Interview logo

An Interview With The Author Of The Half Paper Moon, Melissa Ingoldsby

Melissa gave me a chance to learn about her journey from Vocal to being a twice-published author for my first interview piece. See how an incredible piece of work came to be and get to know a little about a talented young lady!

By Jason Ray Morton Published 26 days ago 8 min read
Image Credit: Melissa Ingoldsby

Melissa, I'd like to start by saying thank you for the opportunity to interview you. You're my first interview, but to begin with a recently published author feels like a great place to start. So thank you.

It's my pleasure and honor to be interviewed by you, Jason, so thank you as well. It took a long time for this whole publishing process to come to fruition, so I am relieved and yet nervous about this whole thing!

Let's find out about you. Tell us a little about yourself. How old are you, yes, I know a guy isn't supposed to ask a lady that question.

Hah, that is true, but I wouldn't ask most ladies the same! Luckily I have a bit of a masculine energy too! I am 32 years young and I have two sons, with one son on the way! Their names are Ismael, Noah, and (the new one!) David. I'm a Sagittarius, like my dad, and love quirky and dry humor, Tarantino and Yorgos Lanthimos films and I love films/TV with black humor.

Where are you from?

I am from the Saint Louis, Missouri area where I was born and raised. I have also lived in North Cal, near the beautiful Napa “wine country,” county.

Describe your home life. Are you married or with someone?

Right now I live with the father of my children as we Co-parent together and have a good relationship, and he supports my books. I stay at home to take care of my kids, cook, clean, and do my writing(when I have time!)

Living in a stable relationship, with a third kid on the way! How do you find the time to manage life and the work you've put into making two novels at only 32?

Well, I have strange tactics for my writing. Sometimes I’ll write when I’m cooking dinner. Sometimes I’ll write a chapter when it’s late at night, or early in the morning. If the inspiration hits, I’ll write down the idea so I don’t forget. It’s squeezing in those extra minutes that keeps me going. I actually have a few other finished novellas and novels as well, but they haven’t been traditionally published yet. I have a crime drama novella titled Carnivorous, which is under review now by another publisher, Eukalypto. So, it’s a process that takes years to complete each book but it’s worth it.

You've been writing for a while. When did you first catch the writer's bug?

I first started catching that bug around elementary school where I loved making up vivid stories to tell my teachers and writing crazy things that I tried to pass as reality! Lol

What was it that made you want to write?

I first started catching that bug around elementary school where I loved making up vivid stories to tell my teachers and writing crazy things that I tried to pass as reality! Lol

What was it that made you want to write?

I love and have loved creating characters more than anything. I wrote and still write most of my pieces in the first person perspective and only male. I think it was a safe way for me to express myself to others and correlate trauma, grief, anger, and other difficult experiences in a relatable way.

So, let's dive into the Half Paper Moon. That's quite an achievement. How long ago did you start working on Half Paper Moon? Was it on Vocal, or were you always envisioning it as a novel?

Thank you, I appreciate that! It took so much hard work, editing, revision, and development to have the finished product. It started over 6 years ago when I first started writing this idea. The idea came to me as the father of a murdered daughter who needed his story told, and who was angry and full of grief. When I started writing for him, it felt so real and I knew that story was something important I wanted to tell. When I started Vocal in 2021, that was where I felt the story bloomed into a short story, then later, a full-length novel. I'd say it took me about 2 years after that before this book fully came to its full creation.

Now that it's done and out there for the world to enjoy, how does it feel?

It feels nerve-wracking and yet scary! I am hoping that everyone who gives my novel a chance will understand my messages and enjoy my characters, as they all mean a lot to me. But, with anything you put in the public view, you should be open to all opinions, negative and positive.

One of the stories you published on Vocal describes how a platform such as Vocal helped you publish your first books. For my readers and anyone looking to get into writing as a career, can you explain what using Vocal did to get you to this milestone of achievement?

Vocal gave me a safe platform to publish and organize all of my ideas, poetry, and stories in a way I never had before. Vocal gave me the confidence to put my voice out there in a way that helped me grow and learn from the many other talented writers, authors, and artists who share our amazing writing community. Through that, I was able to truly believe in myself and continue my craft in a more professional mindset, and with the challenges Vocal presented, it helped my author's voice mature and deepen. From that, I researched traditional publishers online that would offer new authors a chance to be published. I will say to any writers and authors… do NOT ever agree to a contract with a vanity or hybrid publisher. The publisher should be paying you, not the other way around. When you submit to a traditional publisher, make sure you research their submission policies well what they are asking for, and if they accept authors without an agent. I never had an agent, so I had to scope out the opportunities myself…. With many rejections to follow. I will say do not let those rejections bother you. If you keep trying, you will succeed!

Looking at The Half Paper Moon on Amazon, I'm impressed by the cover art, considering what I know about the story. Is the cover art yours?

I'm so happy you like the cover art!! No, it is not my art. It is one of the cover art pieces that my publisher Golden Storyline Books offered for my novel. So, I don't own it, GSB does.

Share a little about the character Connie Alvarez, if you would.

Connie is a first-year college student who is deeply into art and animation. She is a 2nd generation Mexican woman who is bisexual, that of which is highly scrutinized and judged by her very traditional family. She becomes embroiled in this missing person case involving her best friend and girlfriend Barbara Jones, who she has known for over ten years. She also has to deal with judgment from the courts and feels like her romantic relationship with Barbara is minimized and treated with disdain.

I've written some fiction, and characters seem to come to life and take on an appearance of someone I've seen in movies, television, politics, or on the streets. How did you come up with Connie Alvarez?

Connie was someone I saw that was bold yet shy, and wanted validation from her family and peers. She found that validation with Barbara, who was more social than her and seemed to have her life together. They found they had more in common, with their fun and quirky sense of humor and passion for mystery and magic, and I found that Connie was a relatable character who had flaws and a good sense of identity.

We don't want to give away too much to the people who haven't read The Half Paper Moon.

Who are some of your favorite writers? Feel free to include them from your circles in the online community, as well as any of the more popular or published authors you follow.

Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Neil Gaiman, Rick Moody, Chuck Palahniuk, George Orwell, Gail Carson Levine, Lois Lowry, J. D. Salinger(The Catcher in the Rye) and K.D. Lumsden. I have a lot of authors I adore, those are most of them. I also have many writers I love from Vocal such as the evocative poet and vividly inspired fiction writer and amazing friend Oneg, the always inventive and dark Em Starr, the always brilliant Madoka Mori, the lovely queen of darkness and supportive friend Dharrsheena Raja Segarran, an amazing romance writer & lovely friend Josephine Mason, the lyrically gifted poet & great friend HandsomelouiiThePoet (Lonzo ward), the great interviewer and very supportive friend Mariann, the truly talented Heather Hubler, the infamous Cathy and my Vocal brother and lovely poet Mike.

What about the next project? What's next for Melissa?

My first traditionally published novel was the horror/romance I am Bexley, which I started on Vocal. That contract was with Resurgence Novels, and I am currently working on that same universe of society-run zombies and ultra-mutated zombies in my sequel: The Bloodletters Scourge and a side short story about a forbidden life story that includes side characters from I am Bexley. Both stories, including the novel I am Bexley, are and will be available on the Resurgence Novels website and app.

Melissa, thank you for taking the time to answer my questions and letting us get a little insight into your journey. For everybody who is looking for a mystery that's a fun read, check out The Half Paper Moon.

And if you're a fan of hard copies:


About the Creator

Jason Ray Morton

I have always enjoyed writing and exploring new ideas, new beliefs, and the dreams that rattle around inside my head. I have enjoyed the current state of science, human progress, fantasy and existence and write about them when I can.

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insight

  1. On-point and relevant

    Writing reflected the title & theme

Add your insights

Comments (6)

Sign in to comment
  • Babs Iverson24 days ago

    Outstanding interview!!! Love it!!!

  • Cathy holmes25 days ago

    Wonderful interview. Well done to both of you. Also, congrats Melissa on the upcoming birth of your son. 🤗

  • Excellent interview, both of you.

  • It was an honor to be interviewed by you and so much fun!! Thank you so much ❤️❤️👏👏👌😁

  • Mariann Carroll26 days ago

    Jason, you did a wonderful job on this interview with Melissa. She is so open and honest. She is a very consistent writer in my book. I love the questions you asked about her book which was recently published by a publishing company. Congratulations Melissa!!! I am so happy for you. I can see how proud Melissa is of her Book, The Half-Paper Moon like it was a child she gave birth to. Thank You, Jason and Melissa, Bravo !!!!!!!

  • I interviewed her on YouTube

Find us on social media

Miscellaneous links

  • Explore
  • Contact
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms of Use
  • Support

© 2023 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.