Category Archives: Articles

The Wedgewood Author Series

The Wedgewood Author Series

Yup, they’re having me back. Go figure, eh? This time, I’m there launching the print version of my short story anthology – The Consequences Collection.

consequences coverIsn’t this a fantastic cover? I have to thank Madliz Coles for allowing me to use her photograph for my anthology. I don’t think I could have found a more perfect image.


The Consequences Collection is an eclectic compilation of twelve stories ranging from non-fiction through creative non-fiction to pure fiction, in prose and poetry.

The story of a Scottish Home Child is based on fact and told from the child’s point of view; The Mystery Woman of Kinettles is a non-fiction article on the appearance and subsequent disappearance of a woman’s body near the Wellington County House of Industry (Poor House) in 1879 Southwestern Ontario.

Sound intriguing? Well, come out to the Wedgewood Retirement Resort (that is if you live ‘local’ to Brockville), 15 Market Street East, at 2:00 p.m. today. I’ll be talking about the story behind the anthology and the stories contained within the covers as well as reading from one. Afterwards, you’ll have the opportunity to purchase a signed copy.

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I hope to see you there!

And remember… “If you could see the consequences – would you?”


What do you use Ordnance Survey Maps for?

That was the subject of my first article for Loveahappyending Lifestyle magazine (formerly Without sounding too cliche (well at least I hope I’m not), I think Ordnance Survey Maps are the greatest thing since sliced bread. Okay, that might be a bit of an exaggeration but it gives you an idea how enthusiastic I am when it comes to using these.

You can read the article at Loveahappyending Lifestyle magazine.

I hope you enjoy it.


I’m blogging at Savvy Authors Today…

Today I’m blogging over at Savvy Authors talking about research. I know, I know, I hear the groans. But for authenticity and to keep your readers wanting more, you have to keep them in the story and make sure, even though your work is fictional, it’s true to the time and any facts you might have woven in are accurate.

But what happens when you can’t find the answers you need? Pop on over to Savvy Authors and find some unusual (or not so unusual) places to get the information you need.

What’s your best place for research and finding the answers to those pesky questions you so desparately need answered?

Readers’ Corner interview for TV Cogeco

Yesterday morning, fellow Writers’ Ink member, Joe Mossman, and I had the honour of being interviewed for our cable television’s local program, Readers’ Corner.

Joe Mossman, myself and host of Readers' Corner, Doreen Barnes

Doreen immediately put us at ease, although I must admit that I wasn’t the least bit nervous beforehand. The comfortable surroundings of the library at The Wedgewood Retirement Resort. This is the same venue where I plan on holding my book launch except I’ll be in the media room across the hall.

We talked about our group, Writers’ Ink, when it came to be, what we each got from it, how the meetings are structured, when/where/how often they’re held, etc. Then Doreen asked me about my novel. That would take an entire program on its own so unfortunately, she had to cut me off but we are going to do a program together after my book comes out so I have that to look forward to.

Once the link to our interview is available, I’ll post it here, so check back often. I’ll also post it on Facebook and Twitter.

The Day After the Brian Henry Workshop

On Saturday, November 19th, my husband and I both Brian Henry’s inspirational and motivational writing workshop “Writing your life & other true stories” in Kingston.

I always learn something at Brian’s workshops, and yesterday was no exception. My husband and I share an interest in genealogy and we thought that being able to tell the story in an interesting way would be far better appreciated by the family whose stories we’d be writing.
The genealogy software we use does create “book” format but it contains just raw genealogical data and while that’s good, there’s no personal reflections, memories, observations in it. Mind you, if you’re writing about someone/something from the 1800s or earlier, you’re not going to have much to go on other than a general social history of the time (since you weren’t alive then) and assume that your ancestors were in the same predicament as everyone else. If you’re lucky, you had an ancestor who could read and write and kept journals.
Whether either one of us tackles a segment in time of one of our ancestor’s lives and writes about it remains to be seen, although I have written articles on Home Children, including one on my father. Still not quite the same as a novel-length memoir.
Now that I have the knowledge of how to write it and the tricks of using novel writing techniques to get it “on paper”, I’ll be much better equipped for when the times comes.
I’m looking forward to my next workshop with Brian.

Shaz’s Stars Feature on

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Today I’m being interviewed by Sharon Goodwin,’s resident astrologer. Hope you enjoy it…

Shaz’s Stars Interviews Melanie Robertson-King

Shaz’s Stars – Welcome to the regular feature on ‘The Buzz’ of Shaz’s Stars!

Using sun sign astrology I will be interviewing Associate Readers to see how the traits of their sun sign affect their reading habits.

I hope you enjoy getting to know our Associate Readers as much as I’ve enjoyed interviewing them.


Twitter @shazjera:


In the hot seat today I would like to welcome: MELANIE ROBERTSON-KING

Hello Melanie, thank you for letting us have a peek behind the scenes.  Your sun sign is  SCORPIO.

Q.  Scorpions are said to have an excellent memory.  Are you able to stop reading at any point …………..  and then when you pick the book up again remember exactly what has happened, who the characters are and where you are in the story?

When I’m reading, I prefer to stop at the end of a chapter but we all know that isn’t always an option. Quite often, I read during my lunch hours and when it’s time to go back to work, it’s mark the page if I’m reading a physical book or shut down the reader device. I have a Sony and the Kindle app on the iPad.

I don’t have to go back normally to refresh my memory of what’s happening. Usually, once I pick up the story and begin to read again, I fall into the familiarity of the people and places that I’m reading about.

Sometimes, my memory about books is a little too good. I read a book by an author a year ago. I read the second one by the same author this year. When I got to the ending of this second book, I felt a déjà-vu moment. I had read this before. I checked the first book, because after all, an author wouldn’t end two books the same way but in this case that’s what happened.

Q.  Associate Readers are avid readers.  Scorpions are very conservative about spending their money.  Does a novel have a set criteria for you to purchase it?  What attracts you to the books you choose to buy?  Do you use your library?

I haven’t used my local library much of late, I’m ashamed to say. I’ve used it for researching my articles of a historic nature that are set in the area. I have borrowed books and as a young girl, I practically lived there—taking books out and returning them on a regular basis.

When it comes to books if I want it, I go ahead and buy it. I’ve built up quite a collection of physical and e-books. I do like the fact that most e-books are a fraction of the price of physical books although I’m not so sure that’s my inner Scorpio or my Scottish roots and their thriftiness.

As far as a criteria for novels to purchase goes, if the cover is interesting enough to make me want to pick it up off the shelf (again we’re talking our local independent or chain bookstore), then I read the blurb on the back. If it sounds like something I’d be interested in, then I buy it. I’m particularly interested in novels set in England, Scotland or Wales.

The e-books I’ve purchased have been recommended by friends or authors I know.

Q.  A typical Scorpion never gives up, they are determined to reach their goal.  Does this affect your reading?  Do you read to the end of a book even if you’re not enjoying it?  Does this affect your choice of book?

I’m on a reader panel for a well-known publisher and some of the books they’ve sent me are a struggle to get through but I persevere. I’ve almost put a book down because of bad copy editing. The storyline was good so I kept reading and I’m very glad I did.

There’s only one book that I couldn’t read. Not that it was badly written but when you move a castle from within the heart of rural Aberdeenshire and plunk it on the North Sea coast south of Aberdeen… I draw the line. I’ve travelled to that area of Scotland many times and know the two castles… the real one and the mis-located one. I couldn’t get past that flagrant error.

Q.  Scorpions are known for being interested in the paranormal, the occult, conspiracy theories and mysteries.  Does this interest extend to your choice of genre?

Since I was young, I loved the idea of ghosts. My grandmother’s house was close to a cemetery so I played there a lot with my cousins. The stories we conjured up there, well we were kids, but at the time were fantastic. I spent many a happy hour having séances or with the Ouija board. Vampires and werewolves were favourite subjects. Some of the earliest books I read (borrowed from my local library) were Alfred Hitchcock mysteries.

I love a variety of genres—crime, romance, paranormal, mystery, occult. I have a couple of books from my younger years… Tales to Tremble By and Ghosts around the

House by Suzy Smith that I refuse to give up. Not to mention earlier works by Stephen King. The scarier books are the better I like them. I hope I haven’t deviated from your question too much.

(Ed.  No deviation from your question – we want to get to know you ?)

Q.  Scorpions always seem to accomplish their goals.  This is because they set tangible short-term goals that they know they can achieve.  Do you use this trait in scheduling your book reviews?  Do you plan which book you will read next?  How do you choose which book you will read next?

If I’m reading a number of books by one author then I tend to read them in order of publication. As far as book reviews go, I tend to write them after I’ve read the book while it’s still fresh in mind. Some folks say they keep notes while they read when they know they’re reviewing a work, not me.

When it comes to what book I’ll read next, I would have to say what mood I’m in at the time. If I’m feeling dark, then I’ll pick up a crime or mystery. Otherwise I’ll grab something at random off my overloaded bookcases.

Unfortunately, when it comes to my writing (revisions especially), I’m not so good at achieving my goals. I usually manage to write something every day but it might not be on my WIP. My goal for 2011 was to write every day. That fell by the wayside some time ago.

Q.  On the ‘outside’ a Scorpion sun person will present a cool, detached and unemotional air.  However, on an inner level, they are intensely passionate.  When you write your reviews, are you cool, detached and unemotional or does that passion come through?

I’ve not written many reviews so this is a hard question to answer. I would have to say so far I keep my reviews on the cool side and stick to the plot and characters. I suppose the more reviews I write, the more passion I’ll inflect into them. I do agree with the statement that Scorpios present a cool, detached and unemotional air but underneath lies a totally opposite person. I think that is a self-preservation measure that Scorpios have constructed to keep our passionate inner selves safe, lest we crumble.

(Ed.  Thank you for your honesty)

I consider myself a romance writer but write in other genres, too. Currently, ten of my non-fiction articles have been published, with one being a feature cover article.

I have two novel-length manuscripts completed. One is languishing with a publisher waiting for a yay or nay, the other (my first) is undergoing a major revision. When I need a break from it, I pick up a book and read or I write short stories.

My father was a Home Child who came to Canada through the auspices of The Orphan Homes of Scotland in 1930. My article Always a Home Boy is his and his siblings story. I also speak to local historical and genealogical societies on the subject of Home Children.

My father encouraged me to study Highland Dancing and take part in local competitions. I last competed in the summer 1969, a few short months after his death, at the 1000 Islands Highland Games and won the Silver Medal in the Sword Dance. In addition to Highland dancing, I took piping lessons and own a set of bagpipes which haven’t seen the light of day in a number of years – probably much to the relief of my neighbours.

I love to read but now that I’m writing, I have to be careful what I choose. I don’t want things from other people’s writings finding their way into my own work. So, to that end, I try to read from totally different genres. I don’t think I could write it effectively, but I love to read crime fiction – Ian Rankin, Stuart MacBride, Val McDermid, PD James, and of course, my good friend Chris Longmuir.

My other interests include genealogy, especially the study of Home Children, photography and travel – particularly Scotland because of my kinship with my father’s homeland. It was on a trip to Scotland, that I had the honour of meeting The Princess Royal.

To find out more about Melanie, please visit:-

Twitter Account @RobertsoKing:


Melanie’s Celtic Connexions Blog


Thousand Islands Writers Festival Storefront Writing Contest – August 27, 2011

Melanie & Dorothy at Echo Clothing in Brockville

Here we are comfortably ensconced in the brightly painted Adirondack chairs at Echo Clothing in Brockville, one of the proud sponsors of the Thousand Islands Writers Festival Storefront Writing contest. Even folks without laptops are welcome to join in the fun on contest day, as demonstrated by Dorothy. Handwritten entries will be accepted.

The official press release is coming soon followed within a couple of weeks by Doreen Barnes’s article in the St Lawrence EMC newspaper.

The Revision Process

We all have different methods and preferences when it comes to how we handle the revision process. Depending on the size of the document and how much revising I’m doing, I’ll do it on the screen. This usually only happens when I’m writing short stories or only looking at a single chapter of a manuscript.

One of the pages from my WIP.

However, when I’m into a huge revision, I prefer to print the document and haul out the red pens. Before you get up in arms about my killing trees needlessly, after I’m done and my revisions are entered in my document, I shred the paper and it goes for recycling.

This is probably one of the more severely marked up pages in my manuscript.

I’d hit the dreaded sagging middle. I didn’t like the way things were coming together. I had a pile of “crap” that did nothing to further the plot. All it did was take up space.

I’m currently working on page 314 of 355 and I’m thinking there will be a few more pages hit “the cutting room floor” (actually a separate document in case I need snippets from them later on) before I’m done.

I think my biggest challenge is going to be reading my handwriting when it comes time to actually enter my revisions in my manuscript.

But I’ll cross that bridge when I get there. For now, carry on with the red pen and when I hit the last page, I’ll let it sit for a bit so I can digest what I’ve changed and maybe go off and read a couple of books before sitting down with my chicken-scratched pages and the computer.



Return of the Missing Muse

It’s still a bit too early to tell but I think my muse (aka George) has come home. I was working on a short story last night and I felt like I was being watched. The hubby was the only other person in the house at the time and he was working on genealogy on the other computer. The dog was asleep on his bed. Well, I’m assuming the dog was sleeping because he was doing a fine job of snoring. Besides, the feeling I had was more like someone was peering over my shoulder more or less reading what I was writing.

I firmly believe my house is haunted. It’s well over one hundred years old so surely at least one person died there. I’ve had a few encounters in the middle of the night with apparitions, spirits if you will – and not the kind that come in a bottle – those kind are a totally different story.

So, back to the feeling of someone peering over my left shoulder. Where I felt it from, the only thing behind me there is my laser printer and a case of paper. So I think it was George just checking to make sure I was actually writing something and not just goofing off.

I have forewarned my hubby that if he hears me talking to myself and the name George is mentioned, it’s only me arguing with my muse and he’s not to worry unless we get extremely loud and start throwing things! I doubt it will come to that but you never know.


Has Anyone Seen My Muse?

My muse is missing in action. I thought at first it was off sulking because I wanted to go in one direction with my writing and it wanted to go the opposite way. We’ve hit impasses before but they’ve never lasted this long. Previously, one of us (mostly me) has come slinking back all apologetic.

However, this time it’s different. I’ve offended my poor muse – big time! I hoped my recent weekend away would give us some time apart and it would be waiting impatiently for my return, ready to smack me into writing submission. It wasn’t.

I’ve looked in the closets, under the beds, in the garage, the garden shed and it’s not in any of those places.

I’ll bring flowers, a nice bottle of wine and maybe even some chocolate to our reconciliation meeting if it means us getting back into a working relationship.

So if you should happen to see my muse wandering about aimlessly, looking lost, dejected and rejected and will you please send it home?

You can tell it, too, that if it comes home, I will love it and hug it and squeeze it and call it George.