Author Spotlight: Melody Carlson


Today's spotlight: Jane Kirkpatrick

   Today’s spotlight: Melody Carlson



[Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Melody’s newest book, “The Christmas Angel Project.” Winner will be announced in the next Author Spotlight feature.]

Hi Melody! Thanks for dropping in, so close to release day! Let’s start with the basics: What part of the country do you live in? Who fills up your household?



I live in Oregon with my husband of 38 years. We live in a very small town in the mountains and we have a yellow Labrador retriever named Audrey.


Tell us about your new release: What inspired this particular story?

The Christmas Angel Project.indd

The Christmas Angels Project features four very different women who have lost a beloved friend . . . shortly before Christmas. It’s a tale of friendship, second chances, helping others and finding hope. I honestly don’t remember what inspired the story . . . probably my appreciation for the good solid friends in my life.



So when did you get bitten by the writing bug?

I’ve loved storytelling for as long as I can remember. I always wrote whenever I got the chance—simply for the pleasure of writing. But in my early-thirties, I got serious about writing—maybe that was when the bug really bit me. So I began to write with the hope of publishing and possibly earning some ‘extra’ money. Well, that was more than 200 books ago and I still have the writing bug and don’t plan to recover anytime soon.


After you started writing seriously, how long was it before you were published?

It happened relatively quickly—although it seemed like forever back when I got all those disappointing rejection letters. It would’ve been easy to have given up because for about a year it felt pretty hopeless. But within the second year of seriously writing, I sold some short stories and won a writing contest. I contracted my first book in my third year of writing and submitting. Although I’d already written about six books by that time. All which were published in the next couple of years.


Do you have any favorite places and routines when you write? How many hours a day do you spend writing?

I used to be able to write ‘anywhere,’ and I did. But I’ve discovered that, over the years, I do better with minimal distractions. To that end, my husband just built me a small writing studio (sort of like a tiny house) that’s situated in our backyard, by our pond. It’s nice and quiet and inspiring. My dog Audrey likes it too!


Do you prefer reading physical books or e-readers?

I actually prefer a physical book. I like the feel of it in my hands. I like seeing the cover and reading the back cover copy. And sometimes I like to be able to flip back to reread or check on something. But if I’m traveling (by air) I read on my iPad because I like to travel light.


How would you describe your writing style?

I’ve always said I ‘write by the seat of my pants.’ Other writer friends used to make fun of that, but I’ve noticed that more and more writers are confessing they write the same way. The fun part of writing for me is discovering the story as I go. It’s like solving a mystery. I like being surprised. If I knew what was going to happen or exactly how it would end, I wouldn’t be motivated to write. I also like to write what I call ‘reality fiction.’ I like to tell stories that feel like real life, deal with real problems, and offer some real answers.


If you weren’t able to write, what would you do?

I love anything to do with home design. But I worked for a really good interior decorator for a short time and decided that wasn’t for me. However, I wouldn’t mind house-flipping. In a way, my husband and I have already done that with our own homes. But I think it would be fun to do as a business . . . if I wasn’t writing.


Right this moment, what does your office look like?

Well, like I said, it’s a small writing studio. And I think it’s rather sweet! It has open-beamed pine ceiling with a big paddle fan, and plank fir floors. The walls are painted robin’s egg blue, decorated with nice art. Very peaceful. There’s an off-white linen couch and a leather rocking chair. I have an antique Irish harvest table for a desk. And lots of windows. And, oh yeah, a big yellow dog sleeping in the corner.


Can a person make a living as a writer?

I get asked this question a lot while speaking at schools. Of course, I say that ‘yes’ you can make a living. After all, I have. But then I point out that to make a living you must either A) write a best seller every couple of years, or B) write a lot of books very quickly like I do, or C) be a flexible freelance writer who is willing to do all kinds of writing, or D) be willing to live in a cardboard box beneath a bridge somewhere.


What is the role and importance of an agent?

It’s difficult (if not impossible) to publish with a traditional publishing house without a good agent. However, you can publish indie books on the internet without one. A really good agent is someone who can help with a multitude of things—from knowing the general state of the publishing industry to understanding the components of good writing. For writers seeking an agent, I always suggest that you look at authors who write similar to you and research who their agents are . . . then approach them to represent you. Of course, you should have some fully written books to show them by the time you do this.


Who’s your favorite character you’ve written so far? Explain:

Isn’t that like naming your favorite child? But, okay, I’ll confess. In my novel Finding Alice, the main character Alice, a young woman suffering from schizophrenia, is probably my favorite. Journeying with Alice through her confusing dark world was very meaningful after working with a family member who’d also been diagnosed with the same mental illness. Also because the book, written in first person/present tense, felt very real to me as I wrote it. And it was cathartic.


Describe yourself in one word:



Are you an introvert? Extrovert? In-between?

I’m an introvert at heart, but I know how to force my extrovert to the surface as needed.


The one thing I hope to discover is…

It’s something I probably won’t find out until I’m in heaven. I want to discover God’s purposes in weaving such baffling DNA in so many people. Some friends and family members seem to suffer so much from inherited genetic traits—and I do believe God ‘knit us in the womb,’ but sometimes I just wonder why . . . ? Of course, this gives me ample opportunity to trust God—and that’s a good place to be. But it would be nice to know the answers someday.


Thanks again for dropping in, Melody. How can readers connect with you?


Readers, don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of The Christmas Angel Project!


About Suzanne

Suzanne Woods Fisher writes bestselling, award winning fiction and non-fiction books about the Old Order Amish for Revell Books. Her interest in the Plain People began with her Old Order German Baptist grandfather, raised in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne's app, Amish Wisdom, delivers a daily Amish proverb to your phone or iPad. She writes a bi-monthly column for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazine. She lives with her family in California and raises puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. To Suzanne's way of thinking, you can't take life too seriously when a puppy is running through your house with someone's underwear in its mouth.


  1. Sharon W. says:

    I would love to win a copy of this book.

  2. Marilyn R says:

    Thank you for the interview with Melody Carlson. “The Christmas Angel Project” sounds like a delightful book to read filled with second chances, hope and friendship. Thank you for the giveaway and opportunity to win a copy.

  3. Shirley Chapel says:

    Melody I make it a rabbit to read all your Christmas novels each year. It’s tradition for me. Plus I love and treasure each story. When will The Christmas Angel Project be released. Thanks for the interview and generous giveaway.

  4. Carolyn R says:

    Suzanne, thank you for the interview and the review of Melody Carlson’s book, THE CHRISTMA ANGEL PROJECT. I definitely want to read the book. Friends are so important and it’s hard when you lose your very best friend. God continue to bless you as you share and write, Suzanne and also, Melody. Thank you for your kindness and sharing.

  5. C.J. says:

    Have never read this author, and would love to read this Christmas book!
    Thanks for a chance!

  6. Jennifer S says:

    Love Melody’s books. Can’t wait to read this one

  7. Patricia Smith says:

    Would love to have a chance to read this book…I remember last year when Melody Carlson’s Christmas book came out, I was in Lifeway in search of another author’s new release and heard another women sending clerks all over the store looking for Melody Carlson’s book…my budget only allowed one book that day, but I recently came across it and have it on my shelf for a bit closer to Christmas…the second book sounds like a wonderful treat and I will keep my eye out for it in the weeks to come.

  8. Angela Chesnut says:

    I love Melody’s books. Would love to win this one.

  9. Michelle says:

    I’ve never read her before so winning this would be a great opportunity to try a new author😊

  10. Susan A says:

    Enjoyed your interview. I would love to win a copy of your book. Thanks for giving us the opportunity to learn more about how & why you started writing.

  11. Amy says:

    I love your books! I’d love to read this one.

  12. Pamela Pavkov says:

    Wow a special quiet spot of uour own and by a pond too@ I love ponds and the critters that live thete. I’ll bet the special little moisrs a soothing@ I love your books@

  13. Pamela Pavkov says:

    Wow a special quiet spot of uour own and by a pond too@ I love ponds and the critters that live thete. I’ll bet the special little noises are soothing! I love your books!

  14. Emma says:

    I am looking forward to reading The Christmas Angels Project. I like Melody’s books. Thank you for the opportunity to win.

  15. Ola Norman says:

    Great interview! Sounds like a good book.

  16. Shirley M Franklin says:

    I think the first Melody Carlson book I read was Christmas at Harrington’s. Then there were the first couple of Dear Daphne books, and The Christmas Shoppe, and . . . . I’m hooked. She writes about real people with whom I fall in love.
    I would love to receive The Christmas Angels Project and appreciate this opportunity to win a copy.

  17. Kathie from CA says:

    I have read some of Melody’s books in the past. I would love to win this one.

  18. Pam K. says:

    I enjoy Melody’s books, especially her Christmas books. I’d like to read The Christmas Angel Project. Thanks for the interview with Melody and the chance to win her book.

  19. Jackie Tessnair says:

    I also love the feel of a book in my hands.Your book sounds awesome,looking forward to reading it.I enjoyed this post.Thanks for sharing.

  20. Doris Lankford says:

    I love Melody’s books. I have read several and have come away feeling happy and optimistic. I would love to win a copy of her latest book. Thank you for the chance.

  21. Lorraine Alexander says:

    Sounds like a good read…..would love to win. Thank you for the opportunity

  22. Connie Schedler says:

    I’m a Christmas-book junkie…a favorite family time of the year. Thanks for
    the interview. Blessings for the work done by wonderful authors!

  23. Kathy M. says:

    Sounds like a great book! I love reading Christmas stories.

  24. Vicki Curl Cooper says:

    I LOVE reading anything about Angels and Christmas, so I’m Praying I can win a copy of Melody’s new book! Thank you Suzanne for this chance to win! 😘

  25. MS Barb says:

    Thanks Melody for sharing a part of yourself w/ your readers! Is there a story behind your 1st name? (I’m a musician, so LOVE your name!)

  26. Andrea Woodard says:

    I would love to win a copy of this book. Thank you Melody for sharing about your busy life.

  27. June says:

    Thank you for interviewing Melody. So great to hear more about her writing. I have read many of Melody’s books and have added this new one to my list that I want to read. Thank you for the giveaway; I hope to win!

  28. Denise S says:

    I would love to win a copy of this book. Thanks Melody. Enjoyed the interview.

  29. Renee Signorelli says:

    Sounds like a great read! I love Christmas books.

  30. Anne Rightler says:

    Sounds like a good read. I enjoy Christmas stories. Here’s hoping to be a winner. Thank you for the opportunity

  31. That is such a sweet title, I can just imagine that the book is just as wonderful!

  32. The Christmas Angel Project sounds like a book to read for the holiday season. I enjoy reading Melody’s books and I would like to thank her for such a great interview about her life. Also thanks for a chance to win a copy of The Christmas Angel Project

  33. Carol evirs-quinn says:

    Oh I love Christmas books. They help you me in the spirit. Thank you for this opportunity. Carol Q.

  34. Sharon W. says:

    I would love to win a book. This sounds like a very good read.