This week I want to introduce you to Melanie Hansen. Melanie is one of my fellow Supporting Authors authors at GRL this year. I’m looking forward to meeting her in October but in the meantime she’s answered some questions so we get to know her a little better. I hope you enjoy!
Meet Melanie Hansen
Welcome! Thanks for agreeing to answer a couple of questions. Hopefully you won’t find then too difficult. 🙂
Is this your first GRL? If not, do you have any advice for authors and/or readers who are attending? If it’s your first, what made you sign up this year?
Melanie: My first GRL was in 2013, the one in Atlanta. It was a last-minute decision to attend, and it was mostly because I wanted to meet a group of girls I’d gotten to know in a Tumblr book fandom. We’d become close online, and this was my opportunity to meet them face to face. I’m so glad I did, that trip changed my life.
The biggest piece of advice I’d have for newbies is to just be yourself, and get out there and mingle. I don’t consider myself shy, but I’m not the most social person either. At GRL, I felt I was finally with “my people,” people who love what I love. I immediately felt at home, and I never had a moment of awkwardness or fear. Everyone there is eager and happy to make new friends, authors and readers alike.
What are you most looking forward to about GRL this year?
Melanie: This is my first year attending as a Supporting Author, and I’m very much looking forward to my author signing! I’m excited to see old friends again, and make new ones.
What inspired you to start writing in the gay romance genre?
Melanie: I started writing fanfiction for the Cut & Run and In the Company of Shadows series. There were certain things happening off-page that I simply HAD to see, so I wrote the scenes myself! It was immensely satisfying, and I found that I enjoyed it. So when NanoWriMo 2013 rolled around, I decided to give it a try. And here I am.
What was the first m/m romance book you wrote? Can you share a little about the story?
Melanie: My first book is called Everything Changes. It is a contemporary romance, a friends-to-lovers story and a GFY. It’s about two close friends who served together in the military, and one is grievously wounded, loses his leg. The other is wounded just as badly in his psyche and heart, even if his wounds aren’t as visible. I tried to explore what might happen when intense, life-changing circumstances turn friendship into love…a friendship catching fire.
What book are you currently reading or have just finished reading? Tell us a little about it.
Melanie: I’ve just finished reading Soldier of Change, an autobiography written by Stephen Snyder-Hill detailing his time serving in the Army both during and after DADT. It’s a riveting story. We all know the legalities of DADT, but Steve shows us the pain at the heart of it, the soul-destroying lies that had to be told just to be able to love who you love and still serve your country. A policy that was intended to help gay people serve actually turned into a witch-hunt, and many people were hurt deeply as a result. Highly recommended for anyone interested in this topic.
Please share an interesting fact your readers may not know about you?
Melanie: I’ve actually backpacked across the Grand Canyon a total of 3 times! Each trip was close to 30 miles long, and took several days. On one trip there was no drinking water anywhere so we had to bring filters and filter nasty muddy stagnant water so that we could drink it. I also sprained my ankle on a rock in the path, and had blisters that took my toenails off. But I’ve never experienced such solitude, or appreciated such beautiful scenery. The misery was definitely worth it!
Thanks for joining me today, Melanie. I look forward to meeting you in October.
Melanie Hansen has spent time in Texas and Florida prisons…for work. She’s been in a room with a 17-year-old mass murderer who was also one of the most soft-spoken and polite teenagers she’s ever met. After a 13-year career as a court reporter, she can tell many stories both hilarious and heartbreaking.
She grew up with an Air Force dad, and ended up marrying a Navy man. After living and working all over the country, she hopes to bring these rich and varied life experiences to her stories about people finding love amidst real-life struggles.
Melanie left the stressful world of the courtroom behind and now enjoys a rewarding career transcribing for a deaf student. She currently lives in Arizona with her husband and two sons.
Featured book from Melanie Hansen
What happens when friendship catches fire?
Former Marine and lower-leg amputee Carey Everett keeps a grueling schedule of counseling fellow war veterans and their families. The injury he received in Afghanistan forces him to rely on a reserve of strength he didn’t even know he had. A much deserved vacation will let him reconnect with his best friend, who saved his life and has been there for him through devastating injury and painful recovery.
Part-time EMT and aspiring singer Jase DeSantis has been in love with Carey for years, but he’s come to accept that his straight friend will never be able to offer more. Jase fills his days with band rehearsals, ambulance shifts, and willing groupies, all while trying to cope with debilitating PTSD.
A week of sun, fun, and music in San Diego changes Jase and Carey’s lives forever when their relationship takes an unexpected turn. Jase has been longing for that change, but it leaves Carey reeling with confusion. As Jase fights to hold things together, Carey deals with doubts, fears, and his own preconceived notions about labels and the true nature of love.