. I needed to establish proper working hours and a place that was all mine – somewhere I could escape the kid and focus on the writing. It’s my writing cave and I love it!
What's your cure for writer's block?
I don’t believe in writer's block. I believe you can make words at any time, only on some days the words are better than others.
Your favourite books?
*chuckles* Really? Isn’t this a limited space interview? There’s no way I can answer that. I read over 100 books a year, I have hundreds of favourites.
You can have dinner with four authors or literary characters, who do you choose?
Two authors I’d love to meet are Rachel Morgan and Gareth Crocker, because I adore their books and they are quite possibly two of the nicest people I’ve ever interacted with. I’ve never met them in person though, and given that we’re in the same country it might actually be possible. Then, to satisfy my inner fangirl I’d have to throw Edward Cullen and Tobias Eaton into the mix.
When you're not writing, what are you doing?
What does a typical day look like for you?
Sometimes I attempt to run. Then it’s up to the office, update my diary (I’m a huge believer in lists!) check emails, update and interact on social media, write as many words as I can before flying out to fetch kids. That’s when the fun really starts! I stay up too late reading or watching series and finally fall into bed.