Interview with Melissa Tagg & GIVEAWAY

Interview with Melissa Tagg & GIVEAWAY  | The Engrafted WordMelissa Tagg, author of Made to Last and Here to Stay, is a former reporter and total Iowa girl. In addition to her homeless ministry day job, she is also the marketing/events coordinator for My Book Therapy, a craft and coaching community for writers. When she’s not writing, she can be found hanging out with the coolest family ever, watching old movies, and daydreaming about her next book. She’s passionate about humor, grace, and happy endings. Melissa blogs regularly and loves connecting with readers at


Welcome to The Engrafted Word, Melissa! It’s wonderful to have you here!

Savanna:  Was there ever a moment while writing “Here to Stay” that your character(s) and/or the plot surprised you and turned the story in an unexpected direction?

Melissa:  Oh yes, and those are definitely my favorite moments in a story…when the characters come alive and start telling their own story. Love it when that happens!

There’s one scene in particular in Here to Stay where I remember that happening. There’s a scene where Blake and Autumn go sand-boarding in the coastal dunes. I had planned for it to be this cute, fun scene. What I didn’t plan on was Autumn falling off her makeshift sand-board…and Blake suddenly flashing back to his brother’s death. But as the scene came alive, that’s what happened…it really changed the flavor of that scene AND the way Autumn sees Blake.

Interview with Melissa Tagg & GIVEAWAY  | The Engrafted WordSavanna:  Oh, I love learning behind-the-scenes stuff like that. 🙂 It’s so fun to hear where the story twisted and turned unexpectedly.  What do you hope your readers take away from this series?

Melissa:  Well, my surface goal is to always make readers swoon and laugh. It’s romantic comedy, after all. So I want to tell an entertaining story.

But along with the laughter and romance, I hope readers find nuggets of truth. In Here to Stay, specifically, the characters are dealing with painful pasts, the need to forgive and probably most of all, questions about dreams. What do you do when your dreams collide? When the thing you’ve always wanted is at your fingertips…but now a new dream comes swooping in? How do you deal with that feeling of “Am I missing out?” So I hope those questions and themes resonate with readers.

Savanna: Since beginning your novelist career, is there anything you miss from your days as a newspaper reporter?

Melissa:  I miss getting out and about in my community and meeting sooo many kinds of people. The best part of reporting was getting to do interviews, learning about so many random things and just being a part of telling someone else’s story. I loved that.

Savanna:  So what does your writing schedule look like from day to day? Any helpful tips – or secrets – on how you manage all your writing responsibilities?

Melissa:  Well, my schedule tends to vary depending on whether I’m on deadline or not. I’m nearing the end of an intense deadline at the moment, so currently, I get up around 5 a.m. each day and try to squeeze in some writing before work. Then I work my regular 8-4:30 day job. I try to do a couple more hours of writing each night. (Except right now it’s more like 4-5 hours each night…but again, that’s just due to the deadline.)

Hmm, my tips? Well, the first thing I’d say is, get gooood at saying “no.” Especially if you’re writing and working a day job and trying to keep up some semblence of a social life, there are some things you just have to let go.

Too, having a craft partner helps SO much! My craft partner and I don’t do as much critiquing these days. Instead, we help hold each other accountable to our monthly, weekly, even sometimes daily goals. We help keep each other on track. I don’t know what I’d do without her!

Interview with Melissa Tagg & GIVEAWAY  | The Engrafted WordSavanna:  Wow! Hope you’re getting some time to sleep too! 😉  So tell us what you love most about being a “total Iowa girl”, as your bio describes you? 😉

Melissa:  Haha, well, I love my home state. I have no idea whether or not I’ll live here my whole life, but as long as I’m here, I’ll love it. I love that Iowa gets all four seasons. Yeah, winter can be a little long, but I don’t think I could live somewhere where seasons don’t change as much. I need my change. I love the laidbackness of Iowa. I love how pretty it is—especially in the fall. And most of all, I love that quite a few of my family members are here!

Savanna: What’s one of your favorite things about writing contemporary Christian fiction? 

Melissa:  Dialogue! I get to have so much fun with dialogue and voice in a way I don’t think I could if I was writing a different genre. I love reading historical fiction, for instance, but writing contemporary allows me to really be myself on the page.

Savanna:  I’m in the middle of reading “Here to Stay” right now actually and I’ve noticed that exact thing so many times already. I love your dialogue, your descriptions… it’s all so fun! What project are you working on right now?

Melissa:  As I’m writing this, I’m a week and a day out from my deadline for my third book, which is the start of a brand new series set in Iowa. It’s called From the Start and releases in spring 2015. As soon as it’s turned in, I’ll get to work on a novella that will be released before From the Start. It’s called Three Little Words and will bridge my first series and my second. Fun stuff!! 🙂

Savanna: Ohhh, more books coming soon! Yay! Thanks, Melissa, for joining us today and Congratulations on your recent release!

Last, but not least, how can readers keep in touch with you?

Melissa: Thanks so much, Savanna! Readers can connect with me on any of the following links:

There are downloads, sign-ups, and freebies—valuable resources that I hope stir your passion for God and His Word. So take your time. Look around. Visit often. – See more at:

Interview with Melissa Tagg & GIVEAWAY  | The Engrafted Word


Melissa has graciously offered one copy of HERE TO STAY to one lucky winner!


-Leave your name and email in the comments below. (You MUST include your email to be qualified)

(Be sure to tell me in the comments below)

-Subscribe to The Engrafted Word

-Like The Engrafted Word on Facebook

-Share this Giveaway on Social Media

Thanks for entering! Contest is open only in the U.S. and ends May 20, 2014.
Winner will be notified by email.


18 comments on “Interview with Melissa Tagg & GIVEAWAY
  1. Jan Bliek says:

    I am going to promote you on FB. I have lots of friends who love to read, so they need to know about the author from Iowa!!

  2. Megan Jones says:

    I just discovered Ms. Tagg, I am looking forward to reading more from her.

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      I’m glad you could stop in, Megan. I hope you’ll be able to read Melissa’s story soon. I just finished it myself and LOVED it! 😉

  3. Bonnie Roof says:

    Hi, Melissa and Savanna!!

    I loved the interview and would love to read “Made to Last” – and such beautiful covers on each of Melissa’s books, also!! As if I didn’t know that Melissa is a loving, caring person – from her blog, online comments, and the comments from her friends – the fact that she works with the homeless “seals the deal” for me, and entices me to read her books even more!! Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy of “Made to Last”!!


    I am a subscriber, a Facebook follower, and have shared this post on my Facebook timeline!!

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      Thanks so much for joining us, Bonnie! Melissa certainly is a kindred heart and her stories prove that even more. You will love her books! Good luck in the giveaway. You’ll receive 4 entries. 🙂

  4. Britney Adams says:

    I loved this fun interview and adore Melissa Tagg’s books!

    I subscribed, liked, and shared!

    texaggs2000 at gmail dot com

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      Thanks, Britney, for visiting and supporting my blog. Hope you’ll get a chance to read “Here to Stay” really soon. You’ll receive 4 entries in this drawing.

  5. Carisa Rinne says:

    I really enjoyed reading this interview! I’d love to read these books:)
    Liked, subscribed and shared!

  6. Kelly says:

    Thanks for a great interview. It sounds like Melissa keeps a pretty tough work/writing schedule but I am so glad to hear there are more books on the way!! I subscribe to the blog and I also like your page on FB! kosterbind (at) gmail (dot) com

  7. Sarah says:

    Oh, I loved your interview, Savanna! Melissa is such a sweet lady and her personality comes through in pretty much everything she says! 🙂
    Thanks for the chance to win her new book! I haven’t read the first yet, but they both sound great so I will definitely be checking my local libraries for them!

    P.S. I follow your blog (obviously), I’ve liked your page on Facebook, and am about to share the link there, too. 🙂

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      I’m so glad you stopped in, Sarah. Melissa’s sweet and fun personality definitely shines through her books too. You’ll love them! Good luck in the giveaway. You’ll receive 4 entries. I sure appreciate you following my blog and helping spread the word. 😉

  8. Melissa Oldaker says:

    Very much looking forward to reading this book! Thanks for the giveaway. I have liked on fb and subscribed.

  9. Jennifer Bretsch says:

    Thanks for the great interview. I look forward to reading Melissa’s books. They look like they will be uplifting stories.

    I subscribe to your blog and am a fan on FB.

    Thanks for the great giveaway! =)

    • Jennifer Bretsch says:

      Oops- I forgot to leave my e-mail address: jennybug52(at)hotmail(dot)com.

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      It’s always good to see you here, Jennifer. You’d love Melisa’s books, I’m sure of it! 😉 Good luck in the giveaway as well. And thanks for supporting my blog too. You’ll receive 3 entries in the giveaway.

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