What I’m writing now

With the launch of The Legion only a few short weeks away, a lot of people have been asking me what I’m writing now. Of course by a lot of people I mean my agent, my publicist and the head of my fan club. (direct translation: My mom, my sister-in-law and my best friend)

Well, in answer to that all-important question, there’s some good news & some bad news.

The good news: I am super chuffed to announce that I am 10,000 words into a new book that is finally beginning to take shape!

The bad news: It’s about an alien.

Yes, I said alien.

Now, I know exactly what y’all are thinking because even as I say it, I raise my own eyebrow. Did I just say alien. Really? Really!? But to be fair, let’s not forget that Stephenie Meyer wrote a book about a VAMPIRE. I can only imagine how people responded to that. And Ms Meyer is now laughing all the way to the bank. Now of course Twilight is about a vampire, she wasn’t fibbing, but it is so far removed from what you would expect a “vampire” book to be. So don’t judge my alien just yet ūüôā

I don’t quite know why this particular story has crept into my conscious and screamed loudly to be written, but I must listen. It’s out of my hands now because until I write it, I am going to be running on barely any sleep. That’s how it works – I get OCD about a book and am pretty much useless to man or beast until I get it out of my head and down on paper. And it is a pretty awesome story. It’s far more Legacy than it is Rainfall, although I am also brewing around with a new romance idea, based on a recent tragedy that has left a very sore spot in my heart.

I am not a genre-specific author. I do not write stories all in the same vein. I write what I want, what appeals to me at that time, be it romance, thriller, sci-fi, or yes, even a book about an alien.

You will be pleased to know, however, that my extra-terrestrial is far more this:


Than this:


You see what I did there? (I bet all the ladies are getting it now!) There are vampires, and then there are VAMPIRES. There are aliens, and then there are ALIENS. If you get my drift? ūüėČ

I will keep you posted as I progress, via the Facebook page.

Have a wonderful Monday everyone!




Melissa is a fibber

I fibbed.

I told a great big fib.

And so, I officially retract my previous statements about never using Twitter (insert full body shudder here). All this time, I have been “talk to the hand-ing” Twitter, and it turns out I have been TWEETING all along, thanks to some inter-webby link that I didn’t know existed.

Anyway, I apologise. It was never my intention to deceive you all. And I fully intend to make things right. I am even learning how the Twitterverse works, so that I can tweet Elizabeth Hurley and beg her to read my book really take full advantage of this social media tool.


As a start, I have a gift for all those out there who are twitterfraid, like I was.

Below, is all you need to know about Twitter. The Formal Definitions as well as my shortened version:

TWITTER: an online social networking service and microblogging (see previous posts for definition of blog) service that enables its users to send and read text-based messages of up to 140 characters, known as “tweets”.
Melissa’s Definition: Scary place. Very big.

TWEET: A post on Twitter
Melissa’s Definition: 140 characters of unbreakable code

@ : the necessary marker for the system to recognize when you’re talking to someone and therefore alert them of the mention.
Melissa’s definition: The symbolic equivalent of “Yo!”

imagesCANUUL9D# (HASH TAG): When coupled together with a word or phrase, it helps to produce a sentiment that could be regarded at the theme of the tweet itself without all the extra characters.
Melissa’s Definition: What does that EVEN mean???

RT: Retweet – broadcasting someone else’s message.
Melissa’s definition: Copy & Paste

imagesCAR46071DM: Direct Message – the only private way for two users to communicate.
Melissa’s Definition: Getting a room

Now, as to the abbreviations! I have only just gotten used to the Facebook LOL, LMAO, OMG, ROTFL, etc, and now I discover this…. Twitter, in its uniqueness, has a language all of its own. Here are a few to guide me you along:
TBH: To be honest
OH: Overheard (HOW do you overhear something on Twitter???)
ICYMI: In case you missed it
SMH: Shaking my head
TL;DR: Too long, didn’t read (Ooh, I’m sensing I might get a lot of these, due to inter-webby thingy linking very long FB statuses)

There you have it!¬†Twitter 101… you can thank me later!

And seeing as I am now officially part of the Twitterverse, could you maybe….


I’d really appreciate it, y’all!


Added 4 hours later:

Twitter¬†is SO ON TO ME. Just got this in my mail! Specially selected, they say.. don’t tell your friends, they say. So just say you OH it ūüėČ






Truck you, Friday

What a day. Friday the 30th August 2013. Yeah… you pretty much¬†suck.

This morning I get a call that one of my fleet has been in accident. For those of you who don’t know, I have a transport company. (Hard to believe I know, being that I am such a fragile flower, but until such time as I hit big-time author, I have bills to pay) My immediate response: “Is the driver okay?” Turns out the little bastard is fine. For now.

Frantic concern aside, I ask: “What happened?” The answer is not exactly something I would have expected. My truck is lying on its side. ON.ITS.SIDE. 25 tons of truck, just laying down like a fat kid after the 70 meter relay.

So….I try to be practical. I know its been a busy year and I figure hey, maybe it’s just tired.

The cargo (to be clear: 32 tons of it) is oranges. Now, my natural propensity to giggle rears its head at this stage. Oranges are round. They roll. By now I am picturing this creaking behemoth, just too tired to go any further, lying down in protest¬†as thousands of oranges scatter,¬†making their frantic escape. Free from the horror of being sliced, diced and juiced. And you know what? For just a moment I felt relieved for those little oranges. My conscience whispered “Be free, little fella’s, be free.”

All this¬†is going¬†through my head as I try to grasp what I¬†am hearing. It’s days like these that really make me wonder at my chosen corporate profession. Don’t get me wrong, I love trucks. Ever since I saw Optimus Prime transform back in 2007.¬†But when I tell you it comes with a LOT of headache, that ain’t no lie!

So, while you are all gearing up for the weekend, and TGIF’ing, spare a thought for me. I’m TGFI’ing…. Thanking God for Insurance.

Oh, and if you happen to see one of these little bastards run by……do me a favour and JUICE EM!



Have a wonderful weekend everyone and be safe on the roads!



Blog Say-What!?

So you’ve all heard of blogging, right? Oh wait, that guy in the back…you haven’t? Well, come on and join us from under that rock you have been living under. That’s it, come on little fella. Honestly though, I had ABSOLUTELY no idea what a blog was either, until I Googled it. Yes, I Googled it. The definition of blog is as follows:

Definition of BLOG: a Web site that contains an online personal journal with reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks provided by the writer; also : the contents of such a site.

So basically, you are asking the whole world to read your DIARY. Which is ironic really, considering I spent the better part of my teens trying to find new and ingenious ways of hiding mine from my mother, who had a nose like a bloodhound. I think she just enjoyed grounding me so she wouldn’t have to drive me around.

Blogging is not a word that rolls off the tongue easily. Blogging. It sounds like¬† a particularly nasty symptom of a bout of flu. Any-hoo, I was advised to blog. “As an author, it is a strong marketing tool.” Firstly, I’m still¬†not really sure that I AM an author, despite having written 3 books. Secondly, I am not sure of the logistics and how a blog turns into book sales? Nevertheless, I suddenly found myself¬†quite taken with the idea. This is an opportunity, a way to leave a digital legacy, a platform to be heard and make a difference in the world! Okay, seriously I’m still just wanting to know how my blog turns into book sales, the rest is all just bullshit.

I think I’ll get the hang of this blogging thing sooner rather than later. I mean, its either Blogging or Tweeting and we all know how I feel about Twitter. I’m shivering a little just thinking about it and my hands are getting clammy. But as to my successful blogging: I am rather funny, after all. I have this wicked sense of humour. Admittedly not many people get it and often my dry remarks are met with the sound of crickets chirping and a ball of tumbleweed blowing by, but I still think I’m pretty funny. And anyone who disagrees is just boring.

So here I am, blogging away like a pro, not really knowing what the point or purpose is, but loving my own rhetoric. Writer’s write. That’s what we do. Books, letters, poems, blogs – its all just part of the writerverse.*

So welcome to my blog. I’m delighted to have you. (Yes mom, I’m talking to you ūüôā )

Happy Reading xxx

* Tweeting will NEVER EVER be part of my writerverse. Ever.

Self Publishing

Self publishing is not for sissies. As I get asked this question quite often (How did you do it, Why did you do it, etc) I will be posting this blog, detailing my journey from start to finish. It will be updated as I go along, and might take a long while to complete as there is so much involved, but please check back regularly and check it out. I’ll even buy you a cup of e-tea, which costs me nothing and involves you pretending to enjoy a steaming hot cuppa!

My Favourite Books

Here are some of my all time favourite reads (in no particular order)


me before you¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† “So beautifully written it made me ugly cry.”

I ADORED this book. I read it in one very emotional rollercoaster of a day. I laughed out loud and¬†I blushed to the roots of my hair for Lou. This book is so beautifully written it made me ugly cry. Without giving away too much of the storyline, Lou is 26 years old when she is employed to care for Will. Will is a young, handsome, rich, upper-class high-flyer. After a terrible accident, Will is paralysed. Now, to be clear, Will is not a nice young man. He is angry and resentful, and he makes Lou’s life a misery. Despite this, and his physical disability,¬†Will is incredibly sexy in a dark, brooding sort of way. Think Christian Grey without the whips and chains. The tragic love story that follows is breath taking. I highly recommend this book for all the ladies!


I am number 4¬†¬†¬†¬† “Bags I be Six!”

Being a bit of a “super-hero”¬†fanatic, this¬†series was right up my¬†alley. Aimed at YA market, it spent 7 weeks at the #1 spot on the NY Times bestseller list.¬†I loved everything about this book, even the made-up name of the author. “Pittacus Lore”¬†(the pseudonym of James Frey and Jobie Hughes) is Lorien’s ruling elder.¬†The basic plot, which does the book no justice: nine infant aliens with extraordinary powers being hunted down on Earth by the evil invaders who destroyed their home planet. They can only be killed in order and the first 3 have already been eliminated at the onset of the book. Number Four is now running for his life. Enter the legendary Six, and the action is explosive. I am waiting impatiently for the release of The Fall of Five (book 4), which releases this month (Aug 2013). This is the book that is going to make or break this series. After the amazing I am Number Four and the even better Power of Six, Rise of Nine just kind of sucked.

room¬† “Compellingly stomach-churning.”

Room is a book that I still can’t stop thinking about 2 years after reading it. I recently started writing a YA novel, written from the perspective of a 15 year old girl. After 3000 agonising words, which actually caused me physical pain, I tossed it. I just couldn’t stay in that mind set long enough. using words like “hawt” and LOL-ing every second sentence. As a result, my respect for Emma Donoghue’s book grew in volumes. The story is told from the perspective of a five-year-old boy, Jack, who is being held captive in a small room along with his mother. Donoghue conceived the story after hearing about five-year-old Felix in the Fritzl case.

This book is astounding. And gross. And captivating. And scary. And heart-warming. And awful. You need to read it to understand.


twilight¬†“Don’t judge the Twilighters

Okay, so anyone who is rolling their eyes and passing judgement, just remember that this book has sold more copies and broken more records that I care to count and that love it or hate it, Stephenie Meyer is laughing all the way to the bank. A sobering thought, isn’t it. Personally, I LOVED it. I read like a woman possessed, and yes, I fantasised about Edward Cullen. A lot. I am not going to drone one about plot and characterisation because everyone knows what this series is all about. If you haven’t read it – SHAME on you!

Classics“Literary Snobbery”

I was fortunate enough to select Victorian Literature as one of my honours degree subjects and spent a year devouring the classics. From Jane Eyre, to Dracula, this year is one that truly was the peak of my literary snobbery. Aside from the fact that these books are beautiful, there is something very rewarding about reading a classic. It makes you feel clever.¬† And refined. And¬†D-E-E-P.¬† I have to say that Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre are two of my firm favourites, with Tess of the D’Urberville’s a close second. These are the kind of books that you re-read.







20 Things You Didn’t Know About me

1. I hate sushi. Not just to be contrary but for real. It’s gross. It’s raw fish, I can’t understand what all the fuss is about.
2. I’m not a very good driver. I recently bought a Vito (shuttle bus) and I can’t park it to save my life. As a result its a long walk from car to destination. I daren’t tell my husband.
3. I’m scared to fly. Terrified even.
4. I bite my cuticles.
5. I have no idea what nefarious means.
6. I love to sing and please don’t confuse the word “love” with “can”.
7. I am envious of super skinny people. I sometimes envy people with gastro, who drop a few kilo’s in a matter of days.
8. All of my children have last names for first names. Not planned.
9. I’m not a natural blonde….by far the hardest admission on this page
10. I am still trying to devise a way to get Ian Somerhalder’s attention, something witty to say on his fan page that will set me apart from the legion of fans.
11. I have a dog named Marley, who lives up to her namesake.
12. I can read a 100,000 word book in 3 hours. It’s insane how fast I read. My husbands says my eyeballs have tourettes.
13. I drop the F-bomb *gasp*. A LOT. I have a mouth like a sailor, even my own mother has given up on me. It’s not meant to offend anyone, its just a fact, I can’t help myself.
14. I can’t tweet. The “twitterverse” is a super-scary place.
15. My favourite quote: “Always be yourself. Unless you can be a unicorn…Then always be a unicorn.”
16. I call everybody nicknames that have nothing to do with their real names. For example I call 2 of my closest friends Bellsky & Ruby. Their real names are Anna and Wendy.
17. I sometimes forget my children’s birth dates. Never on the actual day, thank goodness.
18. I really like Bloody Mary’s.
19. I believe in Karma.
20. I can’t walk in heels.