How long have you actually been a writer?
I began pursuing writing seriously in 2010 with submitting my first article to the local newspaper. Fully expecting a rejection email, I was shocked to have it accepted and published in July 2010. It all started from there. I have a story in an anthology (Christmas with Hot Apple Cider ) and co-wrote a devotional with my wonderful writers group called, As the Ink Flows, Devotions to Inspire Christian Writers & Speakers (Judson Press) I am still a freelance writer and journalist and do work for clients. Three years ago I decided to cut back on client work to attempt to make more time and space for my fiction writing. I have a few manuscripts in a drawer somewhere, where they will stay forever, but they were excellent learning tools for me. Joining ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) two years ago was a huge step in my writing life. I have had so many wonderful mentors and critique partners that have made this journey more than I could ever have imagined. It takes a tribe, it really does.
A Promise to Keep released this week. Can you tell us what it’s about?
Savannah Du Toit married her high school sweetheart to become Mrs. Nick Sanderson. She is a research librarian who wants nothing more than to escape into her happily-ever-after novels with their larger-than-life fictional heroes. She makes a promise to her husband, Nick, that she will attend her dreaded twenty-year high school reunion. She fulfills her promise after Nick’s death. Once a reckless troublemaker, Michael McCann fled town after graduation. Now a professional technical rescuer, he’s back for the reunion, but on his trip down memory lane, he soon comes face to face with unresolved issues, namely Savannah. A pact between these two old friends leads them on an adventure. Michael must confront his past regrets and find the courage to reveal the truth. Can Savannah fly from her sheltered nest and risk her heart on a real-life hero?
What was your inspiration for writing this book?
I love reunion stories and second chance stories. I wanted to portray a character from my birth country (South Africa) and I wanted to write about a technical rescuer. I like quirky, loveable characters in the stories I enjoy, so I wanted the story to have the elements I love in the books I read, such as, romance, suspense and humor. These elements came together to be A Promise to Keep.
Tell us why we’ll love A Promise to Keep.
I know I’m biased but I fell in love with Michael McCann’s character, his heart and his good intentions and I hope readers will too. Savannah is someone I’d love to hang out with. Michael thinks this about Savannah:
Women were generally confusing enough—but this was Savannah, who took confusing to a whole new level.
The poor man! I loved the interaction these two characters have and they surprised me in many ways as their story developed.
What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors? Keep writing, keep learning and don’t give up.
Can you tell us three things about you that not a lot of people know?
- I can scuba dive, even though I am petrified of o-rings blowing and of any sort of pressurized tanks. I once dived with ragged tooth sharks in Sodwana Bay, Northern Kwa-Zulu Natal in South Africa.
- I used to swim competitively as an adult in the masters division in Canada for a few years in my thirties. I haven’t trained or competed since 2012.
- In the winter of 2012 I walked on a frozen Lake Baikal in Siberia while my friends competed in an ice marathon. I opted to be the photographer.
What did you edit out of this book? Actually, when I submitted the manuscript, I had cut a certain scene involving axes completely, but during developmental edits we were able to put it back in because we no longer had a word restriction problem. I’m so happy the scene made it back into the book because it shows an important aspect of Savannah’s character and her unfulfilled dreams that both my editor and I felt needed to be explored.
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have? Oh my goodness, confession time. I have about 2 completed manuscripts that will never see the light of day, one was written during NANOWRIMO (National Novel Writing Month) one year. I have two partially finished manuscripts that I hope I can get back to someday when I am ready to tackle them. I have one that is in need of rewrites and editing and I have a number of non-fiction proposals I want to write. There are no shortages of ideas, just not enough time to devote to them all.
Where can readers find you? I love hearing from readers so please reach out to me on any of these platforms: Website | Facebook | Facebook Group | BookBub | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads
A Promise. A High School Reunion. And a pact that proves harder to keep.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Research librarian Savannah Sanderson wants nothing more than to escape into her happily-ever-after novels with their larger-than-life fictional heroes. But a promise to her late husband has her attending her dreaded twenty-year high school reunion, drinking ghastly punch, and taking desperate measures just to keep her vow, even if she has to hide behind the décor to do it.
Once a reckless troublemaker, Michael McCann fled town after graduation. Now a professional technical rescuer, he’s back for the reunion, but on his trip down memory lane, he soon comes face to face with unresolved issues, namely Savannah.
Before the night is over, a pact between these two old friends will lead them on an adventure into uncharted emotional territory where Michael must confront his past regrets and find the courage to reveal the truth. But can Savannah fly from her sheltered nest and risk her heart on a real-life hero?
She never imagined that keeping her promise would change everything.
Praise for A Promise to Keep
“A delightful romance sure to please anyone looking for a story about second chances, grace, and hope. This one has all the right ingredients!”
—Catherine West, award-winning author of Where Hope Begins
“With beautiful tenderness, Melony Teague has given us a window into the joy, sorrow, humor, and soaring love of characters that come alive. Be ready to have your heart stolen in this must-read fiction debut.”
—Mikal Dawn, author of the EMERALD CITY ROMANCE series
“A Promise to Keep by Melony Teague is a welcome addition to the contemporary romance genre. Layers of laughter, chemistry, and unexpected intensity make Michael and Savannah’s story a wonderful surprise! A Promise to Keep shows the skill of a talented author who can sensitively tackle subjects like cancer and grief while still producing a laugh-out-loud story! I can’t wait to read whatever Melony Teague writes next!
—V. Joy Palmer, Author of Love, Lace, and Minor Alterations and Weddings, Willows, and Revised Expectations
“With charm, wit, and romance, Teague’s debut novel takes readers on a journey of second chances, grace… and a trusty fern. Hope and humor blend throughout the story, balancing deep emotions with lighter moments and a sweet romance besides. A bright new voice in Christian fiction!”
—Carrie Schmidt, ReadingIsMySuperPower.org