Literary Birthday – 15 February – Maile Meloy

Happy Birthday, Maile Meloy, born 15 February 1972.


  1. Set aside time to write, even if it’s only an hour or two a day, and think of the time as the requirement. So you just have to be there, and it doesn’t matter what you finish.
  2. I like going back and forth between the two. It’s like the difference between a long marriage and dating, and there are advantages to each. With a novel, you know you have the book there to work on every morning. With stories, you have new characters and fresh situations.
  3. I start many, many stories and abandon most of them, but eventually some pay off.
  4. I’m partial to short stories that gallop through time. They’re like novels for very busy people.
  5. I found that I loved it—I loved living in a novel over time, and the way you can get to know the characters.
  6. I often start with not that much more than dialogue. Then I have to go back and put in details about what things look like and where everyone is and what they’re wearing. What happens between people is the most interesting thing to me.
  7. I think you have to find an emotional connection to the story, to make anyone else care about it, but I would find writing only what I know to be limiting.

Maile Meloy is an American fiction writer. She is the author of the novels Liars and Saints and A Family Daughter and a number of story collections. She has also written a trilogy for young readers, beginning with The ApothecaryHer new novel for adults is Do Not Become Alarmed. Visit

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by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 15th February 2018