IndieView with Melinda Richarz Lyons, author of Heir to a Secret

I believe it is never too late to be productive and
do something you really love. Retirement has given me the opportunity to pursue my writing.

Melinda Richarz Lyons – 19 August 2017

The Back Flap

East Texas native Addison Cameron is devastated after the sudden death of her husband of thirty years, Eric. Even more shocking is the discovery that she is an heir to a secret. On top of coping with deep grief, Addison must also face the challenge of uncovering the truth about Eric’s hidden past.

On her journey Addison meets another widow, the colorful Miranda Jones, who helps unravel the mystery. But more important, Miranda’s friendship encourages Addison to find life after death and have faith that it’s never too late for happily ever after.

Their road to recovery takes them through the world of paper tripping and a dangerous encounter on a dark Texas lane. Along the way Addison and Miranda are entertained by boot scootin’ cowboys, on-line senior matchups, rescue calls, “worth a second try guys” and jealous confrontations.

On Addison’s quest to move ahead and embrace acceptance and forgiveness, she finds herself attracted to Private Investigator Todd Baker. His romantic nature and fabulous blue eyes have Addison wondering, “Is it possible to fall in love again and have hot sex after fifty?”

About the book

What is the book about?

A recent widow discovers that her husband harbored a deep secret from his past, so she embarks on a journey to uncover the truth.

When did you start writing the book?

In the spring of 2011.

How long did it take you to write it?

About four months.

Where did you get the idea from?

I am intrigued with the idea of secrets, and I based a lot of if on my own experiences as a widow.

Were there any parts of the book where you struggled?

Luckily, no.

What came easily?

I think the idea and the development of the characters came the most easily.

Are your characters entirely fictitious or have you borrowed from real world people you know?

My characters are a combination of several people I know.

We all know how important it is for writers to read. Are there any particular authors that have influenced how you write and, if so, how have they influenced you?

I always loved O. Henry. I was fascinated by his surprise endings and twists.

Do you have a target reader?

Yes. My target audience is the baby boomer generation, particularly older women.

About Writing

Do you have a writing process? If so can you please describe it?

 I try to write when I am “fresh,” like in morning. I write for several hours at a time. When I am writing a book, I try to write a little each day.

Do you outline? If so, do you do so extensively or just chapter headings and a couple of sentences?

I don’t really outline, but I do a lot of brainstorming, and I jot down ideas as I go along. For example, I like to have an idea about where I am going with my plot and my characters.

Do you edit as you go or wait until you’ve finished?

 I edit all during the process. Editing is very important to me, so I spend a lot of time on that task.

Did you hire a professional editor?

No. I do have others read my work. For example, I have a sister who is a retired college professor. She is a great editor. I also have friends that are avid readers go over my manuscripts.

Do you listen to music while you write? If yes, what gets the fingers tapping?

No. I am a person who needs total quiet to write.

About Publishing

Did you submit your work to Agents?


What made you decide to go Indie, whether self-publishing or with an indie publisher? Was it a particular event or a gradual process?

I believe it was because of all the rejections I got from agents and traditional publishers that made me decide to go Indie.

Did you get your book cover professionally done or did you do it yourself?

I chose my book cover from stock photos.

Do you have a marketing plan for the book or are you just winging it?

I try to market my book as much as possible through many websites. I write articles for various ones. In exchange, they post links to my books and website.

Any advice that you would like to give to other newbies considering becoming Indie authors?

Be prepared to spend lots of time and effort on your work. When you are basically the only one involved, it means you have to wear many different hats.

About You

Where did you grow up?

I’m an Air Force brat, so everywhere! I was born in San Antonio, but have lived all over the United States and in Okinawa.

Where do you live now?

Tyler, Texas.

What would you like readers to know about you?

I am almost seventy, and still going strong. I believe it is never too late to be productive and do something you really love. Retirement has given me the opportunity to pursue my writing.

What are you working on now?

I am working on a mystery called The Seventeen Dollar Murders. It is about two baby boomer women in East Texas who attempt to solve the baffling homicides in their community.

End of Interview:

For more from Melinda, visit her website.

Get your copy of Heir to a Secret from Amazon US or Amazon UK.


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