Chit Chatting with Melanie Faith

 Chit Chatting with Melanie Faith 

Interview With: Jill Sheets

J: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

M: I’m a December birthday, a mint-tea lover, a perpetual learner (and sometimes re-learner the hard way), and a terrible athlete (seriously: you would not pick me for your dodge ball, pickle ball, or any otherorganized team that involves running and depth perception acuity, and that’s fine with me). I’m much more a pen collector and a cozy cardigan-sweater wearer. I’m also an avid reader, writer, sister, auntie, daughter, photographer, tutor, teacher, doodler, and most of all: fellow writer.


J: Tell us about your book From Promising to Published: A Multi-Genre, Insider’s Guide to the Publication Process.

M:I wrote the book to share some tips that have helped me and my creative-writing students as we trod the path to publication. I always hope to encourage readers both that their ambitions are worthy of all of their time, effort, and passion they invest as well as that there are more parts to the writing life than the initial drafting that we can work on consistently as we’re on the way to our first publication(s), such as writing an author bio, crafting a website, and writing a cover or query letter that knocks their socks off.


I hope readers will feel much less alone and more a part of a community of writers while reading the book and also that they will take the tips that mesh most with their own goals and share the book with a writing friend or two once they’ve read it. I’d love for the book to be used in classes, seminars, and writing groups as well. I put a bunch of thematic exercises that would work well as prompts for individual writers, groups, and writing groups alike.


J: What one piece of advice (from your book) would you give writers?

M:I actually have three. 1. Pace yourself. I’m very energetic when it comes to my creativity, and yet I remind myself sometimes that it’s okay for projects to take longer than expected to write, revise, and submit. In fact, most of my books took weeks or months longer to write and revise than anticipated, and that’s perfectly normal. It just takes as long as it takes, and it’s not a race. Each project is different and requires different aspects of your knowledge and time as well as a learning curve. Don’t expect a race to the finish.  2. Don’t give up on your writing too soon if/when your manuscript is rejected the first few times; plan to submit it until you hit 30, 50, or even 70+ rejections, rather than fewer than 10 submissions. 3. Also, reach out to other writers for camaraderie and community whenever you can and share encouragement with your writing friends right back; writers are often incredibly generous with our time and friendship and uplift each other to keep ourselves writing.


J: What are you currently working on?

M: Among other things, I have a few manuscripts of narrative historical-fiction poetry that I’m working on, a novel in-progress that started as a short story in 2020, and some photography I took on my phone while running errands that I really want to work on a bit more and submit as a series to a literary magazine—perhaps before the New Year…or, wait,more likely a tad after. I’d also really like to work on taking a giant nap at the moment. Like most writers, I have a few other jobs than my writing and it’s been a very busy holiday season with many deadlines each day, so sleeping is another “project” I hope to take seriously as well very soon. 😊If/when I have to pick, though, I almost always go for writing for just a while, rather than early sleep. That said, today it’d be a toss-up between a nap and working on one of my works in-progress.😊


J: Tell us about some of your other books?

M: I’ve had a blast over the past few years writing craft books that are packed with anecdotes, tips, and writing exercises for poets, another craft book for flash fiction and flash nonfiction writers, a book about creating and running an online class that walks educators through the process of developing fun and meaningful courses as well as a syllabus for the class, Photography for Writers to inspire the many writers I know who also adore photography, and a book that delves into how to write an entertaining nonfiction reference book. These books have been inspired by my own writing process, by my teaching, and by my curiosity and natural enthusiasm for each writing-related subject.


J: Where can people get your books?

M: My books are available at Amazon, Barnes &Noble, Powell’s, and more of your favorite booksellers. I have a webpage with the direct Amazon link for each of my books here: My publisher, Vine Leaves Press, also has direct links for buying each of my books at various booksellers, such as From Promising to Published’s link at:


I also sell signed copies at my Etsy page, for readers (like me) who just love a personalized, author-signed book:


J: How did you get your start becoming a photographer?

M: Great question! Thanks for asking. I’ve been taking photos almost as long as I’ve considered myself a writer—since my parents got me my first camera (a robin’s egg blue Kodak 110 pocket camera) in high school. Over the years, I’ve upgraded to 35 mm film cameras in the early 2000s as well as digitalcameras around 2008, and even iPhone photography when I dramatically upgraded my phone last fall—finding a wide range of types of cameras and styles of photography fascinating. I’ve been overjoyed to have some of my photography on book covers, in literary magazines, and placing Honorable Mention in one or two art shows over the past eight or ten years. Photography both relaxes and sparks creativity in me.


While I don’t have an official degree in photography, I’ve studied it through practicing the art as well as reading craft articles and magazines specifically about photographic practices, writing about my love for photography in my book Photography for Writers, watching online video tutorials, taking two asynchronous online photography classes, and savoring the diverse and amazing work both online and in print of the many talented photographers on websites and platforms like Instagram in recent years.


Much like writing, it’s never been a better or easier time to share one’s photography and also to grow as a photographer. I’d say (much like my writing) my photography was sparked young, but I’m still very much in the stage of my photography becoming what it needs to be and whatever it will reveal in future years. I’m excited to keep learning and sharing.


J: Where can people see your pictures?

M: I have some of my photography at my Etsy shop:, at my Photography for Writers tab at my website, at my Photography portfolio at my website (which I really need to find time to update sometime soon—it’s one of those artistic projects that keep falling through the cracks, so to speak!):, and sometimes at my Instagram at Writepath99 . I also post sporadic updates about photography publications at my website’s blog from time to time.


J: Tell us about your 2023 Creative Writing Classes.

M:I’d love to. I’ll teach two very fun online creative writing classes through WOW! Women on Writing this spring. My first five-week class starts February 10th and is for writers of historical fiction and time-travel books. I also taught it this fall, and it was a blast to explore these two topics and to read the very cool historical-fiction projects that each talented writer dreamed up and personalized during the course. Very inspiring!The class is called Leaping Worlds: .


My second class is a brand-new poetry course I created that I can’t wait to teach just in time for National Poetry Writing Month in April, called Jump-Start Your Poetry Practice. are open for both classes. 😊I’m working on reading and choosing fun texts for my fall 2023 online classes at the moment, which is always a cool process of discovery and developing my teaching ideas. For more information about any of my online courses, now or in the future: (scroll a little more than midway down the page).


I’m also teaching an awesome class on publishing for a university’s MA and MFA programs.



J: Is there anything else you would like to add?

M: Many thanks for this excellent opportunity to share my passion for writing, teaching, and photography with you and your readers. As William Wordsworth once said, “Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.” I wish everyone an inspired and joyous 2023!



Popular posts from this blog

Review: The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeper

What I Need to Hear (Review of "Write Out Loud")