Mellanie: Please answer the question: Who is Cooper McKenzie?
Cooper: Since, I don't like to talk about myself, I'll share my biography which has the highlights: Cooper McKenzie always thought she had been born a hundred years too late, but appreciates air conditioning, computers and other conveniences of modern day living. She enjoys the slower pace of New Bern, North Carolina, as well as the history and small town community found there. In addition to dreaming up her next story, Cooper enjoys reading everything except scary books, singing in her church choir and needle-weaving.
Mellanie: How did you discover your talent of writing?
Cooper: I learned to read in kindergarten, fell in love with Dr. Seuss shortly thereafter and by age 6 knew I wanted to write and change people’s lives when I grew up. It took a lot of years and working at it even though everyone around me kept telling me I could not do it, but I proved them all wrong.
Mellanie: Who is your favorite author?
Cooper: I have several to include Tymber Dalton, Janet Evanovich, Sarah Addison Allen, Lynn Hagen, Stormy Glenn and Leah Brooke.
Mellanie: What obstacles did you face pursuing this dream? How did you conquer them?
Cooper: I think the biggest obstacle was allowing other people to influence my beliefs for so many years. I knew I was born to write fiction, but so many people around me were against me even trying. And I let their negativity affect how zealously I pursued my dream.
Mellanie: How many books have you published? How many years have you been in this business?
Cooper: I’ve been daydreaming since I was born; writing since I could hold a pencil and my first e-book was published in 2010. Before than I had several young adult and children’s books published in paper under another name. Since then, I’ve published…uh…um…To be truthful I’ve lost count, but I do know it is over 50…so far.
Mellanie: What have you enjoyed most about working your publishers?
Cooper: They allow me the freedom to take my stories off in some very strange directions and they don’t fence me into writing in one genre or another. They are all very nurturing people who are quite wonderful to work with.
Mellanie: You have a new novel releasing June 12th, what is the name of this novel?
Cooper: Cougar Wants, which is the first of my Cougarlicious series, actually released a week early on June 5th.
Mellanie: How did this novel come about?
Cooper: I wanted to do a series about women who decide to become cougars…you know, those women who date much younger men. Kimber is based on a Facebook friend who has become very dear to me. She even helped with ideas for the book (it was her idea to have the hero be the pizza delivery man).
Mellanie: What do you love about the character in this novel?
Cooper: I love everything about Kimber. She’s strong and independent, but also vulnerable and in needed of a man to lean on. In his own way, Tate is the same way. They make a perfect pair.
Mellanie: What else can we expect from Cooper McKenzie in 2012 and 2013?
Cooper: I expect I will be home writing and trying to build both the perfect hero, but also the perfect romance. For books I have four more in the Pyrate's Treasure Series and two more in the Cougarlicious series to finish. I'm also working on a young adult advice book under the name Susan Walker which is called Chick Sense: 101 Secrets to Real Life They Don't Teach in School.
*Mellanie Crouell is a poet and author. To learn more about her, visit www.mellaniecrouell.com.
*Learn more about Cooper McKenzie at http://www.freewebs.com/coopermckenzie.