The Reading Habits of Melody Carlson (with a giveaway)

Carlson_MelodyThe Reading Habits


Melody Carlson


Are you a re-reader? Why, or why not? And if you are, what are some of the books you have read over and over?

I always imagine that I will re-read some of my favorite books, but the truth is I never have. My only excuse is that there are so many new books to read that I feel I can never catch up. But someday I plan to re-read some of my favorite books (on my bookshelf) and I honestly think it would be educational for me as a writer. I’d like to see how I respond to a book I loved 20 or 30 years ago.

When is your optimal time to read – do you prefer to read in one long block, or do you also read for five minutes here or there when you can?

My best time to read (because it’s uninterrupted) is on an airline flight. I love those times (not flying so much—but reading) because I really get into a book and finish it before the flight is over. Other times I’ve enjoyed reading was while I was sick (and couldn’t do anything else—giving me a good excuse to dig in) or while on vacation (which I’m in need of right now!). Because once I’m immersed in a good book, I don’t like interruptions.

I’d love your thoughts on novellas. Are you thumbs up or down? Or does it depend?!

Well, because I write some holiday novellas, I must be thumbs up. My reasoning is that many readers are pressed for time and sometimes a novella is just what they need. I say this about holiday times, but I realize that many of us (including me) don’t have the luxury of long undisturbed times for reading.

Are you faithful to a genre, an author, or simply quality writing?

I’d say quality writing. I’ll read most genres and I love certain authors, but sometimes a genre or an author can disappoint. So give me a good book—and (if I have time) I’ll happily read it.

Which factors most influence your selection of a book?

A good review goes a long way—or hearing a lot of chatter about a certain title. Also, a recommendation from a friend can get me on board. And I hate to admit it, but I can also be influenced by a great cover (sometimes it’s a mistake!) or simply a limited selection of books (if I don’t have my ebook handy and am in the reading mode).

Your fiction pet peeve?

Novels that pull you into a suffering character’s life, you go through a lot . . . and then it ends badly. I call those ‘wall-bangers’ because I want to throw them across the room!


Melody’s TBR

What book have you read this year that you could not put down, and why?

It’s been a really crazy-busy year so the last book I can remember (like that) was from the previous year. It was TAKE ME WITH YOU by Catherine Ryan Hyde.

How do you mark your spot – folded page corner, bookmark, dollar bill, whatever is at hand?

Whatever is nearby. I never fold a page and I never seem able to find a real bookmark (although my office is full of them).

Whose debut novel impressed you more than you anticipated?

Wally Lamb’s She’s Come Undone. I kept thinking it was written by a woman, but I met Wally a few years later and he’s definitely a guy.

When reading, what makes or breaks a story for you?

What makes a story is a believable character that I care about. What breaks a story is bad writing. If I get ‘stopped’ too many times, I’ll put the book down.

What are some of your favourite CF reads from around 10 years ago, or further back?

George MacDonald and the Thoenes come to mind.

Snack/drink of choice while reading?

Coffee (or tea) and nuts.

What book cover has really caught your eye?

Recently, I’m attracted to All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, but I know nothing about it—and haven’t purchased it yet.

Which author makes it easy to turn off your internal editor?

What a great question! Elizabeth Berg or Maeve Binchey probably would.

What book do you wish you had written? Why?

Well . . . To Kill a Mockingbird (of course!) but then I’d only have written one book. But it’s such a classic. Although I was dismayed to hear that Harper Lee had a lot of editorial ‘help’ with it. Not sure how I feel about that.

Thanks Melody

Be sure to get your hands on Melody’s latest Christmas story…


During World War II, Amelia Richards receives news that her baby’s father has been shot down in the South Pacific. Jobless and broke, she begins to lose hope. She has nowhere to turn for help but her infant’s paternal grandparents. The only problem is, they don’t know that she—or their grandson—exists.

When Amelia discovers that the family is wealthy and influential, dare she disclose the truth of her relationship with their son? Can she risk rejection to give her baby a better life? Or could the celebration of the arrival of another unexpected baby nearly two thousand years ago be the answer to her dilemma?

Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of over two hundred books with combined sales of more than six million. She is the author of several books, including the bestselling The Christmas Bus, The Christmas Dog, Christmas at Harrington’s, The Christmas Cat, The Christmas Joy Ride, and The Christmas Angel Project. She received a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her many books, including the Diary of a Teenage Girl series and Finding Alice. She and her husband live in central Oregon. Learn more at

Relz Reviewz Extras
All Things Carlson @ Relz Reviewz
Visit Melody’s website
Buy at Amazon: The Christmas Blessing or Koorong

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21 Responses to The Reading Habits of Melody Carlson (with a giveaway)

  1. I love everything about Christmas stories. They always have a different feeling from a regular story… the “magic” of Christmas I guess.

  2. Joy

  3. I do not read a ton of Christmas books/novellas, however, have increasingly read more each Christmas season the past few years. I love that they are heartwarming. I do not read many novellas, but do enjoy that Christmas books tend to be novellas.

    Loved the interview with Melody. I’ve read 3-4 of her Christmas books and none of her other books. I haven’t read Maeve Binchy in years, but agree with Melody that she spins great stories.

  4. I’d love to win it. I always enjoy Meldoy’s Christmas novels.

  5. Although I tend to keep books from my favorite authors, I almost never reread them! There are just too many new books out there! However, I do loan out my books & therefore introduce people to these authors. I prefer longer books to novellas, but Christmas novellas are fine.

  6. There always christmas magic in them.

  7. this is a great post. I love so much about Christmas. About Christmas stories, I love the warmth, the love, the faith, and the Christmas magic of Jesus

  8. I love everything about Christmas…the decorations, the music, the books, and, of course, the real reason of Christmas! I love Melody’s books and would be delighted to win a copy of this one. Thanks! 🎄🎁🎉

  9. I love Christmas stories because they remind us of the meaning of Christmas and our love of family and traditions. It’s a time to forget the bad and hang on to the good and it’s a time to share with others whether in gifts, of ourselves or with love.

  10. I love Christmas stories as they are about a specific time of year, and they seem to be different than regular stories.

  11. Hi Rel,
    Christmas stories always have a special charm to them. They bring out the holiday spirit and put a smile on my face. I usually read them close to Christmas to get started in my festivities. They make me feel warm and cozy!

  12. What I love most about Christmas stories is that most of them inspire hopefulness as this time of year seems to bring out the best in most people.

  13. I love reading Christmas stories in the time leading up to Christmas. They help me get into the Christmas spirit. Melody’s book sounds so intriguing.

  14. Christmas novellas tend to be full of hope and help me get in the spirit of Christmas. December tends to be a busy time so I appreciate shorter books.

  15. I really like reading Christmas stories around the holidays. They are heartwarming and and full of Christmas spirit.

  16. I love Christmas stories. Many incorporate the reason for the joy during the season.

  17. I love celebrating Christmas…decorating the tree, putting out other decorations, the warm glow of the lights, Christmas music and movies, celebrating Christ’s birth…I think it’s the nostalgia of it all. And I love reading Christmas stories! Curling up in a chair with the warmth and view of a fire, a cup of coffee, and nestling in to read a Christmas book just adds to the magic and wonder of the season :)

  18. I love Christmas stories especially novellas because they really get me in the mood to celebrate the birth of Christ. I have never read Melody, but I have been looking at her Christmas books.

  19. Christmas is the most wonderful time of year! REL, thank you for the wonderful interview with Melody.

  20. There is so much to love about Christmas stories. Family and friends coming together, the promise of hope, the winding down of one year and looking forward to the next.

  21. Most Christmas stories offer me the chance to relive the magic of Christmas that I remember from my childhood. I love the warm and fuzzy feelings that they offer!

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