“Sweet, funny, sexy, REAL romance.”
Melanie Harlow likes her martinis dry, her heels high, and her history with the naughty bits left in. Her stories are about modern couples falling in old-fashioned love, and even though romance is a fantasy, her heroes and heroines are everyday people with real problems who stumble on their way to happily ever after. She lifts her glass to readers and writers from her home near Detroit, MI, where she lives with her husband and two daughters.
The Ridiculously Long Slow Burn
I’ve always been a reader, and my favorite books always have a love story in them, even if they’re historical or suspense or women’s fiction. After I outgrew Sweet Valley High (took a while), I devoured romances by Lavyrle Spencer (my idol) and romantic suspense by Nora Roberts. Today my favorite authors are Liane Moriarty, Anita Shreve, Amor Towles, Jonathan Tropper, Elin Hilderbrand, and Kate Morton. I also love the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich and the Kinsey Millhone mysteries by Sue Grafton. My all-time favorite books ever? YEARS by Lavyrle Spencer, FORTUNE’S ROCKS by Anita Shreve, CATCHER IN THE RYE by J.D. Salinger, CALL ME BY YOUR NAME, by Andre Acimen, BIG LITTLE LIES by Liane Moriarty, THE HOUSE AT RIVERTON by Kate Morton, and THE SENSE OF AN ENDING by Julian Barnes. Current read: LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE, by Celeste Ng.
I attended Miami Ohio and earned a degree in American Studies. Not very useful, but I loved every moment of it, and I know my studies taught me how to read deeper into any kind of story–whether it was the story of a person, a place, or a historical event. I credit my high school English teacher Ms. Cook and some of my professors at Miami with teaching me how to write in my own voice and trust it, especially Elliott Gorn.
I taught high school English and social studies for five years, and I’ve always been a dance teacher. After having two daughters, I chose not to return to teaching and focused on being mom, dance teacher, and writer. I freelanced for a few years before I got serious about writing fiction. In 2010-11 I wrote three YA novels, once of which later morphed into SPEAK EASY (the other two shall never see the light of day). I queried agents without success for two years before deciding to try self-publishing my historical as NA. In order to market it to the NA audience, I rewrote it, seriously upping the sexual tension. I enjoyed writing it so much that I knew I’d never go back to YA.
I published THE SPEAK EASY DUET in 2013, and it remains my favorite. In 2014 and early 2015, I wrote and published The Frenched Series as well as THE TANGO LESSON, a standalone novella. In 2015 and early 2016, I published the Happy Crazy Love series. The After We Fall series came next, followed by the One and Only series. The final book in that series, ONLY LOVE, will release November 26th, 2018.
When I’m not writing or hanging out on Facebook, I like to read, run, travel, drink good cocktails, swing dance, and I LOVE getting hooked on good cable series. My favorites are Game of Thrones, Homeland, Boardwalk Empire, Deadwood, The Affair, The Alienist, Ray Donovan, Bloodline, and Ozark. I also LOVED Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale (read it at Miami Ohio!), and my current obsession is HBO’s Succession.
My favorite part about writing is the actual wording–sentence level stuff. I love putting feelings and thoughts into words that make a reader look over her shoulder because I got in her head. I also love writing dialogue. My least favorite part is plotting…I’m horrible at it. When I try to outline, I just sit and stare at the screen.
My goal as an author is to entertain my readers with stories about ordinary people falling in extraordinary love. I want to make you feel something–and laugh a lot along the way.
My favorite food is bacon. My favorite color is blue. My favorite smell is lavender, but I also love Bounce dryer sheets in Outdoor Fresh. I’ll never move away from Michigan because I love the lakes too much. My favorite season is fall. I can’t resist clothing that is gray and soft, just like my pet rabbit, Peaches, the meanest, prettiest bunny on the planet.
Thus concludes the Way More Than You Ever Wanted to Know About Melanie Harlow portion of the program.
Thanks for reading.