Melissa Sercia | Interview
Passion, spice, and the supernatural.
Let’s say hello to Melissa Sercia, paranormal romance and urban fantasy author of ten books with more on the way. Her newest book, After I Obey, book five in the Immortal Billionaires series, releases today!
What are people saying about Melissa’s Immortal Billionaires series?
“Ms. Sercia once again slays a tale of dark desires and dangerous appetites with a strong take-charge heroine and a possessive, protective hero willing to take on their enemies and defend their love.”
- InD’tale Magazine
Thank you for joining me today. That’s high praise coming from such a renowned magazine. Congrats! Can you tell me a little about yourself and why you wanted to become an author? What has your publishing journey been like?
Thank you for having me! I’ve been writing ever since I was a kid. I started out writing poetry and songs. Then got into short stories. I always had a million story ideas in my head but just didn’t know quite how to articulate them. Finally when I was in my early thirties, I decided to write my first novel. It took me about five years to research, plot, outline, and write it. I did a ton of research on the craft of writing and the industry as well. I sold my first series to City Owl Press in 2017 and haven’t stopped writing since!
Excellent! I love seeing that passion. Can you tell me a little about your latest release?
After I Obey is a standalone paranormal romance in my Immortal Billionaires series. It follows the story of an incubus and a human woman. They are both trying to escape their haunted pasts. In true enemies-to-lovers fashion, Rome and Olivia hate each other upon first meeting. He mistakes her for someone else and is livid when he realizes she’s his new assistant. Olivia wants nothing to do with Rome as she’s been trying to steer clear of immortals ever since her vampire ex banished her from New Orleans. And yet the more Rome and Olivia claim to hate each other, the more their chemistry and attraction grows. This story has lots of twists and turns and the spice level is definitely a five out of five!
The spicier the better is what I always say! What draws you to writing paranormal romance and urban fantasy?
I’ve always been drawn to the supernatural and the occult. I love fantasy and gothic settings and complex characters who have magical abilities. Getting to play in that sandbox is one of my favorite things about being a writer.
Speaking of favorite things, what are your favorite tropes and themes to play with in your work?
Enemies to lovers is my favorite trope. I love writing banter and tension between two characters and then bringing them together in sort of an explosion of lust and longing. I also love to play with the villain theme. I like creating villains who can become heroes. Villains that you will fall in love with. There’s something very alluring about a sexy villain who will burn down the world for the woman he loves.
I’ve read all the Immortal Billionaires series, and I can definitely attest to that! For those who haven’t read your books yet, describe your writing style or brand in three words.
I can do it in four: “Romance with a bite.”
Nice. And I agree! What is the strangest thing you’ve researched for your writing?
Wow, so many strange things! I’ve researched poisons, demons, abandoned buildings, urban legends, various types of swords and daggers, moon cycles, types of trees, cults, rituals, and even beignet recipes. I think at some point I stopped calling any of it strange. It’s just what I do. The life of a paranormal romance and fantasy author.
So true! If you could be transported anywhere in the world right now, where would it be and why?
New Orleans. I base a lot of my stories there. I’ve been obsessed with that place since I was a teenager, thanks to Anne Rice. I have always dreamed of going there and hope to go there soon. So yeah, if I could be transported anywhere it would be New Orleans. I would love to be nestled in a booth with a glass of bourbon in some dark smoky jazz club right now.
Hmmm. Yes. I’d like to be right beside you. We can people watch and guess who are secretly vampires. Are there any words of wisdom you want to share with new writers?
Do your research and learn your craft. There are so many online resources and social media groups you can join to get legitimate information. If you want to be a writer, you have to write, but every author’s journey is different. So make sure you have all the facts and options that are available to you. Then you can decide if you want to go traditional or indie. But the most important thing is writing that book. Don’t worry so much about being perfect or getting it right the first time. That’s what editors are for. Just get that story out and onto the screen (or paper).
Excellent. So many avenues to explore and so many things to learn. What’s something you wished you’d learned sooner about the publishing industry?
That the best marketing for your books is more books. In the beginning, I spent way too much money on marketing and was in for a bit of a shock when I got my first royalty check. And that is to be expected but I had no clue. The more books you publish, the larger your audience will get. The bigger the backlist, the bigger the readership. It takes time. I’m ten books and four years in and I still have a long way to go to meet my goals and expectations. So yeah, I wish I’d known that in the beginning. That as a new author, you really shouldn’t be spending a ton of money on marketing. Not until you have at least five or six books out. There are so many other free ways to grow your readership like newsletter swaps, social media, and doing author interviews on podcasts, etc.…
I wish I’d known that as well! What are you working on right now?
A million things LOL! So I have quite a few projects I’m developing right now, all which are in the very early plotting stages. I will release more info out on my social media pages when I can!
Well, that’s a perfect segue into your social media links. Let’s share them here:
Thank you for chatting with me today! It’s been great to find out more about you and your work.
Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me! I had a great time!
After I Obey, Immortal Billionaires Book 5, is out now.
Betrayal. Lies. Heartbreak.
Olivia Steele is no stranger to the supernatural world. She was raised by witches. But not even they could protect her after what she did. Banished from her hometown of New Orleans after a betrayal, she escapes to California, determined to start over. But when a run in with an angry demon sends Olivia reeling, she begins to wonder if she can ever escape her past. Especially since he’s her new boss.
Dark. Hollow. Cold.
Rome Bennett is a demon. An incubus who avoids intimacy at all costs. Until he meets Olivia. And she looks exactly like the woman he’s spent his entire existence hating. To make matters worse, Olivia is his new assistant. As his anger grows, so does his attraction to her. Despite the fact she could be deceiving him, he cannot stay away from her.
The more Rome and Olivia hate each other, the more they want to rip each other’s clothes off. But the mystery, of why she looks like the ruler of hell, stands between them. Is Olivia really who she says she is, or is Rome being played for a fool?
When the lines are blurred between lust and hate, can enemies ever truly become lovers?