Sit-Down Saturday with Melinda Curtis

Today we’re celebrating the release of Melinda Curtis's Change of Season
So, Melinda, where did you get the idea for this novel?
This is the 3rd in a series of books based loosely on observations I've made living in Northern California, where you can encounter .com millionaires (young and old) who've cashed out and don't quite know what to do with themselves.  When my 3 heroes return to Harmony Valley to figure out what they want to do with the rest of their lives, the residents convince them to help revitalize the town. Slade, the hero in this book, is the financial partner. He's not happy that they've chosen to invest in a money pit...Oops! I mean a winery. But he's a team player.

In looking at the cover, if you could add a caption or captions, what would they say?
If that were Mr. Curtis and I out there, he'd be saying, "It's so beautiful, but where's the shade?" Meanwhile, they're probably so in love, they don't need shade or water.

How long did it take you to write?
I wrote this book in two weeks. It was one of those rare gifts (compared to some books I've wrestled with for 4 months!).

What is your favorite scene?
I had fun writing the opening scene where Slade's ex-wife drops off his twin girls and he's shocked to find them looking like little Goth girls his mother might sprinkle holy water on.

Who was your favorite character and why?
Loved Slade. Didn't think I would when I began the series.

If you could pick fictional characters to play the hero and heroine,
who would they be?
Mr. Curtis would say, "Kristin Bell!" But I think Christine was more like Naomi Watts (sorry, babe).  As for Slade, I think if you darken up Bradley Cooper's hair...think of him as the tortured hero in Silver Linings Playbook, and you've got something.

Tell us one thing you learned during research.
A character suffers from rheumatoid arthritis (as does a friend of mine). I learned a lot about the affliction, which can attack kids as well as seniors. Not fun.

What music would match the mood of this novel?
The soundtrack to the movie Hope Floats - slow and languid.

This is your 12th book.  Exactly what does that mean to you?
This is my 12th book for Harlequin (16th overall). I'm grateful the ideas keep coming and the characters come alive.

What do you plan to work on next?
I'm starting books 4-7 in the series in May.  Looking forward to getting back to Harmony Valley.

What are you reading for pleasure right now?
I just finished Kristan Higgans' Waiting on You (best bar scene ever as heroine's matchmaking plans go bust) and am in the midst of Jayne Ann Krentz's Otherwise Engaged (seriously wanting a fan like the heroine has, but wondering how to get it through airport security).


  1. I love that photo of you and your dog, Mel! Congrats on a series that's doing spectacularly! I can't wait to read Seasons of Change...and I'm totally intrigued by Slade's daughters showing up Goth LOL. 2 weeks?!!! You're an inspiration!

    1. Now, Rula - 16 books in it's only fair I have one that took 2 weeks.

  2. Hopefully Rula will forgive a bit of plagiarism, but my first thought was also that I love the picture of you and your dog. I very much enjoyed your interview. Seasons of Change is now next on my reading list. Congratulations on your release and best wishes for much success!

    1. Well, if that dog could speak, he'd be saying either give me the treat or let's go play fetch! He's not a sit-still kind of dog. The vet says Calvin has no idea he's 13. Love him dearly. It's like he raised my kids.

  3. Mel, ditto on your photo. But your cover is so nice, too. Who wouldn't want to walk through wine country hand in hand with a hunky guy? Sigh! Looking forward to the story. I don't have this month's books yet. Doesn't matter I'm behind in reading---and 2 weeks---that's fantastic.

    1. Roz, after all the books you've written, you deserve a 2-week book. Hoping you get one soon. Honestly, I don't expect that to ever happen again. Mostly, I write drafts in 2 weeks and then go back and retool one of the main characters, top to bottom (there's another 2 weeks or more!).

  4. Whoa! Slow down, Mel. Two weeks. You must have locked your office door and left a slit to pass food in. But I know what it's like to be in the zone, and what a wonderful feeling. Can't wait to read this book.

  5. Mel, you are so funny! Your caption comment reminds me of my husband. I also have a dog who isn't aware of her age--a 14 year old border collie who acts like she's 3. What a joy! Looking forward to Season of Change and more Harmony Valley!

  6. Hi, Mel! I also love your cover - Oregon wine country in the Willamette Valley isn't too far from us and it's so beautiful. And I love Calvin's look - Cheyenne says hello. I remember you sharing that Slade had his own plan for himself (and his name) in this book - it's wonderful when a character earns the writer's love. That's true creation when you write the character's skeleton and let him flesh himself out. Congratulations on the release, on your series' success and on the ability to write a book in two weeks! That's never happened to me! And don't you work, too? What's in you? Electronics?

  7. Thank you so much for choosing me as the winner of the Heartwarming May Release and Mother's Day Bouquet contest. I am looking forward to reading all the books.


  8. Two weeks! I am in awe. I budget a 1000 words a day and pray to finish in three months with an extra month to revise.

    You are my heroine.


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