Melissa L. Berger
“What Mae Brings: A Novel”
Publisher/Date: Kindle Direct Publishing 2020
Facebook Link: https://www.facebook.com/MelissaBergerMandisa
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/56295878-what-mae-brings?from_search=true&from_srp=true&qid=wilAOijipV&rank=3
Author website Link: https://www.instagram.com/melissabergerauthor
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Tell your readers a little about
yourself, where you grew up, where you live now, where you went to school, etc.
Let them get to know the personal you.
I grew up in western New York in a small
town before I moved to the big city of New York to pursue Arts &
Entertainment. I graduated from N.Y.U.’s Tisch School of the Arts, where I
received my B.F.A. I worked in Music Television, hosting various music
shows. After 9/11, I drove cross-country to my new life in Los Angeles,
where I pursued an acting career. I worked for Paramount Pictures in Hollywood,
and I took a variety of roles and fun bit-parts in commercials, movies, and television. I
also studied and performed many forms of cultural dance, including fire dancing. I joined the Screen Actors Guild under my new actor’s name,
Melissa Mandisa. In my latest film, I played Aristiana’s Mother in The
True Adventures of Wolfboy, starring Jaeden Martell. I have since
returned to the New York area and have been pursuing my writing and arts over
the past several years. I run a ‘Bed and Breakfast’ business, and I am also a
5-star Etsy artist. I do custom painting and portraits for customers
worldwide. My love of storytelling is prominent in my acting endeavors,
allegorical paintings, several children’s books, and my latest mystery novel, “What Mae Brings.”
What inspired you to author this book?
My varied experiences throughout my life
inspired me to write “What Mae Brings.” I always strived for an honest
and meaningful life, and grew up rather innocent in my outlook on the world. I’ve
experienced great times in my life, but with that I’ve also experienced many of
the darker sides of humanity and society, especially living in the bigger
cities. Never wanting to be victimized, I often struggled with my
independence in this big world. I’ve learned there is good and bad in
everyone and everything, and that life is trying to understand where you fit,
without falling into the gaps, in your quest for a good life. How staying strong
and being brave can help one grow, but how do you keep from hardening
along the way, or losing the innocence of one’s own humanity and compassion?
There is a fine line, and I wanted my characters to explore that line.
What were the struggles or obstacles
you had to overcome to get this book written?
I wanted to give some of my own
experiences to my characters. It was a therapy of sorts. Some of my more
negative experiences or feelings, I tried to give to my characters in the
search for an understanding of my own feelings through their eyes, and to also
free myself of their hurtfulness and burden. Now, if I think of some of my
more difficult memories, I feel I have passed them on to a character that
handled the situation perhaps differently than I did, and that was a very
interesting and profound experience for me. I feel very close to the characters
I created. I really tried to give them my honest breath and yet let them
continue to breathe on their own.
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Who is your target audience, and why?
I think this book is great for all ages.
It’s a story. It’s a thriller. It’s also an example of how a wild synopsis,
such as this, really could happen to anyone, anywhere. No one is immune to
life’s unpredictable nature. I never state an actual physical location or
year where or when this novel takes place because I wanted to make it an “it
could happen anywhere” type of book. Its main characters are of youthful
college age, and I think readers of this age range would relate to its
If you were going to give one reason for
anyone looking at your book to read, why should they buy it?
Every time you think you have the story
figured out, it takes you in another direction entirely… I wrote it one chapter
at a time, a chapter per day, never knowing even where it was going to
lead, what I originally imagined for the book is not at all where it led me. It
was such an exciting process because I watched it unravel as I typed it into my
keyboard. I was as shocked as anyone else when there was a new twist to
unravel. I couldn’t wait to see where it took me. I would start each
chapter like a new morning, as that character, and just write, where am I and
what would I do first in the situation?
What do you consider your greatest
success in life?
My ability to try new forms of art and
expression, new art forms, new dances, new writing, and experience new travels. “Courage isn’t
not being afraid, but being afraid and doing it, anyway.” Some things in my
life were absolutely terrifying for me to try or do, but I, like Mae, told
myself to “Just do it!” No regrets. I am so proud of myself for the
things that I did, where I defeated the fear to try.
What one piece of advice do you have for
Put your heart and your whole self into
your characters! You can be every character and every experience you can
relate to if you are creative enough to find the parallels within
yourself. Writing is also a self-study.
What is next for you in your writing
My next project will be exploring the psychological
side of the mystery/thriller… taking my own psych education and introducing a
highly complex new character. I’m very excited for you all to read what’s
Tell your readers anything else you want
Thank you for your time in reading this
and supporting a new writer with ambitious dreams. It means the world to
What Mae Brings: A Novel
As a performer, I have appeared in numerous Commercials, Tv, and Movies. I have worked as an Actor, Circus Artist, Fire-dancer, Sword performer, Bellydancer, Body Double, and Stand-In. In my latest film, I played Aristiana's Mother in 'The True Adventures of Wolfboy.'
I also am a Painter and a 5-Star Etsy Artist! See: Meli-RLO Art Studios
Writing credits include screenplays for festival-selected films and a large number of Children’s books (both as writer and illustrator). Search Melissa L. Berger on Amazon to see children's books that I've illustrated for other outstanding Authors.
“What Mae Brings” is my first full-length Adult Novel. It is an exciting mystery thriller!
I am currently writing my second novel, a psychological thriller, TBA.
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