Written by JJ Barnes
I interviewed author Melissa Face about her life, why her experiences of motherhood inspired her, and the work that went into her new book, I Love You More Than Coffee: Essays On Parenthood.
Tell me a bit about who you are.
Hi! I’m Melissa Face, and I am a mom, wife, teacher, and author of I Love You More Than Coffee: Essays on Parenthood.
When did you first WANT to write a book?
I have wanted to write a book since childhood, but my earlier visions were of me writing a work of fiction. So far I have only written and published nonfiction.
When did you take a step to start writing?
When I was in my early twenties, I worked briefly as a newspaper reporter. That was when I began sending my work out to other publications.
How long did it take you to complete your first book from the first idea to release?
My book is a collection of essays, and the essays themselves were written over a two-year period. The collection, however, took about two years from start to finish.
What made you want to write I Love You More Than Coffee?
I wanted my experiences on motherhood, the most important job I have had and will ever have, to be in one permanent spot.
What were your biggest challenges with writing I Love You More Than Coffee?
It was difficult to eliminate some of my essays that have similar themes. I really didn’t want to leave any of them out.
What is the main conflict of I Love You More Than Coffee?
I wasn’t sure at first if this question would apply to my essay collection, but now I think it does! Time is a conflict in that the stressful moments of motherhood seem to drag on and on, but before you know it, your children are older and no longer mispronouncing words in the adorable ways that children often do.
Did you plot I Love You More Than Coffee in advance, or fly by the seat of your pants and write freely?
My essays are typically plotted out, but there are some that have been written in moments of frustration and fury. I always love those the most. They tend to fly right out of me.
Did you get support with editing, and how much editing did your book need?
I did get some support with editing through my publisher. Many of my essays were previously edited because they had already been published in other places prior to my own collection.
What is the first piece of writing advice you would give to anyone inspired to write a story?
Start writing and create time to write. Don’t wait for anyone to give you time for it or for your schedule to “free up”. Make it a priority as you would a medical appointment.
Can you give me a hint about any further books you’re planning to write?
Sure! I’m working on a follow-up to my first collection, but this book will allow other moms to take part in the conversation.
And, finally, are you proud of your accomplishment? Was it worth the effort?
I am incredibly proud. I can talk about my book all day and all night long. Sometimes I just sit and hold it while I am watching television. I can’t believe I just admitted that in writing!
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