It’s funny how the tiniest of things can change your life… an invitation, a simple kiss goodnight, a matchbook…
Auden Kelly is in need of a change. She’s trading in her nine-to-five sales job for the adventure of a lifetime: a one year contract with a European tour company. For one full year, Auden will get paid to see the world. What could be better? Her brother gives her a journal, instructing her to document all of her adventures as she travels from country to country. And that’s exactly what she does.
When a mysterious stranger enters her life, however, everything changes: her expectations, her priorities and her view of the world. And nothing for Auden will ever be the same.
How much of Auden is you?
Auden is the dramatic and spontaneous side of me. My dad really did time how long it would take me to run to my room and slam the door in a huff! Auden's best friend Hadley is the other side to my personality — the nurturing, sensitive side. Most people see the Hadley side of me, but only those closest to me usually know the Auden side.
How did the idea of being a tour guide through Europe come to you? It sounds like such an amazing job — getting paid to see the world.
When I graduated college, my friend, Aimee, and I went on a two week tour of Europe with Contiki, a European bus tour company. It was an incredible two weeks!!! We fisted beer steins at the Hofbrahaus, climbed the Eiffel Tower and rode in gondolas in Venice. It had such an impact on me, that I contemplated working for Contiki as a guide, myself, but decided to pursue teaching instead.
A lot of times as authors we chose our settings for one of three reasons; we are infatuated with an area, we've lived in the area, or we have visited the place and have always wanted to get back. Have you ever been to Europe or the United Kingdom? If so, what was your favorite part? If not, would you like to visit sometimes, maybe see the places Auden and Campbell went?
I agree with that 100%! I've been in love with Europe since that tour I experienced. I loved the UK, France and Europe, but absolutely fell in love with Germany. I hadn't expected to — but after visiting St. Goar and Munich, I fell in love. I would love to return one day and spend more time exploring Germany. I'd also love to see Spain — that is the only location in the book that I didn't actually visit myself. The rest of the cities are told from my own experience years ago (with a little bit of research to refresh my memory!!)
Speaking of Campbell, You did an awesome job with Henry's characterization. How did you choosing him come about? Were you a fan to start with?
I've been a fan of Henry's for a few years now after watching him as Charles Brandon on The Tudors. He is my number one celebrity crush, so when I decided to write this book, I knew he would be the British love interest for Auden.
I read in the acknowledgements about your "research" process of Henry Cavill. Can you share that with our readers so they, too, can fall in love with the way you created Campbell Hutchins?
It was absolute torture, I promise! LOL! I watched many YouTube interviews and talk show interviews with Henry. I also came across some videos of him simply interacting with fans.. signing autographs and taking photos. He is such a good-natured person. So polite, such a gentleman to his fans. It just made me admire him more!
Along with your capturing of Henry's mannerisms you also did a fabulous job of really bringing out the British in Campbell. That's a hard task to do and I applaud you for that. Do you have an English background or have many friends who helped bring that aspect out in your character?
I've always had a thing for English men since I saw Hugh Grant in Four Weddings and a Funeral in high school. I also love the British dry sense of humor. So, most of my research on this was from pop culture, especially movies. But, I was careful to get my slang right by doing many Google searches!
You have a few other books that go along with Unwanted Stars, can you tell us a little about those?
Unwanted Stars is part of a series, but each book in the series can be read as a stand-alone novel. Bouquet Toss is the first novel which is about a young woman named Daphne who can't get over her first love, while all of her friends are meeting their Mr. Rights and walking down the aisle.
Champagne Toast is a spin-off of Bouquet Toss, focusing on one particular character named Evan and the bitter split he had with his ex-girlfriend Kate. It's a story about love, trust and second chances.
Picturing Perfect is the third book in the series and focuses on a young woman named Hadley who discovers she is pregnant while experiencing massive upheaval in her life. It's about reconnecting of first loves, and adjusting our expectations of how our lives should be. Hadley's best friend is Auden Kelly, which led to Unwanted Stars.
How has the use of social media impacted how you market your books and interact with your fans?
Social media provides opportunities that I never would have had to market my books, talk to readers and share my writing. I'm so grateful for Facebook, Twitter and Blogger! I'm also grateful to websites like HenryCavill.org!!! I love that other Henry fans can read this book and know that it was based on my admiration for this wonderful man we all adore!!!
Melissa Brown's Biography
Melissa Brown was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago. She attended the University of Illinois and is the mother of two fantastic kids. She’s an avid reader who enjoys making handmade gifts for her family and friends, as well as baking and painting.
Melissa is a huge fan of actor Henry Cavill and the TV show New Girl. She speaks fluent movie quotes from the 1980s and ’90s.
What is next for you?
My next series is called Sorority of Three and it follows three best friends during their college years... each book representing one school year. The first book Sororoity of Three: Freshman 101 will be available on April 6th.
And as a treat for our readers — this week (February 23 - March 2) Unwanted Stars will be available on ebook for $.99!!