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Books and Banter

This week I have been talking to Melissa, not only a reader and writer but the owner of Books and Banter situated in Stapenhill, Burton on Trent. Melissa describes it as a safe and inclusive space for children and adults to find books, games and connect with others. It certainly has a friendly, cosy feeling about it!

Tell us a bit about yourself, Melissa.

I have been a bookseller since May 2021 but a writer for over 7 years. I write children's stories under the name B B Taylor and my most recent published book was The Vigilante Tooth Fairy Illustrated by James Shaw and published by Tiny Tree Books.

I have just completed an MA in Writing for Young People at Bath Spa uni and I would love to complete my PhD one day.

On Reading

I don’t go for a particular genre when I choose a book to read; I’m always taken by immersive, beautiful narrative that just pulls you in. I love a book I can escape into. Nothing beats that feeling, regardless of my mood. I firmly believe that the more you read the greater your scope for evolving as a writer.

I love an epic adventure full of fantasy and action. Some of my favourites include Cliff McNish – The Doomspell trilogy and Peadar O'Guillan - The Call.

The style of writing can put me off a book, if the writer races through the story too quickly, that really puts me off.

I read one book at a time and often feel quite unhappy if I finish a book before the next one is ready to read - I'm impatient.

On Writing

My favourite time to write is at night in the dark. The thing I enjoy most about writing is the pure escape into something different. And the hardest thing is finding time to write and switching back to the real world!

I don’t specialise in any particular genre, I use whatever idea takes over; never anything real life or too serious though! My ideas come from daydreaming, travelling and researching.

There is some of me in all my characters. I think all writers put some of themselves into their characters.

As for settings, I like to build them up from scratch and see how far I can go.

The message in my books for the reader is that anything is possible.

Thank you for talking to us today, Melissa. Good luck with your books and your bookshop!

You can find out about more about Melissa’s books and Books and Banter at:

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