interview · Pay It Forward · Writing

#SocialSunday: Get to Know: Xenia Melzer


Book Three

Andi Hayes Murder Mysteries


Q: Tell us a little bit about your book…

It’s the third book in the Andi Hayes Murder Mysteries and, as the title suggests, bees will be an integral part of the story and they will help solve the case.

Q: Who are the main characters?

My two main characters are Detectives Andrew ‘Andi’ Hayes and George Donovan (no nicknames for him!) who started out as reluctant partners and are slowly becoming a lot more.

Q: Is this a solo book or part of a series? If so, where does this sit in the series?

It’s part of a series and keeps following the same two characters and the way they develop personally and professionally.

Q: What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?

Recommend it whenever they can and leave (positive) reviews to make the algorithm notice it. Thank you soooo much in advance!

Q: Is this your first novel, or have you got a back catalogue you can tell us about?

This is actually my – let me count – 16th book. Oh my… My back catalogue includes an epic fantasy series, Gods of War, a BDSM series, Club Whisper, where the couples do marry at the end, a paranormal comedy series, Demon Mates, where demons are not how people expect them to be, and, of course, the Andi Hayes books.

Q: What’s the most amusing thing that’s happened to you while you were writing this story?

Well, an author friend of mine kind of likes Andi and George very much and even though he was a little disturbed about the arthropods in the beginning, he now sends me all kinds of TikTok videos where butterflies hatch and praying mantises kill their partners. It’s very sweet.

Q: Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?

I’m not going to go into boring details about my personal life, but some characteristics of Andi are based on me and some of George on people I admire and hate for their discipline. And arthropods, because I’ve always been fascinated by them. At times it was laced with horror, but the older I get, the more it’s admiration and pure wonder.


Q: Can you remember one of the first things you wrote? What makes it memorable?

It was an assignment in school, 7th grade, I think. We had to write half a page, just letting our minds flow. Some of us had to read out loud and when I did mine, there was absolute silence afterwards and I though, OMG, it was THAT bad??? Then a girl lifted her hand and said it was one of the most beautiful things she ever heard. I’ll never forget that moment.

Q: Are you a full-time or part-time writer? How does that affect your writing?

A part-time writer aiming for full-time. It’s stressful, because my second job is translating my author colleagues and finding the balance between making other people’s work look good and working on my own isn’t always easy. Especially with kids and pets and a household – I guess almost everybody can relate 😉

Q: Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with?

I dream of finding the perfect ending for Casto, the main character in my fantasy series, Gods of War. He’s on a good way, but I’m a bit stuck at the moment and still don’t know where I want him to end up… Though it’s probably going to be more romantic than the tone of the rest of the series. As for ideas I’d love to work with – there’s so many plot bunnies hopping around, I really can’t say.

Q: If your book were made into a movie, who do you picture playing each characters part?

Andi should be played by either Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother) or David Tennant (Dr Who/Good Omens). No clear preference there. George should be portrayed by Shemar Moore (Criminal Minds) or Aldis Hodge (Leverage).

Q: Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book/s?

Hmm, that’s a tough one. I would describe myself as an open-minded reader who can see something in most genres… But if somebody loves crime stories with a hint of the paranormal and love stories that take quite some time, then I think they’re going to like the stories about Andi and George.

Q: How do you get past writers block or distractions like the internet?

Uhm… do I need to answer honestly? I could just say I’m so disciplined the internet poses no threat to me whatsoever and I don’t even know what writers block is. No? Fine, here’s the ugly truth. Some days the lure of the internet is just too strong, because I’m weak. Those are the days I feel bad about myself because apparently I’m unfit to be an author and should be supervised like a 3-year-old. Better, block my internet or limit it, as if I were a teenager. As for writers block – I hate that little b****. To navigate it, I translate more so I can at least tell myself I did work and on books at that. It’s something I have to wait out. No helpful tips from me on that front. And of course the spark always comes back when I have neither the time nor the tools to start writing – like when I’m waiting for a doctor’s appointment or stuck in traffic.

Q: Have you ever stepped out of your comfort zone and discovered a whole new genre? How did it turn out?

I said earlier that I’m an open-minded reader or try to be. Stepping out of my comfort zone was Little Play in BDSM and I quickly realized that definitely isn’t for me. The few books I read were good – well-crafted stories, wonderful writing, engaging characters – but the topic itself just didn’t resonate. So that’s one thing I won’t be reading in the future.

Q: What is your writing environment like? Do you write with a pen and paper, or on a computer? Do you need quiet, or music in the background? Do you have a pet who gets in on the act?

I have my own office-room (yay!!!), and I mostly write on my laptop, though the drafting takes place on a good old-fashioned notebook. When inspiration strikes, any kind of paper will do. I usually need quiet, only sometimes it’s music. Either metal or meditation music, which drives certain algorithms crazy. Though it IS funny to see Music for Zen-Meditation next to an Avantasia album. I have a cat who tends to explain to me very loudly how much she’s missing the kids (when they’re at school) or how annoying they are when they’re home or that she’s close to starving or that the weather is too cold or hot, or whatever else she doesn’t like. The fish are blissfully silent. My horse helps me to calm down.

Q: How long on average does it take you to write a book?

The fastest was three months (I was such a good girl, doing my 2500 words on average per day), the longest over a year (in my defence, it was a complicated plot and…). Usually I try to write daily and get my books done within four to six months.


Q: What do you like to read in your free time?

Everything. Sappy love stories, detective novels, paranormal stuff, fated mates, fantasy (I’m a HUGE fan of Sir Terry), classics like Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, children’s stories.

Q: What’s been your best book of this/last year, so far?

My all-time favourite is The Little Witch, a children’s story about a little witch who wants to dance on the Broken with the older witches. And The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman. And Small Gods by Terry Pratchett.

Q: Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc. come from?

From my parents. We were a reading household, so it came naturally.

Q: If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Don’t give up. And don’t send your MS to that one publisher in Austria. They’re rude.


Best of luck with the new novel and we can wait to hear from you again.


Xenia Melzer grew up and still lives in rural Bavaria where not much of anything happens – an escaped cow or some lost tourists now and then, nothing truly mysterious or even scandalous. For that reason, trying her hand in some mystery of her own seemed like a good idea. Xenia has also recently discovered that she’s demisexual with a dash of Asexuality thrown into the mix which has opened her eyes to a lot of things and gave Andi and George, the two main characters in the Andi Hayes Mystery series, their special spin. In addition a certain fascination with insects of all kinds has provided her with the real detectives for the story. Xenia loves NCIS, snuggling with either her husband or her horse – the children don’t keep still long enough – and crocheting, the latter a newly discovered hobby.


Social Links

Website . Goodreads . Facebook



Kobo . Pride Publishing . Amazon . Goodreads


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.