The Legacy author Melissa Delport talks to readers about her writing techniques

This post is the second of three posts for the Blog Book tour of Melissa Delport’s The Legacy and in this post, we were lucky enough to have a guest post by the author herself! (Read the first blog tour post, a review of her novel, and the second blog tour post, an interview with Melissa)

Skilled author, Melissa Delport

Skilled author, Melissa Delport


Any good writer can write across a multitude of topics, styles, and techniques. The difference between being a good writer and a great writer is to write what you love, and do what comes naturally. I never set out to write in a specific format or to use a specific technique; I simply sat down and started writing.

If you try and curb your natural affinity, particularly over a long work such as a full length novel, you will not only stifle your creativity, but the material itself will come across awkward and clumsy as you continually battle to work against your natural style. Words will “read” as they “write” and if you, as the author, allow them to flow, then so will the reader enjoy the same experience.

The Legacy is written in the first person, in the present tense. I did use the past tense for any movement back in time or back story, so that the transition would not be jarring for the reader. There are a lot of cliff-hanger chapter endings and many surprise elements in the story, but these need to be handled carefully. You want the reader to be shocked, not confused, and it is a fine line between the two. As an author, it is easy to take for granted how intimately you know your story, and you cannot lose sight of the fact that the reader does not have all the information at hand.

Education certainly played a large role in learning how to correctly make use of the various writing techniques, but with regards to writing fiction, particularly in the speculative genres, it is important that you are not limited by what you have been taught. I have to say that I think I learned more through my voracious lifelong love of reading than I did through my university education.

The Legacy, the first novel in the trilogy.

The Legacy, the first novel in the trilogy.


Third and final instalment of the blog book tour coming soon!

On Wednesday 13 August Melissa Delport, author of The Legacy Trilogy, will make a guest appearance on A Feast of Tales.

This will be the third and final post for the blog book tour hosted on the blog.

To read more about Melissa and the tour, click here.

Be sure to read the review of her novel and an interview with Melissa.

Skilled author, Melissa Delport

Skilled author, Melissa Delport

Enlightening interview with author Melissa Delport

An interview by Brenda Daniels with Melissa Delport

This is the second post for the blog book tour of Melissa Delport’s exciting novel and trilogy, The Legacy. Be sure to see the first (review) post in the tour.

For more information on the author and the tour, click here.

Skilled author, Melissa Delport

Skilled author, Melissa Delport

Brenda (A Feast of Tales): As a South African author why did you choose the USA (or New USA) to situate your story? Why not South Africa?

Melissa (The Legacy): Firstly, let me say that I adore South African fiction – it is colourful and steeped in history and familiarity. I broke tradition in setting my book in America for two reasons: Firstly, to make it more believable. The trilogy begins with a speculative nuclear war. I needed a setting that would be in the midst of the chaos and very involved in the decision-making that led to this catastrophe. Logically, America being a super-power was a perfect fit. The other reason that I chose America as my setting was to appeal to an international audience, given that my concept is geared towards fiction readers, and our fiction market is relatively small here in SA.

Brenda: Tell me about your strong female protagonist – is there a little bit of yourself (or at least what you imagine for yourself) in her? What and how much?

Melissa: I wish! I think it’s more the person I would like to be. Since having children I have become so much more cautious and careful, it is such a responsibility and as a mother you have both the most amazing love for your children, and the most crippling fear of anything happening to them, or yourself. Sometimes I just want to throw caution to the wind and be reckless, and fearless. I would love to have Rebecca’s abilities; I would also feel like I could take on the whole world! That being said, I wanted readers to connect with her, so for all her astounding strength and ability she is still very much human, a mother, friend, lover, and she has to deal with the same emotions and find a balance.

Brenda: I love the futuristic setting; what made you think of this time frame for your story? – Wondering what would happen if there was a nuclear war? Biogenetic engineering today that might enhance human capabilities for good or evil?

Melissa: I needed to set the story in the future to make it plausible, but I didn’t want an overly “futuristic” outlook, so I only jumped forward a few years. The holocaust also set mankind back, so by the time the story commences, 28 years later, the setting is very similar to a current day environment. The only thing that has advanced beyond what we know today is the genetic engineering technology. I didn’t want traditional weapons (guns, bombs, etc.) to play a role, so I opted to make the elite soldiers the new “weapons” and go back to hand-to-hand combat.

Brenda: Give me some insight into the “free will” values that the Resistance are fighting for – is this something you feel is under threat in today’s world, even in a democracy like the USA? Please elaborate.

Melissa: Yes, absolutely I do, particularly here in South Africa. I am not impressed with the political situation going on in our beautiful country. There are far too many chiefs and not enough Indians, and sadly too many of our leaders are power-hungry. I think the character Eric embodies this well, although his intentions are not necessarily all bad, the execution of his vision is very tyrannical. The setting of the book is obviously very dramatised and free will has been completely obliterated. Most dystopias contain an underlying warning of what could potentially come to being if humanity make the wrong choices, and The Legacy is no different.

Brenda: Where did you get your ideas? How easy is it to write something original when there is so much input around us? Think for example of films that involve superheroes and futuristic settings. Why is yours different? What will make people read it?

Melissa: The beauty of the SFF [science fiction and fantasy] genre is that it is not bound by the laws of what we know to be true and possible – it knows no limits other than the vivid reach of the writer’s own imagination. The Legacy is a dystopian action-adventure series, but it is different from other dystopias in that the characters are older, and they are not simply surviving in a devastating environment, they are excelling – because they have been given the skills and the training to do so.

My characters make a conscious choice to fight for freedom and justice; they are not unwillingly foisted into this struggle. There is also the contrast of the barren Rebeldom and the opulence of the New United States, which is similar to a pre-war setting.

Brenda: Tell me something about your writing process – time spent, discipline, place of work, challenges, pleasures, planning, writing process, research?

Melissa: The Legacy Trilogy took almost as long to research as it did to write. I wrote the first two books while I was still working full-time, and with three young children, most of my writing was done at night. As a result I spent two years feeling exhausted, and yet with an amazing sense of achievement. Now that I am writing full-time, I try to treat it as you would any other profession and get most of my work done during the course of the morning, so that I can focus on my children in the afternoon. It is important to find a balance, although I will still invariably sneak in a few chapters when my family have gone to bed and the house is quiet.

Brenda: Can you give us a hint of what to expect in the next two books in the trilogy? Are your ideas formed yet? Are the books written? Does Rebecca’s romance feature strongly? How do you plan to publish – hard copy or online?

Melissa: The second book in the series (The Legion) is currently available in both hardcopy and online across all digital platforms. It was released by my publisher, together with Book 1 (The Legacy) on the 1st July 2014. The final instalment (The Legend) will be released early 2015. I have just finished the final book, and it is moving into the editing phase of publication.

Rebecca’s romantic involvement with the men in her life does feature more heavily in books 2 & 3, and I am happy with the choice she ultimately makes, although a little heartbroken. It is bittersweet now that this series has come to an end, as I have invested so much into these characters and they are very dear to my heart. Fans of the trilogy will, however, be happy to know that I am planning a spin-off series, which will feature some of the secondary characters. The Rebeldom is just too exciting a world to let it end with Rebecca’s story.

Brenda: What’s your next project?

Melissa: I am making final changes and polishing the final book in The Legacy Trilogy, called The Legend, and then I am moving onto a new project, which is a fantasy series that I am very excited to get started on, but which may take me longer than any of my previous books, given the complexity of the plot.

For more information about Melissa’s Publishers, check their site out.


The Legacy, the first novel in the trilogy.

The Legacy, the first novel in the trilogy.

The Legacy is fast-paced with surprising revelations

A review by Brenda Daniels.

This review is the first of three posts for The Legacy’s Blog Book Tour on A Feast of Tales. 

To read more about the tour and Melissa Delport, the author of The Legacy, click here.

legacy cover

The Legacy, by South African, KZN-based author, Melissa Delport, is the first book in The Legacy Trilogy.

An exciting futuristic adventure, The Legacy is set in a post-nuclear America in which rebels pit their strength against an evil government. This Resistance is ultimately led by feisty Rebecca Davis, a uniquely “gifted” leader who is also the romantic interest of the story.

Rebecca gets closer than anyone to the enemy, President of the New United States Eric Dane  – by marrying him. This choice comes at great cost to her relationship with childhood sweetheart, Aidan, and involves using dangerous covert strategies and superhuman abilities. These artificially designed abilities are used by both warring parties and make for some thrilling fight sequences.

Fast-paced action, cliff-hanger chapters and surprising revelations keep readers hooked. I enjoyed becoming engrossed in Delport’s imaginative future world and I look forward to reading the next book in the trilogy, The Legion.

The Legacy (book 1 of The Legacy Trilogy) and The Legion (book 2) are now available at all good bookstores and the final book, The Legend, will be released early 2015.

A Feast of Tales to host a book tour!

“I was driving home from work when inspiration struck, and a storyline started unravelling in my head. For a few days it was all I could think about and eventually I realised that the only way to get it out of my head, was to put it all down on paper. I started writing, and that was that.”

Skilled author, Melissa Delport

Skilled author, Melissa Delport


On Wednesday 30 July on A Feast of Tales you can read the review of Melissa’s book, The Legacy Trilogy.

Wife and mother of three, Melissa Delport is the author of The Legacy Trilogy and the stand-alone self-published e.books Rainfall and The Traveler.

She graduated from the University of South Africa with a Bachelor’s Degree in English in 2000

At the age of twenty-four Melissa started a logistics company (Transmax) from the spare room of her flat and built it up to two fully operational depots in Durban and Johannesburg. Now, 10 years later, she has sold her business in order to write full time.

Melissa lives with her husband and three children in Hillcrest, KwaZulu-Natal.

The Legacy (book 1 of The Legacy Trilogy) and The Legion (book 2) are now available at all good bookstores and the final book, The Legend, will be released early 2015.

An avid reader herself, Melissa finally decided to stop “watching from the sidelines” and to do what is her passion.