Earlier this week I mentioned how much I enjoy Melissa’s blog and didn’t go into too much detail about her. It is with great pleasure I hand my blog over to her so that she can tell you more about herself. Please don’t forget to visit her blog page and her author page to view her fantastic collection of books already published and ready for your perusal.
Without further delay, I present Melissa Barker Simpson…
I’ve been blogging for two years now, and have met some incredible people along the way. I met Eloise through the Weekend Coffee Share, which is a wonderful event, allowing bloggers to come together over coffee or (insert drink of choice), and catch up on their week. The coffee house where Eloise hangs out is always packed to the rafters; I can almost hear the busy hive of conversation.
The main thing I enjoy about blogging is the sense of community. We are a diverse bunch and there’s something for everybody. I run a few sites and, to feed my inner geek, I also contribute over at Sourcerer. I never get the chance to fly my geek flag in real life, so some of my new blogging friends help me to satisfy this side of my personality.
Although I’m relatively new to posting my thoughts and participating on other social platforms, I’ve been writing my whole life. Growing up I wrote stories for my friends and family, plays (which I forced my sister to act out), and found any excuse to put my pen to the page.
Even now my first draft is always in ink. It adds to the magic. I’m sure many writers can identify with the wonder of letting the words flow. Sometimes it feels like a trance as my hand flies over the page, trying to keep up with the thoughts in my head. When a story emerges, it is the best feeling in the world.
I didn’t publish my first novel until 2008, and in a lot of ways I wish I had waited. I’ve learnt an incredible amount from the community, and my earlier work would have benefited from the experience. But we never stop learning, that’s the beautiful thing. I’m proud of my development. I recently published my seventh novel, which I wrote under a pseudonym because it’s contemporary romance, and aimed at a specific audience.
In truth there is an element of romance in all my work, whether it’s crime, science fiction, or fantasy. My latest project is focused on serialised fiction. I’m currently working on episode one, which is a lot of fun.
I mentioned that I run a few blogs; I have two author sites, and a writing blog which I created to support other writers. Collaboration is one of my passions, so I enjoy nothing more than spotlighting authors or working on joint projects.
Now, I know I’ve given the impression that I spend my life writing, but in reality I don’t have as much time as I would like. I have two teenage daughters, who manage to somehow keep me grounded. They are my light and joy, even when I want to bang their heads together, I’m still grateful to have them in my life. They are precious gifts.
Besides being a mum, I’m also a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter. I’m not going to bore you with details, since I’ve already rambled on too long. But BSL is a beautiful language with its own syntax and grammar. It doesn’t, as is a common misconception, follow English word order. It is a visual language, rich and complex.
I used to be heavily involved in the interpreting community and assumed different roles. For a while I chaired a continual professional development programme and edited a quarterly magazine. But my focus has changed over the last few years, as is the nature of life.
I want to thank Eloise for allowing me to guest post on her blog. I guess if there’s a message I want you to take away from this, it’s that I love blogging and connecting with people. I’ve suffered with depression throughout my life, and I’m in a pretty good place right now. You all help with that – the camaraderie, the kind words, the understanding. It all means so much.
A huge thank you to Melissa for taking the time to visit and chat to you about herself and her work.