Shaz’ Stars interviews Associate Reader Melanie Robertson-King

In the hot seat today I would like to welcome:


Hello Melanie, thank you for letting us have a peek behindthe scenes.  Your sun sign is SCORPIO.

  1. Scorpions are said to have an excellent memory.  Are you able to stop reading at any point …………..  and then when you pick the book up again remember exactly what has happened, who the characters are and where you are in the story?

When I’m reading, I prefer to stop at the end of a chapterbut we all know that isn’t always an option. Quite often, I read during mylunch hours and when it’s time to go back to work, it’s mark the page if I’mreading a physical book or shut down the reader device. I have a Sony and theKindle app on the iPad.

I don’t have to go back normally to refresh my memory ofwhat’s happening. Usually, once I pick up the story and begin to read again, Ifall into the familiarity of the people and places that I’m reading about.
Sometimes, my memory about books is a little too good. Iread a book by an author a year ago. I read the second one by the same authorthis year. When I got to the ending of this second book, I felt a déjà-vumoment. I had read this before. I checked the first book, because after all, anauthor wouldn’t end two books the same way but in this case that’s whathappened.

  1. Associate Readers are avid readers.  Scorpions are very conservative about spending their money.  Does a novel have a set criteria for you to purchase it?  What attracts you to the books you choose to buy?  Do you use your library?
I haven’t used my local library much of late, I’m ashamed tosay. I’ve used it for researching my articles of a historic nature that are setin the area. I have borrowed books and as a young girl, I practically livedthere—taking books out and returning them on a regular basis.
When it comes to books if I want it, I go ahead and buy it.I’ve built up quite a collection of physical and e-books. I do like the factthat most e-books are a fraction of the price of physical books although I’mnot so sure that’s my inner Scorpio or my Scottish roots and their thriftiness.
As far as a criteria for novels to purchase goes, if thecover is interesting enough to make me want to pick it up off the shelf (againwe’re talking our local independent or chain bookstore), then I read the blurbon the back. If it sounds like something I’d be interested in, then I buy it.I’m particularly interested in novels set in England, Scotland or Wales.
The e-books I’ve purchased have been recommended by friendsor authors I know.

  1. A typical Scorpion never gives up, they are determined to reach their goal.  Does this affect your reading?  Do you read to the end of a book even if you’re not enjoying it?  Does this affect your choice of book?
I’m on a reader panel for a well-known publisher and some ofthe books they’ve sent me are a struggle to get through but I persevere. I’vealmost put a book down because of bad copy editing. The storyline was good so Ikept reading and I’m very glad I did.
There’s only one book that I couldn’t read. Not that it wasbadly written but when you move a castle from within the heart of ruralAberdeenshire and plunk it on the North Sea coast south of Aberdeen… I drawthe line. I’ve travelled to that area of Scotland many times and know the twocastles… the real one and the mis-located one. I couldn’t get past thatflagrant error.

  1. Scorpions are known for being interested in the paranormal, the occult, conspiracy theories and mysteries.  Does this interest extend to your choice of genre?
Since I was young, I loved the idea of ghosts. Mygrandmother’s house was close to a cemetery so I played there a lot with mycousins. The stories we conjured up there, well we were kids, but at the timewere fantastic. I spent many a happy hour having séances or with the Ouijaboard. Vampires and werewolves were favourite subjects. Some of the earliestbooks I read (borrowed from my local library) were Alfred Hitchcock mysteries.
I love a variety of genres—crime, romance, paranormal,mystery, occult. I have a couple of books from my younger years… Tales toTremble By and Ghosts around the
House by Suzy Smith that I refuse to give up. Not to mentionearlier works by Stephen King. The scarier books are the better I like them. Ihope I haven’t deviated from your question too much.
(Ed.  No deviationfrom your question – we want to get to know you J)
Q.       Scorpions always seem to accomplish their goals.  This is because they set tangible short-termgoals that they know they can achieve. Do you use this trait in scheduling your book reviews?  Do you plan which book you will readnext?  How do you choose which book youwill read next?
If I’m reading a number of books by one author then I tendto read them in order of publication. As far as book reviews go, I tend towrite them after I’ve read the book while it’s still fresh in mind. Some folkssay they keep notes while they read when they know they’re reviewing a work,not me.
When it comes to what book I’ll read next, I would have tosay what mood I’m in at the time. If I’m feeling dark, then I’ll pick up acrime or mystery. Otherwise I’ll grab something at random off my overloadedbookcases.
Unfortunately, when it comes to my writing (revisionsespecially), I’m not so good at achieving my goals. I usually manage to write somethingevery day but it might not be on my WIP. My goal for 2011 was to write everyday. That fell by the wayside some time ago.
  1. On the ‘outside’ a Scorpion sun person will present a cool, detached and unemotional air.  However, on an inner level, they are intensely passionate.  When you write your reviews, are you cool, detached and unemotional or does that passion come through?
I’ve not written many reviews so this is a hard question toanswer. I would have to say so far I keep my reviews on the cool side and stickto the plot and characters. I suppose the more reviews I write, the morepassion I’ll inflect into them. I do agree with the statement that Scorpiospresent a cool, detached and unemotional air but underneath lies a totallyopposite person. I think that is a self-preservation measure that Scorpios haveconstructed to keep our passionate inner selves safe, lest we crumble.
(Ed.  Thank youfor your honesty)

Thank you for sharing with us Melanie.

Melanie is an Associate Reader for Loveahappyending which is an interactive reader/author website.  Visit Loveahappyending to find out more about this brilliant project and how you, as a reader, can support them.

About Melanie 

I consider myself a romance writer but write in other genres, too.Currently, ten of my non-fiction articles have been published, with one being afeature cover article.

I have two novel-length manuscripts completed. One is languishing witha publisher waiting for a yay or nay, the other (my first) is undergoing amajor revision. When I need a break from it, I pick up a book and read or Iwrite short stories.

My father was a HomeChild who came to Canada through the auspices of TheOrphan Homes of Scotland in 1930. My article Always a Home Boy is hisand his siblings story. I also speak to local historical and genealogicalsocieties on the subject of Home Children.

My father encouraged me to study Highland Dancing and take part inlocal competitions. I last competed in the summer 1969, a few short monthsafter his death, at the 1000 Islands Highland Games and won the Silver Medal inthe Sword Dance. In addition to Highland dancing, I took piping lessons and owna set of bagpipes which haven’t seen the light of day in a number of years –probably much to the relief of my neighbours.

I love to read but now that I’m writing, I have to be careful what Ichoose. I don’t want things from other people’s writings finding their way intomy own work. So, to that end, I try to read from totally different genres. Idon’t think I could write it effectively, but I love to read crime fiction –Ian Rankin, Stuart MacBride, Val McDermid, PD James, and of course, my goodfriend Chris Longmuir.

My other interests include genealogy, especially the study of HomeChildren, photography and travel – particularly Scotland because of my kinshipwith my father’s homeland. It was on a trip to Scotland, that I had the honourof meeting The Princess Royal.

My blog, Celtic Connexions:


2 thoughts on “Shaz’ Stars interviews Associate Reader Melanie Robertson-King

  1. Great interview, ladies. Great questions, as always, from Shaz, and wonderfully honest answers from Melanie. What a lovely insight into your views and habits! Thank you both, greatly enjoyed reading this interview. x

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