A book gift to keep readers warm

While we’re sweltering here in Australia, readers in the US and UK are reaching for their blankets and a good book. That’s why Australian author Melissa Pouliot is offering the Kindle edition of her #1 #besteller Write About Me for just 99c in the US and UK. Another reason the book has been discounted from $4.99 to just 99c is to celebrate it’s new cover!

Follow this link to download your copy

And please feel free to share with your friends. It’s a huge boost to authors when readers enjoy their book as much as they enjoy writing it!


Do readers & writers want ‘real books’ or ‘ebooks’?

This is a big question for readers. And writers. Because writers are readers (or if they’re not, they should be!).

This time last week the first boxes of paperbacks of my second novel FIND ME arrived. What a moment. The book has been available as a Kindle for a little while now and when I hit the publish button there was a moment as well. But it was nothing like the moment when Deb in the post office opened the very first box to reveal stacks and stacks of books. And the response from my readers to the arrival of the paperback has far exceeded my expectations. And my supplies. Within two days I  had to place a new order.

So it got me thinking about the question we are asked every single day. What do readers want? Real books or ebooks?

I remember when a close friend received one of the very first iPads to arrive in Australia. To her it was a new gadget, a new toy and a MUST have. When I questioned her about why she MUST have this gadget it wasn’t because it was shiny and new, it was because she wanted to take it on her next holiday to Bali. With books on it. Goodbye heavy bag full of paperbacks. Hello shiny new toy with books on it.

And so it began. And so it continues.

I love laying in bed late at night with the iPad screen dimmed to the perfect light. You can read for so much longer this way for one simple reason – it takes no energy to turn the page. Just a tiny flick of your finger and there you have it – a clean new page full of words.

But as a reader, and a writer, the shiny new gadgets for reading ebooks that come onto the market every single day will never replace the lovely, beautiful, tactile sensation of holding a ‘real book’ in your hand. Running your hand over the cover – have they used gloss or matt finish? Is there any raised lettering? And then you open it. What kind of paper have they printed on? Is it cream? Is it white? You then have a flick. There are no words to describe the first flick of the pages. And once you have gone through all the motions, you sit in your most favourite reading place and so it begins.

And so it continues.


Handing your ‘book baby’ to your readers

For the past 12 months I have been nurturing and looking after a book baby. The process is much like a real baby in many ways. First of all there’s the time where that baby is yours and only yours. Hidden from the world. Safe and protected while it grows.

Once that baby comes into the world you protect, love, feed, live and breathe that baby every waking moment – and sleeping moments as well. It wakes you in the middle of the night and you have no choice but to get up and feed it some more. It interrupts you time and time again and you find it impossible to concentrate on anything else.

My book baby is called Find Me, and finally it’s time to hand it over to my readers. It is a daunting and scary feeling but one that I will never forget.


  • To one of my first readers Prue in Australia, who finished the book the same day she purchased it and posted this 5-star review: Heartbreaking – Congrats on a fabulous story of which I could not put down. My heart cried for all those families that lose some one. And to those that are lost.
  • And to my Sunshine Reader from Knoxville: Love Australian setting! Deals with an important issue, too. Wow. This book transported me into another world. I loved being in the Australian outback, complete with cowboys and “B&S Balls” (Bachelor and Spinster Balls). This story contains a delicate balance of romance, mystery, crime and sadness. It is obvious the author has an affinity for missing people and it’s interesting how she highlights they different types of people who go missing.
  • Then there’s Ariel from Boston: I love the 80s – the music – I love the 80s – the music, the fashion and the simplicity of life without the modern technologies we have today. But what Melissa highlights so well in this book is the lessons we can learn from the 80s, especially when it comes to missing persons. She gives a realistic perspective of so many issues from what it was like to be a policewoman in the 80s to what it was like to be the family member of someone who is missing. Beautifully written. This book will stay with me for a long time.
  • And Kristina, also from Australia: The voices of the missing must be heard with new ears. I have been waiting for this book since I read Melissa’s debut Write About Me. And it’s been so worth the wait!! Another page-turner written from the heart. Couldn’t put it down. Congratulations to an exciting new Australian author.

Thank you to all my readers for taking care of my baby. Enjoy!




I THINK I’ve made a publishing decision…

Am about to self publish my second novel called Find Me. I’ve considered trying to find a publisher but everything I’ve learnt during the past year since self-publishing my debut fiction book Write About Me points me in the same direction as outlined by Alysha Kaye. There is a lot to be said for being in control of your own destiny 🙂

Alysha Kaye


If you read my post a few weeks ago, you know I have A Chance to Leave the Self-Pub World…

I think I’ve finally made a decision.

Drum roll please……………………….

I’m going to STAY put, self-pub, indie, unrepresented. Not gonna take the publisher’s offer. Not gonna sign the contract.

You might think I’m crazy. Here are the 3 main reasons for my decision:

1. The publishers that contacted me are extremely new and unheard of. They publish a LOT of erotica, which my book is NOT.

2. I worked really hard for my Amazon and Goodreads reviews and I didn’t want to lose them.

3. I’ve done pretty well marketing for myself, and after researching the publisher (and contacting their authors), I was led to believe that their marketing wouldn’t be any better than my own.

This doesn’t mean I’m not opening to signing a contract in the future- with…

View original post 28 more words

Why the Suicide of Robin Williams Matters

Thank you Seth Adam Smith for your way with words.

Seth Adam Smith

Robin Williams Robin Williams

Actor/comedian Robin Williams just committed suicide.

Truthfully, I’m stunned, shocked, and devastated. I had heard that he struggled with depression, and had always looked to him as an example—someone to help me move forward as I battle my own depression.

His humor brought happiness and hope to so many people. And now…

I don’t know. Part of me just wants to yell and shake my fist. Why did you do that, Robin?! You were loved by so many people. You were an inspiration to millions! You should’ve asked more people for help! Others would’ve rushed to your aid to lift you up. So many people believed in you and loved you!

But there’s another part of me—a quieter part—that beckons me to reach out even further to lift other people. Depression and suicidal thoughts are so subtle and insidious that they can take down anyone—even (perhaps especially) the happiest of people.

View original post 223 more words

Picnic Day for Missing People: Launch August 2

Australian bestselling author Melissa-Jane Pouliot will launch a ‘Picnic Day for Missing People’ in her hometown to raise awareness as part of a NSW book tour in August. Melissa-Jane, whose first cousin Ursula Barwick went missing 27 years ago, will launch the initiative with a ‘Picnic for Ursula’ in Quirindi on Saturday August 2 at Bell Park from 10am. Morning tea and coffee will be available, and proceeds raised will go to missing persons charities.



Picnic Day, which Melissa-Jane is planning to make an annual event as a fundraiser to support missing persons work, is the day before Australia’s National Missing Persons Week from August 3-10. Australia’s National Missing Persons Week is an initiative of the Jones family whose son and brother, Tony, went missing in Queensland in 1982. A few years later, they called for the first week of August to be dedicated to highlighting missing Australians and it has become a vital opportunity for families to gain some much-needed attention.

The Picnic Day for Missing People is inspired by Ursula’s love of family picnics while the cousins were growing up.

“Every weekend Ursula’s Mum Cheree and my Mum Dianne would gather a group of friends and family for a picnic somewhere. Sometimes it would be by a creek, other times in our backyards, up the paddock, in a park or in the mountains. There were always lots of kids, lots of adults and of course, lots of great food. We’d light a fire and cook some rissoles and sausages or we’d just have sandwiches and cake. There’d always be a thermos for coffee and tea and plenty of laughs and good times.

“It seemed fitting to launch a Picnic Day in memory of Ursula, but also for all the other friends and families who are missing someone.” 

Melissa-Jane, who released her debut fiction novel ‘Write About Me’ during National Missing Persons Week last year, said she had worked hard for the past 12 months to raise awareness for missing people through her book and associated publicity.

She said the book had resulted in links with Australian and international missing persons networks and an invitation to be a global ambassador for an award-winning phone safety app developed in the UK to help find missing people.

She said people had also come forward with new information about the 27-year mystery of Ursula’s disappearance.

“I am proud to have not only honoured the memory of Ursula, but to have played a strong role in raising awareness for the often under-appreciated and under-publicised issue of missing persons,” Melissa-Jane said.

Ursula disappeared aged 17 in 1987. The last time Ursula’s family saw her was when she boarded a train on the NSW Central Coast bound for Sydney.

Melissa-Jane said Ursula’s family and friends had learnt to accept they might never see Ursula again but the long-term effects of not knowing what happened to her were still obvious today.

“When a close family member goes missing without a trace, you have to live with so much unresolved guilt and grief. I was nearly 15 when she went missing and at the time I found it very difficult to accept that she was not coming home.

“Now as an adult with children of my own, I have a deeper understanding of what the adults in Ursula’s life went through after she disappeared. A lot of time has passed but we will never stop looking for her, and we will never stop missing her.”

  • The inaugural Picnic Day for Missing People will be in Bell Park, Quirindi, from 10am. Morning tea will be supplied. All donations will go to missing persons charities. To RSVP or to get involved, visit the Facebook Page Picnic Day for Missing People.

Top 5 books that make you cry

A week ago Write About Me was voted in the Top 5 books that make you cry by Indie Author Land. 

Here’s what they wrote: “Each week we pick a topic and chose our top 5 free or hugely discounted novels on the subject. Books that make us cry. The recent box office success of the movie incarnation of the bestselling novel, The Fault In Our Stars has got us thinking of some of the most emotional books we’ve read of recent, books that left us with a lump in our throats, and a speck in our eye. Here are our favourite five.”

Write About Me appears at the top of the list, along with four other fantastic books that I can’t wait to read:

I was so excited to see my book at the top of that list because it’s something a lot of my readers say to me. And even more exciting is the buzz it has created on twitter! So many authors, indie author pages, writers, readers and just random people who love books that make them cry have been tweeting and retweeting like I’ve never experienced. Thanks to everyone, and thanks so much to Indie Author Land, for their love of books!

So I thought it would be a good opportunity to post a review from one of my readers who definitely needed tissues while she read Write About Me:

An important story: tissues are a must
By Melissa-Jane Fogarty (GoodReads Review Feb 17, 2104)
Write About Me is a young adult story about a teenage runaway. But it isn’t just another YA story about love and boys and heartbreak and it certainly isn’t fantasy.

It is an important story.

Perhaps this seems so important to me because the life of the main character Annabelle and those around her are so close to reality that they could be real people.

From within the first few chapters, it is clear to the reader that Annabelle’s mental state is not quite right. She has conversations in her head with ‘Anna’ and ‘Bell’ who are both very controlling and are the ones who continually set Annabelle on the wrong path. I found myself so frustrated with Anna and Bell, and Annabelle for not being able to stand up to them, but in reality, people who suffer from mental health problems, are controlled (to differing degrees) by their disorder, unless they seek help.

There are so many important elements in this story: the loss of a child, the difficulty in finding good help from the authorities in locating missing teens, undiagnosed mental health problems, domestic abuse of children and drug and alcohol use amongst teens. I feel as though most people can relate to at least one of those issues.

In spite of all the sadness though, there were light-hearted, happy moments and those were what really created the much needed balance whilst reading such a devastating story. I could talk for hours about this book, but instead of giving too much more away you had best read it for yourself and discover all the highs and lows that I myself felt while reading this story.

Thanks Indie Author Land for connecting readers with authors

For the past few weeks a fantastic online marketing website genuinely set up for readers and authors has been posting messages on their twitter page about Write About Me. They have also published a fantastic interview about my book and taken the extra time to really get to know who I am, what my book is about and who would enjoy reading it. And all for no cost to me. Which is incredible. And awesome. And very much appreciated!!

Check out their interview here: Why you must read Write About Me

Thank you Indie Author Land for being a breath of fresh air in the complex and often overwhelming world of self-publishing. If you’re a self-published, indie author check them out HEREImage.

What authors must do when they get a bad review


One way of dealing with bad reviews is to write the Very Bad Book as Andy Griffiths has done!

One way of dealing with bad reviews is to write the Very Bad Book as Andy Griffiths has done!

Newsflash for authors! Not everyone is going to like your book. In fact, some people are going to dislike it so much they won’t even get past the first few pages. And now, with so many opportunities for reviewers to share their thoughts online about your book, you are going to know exactly how much they love or hate it.

I have to admit, Write About Me has attracted its fair share of bad reviews. The most recent review  in a highly-respected Australian magazine – seen as the book bible for individuals and book clubs looking for the next best book to read – plus the experience of one of my US writing friends on the weekend, has prompted me to share my tips on what authors must do when they get a bad review.

It’s heartbreaking for writers when this happens, but there are a few tips to managing those bad reviews.

1. Accept that your book will not appeal to every reader, and move on. Each review is subjective. I remember my Mum saying to me when I first published Write About Me that it’s just like when you go and see a movie. Sometimes it’s a blockbuster but for you, it falls flat. It could be the mood you’re in, it could be the simple fact it’s not your style. There are so many films I love and so many that I don’t – and the same goes for books. Now move on.

2. Accept criticism gracefully, and move on. BUT… I remember my first one-star review for Write About Me. I was aghast at some of the things the reviewer wrote. They had it all wrong! That’s not what I intended when I wrote the book! Hang on, my writing style was deliberately chosen and they hadn’t read it closely enough! They’ve missed the point! How can they say that! Everyone else who’s read it loves it! I have people writing to me every day and coming up to me on the street saying how brilliant it is! You’re wrong!

The simple fact is you can’t engage with everyone who’s read your book. If they didn’t like it, they didn’t like it and it’s their right to express that opinion. BUT, and there is a but. Watch out for trolls and reviewers who have nothing better to do than harass you online. There are ways you can deal with these situations. For example, if someone has published an unfair review on Amazon, authors can ask Amazon via Author Central to remove it. A US author friend of mine had someone publish a scathing review and copy that to all her books. The reviewer stated clearly they hadn’t read the books. Amazon swiftly removed these reviews as they were very much a personal attack not connected to the contents of the books themselves.

3. Say thankyou, and move on. Reading a book takes time and effort, so every time someone takes the time out of their lives to read your book and enter the world you’ve created with so much love and passion, deserves a thank you. A book is such a personal project for writers, but you can’t take it personally if your personal project is rejected or criticised. This is something all creative people face on a daily basis, in fact, it’s something all people face every day. Writers need to develop a thick skin when they choose to publish their work. Once you are in the public domain you are open to public criticism.

Fortunately you are also open to public praise. So take all the praise and put it in a big pile, then go to that pile every time someone criticises your work and bury that criticism right at the bottom. It also helps if you have other writers to talk to – they understand and will provide all necessary comfort and counselling!!