Mya O’Malley- If You Believe Author Questions for Double Decker Books
- Where did you get the idea for 'If You Believe"?
I grew up cherishing wonderful Christmas stories. I looked forward to reading holiday stories each year as part of the getting in the holiday spirit. Once I became a writer I knew that one day I would create my own holiday romance. I wanted my story to be set during the time of the holidays, but it also needed to be a book that could be enjoyed any time of year. My story has a strong plot: Melody and Jack have it all until Jack’s life comes to an end, leaving Melody alone. Years later, Melody hasn’t moved on with her life and Jack can’t rest until he sees her happy. This is a magical tale in which Jack comes down to Earth disguised as another human, he has until Christmas Eve at midnight to help Melody fall in love again. My idea for this story started with the idea that true love has no boundaries and never really ends.
- What is one of your favorite things about winter?
Winter is a beautiful season. I love the very first snowfall and I actually don’t mind the cold weather. In the winter I look forward to coming inside after a long day at work and finding a cozy spot in the living room to read a book or watch a movie with a cup of hot chocolate. Oh, and since I’m a teacher, I love snow days!
- When writing "If You Believe" what was the hardest part?
The most difficult part of writing “If You Believe” was creating the emotional scenes in the book. The scenes are both happy and sad; bittersweet. I felt myself becoming emotional every single time I edited and proofread the book. My family also reacted the same way. I wanted the book to leave readers inspired by true love and come away with a good feeling, given the plot of the story, it was a challenge, but I’m excited with the result and the way everything came together.
- What is a message you hope readers learn from your books?
I love this question. The message that I wanted to convey is that true love knows no boundaries and it never really ends. In my story, Jack reached through endless boundaries and proved how selfless his love for Melody was. Jack couldn’t rest until Melody found love again, I was inspired by Jack and how he put his own feelings to the side in the name of love.
- What do you do when you have writers block?
Whenever I have difficulty writing, I let it go for a day or so and try not to stress over it. Most of the time, when I sit down to write again, my thoughts come more easily. You can’t force your writing, it doesn’t work that way.
- Are you working on a new writing project? If so, is there anything you would like to say about it?
I have two releases coming out soon, within the next few months. One is Miranda’s Choice, a Young Adult mermaid tale and the other is The Calm After the Storm, a contemporary romance set in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. I’m extremely excited about both stories.
I’m also currently working on my next novel, a contemporary romance that focuses on a man in the armed services and his fiancé. I don’t really want to say much more about the story at this point, I’m just at the point where my plot is beginning to unfold, but I’m very excited about this one.
- What do you hope comes from the upcoming year?
I wish for good health and happiness for my family, friends and for myself. I also hope that my books reach many readers so that others can enjoy my stories.
- What inspired you to write your first book?
My inspiration to write my first book came from the encouragement of family, starting right from when I was a small child when my grandmother enjoyed all of the stories that I wrote for her. As an adult, I kept telling myself that I should write a novel but I was busy obtaining my undergraduate degree in Special Education, working full-time as a teacher and then pursuing my Masters degree in Writing and Literacy, which took up most of my free time. Once I received my degree, I knew it was time to write that first book. As an adult, my daughter inspires me all the time to keep writing; she also has an interest in writing stories and she’s quite talented. I like the fact that we share something that I feel so passionately about.
9. Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I’ve recently discovered Jojo Moyes, although she’s certainly not new to writing. I loved her novels, The Last Letter from your Lover and The Girl You Left Behind. I love how Jojo Moyes creates intertwining plots that come together beautifully.
10. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I always learn something new when writing a book, whether it is based on research or what goes into creating a new character. In If You Believe, I learned to draw on some of my own experiences and the experiences of others to create characters that tell a beautiful love story.