Friday, November 2, 2018

Melinda De Ross - An Author Interview in the HBS Author's Spotlight

Today our blog puts the Spotlight on Melinda De Ross. She is an International author who writes Suspense, Romance, Humor and Comedy novels.

Author: Melinda De Ross

Author Genre: Suspense, Romance, Humor and Comedy

Website: Melinda De Ross
Author's Blog: Melinda De Ross
Twitter: @melinda_de_ross
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Amazon Author Profile

Author Description:
Melinda De Ross is an international author of Romanian origin. She writes in two languages, and her books combine the elegance specific to the European style with the modern appeal of the American culture. She has a Law degree and has been a professional target shooter for over a decade. Her favorite genre to read and write in is Romance, and anytime she prefers to watch a classic movie instead of going to a noisy club.

SPOTLIGHT Questions and Answers with the Author

Congratulations on being included in the Love, Christmas Romance Collection. What do you have on the drawing board next? Can you tell us the timeline for its release and give us a little tease?

Thank you for the warm congratulations! It has been a pleasure for me to join The Authors’ Billboard, the group of authors who created Love, Christmas 2 and many other great box sets. In fact, my current project is another box set, Unforgettable Thrills, which will be released on November 15th and is available on Amazon for pre-order. It’s a suspense romance collection by nine authors: Mimi Barbour, Suzanne Jenkins, Tamara Ferguson, Taylor Lee, Dani Haviland, Jacquie Biggar, Susan Jean Ricci, Stacy Eaton, and of course Melinda De Ross. My novel in this box set is called THE PLOT. (see blurb in book list below)

You have a good following on twitter. How important have your social media relationships been? How did you build your following in your niche? Do you see a carry over to your writing success?

Social media is certainly important to authors, but at the end of the day it’s not a marketing tool per se, but a way to interact with readers. However, it gave me the chance to connect with other authors and build valuable friendships, improve my craft and learn countless tips on writing, marketing, and the publishing industry.

Do you do any book signings, interviews, speaking and personal appearances? If so, when and where is the next place where your readers can see you? Where can they keep up with your personal contacts online?

Since I am a Romanian author who writes in English, I don’t have many readers in my own country because of the language barrier. The best way for readers to keep in touch with me and find my books is through my website,

You have great covers. How does your book cover creation process work? Do you hand over the basic theme or do you have more of a hands-on approach? Do you get your readers involved in its development?

As you know, I am a professional graphic designer and I always make my own covers. Sometimes it’s a curse, because I want to tell the story in one image and that’s why I’ve changed them countless times. Also, I’m always striving to improve my design skills, and when I learn something new I automatically feel my covers are outdated and want to change them. I have a few author friends whose feedback I value, but my first critic in both writing and graphic design is my husband. In fact, he introduced me to Photoshop and the wonderful world of creating visual art.

What is your primary genre? What has been your best marketing approach to this group?

So far, my primary genre has been romance, but I am working on my first thriller as we speak, and it will be the first of a series. I am an avid reader and enjoy several genres, so naturally I want to expand my writing to encompass some other genres too.

Do you maintain a reader list? What are the methods you use to find your readers and create the list and the relationship? Do you use social media, forums, newsletters and/or support groups to build your list?

I have a list of readers, which I’m pleased to say is growing every month. I am active on social media and I have a website, which I mentioned,, where readers can subscribe to my newsletter. I never spam them, I rarely send more than one or two newsletters per month, and that is when I have exciting news about my books, or book deals and bargains I want to share with them.

You have a great blog. You do a great job keeping readers informed, marketing your books and helping other writers gain exposure. What is your primary goal? And where in the world do you find the time to create great novels, take care of the social media and maintain your blog?

Don’t forget my graphic design career! ? To be honest, I never feel I have enough time, or that I do enough. I suppose I set too-high goals for myself sometimes, in order to be able to make a compromise. But truth be told, it’s very hard to juggle my writing and design careers and to feel I do enough of each one at the end of the day. It’s a constant struggle. All I can do is try to keep a balance, and when I have an important project in one area, I focus on it and tone down the other side of my professional life.

Being an International author creates a unique selling and marketing situation. Where is your biggest audience? Does marketing online help in this situation?

USA is by far my biggest audience, and at this moment online marketing is my main tool. After more than five years in publishing, it’s still an ongoing learning curve, and I’m sure it will be always. All authors – indie or traditionally published – need to do their own marketing and have to keep up with the trends. Marketing my books is a full time job.

You have published your books in other languages. How is your audience abroad? Does marketing online help in this situation?

I have published in Romanian too, but obviously it’s not to be compared. Statistically speaking, I wouldn’t have had a chance if I limited myself to one country/one language. Besides, paperback books still are readers’ first choice in Romania, and ebooks are making a slow, shy entrance on the market. Online marketing is not as efficient here, but my focus remains my books in English.

I like the idea of Author bundles. You are a part of a romance novel collection called Love, Christmas 2 with twenty-five other authors. What a great group of outstanding people. (Many have been interviewed on this blog). What was your main objective in bundling your works with other authors? What blogging, newsletter and social media promotions have you done to promote the collection?

Our main goal was to reach the USA Today bestsellers list – which we did.

I’m extremely proud and happy to say I am officially the first Romanian in history to become a USA Today bestselling author. In fact, this goal was the main thing that brought me into the Authors’ Billboard group, and even though most authors there already are USAT and/or NYT bestsellers, they all fought hard to help me achieve my dream. We all promoted the box set intensely, including by blogging and social media. I wrote a blog post during this promotion, and another one after I found out I was officially a USA Today bestselling author:

Author's Book List
Love, Christmas - Movies You Love - The Holiday Series Book 2
Sprinkle a little Christmas magic into your life with 26 ALL-NEW, never before released romances. Each title - exclusive to this set - is inspired by a favorite holiday movie, spun into a fantastic love story by a NY Times, USA Today, and/or award-winning, bestselling author and delivered to you in this wonderful collection full of cheer for the coming season.

Mimi Barbour – A Wonderful Life - Though Mary works with troubled teens, can she and an angel help a man living a nightmare?

Leanne Banks – A Royal White Christmas - Can a secret prince be a Christmas wish-come-true for a small-town girl?

Joan Reeves – Brianna’s Season For Miracles - Her seductive persona hides what she's ashamed of... What will happen if the man she's fallen for discovers her secret?

Mona Risk – Jingle With My Princess - The doc and the princess... He saves lives, but she may save his heart.

Rebecca York – Can She Get Home for Christmas? - Will a killer stop her from getting home for Christmas?

Jacquie Biggar – Mistletoe Inn - A grieving man finds the greatest gift is love.

Alicia Street – Miracle on Christmas Tree Street - A single mom discovers her business partner is more than he seems.

Nancy Radke – The Holiday (Christmas) - Jodi's house-swap to Maui came with a small dog and a shipwrecked sailor.

Katy Walters –Letters from the Snowman – The snow revealed a precious love.

Stephanie Queen – Holiday Affair - Melissa goes from riches to rags but will she find gold in a holiday affair?

Aileen Fish – Almost Christmas in Connecticut - Can a wounded warrior learn to trust her celebrity chef crush after discovering his secret?

Rachelle Ayala – A Christmas Creek Carol - A reclusive writer is given a one-star review on her life by characters from her past, present, and future.

Dani Haviland – The Polar Xpress - She prefers dogs to men…until she rescues the doctor.

Traci Hall – Love, Actually (By the Sea) - Two strangers. One intimate night. Reunited a year later, can it actually be love?

Taylor Lee – The Ref-er-ee - With a family this discombobulated, it will take a referee to save their Christmas.

Donna Fasano – Her Mr. Miracle - It’s Christmas Eve and Veronica is stuck in a nearly deserted seaside town... She needs a miracle.

Cynthia Cooke – A Christmas to Remember - A Christmas storm. Wedding plans in peril. Has a lost love been found?

Susan Jean Ricci – A Joyous Holiday Inn - Can Twigg restore the joy of Christmas to Chloe’s indifferent heart?

Tamara Ferguson – Two Hearts Home for Christmas - Can a long ago promise of love bring two lonely wounded warriors home for Christmas?

Suzanne Jenkins – Christmas with the Clouds - Tracy isn’t interested in love until an unexpected Christmas visitor changes her heart.

Natalie Ann – How Gavin Stole Christmas - Can Jolene help Gavin find the Christmas spirit when he’s the epitome of Mr. Bah Humbug?

Ev Bishop – A Sharla Brown Christmas - For single parents Sharla and Jake, Christmas is the loneliest time of the year…until it’s not.

Alyssa Bailey – In the Spirit of Christmas - Chase can protect Tara from danger, but can he protect his heart?

Stacy Eaton – Finding Love on Christmas Vacation - Christmas isn't the same for Lucy without her father...until she meets his friend Maverick.

Jen Talty – The Christmas Getaway - A mix-up in reservations leaves a mother and her son to share a cabin with a broken-hearted stranger.

Melinda De Ross - Boyfriend Wanted for Christmas - A thirty-something singleton’s desperate yet humorous quest to find a boyfriend in the seven days before Christmas.

Order the Book From:
Barnes and Noble
KOBO Store
iTunes Store

CELEBRITY - A Bookish & Sexy novel

Within twenty-four hours, Kendra Kensington’s life changes drastically. She lands a million dollar contract for her latest novel, now on the road to becoming a movie, catches her boyfriend in bed with another woman, and decides to move across the country from Chicago to California. But the City of Angels harbors more demons than she had imagined.

When she meets Blake Tyler, the famous movie star she’s secretly crushed on for years, she thinks her attempt to rebuild her life may just be on the right track. However, the past and the present seem to be conspiring against her and happiness may be harder to achieve than she thinks.

Order the Book From:
Barnes and Noble
KOBO Store
iTunes Store

In the legendary Transylvania, a castle belonging to Countess Erzsébet Báthory is discovered. Cameraman Hunter Cole and broadcast journalist Serena Scott arrive to make a documentary about the discovery, and the sinister Hungarian noblewoman, known as the most prolific female serial killer in history.

The two Americans could cope with roughing it in a fifteenth-century castle, with no modern amenities. They can even cope with each other, despite their initial mutual dislike for one another, which gradually turns into a mind-blowing attraction.

But when two girls are tortured and killed in Báthory copycat style, the nearby village is shaken to the core. In terror, they wonder who will be next…

Order the Book From:
Barnes and Noble
KOBO Store
iTunes Store

THE JOB BLOWER - A Bookish & Sexy novel

Camilla Jackson is an ordinary young woman with an extraordinary knack for attracting disaster. When she is fired from her job as a secretary at a law firm, she realizes she has no idea what she wants to do next. Every job she does land ends up tragi-comically.

But when she meets the drop-dead-gorgeous journalist, Carter Evans, her life seems to brighten. Until she discovers that he hides some very deep and painful scars.

It remains to be seen if she will be able to help him heal and, in the process, find her own path in life. That is, if she manages to overcome her accident prone nature, which gets her into serious trouble…

THE JOB BLOWER is a lighthearted, uncomplicated, laugh-out-loud Romantic Comedy, the kind of book that you will keep in your bookshelf and re-read to brighten your days and spice up your nights.

Order the Book From:
Barnes and Noble
KOBO Store
iTunes Store

At eighteen, Yoko Hirano falls prey to a human trafficking organization and is forced into a lifestyle nightmares are made of. When the young Japanese girl escapes, her only focus is exacting revenge and saving other girls from the same fate by bringing down Michael Chen, the powerful mobster who destroyed her innocence.

Four years later she meets antiques dealer Mark Chandler, the only man who ever treated her with respect. Though she is torn by her unfamiliar feelings for him, Yoko’s grand scheme doesn’t involve falling in love, and a man like Mark would never want her if he discovered her past. What she doesn’t know is that he has his own dark secrets...

Mark never thought he could lose his head over a woman, but the haunted eyes of his beautiful new employee fill his soul with desire and tenderness. When he learns about what had happened to her, his vengeance knows no limits. Nor does his resolve to help her heal and discover love.

Order the Book From:
Barnes and Noble
KOBO Store
iTunes Store

A Touch Of Poetry
How can I write a blurb for poetry? It’s like trying to describe in words the simple, yet so complex beauty of Giaconda, or relate the impressiveness of Michelangelo’s frescoes from the Sistine Chapel. Poetry can only be read, enjoyed and, if the artist is an accomplished one, understood. Just savor the words!

Order the Book From:

Boyfriend Wanted for Christmas
Thirty-three-year-old librarian Andrea Sachse doesn’t have the time or skills to date. No man can ever live up to her dreamy book boyfriends, so why bother? But with her parents looking more desperate each time she shows up solo for their annual Christmas party, this year she’s determined to find herself a boyfriend by any means—fair or foul.

Author Recommended by: HBSystems Publications
Publisher of ebooks, writing industry blogger and the sponsor of the following blogs:
Indie Author’s Corner and HBS Mystery Reader’s Circle


  1. Thank you so much for a wonderful interview, James!

  2. Excellent interview. I can attest to how hard Melinda works at everything she does. Looking forward to seeing her make that list time and again!

    1. Thank you so much, Susanne! I couldn't have done this without your brilliant editing skills. <3

  3. Great interview! I enjoyed learning more about you, Melinda. Your covers are gorgeous!

    1. Thank you so much, Jacquie! I love graphic design as much as I love writing, and I'm glad it shows. :) xoxo

  4. Melinda, I enjoyed getting to know more about you. Another great interview, James!

  5. Thank you so much, Joan! These interviews are lovely and James is a sweetheart for giving us the opportunity to talk about ourselves and learn more about our fellow authors. XX