Today Wild Women Authors is delighted to welcome first time author Melissa Klein and hero Grant Davis, from A Risk Worth Taking, a delightful current release out of the Last Rose of Summer line for the Wild Rose Press. First up is Grant.
Where are you from? I grew up in Magnolia Springs, Georgia, a small town north east of Atlanta.
Tell us a bit about A Risk Worth Taking. Abby and my story is pretty much what the title implies, that loving someone is a risk, but one that’s worth taking when you find the right person. Abby has had some bad experiences with men who weren’t honest with her and that made her understandably cautious. In the end, she figured out our love was worth the risk. I make it my mission every day to keep her happy since she took a risk on me.
What did you think the first time you saw her? I was acting as father of the bride to my sister, Katie, so it was one of my jobs to dance with the groom’s mom. I headed over to her table, not really thinking about much of anything other than trying not making a fool of myself on the dance floor. She looked up at me when I asked her to dance, and I was a goner. Those gorgeous eyes of hers, they’re this whiskey color that I’ve never seen on another person. Well, she knocked me for a loop. Not literally, but that came later.
And your second thought? That came pretty quick. I wanted to ask her out, but I was worried that it might be weird since we were technically relatives after her son had married my sister. I got over that worry quickly, figuring the worst she could do was say no, which she did when I asked her later on. That didn’t deter me either. I’m persistent like that. I knew she was feeling the attraction same as me. I had to keep at it till I wore her down with my charm.
Did you think it was love at first sight? Attraction yes, but not love, not the real kind that we have for each other now. That kind of love takes time to grow.
What do you like most about Abby? I’d have to say it's the way she accepts people like they are. She doesn’t try to fit a person into some type of mold or change who they are. For example, I like nothing better than taking my motorcycle on some of those gnarled, curvy roads in the mountains of north Georgia. Instead of trying to get me to stop, she sends me off with a kiss. There are some other really nice things I like about her but that’s between the two of us.
How would you describe her? Physically, she’s the ultimate, with this gorgeous curly blond hair that I love to run my fingers through. And she has curves in all the right places. I’ve already mentioned her eyes, how beautiful they are. Emotionally, she might take a minute to warm up to a person, but when she decides she likes you she’s the most loyal friend you’d ever want.
How would she describe you? Hardheaded, workaholic, risk taker. But I’m her hardheaded, workaholic, risk taker and she loves me like that.
What made you choose aviation as a career? I didn’t choose the flyboy life; it chose me. My first memory as a kid was sitting in the cockpit of one of my dad’s cargo planes while he worked on the engine. I’ve never even considered doing anything but flying planes.
What is your biggest fear? Like everyone else, I worry about losing the ones I love. But the thing that keeps me up at night is worrying about my daughter, Grace. She has autism and may never be able to live without someone’s help. Right now that’s not a problem, because she’s got so many adults in her life who love her. I worry about what will happen when we’re not around. Abby tells me not to borrow trouble, that we have no way of knowing what Grace may be able to do when she’s older. She’s come a long way just in the past year since she’s started in the special needs preschool where Abby teaches. And of course I’ve set up a trust fund so that her financial needs are taken care of. I just don’t want her to be alone in the world. I’m trying to do like Abby says and trust that things will turn out good for her. How do you relax? Relaxing is for old people. Abby bought me a hammock for my birthday this year and I’ve lain in it once. Being idle gives me the scratch. I like to take my motorcycle out, like I said. It’s especially great now that my best buddy is back stateside. Brian and I have more fun on the bikes than two forty-year-old men ought.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? James Bond. Growing up I watched all the movies. Over and over again. I wanted to be a spy so bad I could taste it. I like the way Bond could get himself out of a situation, and he was smooth with the ladies. I have some unfortunate examples of my teenaged-self trying out some of Bond’s suave moves on girls.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? It came from an unlikely source—my ex-wife, Heather—who gave me the kick in the pants I needed when I thought I’d lost Abby. Heather said I shouldn’t let Abby leave for her job in London without first hearing how I felt about her.
Now it's time for Melissa's turn at bat. What movies or books have had an impact on your writing? I adore J. R. Ward’s books. The way she writes dialogue makes her alpha males jump off the page. I haven’t read an author who does deep point of view better than her.
Tell us a bit about your publisher. How did you hear about them? I’d been entering my stories to different RWA chapter contest to get feedback on my writing. One judge, along with her critique, suggested I submit my story to The Wild Rose Press’ Last Rose of Summer line.
What influenced your decision to submit to them? In January I went to the TWRP’s online submissions page and was encouraged to see a line that featured characters over forty. I emailed the synopsis and first three chapters and within a day Kathy Cottrell got in touch to say how much she liked the story. Her words of praise were almost as exciting as her request to read the full manuscript.
Tell us a bit about the submission process. In early March she got back to me with a request to “revise and resubmit”, which means she liked the story, but there were some areas of the manuscript that needed work. I’d heard that before from other publishers, but being a newbie I didn’t have a clue what needed fixing. Only Kathy took the time to explain what wasn’t working.
I spent two months rewriting about fifty percent of the story and resubmitted in May. As she’s always done, Kathy contacted me sooner than she promised, this time offering a contract. To say that I was pleased would be an understatement. I was flying cross country to visit my daughter and checked my email when I landed. It didn’t matter that it was eleven o’clock in the morning, when you get your first publishing contract you find the first open bar and celebrate with a glass of champagne!
How long did it take from query to release? Revisions and edits took until August. A Risk Worth Taking was released on Amazon in October with the world wide release coming February 21st. Throughout the whole process, Kathy has been supportive and patient with my many questions. I’m please to say that Kathy has agreed to take on another of my manuscripts. I’m working through the first round of edits on Her Hometown Hero, which won first place in Georgia Romance Writers Maggie award.
What a Cinderella story! Veronica and I are pleased to be able to celebrate her first release with Melissa—and look forward to having her back when Her Hometown Hero comes out.
Kat Henry Doran and Veronica Lynch
To learn more about Melissa Klein and the stories she creates go to: www.MelissaKleinRomance.com
To purchase A Risk Worth Taking , go to http://amzn.com/B00G8J9SIW