Blog: Mel's Muse

Showing posts categorised as 'Dear Mel'

Dear Mel, What Do You Know Of Author, Paul Gallico

On this night, the one-hundredth anniversary of the sinking of Titanic, comes a reminder of the sinking of another ship, the MV Victoria

Hi Ms. Menzies,

I performed a Google search on author, Paul Gallico and your name came up, and I noticed you used to work for him. ...

Posted at 13:44pm on 14th April 2012

Book Sales Donation To Tearfund

Thank you, again, to all who have bought my book, A Painful Post Mortem. A novel about a mother who has to come to terms with her daughter's waywardness, it raises, among other things, the question of HIV and AIDS.

Sales have already raised hundreds of pounds for Tearfund and...
Posted at 09:07am on 13th April 2012

Dear Mel, How Can I Promote My Book On Radio Shows?

Dear Mel,

We "met" on LinkedIn. I recently visited your website and enjoyed a few of the many things you offer. Something that struck me is the similarity of our book covers. You can see mine at I've written two books on grief recovery (any type of loss) and conduct...
Posted at 09:16am on 7th April 2012

Dear Mel, How Can I Approach Radio Shows To Promote My Book?


Dear Mel,

We "met" on LinkedIn. I recently visited your website and enjoyed a few of the many things you offer. Something that struck me is the similarity of our book covers. You can see mine at

Posted at 07:00am on 6th April 2012

English Grammar Explained To A Foreigner

Dear Mel, it's FP here.

I hope you had a good Easter. I know I did.

I wonder if you could please enlighten me about this thing that has been nagging me for quite some time now:

Is it "started" or "startled"?


Posted at 21:15pm on 28th April 2011

Self Publishing: An Aspiring Author Asks How To Get A Book Published

Hi Mel,

Self publishing for me would be a last resort as I would find it difficult to promote my own work. Although I was in the business world for a long time it was somehow different promoting a product. Also I have been retired for quite a while and feel...

Posted at 16:58pm on 25th February 2011

Does An Aspiring Author Have A Chance With A Traditional Publisher?

Hi Mel,

Thanks for your advice the other day. I think I would like to have a shot at publishing my novel. Is it correct that no publisher, however small, will even glance at a submission without an agent? It all seems a bit of a Catch 22 situation. Where do...

Posted at 11:26am on 2nd February 2011

Tips For Aspiring Authors On Writing A Submission Proposal

Dear Mel,

I am a writer and I basically have no clue what to do in order to get published. I am writing in response to the post I saw at :

Now, I am currently working on my final copy of my book, but what do I do in order to submit it...

Posted at 12:13pm on 19th July 2010

Drama Triangle: Conflict Resolution After Divorce

Dear Mel,

When I was divorced I thought I was going to be able to get on with my life and start over again – not with a new relationship but just getting myself back on track. My ex was very controlling when we were married and I wasn’t allowed to have any friends or...

Posted at 11:46am on 24th May 2010

Can God Do Jury Duty?

Dear Mel,

I hope you don’t mind me writing but I’m on Jury Duty next month and I’m feeling quite nervous about it. A friend in my church said she’d heard that you were on a big case a few years ago and that you might be able to advise me.

I’m worried I might...

Posted at 10:21am on 26th April 2010

Libel & Interview Fees: Writing & Publishing A Book

Hello, Mel.

Thank you for your wonderful blob. I find it very informative and helpful!

I am going to write a true story about my experience working for a controversial government funded community project back in the 80's and early 90's.

As part of my research I will be interviewing key members who were involved in the...

Posted at 09:24am on 16th March 2010

Creative Writing Courses Versus Writers' Groups And Writing Magazines


I have enjoyed reading your articles and blogs/posts. Would really love to communicate more with you cos I think I really appreciate your train of thought. It appeals to me a lot. I am also an avid writer and have written many articles.

Can you recommend a good creative writing course for me to attend...

Posted at 18:38pm on 11th March 2010

Should Wives Submit To Their Husbands?

Dear Mel,

I’m a bit nervous about writing to you in case my partner finds out. We’re not exactly religious but he expects me to be exactly like that Vicar described – submitting to him in every way. When we’re out with friends he likes to take over and it’s true he’s very entertaining. People...

Posted at 12:30pm on 16th February 2010

Manuscript Submissions Under A Pen Name

Hi Mel,

I was interested to see what you had posted earlier this month on your blog about formatting a manuscript; it was most helpful.

Could you tell me how you handle using a pen name when it comes to putting the name on each page? Do you put the pen name on each of them,...
Posted at 15:45pm on 22nd January 2010

Blogging For Buddies: Create Your Own Voice To Instil Confidence

Hi Mel,

Can I ask for a little help?

I want to create a new tagline for my blog (see link at end of page) a humble tagline. I want to state that my blog is about my thoughts and opinion on blogging subject in a humble way.

My current tagline is "GoBlogger - Tips...

Posted at 21:09pm on 12th December 2009

Family & Parenting: How To Love Yourself - And Difficult Elderly Parents

Dear Mel,

My parents have always had a very explosive relationship. There were always shouting matches when I was a child, and I grew up fearful that they were going to get divorced. My dad had a very fiery temper, whereas my mum would be tearful. Inbetween the rows my dad...

Posted at 14:52pm on 17th November 2009

Abusive Relationships And Those Trapped In Them

Dear Mel,

I don’t know where you live in the world so I don’t know whether you saw that drama programme on TV a little while ago but I couldn’t believe my eyes and ears when I saw it. I think it was called Criminal Justice or something like that – and it described exactly...

Posted at 12:33pm on 20th October 2009

Forgiveness After Betrayal: Is It Possible? (or How Well Do You Know The Man In Your Life?)

Dear Mel,

I have never done anything like this before, but I feel I am at the end of my tether. I am 32 and I was previously in a relationship for 8 years, with someone who I thought was the love of my life. We had been friends since we...

Posted at 20:49pm on 25th September 2009

Psychological Differences In A Relationship? Discover Which Personality Type You Are To Avert A Clash.

Dear Mel,

I love my stepdaughter and most of the time we have an ok relationship. But there are things about her that I just don’t seem to be able to cope with. To be honest, she drives me mad. I was going to say she drives me scatty – but that’s what she is...

Posted at 14:30pm on 12th August 2009

Daughter Catches Stepfather Out: Adolescent Brains Wired Differently

Dear Mel,

I got married again, about six months ago, to a lovely man who’s very good to me, and is keen to know everything about becoming a stepfather. The trouble is, he has no children and he doesn’t seem to know how to cope with my teenage daughter, who lives with us. He complains...

Posted at 14:33pm on 25th July 2009

Wife Beating: Should You Warn A Bride-to-be About Her Intended?

Dear Mel,

You read all the time about different forms of domestic violence. Well my best friend’s daughter, who’s never been married before, is about to get married to a man who’s quite a bit older than her and who, I’ve just heard, was divorced for beating his wife up. I know you’re going to...

Posted at 17:01pm on 31st May 2009

Setting Up A Book Group: Twenty Tips - Part 2

Yesterday, I began a response to a letter from Sonia, requesting information about setting up a Book Group. As my reply turned out to be rather lengthy, I have split it into two parts. If you wish to read from the beginning, use this link for Part One: Setting up...

Posted at 18:07pm on 10th May 2009

Setting Up A Book Group: Twenty Tips

Dear Mel,

Somewhere I've seen that you wrote about starting a book group and I wondered if you could tell me what qualifications you think are needed.  I've always loved reading and I did join a group once but there were so many people and they all had such a lot...

Posted at 17:34pm on 9th May 2009

Bereavement Rituals And The Effects Of Grief

Dear Mel,

Last week it was exactly a year since my Penny passed away. We’d only been married ten years – no children – and she meant the world to me. I never thought I’d get through this last twelve months but I have and I wanted to mark the occasion, but at the same...

Posted at 15:21pm on 29th April 2009

There Is Nothing Loving In Living A Lie: Telling Children The Truth About Divorce

Dear Mel,

My husband and I are getting divorced. There’s no one else on either side. We just shouldn’t ever have got married in the first place. And I don’t think we would have been married as long as we have except that I’ve put up with everything that wrong without saying anything about it.


Posted at 18:37pm on 19th April 2009

My Mother In Law Or Voluntary Work? My Husband Says Charity Begins At Home

Dear Mel,

You once wrote something about trying to please everyone – I forget what – but you know what I mean – people like me who still have kids at home who don’t seem to want to leave, and who have to hold down a job, ok its only part time - and now...

Posted at 21:03pm on 3rd April 2009

Among Six Others - It Was The One That Touched Me Most

I returned from over 2 weeks away this afternoon, having flown long haul. I read your book 'Post Mortem' on holiday, amongst 6 others, and I think it was the one that touched me and certainly meant the most! So, thanks.


Mel's Comment:

Thank you Alwyne. It's great to know my book stood up so well...

Posted at 16:57pm on 23rd January 2009

A Painful Post Mortem - Humour, Pain, Characterisation, Existential Angst

I received this book as a birthday present after seeing it reviewed somewhere I can't now recall...sorry. Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed...yes, enjoyed it. It has everything...humour, pain, characterisation, existential angst...the way you write about Faith and God is just incredible and has really helped me at a difficult time....I am pregnant...

Posted at 19:29pm on 11th November 2008

A Painful Post Mortem - Compelling

Started your book last night – finding it most compelling.

Celia Bowring of CARE

Mel's Comment:

Posted at 16:24pm on 20th October 2008

A Painful Post Mortem - One Critical Comment

I have read A Painful Post Mortem with much interest and I am greatly impressed with the book and, not least, your actual written style. Congratulations!

I have only one critical comment and that is the use of the word ‘ruddy’. Your character Mark would, I suspect, have been far more likely to say ‘bloody’.


Posted at 01:00am on 15th October 2008

A Painful Post Mortem - Extremely Helpful

Hi Mel,
I’ve just finished your book and I’m most impressed! Quite seriously, you made the point in the interview at the end that one of your aims was to get people to identify with incidents or people or attitudes in the book. May I say that there were two points of this kind...

Posted at 09:40am on 9th September 2008

A Painful Post Mortem - Couldn't Put This Book Down

I’m not normally a reader; however, I could not put this book down. I felt privileged . . . This is an honest account of the difficulties that are all too often encountered behind the scenes. Thank you . . . For those of you have not read it, I strongly encourage you to...

Posted at 15:00pm on 25th August 2008

A Painful Post Mortem - Moving Bereavement Poem

I loved the bereavement poem in the book. It was so moving . . .

J . . . Long Crendon

Mel's Comment:

You mean Death is But A Door? Thank you. I don’t really consider myself a poet, but the verses certainly seem to have attracted a great deal of interest, not least among Google searches....

Posted at 14:53pm on 6th July 2008

A Painful Post Mortem - Raw Emotion

Your book was a good read with a lot of raw emotion. You portrayed the struggle the family had really well.

Sandra, Sussex

Mel's Comment:

Thanks Sandra. As an author, I wanted to be real about the emotions that are aroused by the sudden and shocking death of a young person, but at the same time...

Posted at 01:00am on 30th May 2008

A Painful Post Mortem - Weepy But Annoying

Although I found the book very moving (it made me weep in places) I found Mark’s “ruddy” very annoying, especially when not directly speaking.

Helen, New Zealand

Mel's Comment:

Posted at 11:10am on 6th May 2008

A Painful Post Mortem - Fluid And Helpful

. . . the working through of emotions and spiritual realisations were fluid and helpful.

Ros, Devon, UK

Mel's Comment:

Posted at 11:08am on 6th May 2008

Stepfamilies - Great Seeing You On Tv

I’ve just switched off the telly, having watched you - it was great seeing you. It was a very nice programme. Now I shall be looking forward to publication of the book!

Doreen, Bath, UK

Mel's Comment:

Posted at 11:07am on 6th May 2008

Stepfamilies - Taped Interview

I enjoyed seeing you (on TV). I thought the interview went very well and I taped it so I could show other people.

Jana, Tonbridge, UK

Mel's Comment:

Posted at 11:06am on 6th May 2008

The Last Mountain - Really Impressed

Greetings from USA. I just wanted to let you know that (a friend) sent me your book and I was really impressed with it. It is very moving and so well written – a literal “can’t put down” book. It conveys all the agony and trials so well . . . a vibrant multicoloured...

Posted at 11:05am on 6th May 2008

Earlier Books

Some years ago I read your book and subsequently placed it in the library for others to read. I do envy you being able to write . . . I would love you to come and speak, but hesitate to ask you to come this far, but if you were already in the...

Posted at 11:01am on 6th May 2007

Earlier Books

I do hope you don’t mind me writing to you. I was recently lent your book (and) found it very interesting. . . so many young people are being lured into taking drugs.

Ann, Huddersfield, UK

Mel's Comment:

Posted at 11:01am on 6th May 2007

Earlier Books

Well done! It’s a splendid little book. Were I still Review Editor of Today, I would review it, but alas, I am not. But we will certainly add it to our reading and reference list.

Nick (Revd), London, UK

Mel's Comment:

Posted at 11:00am on 6th May 2007

Earlier Books

Thank you for your book it was so good to read. . . .I couldn’t believe the similarities (to) my family.

Doreen, Bradford, UK

Mel's Comment:

Posted at 10:59am on 5th May 2007

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