On my “Meet Melanie” page you learned I’ve been reading romance since I was 14, but I was a reader long before that. As a little girl, I had a huge collection of read-a-long books…with 45 records. I just dated myself, huh? I “read” these books all the time. And then I graduated to older children books. That’s right, the chapter books came next. In school, I checked out books as often as I could. Then we would get the scholastic book order forms. I could find about 15 books I just had to have. My parents didn’t have much money. We were known as the lower middle class and money was tight. But Mom always managed to allow me to order two or three books. I wish I had those books now. Back then it was like getting a Christmas present early.
My Mom read to me too. The Snow Day, any Dr. Seuss book, My Side of the Mountain, Pippi Longstockings, Stewart Little, and Where the Red Fern Grows were just a few. Both my parents worked and Mom basically took care of all of us. I now know how tired she was, but Mom still read to me. I have sweet memories of her that sustain me now. Mom also read for herself. But her books were different, no pictures, more word. They were bigger…and not for me. As far as I was concerned, her “no” was just a “not now”. It would take a few years and a lot of whining, but eventually she gave me one of those books. Fern Michael’s Captive Passion.
Looking back, I had to wonder what in the world was she thinking? That book was definitely not for a 14-year-old girl, but Fern led me to Jude and Johanna and Bertrice and Kathleen and Laura and Julie and a whole host of amazing authors that I still love to this day. And as I was reading, my Mom started to write. Mom wrote poems and songs and novels. Mom was an awesome writer. I sat at kitchen table listening and learning. So it was no surprise I would write. It was also no surprise we would write together.
However, life can get in the way of dreams and it has a way of derailing a dream…fast. It’s what happened to me, but always there were these stories in my head, quietly waiting for their turn. And just like my stories, Mom was also waiting. But this time we wouldn’t write together on the same story, though we were knee deep in each other’s work.
In 2015, Mom saw my short story get published. She was so proud and she bragged and bragged to everyone about her published daughter. January 2016, Mom passed away and with her passing I lost my Mom, my best friend and my biggest fan. But I regained a passion for my writing. I find myself thinking Mom would love all this. So now this journey from slightly published to fully published is dedicated to her.
For you Mom, always and forever in my heart and in my words.