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Monday, January 27, 2014

The Dating Tutor by Melissa Frost: Spotlight & Interview

The Dating Tutor: Alec’s Story

Melissa Frost

More hockey. More Alec.

Alec Horner’s life was never simple. Between dealing with an alcoholic father and worrying about the continuation of his education, he has more than a few concerns. The complications continue to mount when his neighbor and best friend, Ellie Harper, asks him to tutor her in the art of dating.

The alternately humorous and frustrating task takes a new turn when Alec starts to realize his feelings for the girl next door suddenly expand beyond that of a mere friend. Coaching her is a torturous delight. He wants her and revels in each moment, yet he knows her efforts are aimed toward the goal of seducing another boy. Can this gruff hockey player convince his sweet and innocent best friend that the two of them might have a future together? 

Author Bio: 

Melissa Frost grew up loving young adult novels and continues to immerse herself in the current authors on the market.  In the second grade, she won a writing competition to work with children’s author Colleen O'Shaughnessy Mckenna, and it inspired her to write stories of her own. She never looked back. 


I would like to thank author Melissa Frost for stopping by today to tell us a little about herself and The Dating Tutor: Alec’s Story.

What is your favorite part of the story, The Dating Tutor: Alec’s Story

Seeing as this is an expansion on the first installment in the series, I greatly enjoyed the new element that walking in Alec’s shoes brought. I got to really explore his relationship with his father as well as get to know one of his hockey buddies, Matt.

How long did it take you to write The Dating Tutor: Alec’s Story ? 

It took me three months to write this one, which is actually fairly quick for me.

If you were stranded on a desert island which of your characters do you want by your side? 

Hmm…I like this question… Well, much of the stuff I write involves the paranormal. A desert island…that would quickly eliminate any of my vampire characters. I might have to say Camden Harrison from my Supernatural Series. He might be awkward and disaster-prone, but things would never get boring. He’s got a sense of humor that would keep things from seeming too bleak. And being a dragon can’t hurt. Surely he could put that to good use. Besides, he’s such a sweetheart. I wouldn’t mind sitting down for a conversation or two with him.

If you could be best friends with one of your characters, who would it be?

Chris from Saving Santa! Who wouldn’t want to be friends with Santa?! Imagine the benefits!

What inspired you to write your first book? 

I have been writing since I was a little girl. I’ve got notebooks upon notebooks in my basement filled with stories I’ve written over the years. Writing, being an author, has always been my dream. I am inspired by everything around me! Anything can jolt a plot idea from me. I swear it! Test me, I dare you!

What is your favorite book that you wrote? 

My favorite is a series I have yet to get published. I’m actually hoping to do something with it soon. It is a horror/end of the world/romance about the zombie apocalypse. Picture zombies vs. vampires. With humans trapped in the middle. I started writing it over a decade ago (doesn’t that make me feel old). I’ve written three installments already and have more planned.

Who or what inspired you to be a writer? 

As I mentioned, I’ve always wanted to be an author. I wrote my first short story in the second grade. It was children’s author Colleen O'Shaughnessy Mckenna who kept my desire burning. I was lucky enough to attend a workshop with her when I was in fifth grade.

What books have most influenced your life? 

Anne Rice’s Interview with a Vampire. Up until I got this book in my hands, all I read were “girl books”. I was hooked on Sweet Valley High. As much as I still love Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield, Anne Rice opened my eyes to the paranormal. She mapped out a whole new world full of possibilities.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work? 

One of my favorites is Katie MacAllister. Her novels are so involved, the characters so opinionated and real. My favorite thing is how she can weave a story involving danger and almost certain death, yet make me laugh so hard! She is a comedic genius. I’ve found myself outright laughing in public places while reading her work. People probably think I’m a little crazy.

What is your typical day like? 

My typical day…hectic. Depending on the day, I’m either at work or working as Mom. I won’t walk you through the boring hours of sitting in the office. I’ll walk you through…a Tuesday, my “day off”. Tuesdays, I get up early to take my four year old, Marshall, to preschool. My morning sounds a lot like this —“Marshall, brush your teeth. Marshall your pants are on backwards. Marshall!” While he is in school, I will usually get the week’s shopping done as well as run other errands. After picking Marshall up, I will take him home for lunch. “Mom, I want super cheesy mac ‘n’ cheese. Can you make it super cheesy?” And of course a board game must be played during lunch! What is lunch without a hundred games of Guess Who? After lunch, I will jump on the housework that was neglected while I was at work the previous day. Laundry? Check. Vacuum? Check. Dishes? Check. Dinner in the crock pot and started? Check. “Mom, I need clean jeans!” More laundry? Check. Marshall packed for grandma’s house so she can watch him while I work tomorrow? Check. By the time my son’s nap time rolls around, I’m exhausted. “Can we please watch one more episode of Bubble Guppies?” Snuggle time? Check. Did I remember to stop at the bank…check? Once naptime finally happens, I settle down in front of the computer to get some writing done. I will use the rare silence in the house to get some productive work done on my next book. Ah…writing time. But that is over sooner than I know it! “Mom, my belly says I’m hungry.” After my husband comes home and we have dinner, we then drive Marshall to my mother’s for his weekly stay. Gotta love family babysitters. Saves on daycare. Once all the goodbyes are said and done, my husband and I head home to get showers, pack lunches for work, set out our clothing for the next day, and all those other fun things. By the time we collapse onto the couch, the clock says 9:30. Wait, don’t we have to be up at 6:00 am? Maybe we can sneak in a quick sitcom without being walking zombies tomorrow… This is a typical day for me. Aren’t you glad you asked?
How do you overcome writer’s block? 

When I have writer’s block, I set myself a word or page minimum. If I’m struggling with a scene, working on it consistently, even if I go back and change things, tends to get the creativity flowing. Continually coming back to that scene keeps it fresh and helps my mind become absorbed in the characters.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

Here is an excerpt from my newest release The Dating Tutor: Alec’s Story —
“What is up with you recently, man?” Matt asked as he stood with his elbow propped up on his hockey stick while he and Alec waited their turn for one final practice shot before their game.
Alec glanced over at him after watching the shot of one of his fellow defensive players go wide of the net. “What do you mean?”
“What do I mean?” Matt snorted and moved up a place in line. “You’ve been moody going on a week now. And I feel like you’re barely registering anything around you. Mario Lemieux could walk out onto the ice, and you’d barely notice. It’s like you’re in your own fantasy world.”
“Trust me,” Alec said with a grin at the mention of one of hockey’s finest players in all of history. “I would notice Lemieux.”
Matt rolled his eyes. “Okay, maybe that was a bad example, but you get what I’m saying. Something’s going on with you. I don’t like it.”
As another one of their teammates completed his shot, both boys scooted up in line. Alec took that time to collect his thoughts. He hadn’t realized his displeasure over the whole Ellie situation had been that obvious. He was going to have to work on that. “Nothing is going on. I’m just…worried about that college application.” Okay, at least that was true.
“Worried enough to rebuff Shannon Albright?”
This finally drew Alec’s attention away from the mock-shootout. “She told you about that?”
Matt nodded in affirmation. “She did. Said you turned her down because of some other girl.”
Alec grunted in response and turned his attention to the shootout as if it demanded his immediate attention. “I didn’t want to hurt her feelings is all.” Apparently, Shannon hadn’t wasted any time in cozying up to Matt, nor had his friend shied away from discussing him with her.
“I think you weren’t just sparing her feelings,” Matt argued. “I think this all has to do with that neighbor girl of yours. She’s gotten into your head. Bad.”
“She has not.” Alec was relieved it was his turn to take a shot on goal, so he could get away from Matt’s accusations. When Coach Grimmly passed him the puck, he took a rough shot at the net. His shot was made with aggravation and very little precision. It went flying wildly up into the netting.
Spinning back to Matt, he snapped, “My issues have nothing to do with Ellie. Just drop it.” With that, he made his way over to the outside of his team’s bench to await the start of the game.

What book are you reading now? 

Sadly, I’ve been reading the same book for months now. George R. R. Martin’s A Feast For Crows. His books are massive, and I don’t get much time to read nowadays. The gallant Jaime Lannister has me constantly returning for more, though. I think I swoon every time he steps onto the page.

What do you prefer paperback, hardcover, or ebooks? 

Hardcover. I love having a tangible copy of my favorites in my hand, and hardbacks are even better. In my home, I have a library with rows upon rows of books. All of my favorites are there in hardback. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? 

THANK YOU! My readers have been so amazing and supportive. They keep me writing! There is nothing better than doing a signing and having a repeat customer come up and tell me how much they loved my last book.

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