I'd like to introduce Melanie Atkins, and her inspiring story. She is a multipublished author with several presses. Her current release, Cherished Witness, came out this month. Thanks for sharing your story, Melanie.
I've loved to write since I was a child, thanks to my adventurous cats. I first wrote stories about them in third grade, and even made my own little book complete with illustrations. In junior high and high school, I was the weirdo who loved writing papers. Everyone thought I was nuts, but I loved language. I diagrammed sentences just for fun. I don't think my eighth grade English teacher, Mrs. Wilder, knew that, but I did let it slip that she was my favorite teacher. She and my eleventh grade English teacher, Mrs. Fitzgerald, furthered my love of reading and writing.
Life got in the way after college, and I didn't write or even read much at all for a while. But later, after my husband and I divorced, I decided to take a creative writing class at a local college--and I was hooked. Then I attended my first RWA chapter meeting and joined both that chapter and RWA...which brought me into the world or romance. I had discovered my passion.
My first romantic suspense, HAUNTED MEMORIES, was published in 2004 by now-defunct Triskelion Publishing. I sold twelve books to them in all, but only six were released before the company went belly up. I've since gotten the rights back to all of those books and have resold nine of them: Cobblestone published HAUNTED MEMORIES and EMILY'S NIGHTMARE in 2008; The Wild Rose Press is releasing SKELETON BAYOU in December '09, and CHERISHED WITNESS, the first book in my New Orleans Detective series, is now available at Desert Breeze, with the other five to follow between now and June 2011. I'm still trying to sell to New York and have many projects in progress at the moment, targeted both at series and single title houses, but in the meantime I'm excited to have these books back out there!
In CHERISHED WITNESS Kelly Watson, aka Teresa Pastral, threw the Fifth Amendment out the window when she testified against her mob boss husband at his murder trial. Now divorced, she has begun a new life in the Witness Security Program. Only--the mob finds her, thanks to handsome lawman J.T. Romano, who uses her as bait to lure the man who murdered his wife and unborn child to town. To ensure her safety, she is forced to trust J.T., the man who has betrayed her to the mob. But can she also protect her heart?
You can check out this and all of my projects at www.melanieatkin.com and http://melanieatkins.wordpress.com. Be sure to find me on Facebook and Twitter, too. I'm a certified Twitter addict. : ) Thanks for allowing me to guest blog!
Be sure and drop Melanie a line.