Friday, 4 January 2013

Meet the Author - Melanie Robertson-King

Well, it's a brand new year, and I hope it's going to be a happy one for everyone, including the author you'll be meeting today in another of my 'Meet the Author' posts.  And once again she's a fellow Famous Five Plus author, Melanie Robertson-King.

So, welcome to my blog, Melanie, and I'll let you take it from here...

Hi Michelle! Thanks for inviting me to be a guest on Meet the Author. After reading the posts that your previous authors have written, I’ve got some really big shoes to fill. Gulp.

I’ve always been an avid (voracious, even) reader and loved the written word.  So what better introduction to writing than reading?

My first attempt at writing came in the summer I graduated from primary school (here in Canada grade 8). I’m not sure what sparked it but leftover notebooks from school and being creative (I loved to draw and was pretty good) stoked the fire. Having a not-so-secret crush on a few of the guys on our local Junior A ice hockey team (18 -20 years old), I had a veritable cast of buffed heroes to choose from. As far as my lead female character? Well, she looked nothing like me, but in my mind she was me just a few years older.

Fast forward to 1997 and my second trip (hubby’s first) to Scotland (my father’s birthplace). As on my first trip in 1993, we stayed in the B&B in the village in Aberdeenshire near the small croft where my father was born. On this trip, whilst visiting family I was given a photograph of my grandfather and his first wife (see below)– presumably on their wedding day. It was as if I was looking at a photo of my father, the likeness was so uncanny. 

That photo was part of the original inspiration for my novel and many drafts later and eventual publication, it still has pride of place as a portrait of the old Laird and his wife as newlyweds in the great hall of the mansion I modeled Weetshill on.

My novel began as an overgrown short story, called Sarah’s Gift, after I got home from Scotland with that photo. Not necessarily well written (looking back on it now, it sucked) but I had written something for the first time in a number of years!

Another item that played and continues to play an important role in my novel is the antique banded agate brooch my husband bought me at a silent auction. In the aforementioned portrait, the young Mrs Robertson wears it pinned at the neck of her dress. 

Over the years, taking a creative writing course, and being a member in two writers’ groups, Sarah’s Gift grew into a novel with a high-concept title (A Shadow in the Past), and eventually written well enough that I finally landed a contract with my publisher – 4RV Publishing – a small press in the US.

A Shadow in the Past

Nineteen-year-old Sarah Shand finds herself thrust back into the past. There she struggles to keep her real identity from a society that finds her comments and ideas strange and her speech and actions forward, unlike Victorian women. When Sarah verbally confronts confining social practices, including arranged marriages, powerful enemies commit her to a lunatic asylum. After falling in love with the handsome Laird of Weetshill, Robert Robertson, she must decide whether to find her way back to her own time or to remain in the past with him.

Where to buy:

Melanie’s links:

Author Blog: Celtic Connexions
Twitter Account: @RobertsoKing

Melanie, thank you so much for a fantastic post! So interesting, and a great insight into how your novel 'A Shadow in the Past' came about.  I wish you every success with the book, and for all your future projects.  Thank you so much for being a featured author here on my blog, and I hope 2013 is a fantastic year for you!



  1. Great post! I love the background to your novel, Mel, and I really really hope to read it as soon as possible!!! XXX Rock on, great feature.

    1. Thanks for dropping by Nicky! Now that you've found out so much about my novel's background, I hope you enjoy reading it.

  2. Thanks for hosting me here today, Michelle. I really appreciate it.

  3. Really interesting post Melanie. I love old photos, am sure I can seem a family likeness there. Good luck with your novel, it sounds a great read.

    1. Thanks Sue! Old photos are wonderful. Trouble is people never wrote on the backs to say who was in them. Have loads here like that. No clue who the people are and sadly no one still alive to identify these nameless people.

  4. I wonder how many novels start off as an 'over-grown short story' (love that term Melanie!)? Well worth growing!

  5. Such an interesting interview and I loved the photo!

    Janice xx

  6. Great interview Mel !! I love the old picture that u posted ...