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Kobo Writing Life Podcast

The Kobo Writing Life Podcast brings you insights and inspiration for growing your self-publishing business. We feature interviews with bestselling authors and industry experts, who share practical advice you can use to improve your writing and sell more books. Hosted by the Kobo Writing Life team, you'll also get the latest news and updates about Kobo and the KWL platform. Self-publish today at

Jan 13, 2014

Mark Lefebvre, KWL Director, interviews Melissa Yuan-Innes, author of the hot-selling Hope Sze Medical Mystery series about...


  • Melissa’s role as an emergency physician and the role this plays in helping develop her fiction and the character of Hope Sze
  • Melissa’s latest book, TERMINALLY ILL which is coming out February 1, 2014 (and is available for pre-order)
  • How the beloved yet frustrating city of Montreal is a prominent feature in her fiction
  • How Melissa manages to find time to write on top of her demanding day job (10 to 14 hour shifts) and her family life.
  • Melissa’s “secret weapon” otherwise known as her husband
  • The many pseudonyms Melissa uses for the different style of fiction that she writes (sci-fi/fantasy and non-fiction medical humour fiction) under Melissa Yuan-Innes, medical thrillers and mysteries written under Melissa Yi, medical romance written under Melissa Yin, children’s books under Melissa Yuan and the reasons behind that (and how it has changed since Melissa first started)
  • The unpredictability and wonderful escape factor as something that drew Melissa to science fiction
  • Melissa won second place in the Writers of the Future when she was in medical school
  • The importance and value of professional workshops, including the long term friendships that were forged at Writers of the Future, and the reason why Melissa has returned to Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s professional workshops for over a decade
  • Some early mistakes that Melissa made when she first started writing and sending submissions to editors (and great tips she learned from Kristine at the pro workshops)
  • Some of the similarities and differences in the electronic age of writing and submitting and writing and publishing
  • Melissa’s amazing experience winning Kobo Writing Life’s Win your Cover contest (featuring the talented and dedicated cover designer Scarlett Rugers
  • Melissa’s traditionally published short story “Burning Beauty” which appears in the anthology Tesseracts Sixteen: Parnassus Unbound, and how writing short fiction can be a refreshing change from writing novel length works, and still be a way of getting a lot of your material in front of a diverse and broad reading audience
  • The CBC commissioned story written under Melissa Yi - No Air
  • Melissa’s yoga mystery story being published in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine and how Dean Wesley Smith calls being published in a market like that being one of the best advertising tools for a writer
  • Melissa’s dark humour December 2013 release:  The Italian School for Assassins and the role that humour and dark humour plays in her life and in her writing.
  • Melissa’s advice to writers regarding persistence and humour


Mark Lefebvre then talks about the difference between trying to find time to write and making time to write, outlining a few strategies that authors who work day jobs sometimes employ when carving out time in their busy schedules to make time for writing.