Sunday, January 29, 2023


I want to thank Melina Druga for taking the time for this interview!


Rumor has it that Melina Druga came out of her mother’s womb with a pen in her hand.  While we can neither confirm nor deny this, you could say she was destined to become a writer.

Melina was so young when she began writing that she can’t remember exactly when the urge began.  She does remember, however, her first novel – a historical fiction story about two sisters living in an Ohio canal town in the 1840s – that she wrote at age 10.

Music keeps Melina sane, and it has gotten to the point that she cannot write without it.  It keeps her awake, alert, motivated and productive.  Music has even inspired her fiction.  And not just The Rock Star’s Wife series.  The My Chemical Romance song “Mama” was the inspiration for her historical fiction novel Angel of Mercy.

Melina lives in the Midwest with her husband, daughter, black cat, books and CD collection.

Melina is the author of the upcoming Rock Star’s Wife series, a contemporary fiction story about sex, family, and rock & roll. She also has written six historical fiction novels and nine nonfiction books.

When and how did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve been writing for as long as I’ve had the ability to write.  I decided I wanted to be a novelist in fourth grade when my teacher told me I needed math skills to become an astronomer, my career ambition at the time.

Did you have any influencing writers growing up?

I read a lot as a child and young adult, but I wouldn’t say one author was more influential than another.  I learned from all of them.

Are any of your characters based on people in real life?

Nat in The Rock Star’s Wife series may or may not be based on a real rock star, or a compilation of them. Other characters have personality traits borrowed from real people.  Some other characters are representative of groups of people. 

Amelia in the WWI Trilogy, for example, is representative of 19th century mothers who lost children and also women who were stuck in toxic relationships.

Where do you draw your book inspirations from?

The world around us.  I write about ordinary people experiencing plausible situations and the affect it has on them.

Do you use have a basic outline when starting a new story or do you let the characters lead the way?

I generally have a very detailed outline and character bios written before I start a story.  I’ll also complete any research I need before beginning.

When you are picturing the characters in your book, do you have a cheater photo for inspiration?

I’ll sometimes have a celebrity in mind as my “model” for a certain character, but not all of them.  

For The Rock Star’s Wife series, I also found copyright free photos that I am using to represent various characters on my website and social media.  I did that after the first two books were completed, though.

Many people read as a form of escape and relaxation.  What is your favorite way to sit back and relax?

I’m rarely not working, but I do workout six days a week.  

I enjoy photography and travel whenever I can.  

Date nights with my husband also are a great break in the monotony.  

Music does wonders for my mood.

Who are your favorite current authors to read?

Edith Wharton is my favorite classic author.  I have yet to find a contemporary author whom I love equally as much.  

Most recently, I did read books by Jennifer Weiner, Tarryn Fisher, Laine Moriarty, Jamie McGuire, Karen McQuestion and Leila Slimani.

What are your favorite books by others?

My two favorite books are Edith Wharton’s The Custom of the Country and Wallace Stegner’s Angle of Repose 

I’m also a fan of the Civil War trilogy by Jeff and Michael Shaara and Erik Larson’s The Devil in the White City.  The last one is nonfiction but reads like a novel.

Do the locations in the stories have any meaning to you?

No. I select locations based on the needs of the story.

Do you write in single or multiple POV?

I have done both, but I prefer a single POV because I’ve noticed my narratives are stronger with one perspective. 

What do you find to be your best research tool?

Definitely the internet, although I have a small library of books that I have used for research in the past.

Do you write under a pen name?  Also, do you write under more than one name?

No to both.

What genre do you write and why is this your preference?

I have written nonfiction and historical fiction in the past.  Currently, I am writing contemporary fiction.  

So far contemporary fiction is my favorite because I find it is more relatable for readers and it’s also much more lighthearted than my historical work, which makes it more fun to write.

Tell me something about yourself outside of writing.  Jobs, accomplishments, family, quirky trait...what led to you being you?

In addition to being an author, I’m a freelance writer and the owner of Sun Up Press.  In my role as business owner, I wear many hats including graphic designer and videographer.  

I’m married to a wonderful man who helps me run both our household and Sun Up Press.  

I’m mom to a teenage girl who may be as obsessed with music as I am, if that’s possible. 

I’m owner to a well-behaved black cat.  

Like my main character Cassandra in The Rock Star’s Wife, I’m also a bilingual Greek-American and that heavily influenced my upbringing.

What advice would you give to an aspiring writer?

My advice would be to not listen to advice.  There’s a lot of it out there.  Much of it is conflicting.  If you try to follow all the “rules,” it can be paralyzing.  

Also, don’t compare your writing to others.  You have your own style and that’s how it should be.  You may need to practice to hone your craft, but don’t try to be like someone else.

How do you deal and process negative book reviews?

This varies.  Of the negative reviews I have received, the majority were star ratings with no explanation.  Those are mystifying, and that’s about it.  

The worst review one of my novels received from a woman who gave a children’s book (from another author) one star because she didn’t like the cover art.  

I can dismiss negative reviews based on a reader’s personal preference after a day or two.  

The type of negative reviews that are the most difficult to process are the ones that attack my research for my historical books. I strive for accuracy, sometimes researching something multiple times simply to be certain I’m correct.  I agonize over the accuracy of little details that appear in one sentence and that’s it.  So it upsets me greatly when people don’t like something that is historically accurate.

What is the most difficult part of your writing process?

The most difficult part comes after the novel is finished – marketing.  I often say that marketing is like trying to stand on the beach and shouting to someone a mile down shore.  The waves drown you out, and the person never hears you.  Marketing is a lot of trial and error, trying to reach the target audience.

As far as the actual writing process, it’s the rough draft.  Of all the drafts, it is the most time consuming and the most difficult to complete.

What do you need in your writer’s space to keep you focused?

Music.  I find it difficult to concentrate without it.

What is your naughty indulgence as you are writing?


If you could spend a day with another popular author, whom would you choose?  And why?

Colleen Hoover.  

She began as an indie author and now is a New York Times best seller.  I’m certain she’s had tips about marketing to share, although we’re not in the same genre.

What is your schedule like when you are writing?  Do you have a favorite writing snack or drink?

Monday through Friday.  I complete client work then switch to my projects.  I take a break to prepare and eat dinner then write again until I go to sleep.  On weekends and holidays, I only write in the evening.

I rarely eat while writing, but I do stay hydrated, generally with water or tea.

Do you listen to music when you write – what kind of music is your favorite?

Yes, I cannot write without it.  I listen primarily to alternative metal and hard rock.

Have pets ever gotten in the way of your writing?


What is your kryptonite as a writer?  What totally puts you off your game?

I rarely have writer’s block.  The only time I was truly affected was when a beta reader, about 10 years ago, completely ripped my book to shreds, said she couldn’t get past the first three chapters and basically told me I cannot write.  I didn't write again for probably a year and a half after that.

Have you ever killed off a character that your readers loved?


How do you celebrate after typing THE END?

No celebration.  The next day I begin another project.


I hope you enjoyed this interview!

Check out all my interviews/reviews for Melina Druga!

Make sure to give Melina Druga a shout-out and FOLLOW her on social media!

Connect with Melina:


The Rock Star's Wife Series website:









Spotify - The Rock Star’s Wife playlist:

Newsletter Sign-Up:

You can also find Melina at the following retailers:

Angus Robertson:

Apple Books:

Barnes and Noble:




Otto Book Store:


Tidepool Book Shop:



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