Mel Dau (Melvin’s Daughter) was born in Vicenza, Italy but raised in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. She is the baby girl and only girl of three. She has always had a love for books beginning with the Babysitter’s Club, R.L. Stine, and Christopher Pike. She dabbled in writing as she grew up but never took it as seriously as she should have. She graduated from from Wando High School, then later matriculated to Benedict College (BSW) and Webster University (MHRM). She is a mother of a teenage daughter, a HR Professional, and a proud member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.
Her love for Urban Literature did not arrive until Mid-2016. Reading over nine-hundred books from 2016 to 2017, she was obsessed with reading–an obsession that helped her cope with her father’s illness and death. In March of 2018, she decided to finally come from behind the veil and submit a short story which resulted in her first Book, Khiaere and Phy: A Charleston Love Story being published under Queens of Lit Presents. Under Queens of Lit Presents, she successfully published fifteen titles that were all debuted in the top fifty on Amazon Top one hundred.
In May of 2020, she was signed to her new publisher B. Love Publications where she continues her growth as an author. In July of 2020, she became a Best-Selling Author with her erotica title Pet the Kitty. In August of 2020, she established Mel Dau Publications, LLC to further grow her ever-growing empire. Her purpose as an author is to provide her readers with her E³ formula- to Entertain, Encourage & Educate. Penning in a lane all her own, her Informational Dramas fulfills her purpose with every release. Her overall desire is to use her fiction catalog to help change at least one person’s non-fiction reality.
Connect with Mel Dau
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1) First, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this interview with me! When did you know that writing is what you were called to do? What is it about being a writer that you love the most? What about being a writer frustrates you the most?
Thank you for allowing me this opportunity. I didn’t know writing was my purpose until after I was asked to participate in a short story contest in the reading group Bookies. I wrote the story then the organizers of the contest came to me letting me know that they were starting a publishing company and wanted to sign me as an author. I was like ABSOLUTELY NOT! At the time, my father had died five months prior and I had made plans to join him. I had no time to write books. I was convinced to write at least five chapters, which I did. It was then that I realized I can immortalize my father’s words in the pages of my book. It gave me new life.
I love being able to manipulate emotions with the words on the pages of my books. I love entertaining my readers and in the same breath imparting new knowledge of various social issues or topics. It was this that brought me to my own classified genre of Informational Dramas. There are many things that honestly frustrate me as an author since I keep my focus on my craft. If I stay true to my craft and me, the blessings will come.
2) Can you tell us a little about your book(s) and where our readers can find out more about them and you?
I write in my own lane of Informational Drama. I focus on my E’s formula, to entertain, educate and encourage. My readers will always get to experience their raw emotions when reading my work, regardless of what the emotion may be. You can find all my books on my link tree, https://linktr.ee/Authormeldau . This link leads you to all my eBook links as well as my website, www.meldausmania.com for paperbacks. I am signed to B. Love Publications as well as own my own label, Mel Dau Publications, LLC.
3) What projects are you currently working on?
I am currently working on my first new release under my own publication label, Mel Dau Publications, LLC. I have put out re-releases on this label, however this will be the first of new material to come. It is a urban romance that has connections to my Charleston Love Story Series by way of the Christianson family. It will focus on the son of Jamison Christianson.
4) What has been your most significant achievement as a writer thus far? Where do you see yourself within your career in the next five years?
My most significant achievement was the creation of Mel Dau Publications, LLC. That was when I truly established myself as an entrepreneur and businesswoman. It wasn’t until I signed with B. Love Publication and under her guidance that I even realize that I could turn this into a sustainable business. I am at the beginning stages however I am very proud of the strides Mel Dau Publications, LLC has made in its first year. I pray that in five years I have created an empire with Mel Dau Publications, LLC that has branched out to other product lines outside of books. I have no desire to become a publisher, however I would be open to mentoring at some point in my career when the time is right.
5) How have you dealt with rejection within your writing career?
I have not had a feeling of rejection yet. I don’t consider bad reviews as rejection since I know that my writing sits in a niche market and all readers will not be my readers. You have to be true to your craft to not feel the spirit of rejection or it will discourage you.
6) Do you have a schedule for when you write? Do you outline your novels? How long does it generally take you to finish a novel?
I don’t have a set schedule, however I try to write at least three hours a day. I don’t outline because it is not my process and it tends to box me in. I do however heavily use the comments in Word to keep up with my storyline and jot down important notes around characters and plots. It generally takes me two to three weeks to finish a novel if I am focused.
7) Do you believe that there is ever a point in life where it’s too late for an aspiring writer to become successful in this industry? Do you feel a late start would hinder their chances?
Absolutely not! As long as you have words in your heart that make it to the page you can be successful. The key is to understand what success means to you. Success is not always monetary and you have to know your why to determine how you will measure your success.
8) Are you an avid reader and have you always been? What’s the first book you ever read that really touched you emotionally and moved you? Who is your favorite author? What book are you currently reading?
Yes, I am an obsessive reader turned writer. I started reading urban literature and romance heavily in 2016 to deal with my father’s sickness and soon after death. That year I read over nine hundred books and became known within the urban literature community as an avid reader. When I became an author it was amazing how many of my favorite authors supported me. I have way too many favorite authors to list all of them, however some that pop out are B. Love, Mz Lady P, K.B. Cole, Kendra Sumter, Latoya Nicole, Brick and Storm. I am currently reading Christmas With A Billionaire by Latoya Nicole.
9) The Pandemic was a challenging time for some writers and creative individuals but also for others it was time that they needed to focus on their creative passions. Which side of that spectrum do you fall on? Are there any lessons or nuggets of wisdom that you gained during the Pandemic that help you within your writing career? Did the quarantine stifle your creativity or did it make you even more driven to get things done?
The pandemic was a blessing for me in the fact that I began working remotely full-time. It allowed me to flex my schedule better and focus more on my craft. I will say that I have to be careful because I can become complacent with relaxing and having too much downtime when I should be focusing on my writing.
10) What are your thoughts about how the publishing industry as it is being represented today? Do you lean more towards traditional publishing or self-publishing as a preference? Does being a hybrid author interest you?
I think the industry is what you make of it. I keep my head down and focus on my craft. I mind the business that pays me and stay in my own lane. That’s the safest thing to do. I like being a hybrid author. Being signed under B. Love Publications has afforded me one on one embellishments, encouragement and mentorship from one of the G.O.A.Ts in the industry. She encourages self-publication which allows me to still work on being an individual and self-published author while still learning from her.
11) I feel like writing is a remarkable tool to help people not only express themselves, but also to cope emotionally and mentally. I know for me I write to be and feel more authentic. What unique quality is there about you, about your art, that you feel represents your authenticity? How does writing help you to be more empowered in your purpose?
I am a transparent person that uses my platform to educate my readers about different social issues and topics. I allow myself to be emotionally vulnerable with my words and characters. My writer’s purpose is for my building fictional library to save at least one person’s non-fictional reality.