Monday, February 13, 2017

Melanie D. Snitker on Finding Joy

Melanie, welcome back to Homeschooled Authors. Tell us what you have been up to since you were last here?
Thanks so much for the opportunity to come back and visit! A lot has happened in the last year and a half. I’ve published a handful of books, with my seventh novel, Finding Joy, coming out tomorrow. I did take several months off from writing last summer so I could focus on some other aspects of my life and family. It was a wonderful decision, and when I came back to writing, I felt refreshed and ready to jump back in.

How has writing the Love's Compass series impacted you?
Writing this series has grown into so much more than I originally imagined it would. When I wrote the first book, Finding Peace, I had hope that I’d be able to stretch the series into three books. But with each of them, the characters came alive, secondary characters begged for their moments in the spotlight, and I quickly discovered that the series had a life of its own. Finding Joy is now the fifth book with at least one more planned for later this year.
I think what keeps inspiring me to add to this series, and what keeps readers looking forward to the next book, is the connection between the characters. For example, I briefly introduced Chelsea in Finding Peace as Laurie’s sister. Now Chelsea finally gets her own story in Finding Joy, but we get all kinds of fun updates on Tuck and Laurie. We see brief glimpses of other members of the Chandler family as well.
All these characters have become so real to me and I have a hard time imagining writing the last book, because, in my mind, their stories and lives just keep building. I love it when readers tell me they feel the same way.

Were any of the events in Finding Joy based on your life?
Truthfully, who Parker and Chelsea are and where they’ve come from in life is nothing like what’s happened in my own life. lol But the setting for the book is loosely based on a place I had the opportunity to visit in person.
Parker and his family live on a ranch that includes a small herd of Texas longhorns. I’d personally seen longhorns from time to time traveling through Texas, but that was as close as I’d gotten. I’m incredibly blessed that one of my friends owns the Whining Bull Ranch and her family invited me to come by for a tour. Having the opportunity to witness the herd run together or feed a range cube to a longhorn just like Chelsea does in the book was an experience I’ll never forget.
I was thrilled to be able to take that one-of-a-kind experience and share it with my readers.

If you were given an opportunity to hang out for a day with either Parker or Chelsea which would you choose and why?
It would have to be Parker, and almost entirely because of the ranch. Who wouldn’t want the opportunity to ride horses, watch the cattle, and be surrounded by that kind of beauty every day?

What is your favorite quotable from Finding Joy?
Oh, that’s a hard one! Most of my favorites might reveal too much about the story line. How about one of my favorite short sections? Chelsea is so not used to working out at the ranch and the mud took care of her fancy shoes in a hurry. Parker suggested more appropriate footwear. So she went out, purchased some, and wore those the next day.
Chelsea intended to be downstairs early, but Parker was already waiting for her in the truck. 
“Hop on in.” There was no missing his scrutiny as he checked out her footwear once she’d climbed inside. “Those are an improvement. Not pretty. But an improvement.”
She lifted one of her boots and rested it on the dashboard. “Are you kidding? What’s wrong with them?” 
“Are they cowgirl boots or rain boots?”
Chelsea studied them and finally shrugged. 
With a huff, she let her foot fall back down to the floorboard. Well, they were more appropriate, just like he’d asked. If he’d wanted her to wear a uniform, he should have specified. She could’ve sworn she heard a chuckle, but when she swung her head in his direction, his face was a stoic as ever.

Out of all the reviews you have received for your books, which one has touched you the most?
I’ve received many reviews that put a smile on my face and some even brought tears to my eyes. But I think this review by L. Johnson for Finding Hope is a favorite:
Having lost a Mom and a brother to cancer, it's not a subject I normally continue reading when it comes up in a book, but the author blended such dynamics of humor and hope into the storyline that I could not stop reading. She shows great talent in making the characters true to life, with all of the complex fears and strengths that people often carry, allowing them to be "real" to us and not just characters on a page. That is a real gift as a writer. I can't wait to read the rest of the series.

So what is next for you as a writer?
Now that Finding Joy is on its way to my readers, I’m working on the second book in the Life Unexpected series called Someone to Trust. This is Chess and Brooke’s story and it should be out in May. I’m also participating in a boxed set this fall (more details to come in a couple of months). And, of course, the sixth book in the Love’s Compass series this winter. I’ve got a full schedule and I’m excited about every project!

Where can people keep up with your writing?
I always love to keep in touch with readers and fellow authors. You can follow me at:
Website –
Facebook -
Twitter -
Instagram -
Pinterest -
Amazon -
Goodreads -
Bookbub -

Any final words of wisdom?
One quote in particular struck me a few weeks ago:
"A year from now, you may wish you had started today." - Karen Lamb.
That’s something I’m trying to keep in mind this year. If there’s something I want to learn how to do, or a change I want to make in my life, I want to start now instead of procrastinating. And that’s what I encourage everyone to do.
Don’t wait to eat healthier, learn to knit, or start writing the next great American novel. If you start today, just imagine where you’ll be a year from now!


  1. I'm very much looking forward to getting and reading this book! Great interview!

  2. Thank you so much, Sarah! I enjoyed visiting with you!