Interview with Melissa Desveaux

Melissa Desveaux Cover
Author Talk: Richard Lowe Interviews Melissa Desveaux

Melissa Desveaux, born in Sydney Australia, is an author of her memoir “My Life of Loss” and co-author and compiler of “Comfort for the Tears, Light for the way” and “Comfort for the Tears”Melissa Desveaux Book Cover 678x1024 1

Melissa became an author after sharing her experience of pregnancy loss. She has helped families around the world write their own pregnancy stories so they too can be empowered to help others. Melissa compiled them into a book of memoirs in October 2016.

In January 2017, Melissa was nominated and won an Australia Day award for her dedication and commitment to helping families with pregnancy and infant loss.

It became apparent that helping people write and publish their own book is where her passions and abilities are.

Melissa created her business as a self-publishing consultant in April 2018 to help people that want to share their life experience, write and publish it to become self-published authors and empower their readers, to take action in their own lives.

In August 2018, Melissa became a contributing author for the #1 bestselling book #BetterWoman, Better World.

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I’m a mother of six. Four in heaven, and two boys on Earth.

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I started writing after my stillborn daughter was born, created a blog, fundraisers and then my first memoir “My life of Loss – It shares my journey of my six pregnancies. Three miscarriages and stillbirth.

After it was released opportunities for my story to be heard came out of nowhere and I felt a need to help other people with pregnancy struggles write their own story. This is brought me to compiling and publishing two more pregnancy related books written by women who have have been through pregnancy heartache.

“Comfort for the tears, Light for the way” is the first compilation, they are memoirs written by mothers who have experienced their own pregnancy struggles including miscarriage and stillbirth, infant loss, premature births and IVF.

“Comfort for the Tears” was released in December 2018 it’s another book of heartbreaking and heartwarming pregnancy memoirs, with updated and new stories.

Interview Transcript Melissa Desveaux

Richard Lowe  00:01

Good day and welcome to author talk with Richard Lowe. I’m here with Melissa Devereaux who was born in Sydney, Australia. She’s the author of her memoir, my life of loss, and a co author and compiler of comfort for the tears light for the way and comfort for the tears. Welcome, Melissa.

Melissa Desveaux  00:21

Thank you, Richard, for having me. Welcome.

Richard Lowe  00:33

Melissa, what is your story?

Melissa Desveaux  00:37

Okay, so basically, I started writing when I was 28 years old. I had a miscarriage and then I had a stillborn baby in 2008. And to help me grieve, the only thing I knew how to do was write, I actually thought that was the only way I could express my feelings. So I wrote. And then, yeah, I just read about his story, and the pregnancy prior as well. And after that, I had another miscarriage. And it can kind of took me on to another journey, I’d say. And then, two years later, I had my son. And while I was, while I was looking after him, I thought I’d start writing a blog. And then it became a fundraiser. So I decided I’d do fundraising. And then we decided to have another baby. I miscarried that baby as well. And then a year later, I was, I was blessed again with my second son. And then, after about nine months, I decided that I’d want to write my own memoir. And that’s when my life of loss came about. And I’ve got my book. Yeah.

Richard Lowe  02:15

Okay. Oh, nice cover. Yeah, it’s probably

Melissa Desveaux  02:21

the dark. And then. So that was in 2014, when my son was about nine months. And it was it was released in 2014. And after that, I just, I don’t know what happened. I just got into media, people were, you know, contacting me about it. In Australia. So I actually landed on the article in, in the women’s weekly, which is like a big magazine here. And, and also, like, a few articles in my local area. And, and then another organization contacted me and wanted me to do a like to become a guest speaker in their, in their charity event. And it just snowballed from there. And I compiled and other two books, and I’ve got them here as well. So this one. So that was the first one that I wrote and compiled. So there’s 20 different stories in there of different women. And then this is the second one which was released in in December of last year. So both both of them are combinations of memoirs or pregnancy. And they’re there to help other families and parents that have gone through miscarriage and stillbirth, premature births, and anyone that’s been through IVF as well, to help them you know, read other stories. And, you know, to help them grieve alone, as well and see how other people go through their life. Basically, just, you know, just to help them out, see how they, how they react, how they read and things like that. So that’s pretty much it all in a nutshell.

Richard Lowe  04:35

Well, first of all my condolences on your losses. Thank you. And that’s an interesting way to handle grief. I assume it helps with grief.

Melissa Desveaux  04:44

It did a lot differently.

Richard Lowe  04:48

Everybody has their own way of handling grief. And I personally, I think creativity is the best way creating something.

Melissa Desveaux  04:56

Yeah, for sure. I mean, I’ve never written a book before. When I first read my book, it’s just, you know, it’s only 40 something pages long, but it was a memoir for me and I didn’t realize something like that could help. Not just me, but other people as well. So, yeah, that’s why I decided to go on and help other people through lighting.

Richard Lowe  05:19

Well, well done on making your book and publishing it. Thank you. Did you self publish or traditionally publish? Yeah, no, I

Melissa Desveaux  05:26

self published all

Richard Lowe  05:27

of you used Amazon.

Melissa Desveaux  05:30

Um, I used to print out the first one, I use blurb and we didn’t go, we went through Amazon, but I didn’t do KDP. I went through iBooks I think we published through iBooks or Iowa for I think it is. And then the this might the ones that I published personally, because my husband helped me with the first one. But the other two they were done through Ingram Spark. So yeah, but I used like InDesign to put it all together.

Richard Lowe  06:13

And how did you find the publishing process on Ingram Spark?

Melissa Desveaux  06:17

Um, they great the, the printing needs is fantastic. Unbeliev like, I really I mean, both blurb and Ingram Spark are good, but I prefer Ingram Spark, to be honest, and the cost is not as much to print as well. I printed hardcover, so both of them, so I’ve got the journal as why I created a journal, like as a sort of two go with the, the book. And they both came out really, really well. The quality of the print the color of the, you know, the hardcover, it’s Yeah, I was very surprised. So. Alright.

Richard Lowe  07:08

You do know that if you join the Alliance of independent authors, that the they have a coupon for Ingram sparks that makes the publishing free. Oh, okay. Are they used to anyway, so that’s a good, good place to join. I’m a member and you get together with a group and they all you can ask questions and things.

Melissa Desveaux  07:27

Oh, okay. I didn’t actually have to pay anything because they had a special coupon. Okay. Yeah. So I was, I was okay. The only thing I paid for were the ISBN and barcode. So.

Richard Lowe  07:45

Yes. So you got your own ISBN numbers. Yes. Now in Australia, are they free? Or do you have to pay for them? No, you have to pay for them? No, you have to pay for them over here too. In the States.

Melissa Desveaux  07:57

They are about $45 I think for 10

Richard Lowe  08:02

I think I think it’s 100 a quarter over here for 10

Melissa Desveaux  08:11

Yeah, I think I think it’s actually about at least about at the effort 10 I think so. And then yeah, I can’t remember To be honest,

Richard Lowe  08:21

I bought 100 pack because I published a lot of books and then went to buying a second one. Right. So you went ahead and wrote your your memoir, or your your story? How was that writing process for you? You just used to just sit down and write it or did you what happened?

Melissa Desveaux  08:41

Um, well to fit the first time because I like I really grieved with my with my stuff stillborn baby and she like I had three free months maternity leave. And I didn’t know what to do with myself. Like I didn’t want to sit in bed and you know mope around all day, I didn’t want to walk around the house and you know, cry all day. So I thought you know, I need to do something I just can’t I don’t I couldn’t handle it. So I just went out and bought an album. And I had like a lot of photos of like I took a lot of photos of all the gifts that I received and things like that and I decided that I would just write and so jumped on my computer and started just riding a ride everything from the time I found out she wasn’t rolling. Just Just everything so there was just one there was one section about her and then there was one section about previous miscarriage and and then each other pregnancy after that, and that included my both my sons as well. So it’s from sad to a happy story. So looking, but the because I was writing a blog. During the process, it sort of helped me actually put all the books or the book together. So I was taking everything that I wrote from the, from the blog, and then just, you know, tweaking it a bit to make it sound better into into the book. And yeah, that’s pretty much how I got started. Well, that was my book anyway, it was a bit more process with the other two.

Richard Lowe  10:40

So for that first book, he basically used a blog for booking a blog to book method, correct?

Melissa Desveaux  10:46

Yeah. Yeah. Good. Yeah. So you’re reusing what I’ve already written? So. Yeah, not too.

Richard Lowe  10:56

That’s pretty common. And it’s a very good way to make a book. Because you get to write it, and then you can just see it published. Yeah.

Melissa Desveaux  11:05

Yeah, it’s good. It’s nice. Seeing your hand.

Richard Lowe  11:10

Now, do you have it in ebook and paperback or just paperback or hardcover? They,

Melissa Desveaux  11:14

they both had hardcopy in and April.

Richard Lowe  11:20

Okay, and how are you promoting it?

Melissa Desveaux  11:24

I’m just pretty much word of mouth, I not very good at marketing. So I am with the second ones. So I’m not really public marketing. The first one as much, I’ve just got an Author Central account on Amazon. So if anybody sees my, my books that I’m promoting, they’ll see the other books as well. But with comfort for the teas. It’s mainly just your word of mouth through Facebook. And the, the people that will have written in most books have, like, bought many copies for their families and things like that. So that was a big help. And then they’ve posted pictures on their Facebook page, and things like that. So there’s a lot of interaction in that, that sense. The other way that I’m trying to promote it is through sit like offers selling, trying to sell an offer, such as I’ve got the journal that is part of my offer, and I’m creating a few other things like a self help guide through through pregnancy and things like that. So I’m still getting there. But yeah, I’m still still learning at the same time.

Richard Lowe  13:00

I’ve been doing it for five years now. And I’m still learning every day.

Melissa Desveaux  13:05

Yeah, it’s a big process. I think that’s probably the hardest part.

Richard Lowe  13:08

Yeah, well, marketing is the part where most writers have trouble because they hit the wall I call it the wall of marketing. I like it. It’s not what we want to do,

Melissa Desveaux  13:20

but we’ve got to we got to That’s right. Yeah.

Richard Lowe  13:23

Are the books just kind of sit there

Melissa Desveaux  13:25

that’s That’s exactly right.

Richard Lowe  13:28

How did you get your covers made? Your book covers designed or did you did you hire out to do somebody to do it? Did you do that? No, I

Melissa Desveaux  13:38

did that myself. Okay,

Richard Lowe  13:39

so your graphics artists also? No,

Melissa Desveaux  13:43

I just I just got a I’m a template from Ingram Spark and used Photoshop I put I just found a picture on the internet of the lady. And pretty much just put it on Photoshop use the template and that’s about it really. Yeah, we use Photoshop a little bit not the expert but know the basics and

Richard Lowe  14:20

understand he is the newest version of Photoshop, or is it an older version?

Melissa Desveaux  14:26

No, it probably an older version. I think I’ve upgraded

Richard Lowe  14:29

I just I just bought the new version, the cloud version and it is phenomenal. Yeah. It has artificial intelligence built in and can do a lots of interesting things. If you had a picture of a field, and you wanted to put a picture of a building there, you would just say, put those two together. It doesn’t

Melissa Desveaux  14:52

have to look into that one.

Richard Lowe  14:53

It’s costing me $9.99 a month. So it’s not expensive. As I said, Star Trek Intruder alert Intruder alert.

Melissa Desveaux  15:09

just turned five. I saw it. Yeah, in five. So starting school next week, and yeah, he’s staying with me for a little bit, which is good.

Richard Lowe  15:18

It’s an important day, maybe. Now what do your family and friends think of you being a writer.

Melissa Desveaux  15:27

They’re very proud, very proud of me. I’m not full time writer. And he’s just, it’s just something that I’ve done on the side because I do have a part time job as well. So it’s just something that really sparked my interest in in doing this. But I plan to do like a lot, I’ve started like a self publishing business where I can help other people that want to write their own personal story to get them from actually writing to self publishing. So I’m creating a course and and just like a guide, and if they want to, they need help actually still publishing it, then I can do that for them, as well. But that at the moment is still in process. Yeah, we’ll see how we go with that.

Richard Lowe  16:29

Okay. You said you have a blog, What software do you use for the blog?

Melissa Desveaux  16:34

Um, I actually don’t write in the blog anymore. Okay. But I just was using Blogspot. Okay. But, um, I’ve got a website that I’m going to try in a little bit more on the just to GoDaddy Website, I guess he’s

Richard Lowe  16:57

GoDaddy is WordPress. So it is yeah.

Melissa Desveaux  17:01

Yeah, so just WordPress, but I do plan to do some blogging. See how we go.

Richard Lowe  17:07

WordPress is WordPress is pretty simple. I think you won’t have any trouble at all.

Melissa Desveaux  17:11

Yeah, no. I’ve used it for Hearthstone.

Richard Lowe  17:15

Okay. Very good. Do you have a Do you have a URL for that you can give us how will we help people get ahold of you?

Melissa Desveaux  17:23

I’m like, Yeah, I can get contacted through DeVoe books. That’s my personal page. Or my website is Melissa

Richard Lowe  17:41

Yes. And I will put those links down in the description. Nobody has to figure out how to spell it. Yes, but I’m glad my parents picked a simple name for me. It’s easy to pronounce. Yes. Yes. Well, do you have anything else you’d like to say to your listen to their our listeners?

Melissa Desveaux  18:10

Um, well, yeah. Well, I want to say is if you have a story to write, you’ve gone through an experience in your life that you feel like you really need to get out into the world or even if you just want to write it for yourself just for healing. You know, don’t hesitate. Don’t wait another 10 years to do it. Just do it. Just write a little bit every day. I heard her saying I think it was Doreen Doreen Virtue that said that if you write one page a day, in a year, you’ll have 365 pages written. So that really stuck to me. So yeah, anybody that wants to write a story, you know, you can do it. You know, believe in yourself and you just write it.

Richard Lowe  18:58

There you go. And we’re speaking to somebody who’s done that. Well, thank you for appearing on auto talk for Richard Lowe. I really appreciate you coming on board. Thank you, Richard. Yes. And if anybody’s watching whoever is watching this, you can hit the link down below to subscribe to this video and you can like it. And come back for the next one. Thank you very much for being on the show.

Richard Lowe