Q: "Will you read my book/my author's book?"
A: As of February 2018, I am currently not reading for endorsement quotes due to the time my kids require of me.
Melissa grew up believing in faeries, ghosts, and other creatures. After teaching college literature and writing for a decade, she applied her fascination with folklore to writing her own books.
Melissa writes fiction for adults, teens, and children. Her books have been translated into 28 languages to date and been bestsellers in the US (NY Times, LA Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal) as well as various countries overseas. She is best known for the Wicked Lovely series for teens and Graveminder for adults.
Wicked Lovely was her first novel; it was simultaneously released in the US and UK by HarperCollins in 2007 (with translation rights also sold in twenty-some countries). It debuted as a NY Times Bestseller and evolved into a multi-book series with myriad accolades and international bestseller lists.
Her debut adult book, Graveminder, released to strong critical reception in 2011. Following that she has edited anthologies with Kelley Armstrong (Enthralled and Shards & Ashes) and with Tim Pratt (Rags & Bones), and released a second adult novel (The Arrivals) in 2013.
With Kelley Armstrong, Melissa is the co-author of the Blackwell Pages trilogy (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers), a children’s trilogy about the Norse myth of Ragnarök. Loki's Wolves released in 2013; it was followed by Odin's Ravens in 2014 and Thor's Serpents in May 2015.
Her HarperCollins 2014 release, Made For You, utilizes both her graduate degree in Southern Literature and her personal experience with stalkers in a story about a killer who terrorizes a small North Carolina town.
Her first picture book (Bunny Roo, I Love You) was released in April 2015. It was written while she was in the hospital with her baby, who was very sick. Her second picture book, Baby Dragon, Baby Dragon!, will release in 2017. Both picture books are with Penguin/Nancy Paulsen Books.
Under the name Ronnie Douglas, Melissa has written several adult romances as well-- the self-published Unlawful, as well as Undaunted and Unruly (via HarperCollins).
2016 brought the release of her newest YA book, Seven Black Diamonds, which is the first in a new two-book faery series. (It has no relation whatsoever to the Wicked Lovely series.) The sequel, One Blood Ruby, releases in 2017.
Currently, Melissa resides in Arizona.
Q: “I would like to know about your family.”
A: As of 2017, I have four children (Asia, Dylan, Kaden, and Zelda). Asia is a 24 yr old Mayan archaeologist. She has completed her Master's degree and is now beginning work on writing her dissertation. Dylan just started university. Currently, business law is his interest. Kaden is 5. He's begun racing BMX this year. In 2017, I added Zelda (now 18 year old) to my home. She is a lovely young woman who has adjusted well as a member of our family. I believe very strongly that biology has NOTHING to do with family. Three of my four children are not mine by blood, but they are all mine in heart and reality.
Q: “What did you used to do?”
A: I taught English Literature and Writing at university for more than a decade. I’ve guest taught high school through one of the universities too. When I was in college and graduate school, I also worked as a research assistant, a daycare teacher, an assistant on a colonial archaeological dig, a waitress, a bartender, and a
tutor. When I started teaching, I was bartending too. (Teachers, even at university, don’t make much money.)
I was a writer-in-residence at two AZ libraries last year, and I teach longsword to beginners (for free) currently. I take on a few editing jobs each year because I enjoy that, and I miss teaching.
Q: Where were you born? When?
A: Pennsylvania. July 25, 1972. I am told there was a full moon then. I'm not sure if that's true, but I like the story either way because there are great superstitions about being born under a full moon.
Q: Where do you get your ideas?
A: Everywhere. I read a lot of folklore and history, and I think that’s the biggest source for me. Then I ask, “What if?” Sometimes, though, a painting or a song might start me on a story. A dream could (and has) been the start of a story, too.
Q: Did you go to school to be a writer?
A: No. I went to school to learn about literature, and I got a couple degrees so I could teach college. I didn’t take writing classes. I’m not sure creative writing classes would’ve worked for me, but they do work for other people. One of the cool things about being a writer is that there are different ways to end up here. It’s not easy, though. I went to school for 7 years to learn enough about literature to teach at college, and then I taught for another 12 years. All of those years of studying and teaching books were how I became a writer—and every
book I write is a chance to get better at writing too.
Q: I sent you a letter, and you didn’t reply.
A: I don't reply to 99.97% of people. My jobs are writing and being a mom. Those both take up a lot of time. I DO read your letters, but I don’t have the ability to reply to all of them AND be the kind of mother I want to be. (I also don't reply to my friends' letters or answer the telephone or watch television. My kids come first in every spare minute I have from work.)