September Feature: I Love You More Than Coffee by Melissa Face

We are excited to share our September featured title,  I Love You More Than Coffee: Essays on Parenthood by Melissa Face.

It’s that time of year again: back to school season. But in the age of COVID-19, going back to school looks a little different. I Love You More Than Coffee captures the ups and downs of parenting— from the daily moments of joy to the struggle of maintaining your identity. It’s the perfect collection for parents everywhere this fall.

Melissa Face’s writing has appeared in numerous local and national publications, including The Myrtle Beach Herald, Guideposts, Country Woman, Farm & Ranch Living, Prairie Times, Richmond Family Magazine Boomer Magazine, Sasee Magazine, Nine Lives: A Life in Ten Minutes Anthology, Parhelion Literary Magazine, and twenty-one volumes of Chicken Soup for the Soul. We asked Melissa some questions about her writing process, parenting advice, and her thoughts on parents’ roles during the pandemic. 

I Love You More Than Coffee is an essay collection. What are some challenges of writing in short form?

One challenge I’ve faced in writing shorter pieces is that I worry sometimes that I haven’t done my characters justice or haven’t developed them well enough. Overall, though, I find longer pieces more challenging. For that reason, I’m hoping to work on some longer essays and short stories this fall and winter. I love a challenge!

How do you think the pandemic has affected your parenting?

I have been at home with my kids since March, so I am definitely in the trenches in terms of parenting. But during this time, I have noticed a lot of changes in my parenting style. I am calmer and more peaceful. I have been so grateful to be employed, healthy, and home with my kids that I’ve found it much easier to let go of the things that used to rile me up!

What advice do you have for other parents right now? 

Since the start of school, I have heard a lot of frustrated parents complain about the barriers to learning because of homeschooling, virtual education, shortened weeks, etc. However, I think focusing on the skills that they are developing is very helpful during this time. My children are currently learning at home virtually, while I teach 97 sophomores. Just the other day, my 9-year-old created a Google slide presentation in which he introduced himself, talked about his favorite activities, and challenged his friends to decipher his two truths from a lie. The only part I helped him with was locating photos to download for the project. The next day he presented the project to his class. Perhaps he would have still done this had he been learning face-to-face, but who knows? Public speaking skills are crucial, and I’m glad he is getting experience now.

Alternatively, has the pandemic affected your writing? If so, how? 

It has! But really in the best of ways. I have had more time to write than ever before, and I’m inundated with material because I’m always with my children. I’ve also had time to take a couple of writing classes (including a fiction course), and I’ve started some projects that are nowhere near publishable but they’re very, very fun!

What’s next for you? Is there another book in your future?

I sure hope so! I am working on another parenting collection, and I’m very excited about it. And even though my children are involved, they aren’t the focus this time. That’s all I can say about it right now, but I hope to share more within the next year or so.

Learn more about Melissa at melissaface.com

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