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I am pleased to showcase  a local author from my current hometown of Colorado.  I met Melissa at a local author meet and greet.  I read her first novel, My Beginning, which I reviewed here.

 Her book won The Halloween Book Festival Award. After reading her book, I wanted to find out more about what inspired her to write such a riveting story.

1. Do you consider yourself to be a born writer?

Absolutely! I have always had an extremely vivid imagination, which is the magic behind my writing. I wrote my first book when I was just six years old! Throughout my childhood there were many “signs” of my inner writer; it just took me a while to discover her. It wasn’t until I was 13 that my inner writer really began to emerge. Since then, there’s been no stopping me. Writing is in my heart and soul.

 

2. Tell us about your recent release. What was your inspiration for it?

My most recent release is My Beginning, a young adult dystopian adventure about 16-year-old Ivory, a girl who has spent her entire life sealed in an institution. A devastating plague wiped out scores of people and animals, polluting the earth and requiring that children never venture outside. Or is that all a lie? Ivory and Aidan decide to find out. They escape the institution and find a world unlike anything they had ever known. My Beginning won the 2011 Halloween Book Festival Award! You can find the gripping book trailer and more here

3. What do you do for inspiration and unleashing your creativity?

I enjoy using various creative methods to make my characters come to life. For My Beginning, I created character sketches and collages, built an institution scene using miniatures, and collected props including uniforms, textbooks, Ivory’s necklace and institution keys. I use these tools for visual inspiration and fun! You can view these and other character creations on my website.

4. What are you working on now?

My second young adult novel, titled Storm, will be released this winter, so I have been hard at work getting ready to launch! Storm is a captivating true-to-life novel laced with mystery, romance and intrigue. Beneath the juicy drama and colorful characters, the story has a beautiful message – one that I believe both teens and adults can relate to. It’s ultimately about relationships, connections and overcoming obstacles. Because it deals with many issues that teens today face, I am donating a portion of the proceeds from the sale to youth organizations – something that is very important to me. You can find a full synopsis and more information aboutStorm on my website. I am very excited to share this book with the world!

5. What advice would you offer aspiring writers?

Believe in yourself and never give up! Create a platform, network and promote yourself as a professional. Embrace yourself as a writer and go for it!

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