Melissa Tagg is a former reporter, current nonprofit grant-writer and total Iowa girl. She’s also a multi-published novelist. Her latest book, Like Never Before, was named by Publisher’s Weekly to their spring 2016 “Religion and Spirituality” Top 10 list. Upcoming books include Keep Holding On (Sept 2016) and a sequel to last year’s One Enchanted Christmas, releasing in late 2016. Melissa has taught at multiple national writing conferences, as well as retreats and workshops. When she’s not writing, she can be found hanging out with the coolest family ever–not that she’s biased–watching old movies, and daydreaming about her next book. Melissa loves connecting with readers at www.melissatagg.com and on Facebook and Instagram.
Welcome back to the blog, Melissa. I’m so happy to have you here today. Congratulations on your recent release, Like Never Before. Such a cute story!!
Many readers enjoy picking their favorite quotes from novels. Do YOU have a particular favorite quote/scene from “Like Never Before”? Can you share a little bit of it with us? 🙂
I have several favorite scenes…and let’s face it, I basically love everything that comes out of Logan’s mouth. LOL! But probably one of the more personally meaningful scenes for me is the scene where Logan and Amelia are visiting the Smithsonian to check out Charles Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart’s planes. Logan says a couple different lines in this scene that I love…
“I just think one person seeing you for who you really are is better than 150,000 who’ve got it wrong.”
“When you really let people see you, Amelia—all of you, not just the snow-obsessed reporter—it’s impossible to look away.”
Totally “awwww” sort of lines. But there’s something deeper going on when they’re talking here…Amelia, without really even realizing it, is revealing a desire to Logan—a desire to be seen and known and recognized. And he picks up on that and says exactly what she needs to hear. And just love that! It makes me want to be a person who listens deeply and speaks purposely.
Haha, wait, how do you know I love Logan? Lol!
Amelia—I love how much she loves Maple Valley. Maple Valley is a made up town but after writing two full-length novels (and I’m almost done with a third) plus two novellas that take place there, it’s become soooo real to me. And so Amelia’s love for the place—the way she just adores its charm and quirk—it very much connects with me. I also love that she’s a reporter.
Logan—Ummm, everything?!?! What I love most is probably what I mentioned above. Logan is a listener. He’s such a wordsmith, a writer, and yet, he’s not loud or overbearing or obsessed with his own words. He listens to other people and sees them for who they really are. And I just adore that about him.
I’ve heard you love watching old movies. I do too!! 🙂 What are a few of your favorites?
So many! Some of my very favorites are His Girl Friday, Bringing Up Baby, The Philadelphia Story, What’s Up Doc?, Roman Holiday, It Happened One Night, My Man Godfrey, Mr & Mrs Smith…I could go on and on.
You’ve taught several workshops at several writing conferences and retreats. What is one of your favorite topics?
I really love talking about dreams and calling and finding our identity in Christ. But when it comes to writing specifically, my favorite topics are dialogue and emotional layering. I also want to say humor—because I love talking about it—and yet, I really think humor is one of the hardest things to write…so I haven’t figured out quite how to teach or speak about it. But someday!
Honestly, I think readers might be surprised to learn that writing stories is actually pretty hard for me! I think perhaps sometimes I come across as the super giddy, excitable, happy-go-lucky writer who is always gushing about her characters and stories…and that’s very authentic because I do ADORE my made-up people. But I also struggle a lot with actually crafting a whole plot…with sitting down and making myself write after a long day of work…with figuring out how to balance my fictional world with my real life. Writing, for me, can get emotional and vulnerable and at times, very bang-my-head-against-the-wall-ish. 🙂
Thank you so much for sharing with us today, Melissa! Is there anything else you’d like to add? Any upcoming projects you can share with us?
I can definitely share that my next book will be Beckett Walker’s story! It’s called Keep Holding On and features not only Beckett, but also a heroine named Kit Danby…and the both of them have hugely attached themselves to my heart.
I can’t wait to read it! Have a great summer!
Melissa has graciously offered to give away a copy of Like Never Before to one lucky reader! Enter below and it could be YOU!
Thanks for entering! Contest is open for US residents only. Contest ends July 5, 2016. The winner will be notified by email. Happy Reading, everybody!