Interview with Melissa Borg (and her critters!)

Interview with Melissa Borg

Tell us a little bit about your book. What’s it about?

My debut novel is A Single Girl’s Guide to Wedding Survival.

Victoria Shaw is twenty-five and never been on a real date, working as the front receptionist of a veterinarian’s office, and has lived under the shadow of her stunning but self-important younger sister, Dessie. When Dessie announces she’s getting married in three short weeks, Victoria’s single status and routine job suddenly seem like failures instead of choices.

Victoria tries to cope with the help of ice cream, humorous retorts, and her best friend’s sassy reality jabs, but it’s not enough. Faced with a tidal wave of family dysfunction, disastrous dates, and plummeting self-esteem, Victoria is forced to discover who she is, what she wants, and how to live her life not under a shadow, but out in the sun.

What inspired you to write the book?

I was working on a fantasy series that was sucking my soul dry when my mother was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of leukemia and given 90-days to live. I knew that I need to be writing something NOW and something that would make me laugh. Then Victoria, her sassy best friend, crazy dates, and lovable and quirky family popped up and took me for a ride. I wrote the first draft in six weeks, then proceeded to edit, rewrite, and tweak the book on and off for the next *cough cough* nine years. May I never take that long again. 🙂

Did any of your own animal companions inspire you to create the animal characters in your book, and if so, how?

Yes! I have a big black cat named Yang who I used as inspiration for Victoria’s black cat Ralph. I based Ralph’s look and meow on my sweet fuzz, besides that Ralph is his own little spitfire character.

Are you working on a new project you’d like to tell us about?

Sure. I’m a bit a story nomad so I’ve decided to jump into a young adult fantasy series. I’ve been plotting it on and off as I’ve finished up A Single Girl’s Guide to Wedding Survival. It’s about a high school girl who has moved from a big city into a small town only to discover that the childish, fairy creatures she’s trying to outgrow live next door to her hidden from the rest of the town.

Click here to buy on Amazon!

Interviews with Boo, Yin and Yang

Melissa Borg’s critters have interesting opinions about her work as an author!

Conversation with Boo

Boo is Melissa’s 15-year-old yellow lab who says, “I am a happy dog. I see the good in everyone.”

What do you think about Melissa’s job as a writer?

I’m so proud of her! I can see that sometimes she struggles in her mind to work things out that I don’t understand. I see her excitement when she decides how to solve her puzzles. I think of her as being a lot like our two cats; manipulating environments and people who live in some other reality the same way that cats like to manipulate their environment and their people.

What do you think about Melissa’s two cats, Yin and Yang?

They’re crazy! I love their high spirits. I love to see how they slink around and inhabit their surroundings and make people do things. It’s endlessly interesting to me how industrious cats are. I’m just happy to be here and do my part to make everyone feel good about themselves and comfort them when times are hard. I can’t imagine being the way cats are, always manipulating their environment and everyone in it. I don’t have that much energy. I didn’t have that much energy when I was a puppy. Well, that’s not exactly right; I had the energy, but I preferred to spend it spreading love and having fun.

Conversation with Yin and Yang

Yin and Yang, are 13-year-old littermates. Here they are on Melissa’s desk in what she calls their floating box of judgment.

I asked each of the cats what they think about their floating boxes of judgment on Melissa’s desk:

Yang: We love our boxes! They are exactly the right size and shape, and they are situated in the perfect way for us to watch Melissa and everything else that is going on around her. We help her to focus and concentrate when we watch her. Or, if we think she’s been working too long, we distract her and make her do something else for a while, even when she doesn’t want to.

Yin: Our boxes are fine. We like having a place that is just for us. We know that Melissa is also trying to keep us from sitting wherever we want and knocking things over and messing with her stuff. But that’s okay. We go where we want and do what we want anyway.

Conversation with Yin

Yin, the black cat, likes to yell in the hallway.

Yin: “I yell to change people’s focus and direct their attention. I yell when I’m not being given the attention I’m due. People need to know that they can’t just work or stare at their boxes all the time.” (By boxes, he means computers, TVs, etc. He communicates a mental image of what he does when people stop watching their boxes and come into the hallway to see why he is yelling: He is running off just ahead of them, enticing them to follow and forget what they were doing, or rubbing around their legs to express appreciation for being listened to.)  “When people learn to take the time to be present in their bodies—and pay attention to me—instead of living in their heads so much, then I will stop yelling. Not holding out much hope though. I will probably have to keep yelling.”

What do you think about Melissa’s job as a writer?

Staring at the box. I don’t think much of it, honestly. The only good thing I can think about it is that I can at least keep an eye on her while she does it.

Conversation with Yang

Yang, otherwise known as blanco diablo, has more to say about about Melissa’s writing.

What do you think about Melissa’s job as a writer?

It mystifies me. I think it’s fascinating to watch her get all excited and focused about something that I can’t see. Yin and I often just sit and watch her while she works. She types a while, then jumps up and writes on the walls, and sometimes even gets Lawrence (Melissa’s husband) involved. They talk and talk and make all sorts of excited gestures and noises for no reason I can see. It’s strange what makes people excited. You’d think that some interesting invisible creatures were running all over the walls and inside their machines that they spend so much time looking into. It’s almost like something is waving an invisible wand to direct their attention and make them do things. Humans generally make no sense, but they are fascinating creatures.

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