Melissa Tereze is the best-selling author of angsty Sapphic romances such as the Mrs Middleton series, Behind Her Eyes, In Her Arms and most recently Discovery. While age-gap romance is her first love, she has a myriad of tropes, characters and stories within her books. On top of that, she sings at her local bar and has a degree in Sports Development… not to mention walking her adorable Golden Retriever, Garcia. Is there anything Melissa can't do?
It's nigh-on impossible to miss Melissa’s books with their striking covers and alluring blurbs, and I was beyond excited when she agreed to do this interview! Over to you, Melissa!
Introduce yourself! Tell us a little bit about you - who are you, and what do you do?
I'm Melissa Tereze, bestselling author of mostly age gap sapphic romance. I was born and raised in Liverpool, I'm still here for my sins, and I spend 23 of the 24 hours in a day thinking and writing about middle-aged women.
So either you don’t sleep at all, or you think about writing in your sleep. Either way, that’s an impressive level of dedication! No wonder your books are so good! ;)
What made you want to sit down and write your first book?
I started writing at the back end of 2016 when both my grandparents died just seven months apart. Before then, I'd never written a word. It was my way of focusing on something other than the grief. I had no idea what I was doing, but I enjoyed learning while I was on my writing journey.
How do you develop your plots and characters?
My characters come to me as and when they please, and THEY develop the plot. I'm just the minion who does as they say.
Which of your characters do you relate to the most, and why?
Allie Campbell from Always Allie. I'm a lot like Allie in that I'll do anything for anyone, and I'll go along with a lot of stuff to keep the peace. But then there comes a point when I've had enough, and if like Allie, people hurt me or my friends, I'll let you know about it directly.
Has your own writing ever made you cry?
God, yes. If it's not making me cry or feel that punch to the gut, then I'm not doing my job properly. If I don't feel the emotion, the reader won't feel it either.
Does anyone you know in real life read your books?
Yes. Most of my friends and several family members. They know what I write, they know it's raunchy, and they have the choice to pick it up or leave it. Everyone in my life is very supportive of my writing career.
Imagine your book, or one of your books, was made into a film. Who would play the lead roles?
Mrs Middleton. Vanessa would be played by Hannah Waddingham and Emma would be played by Lucy Hale.
When you’re not writing, what do you do to relax?
When I'm not writing? Lol.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given with regards to being an author?
Focus on YOU. Don't try to write what you *think* is successful based on other authors. Find your own voice, your own style, and your readers will find you.
How about in general life?
Some people will take what they want from you and then be on their way. That's life, and it is what it is.
What is a motto you live by?
I don't ask for permission or forgiveness - Rebecca Cuinn, from Becoming by Jourdyn Kelly.
How can people connect with you?
All over the social media! Except that Mastodon thing. I do have an account, I just have no idea what I'm doing. (Twitter - @MelissaTereze, Instagram - @melissatereze_author, Facebook - Melissa Tereze Author)
Finally a light-hearted one. If you were a sandwich, what sandwich would you be?
Ooo. A Philly Cheese Steak! Extra cheese!
If you enjoyed this interview, then make sure you’re following my social media accounts (@kblakemanwriter on Twitter and @katherineblakemanwriter on Instagram) to get all the latest updates! And if you want to support my own Sapphic Fiction journey while you’re here, my new novel The Summer We’ve Had is available now!