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Melinda Freeland’s novelist aspirations began not long after she learned to read and write, as her parents still possess short, illustrated stories she created about such people as Mr. and Mrs. Texas Toast. Melinda continued writing stories, but also delved into poetry, and a poem titled “Walking Beans” that she wrote when she was 8-years-old hangs on her office wall. While attending Catholic school, fifth-grader Melinda won a writing contest relating her memories about her police officer dad making “meatloaf” out of the bad guys. This article became Melinda’s first published work printed in an anthology consisting of contributions by other elementary students throughout Texas.
Writing several volumes of poetry journals and short stories continued throughout junior high and high school, and in college Melinda’s writing teachers were always intrigued she chose interesting individuals to interview for school assignments, such as prison guards from a maximum-security facility. These interviews, along with landing a coveted internship at Texas Monthly magazine, propelled Melinda to pursue a degree in journalism. Her idea was to work about 20 years as a journalist, saving enough money in that field to later pursue her ultimate dream job of a full-time novelist.
She began work after graduation in a small Texas town with a population of about 15,000, working as a photographer and reporter at The Taylor Daily Press. Being on call 24-7 to report about and take pictures of car accidents, structure fires and robberies did not leave adequate time to reconnect with her high school sweetheart Gary, who pursued Melinda via an Internet search almost a decade after the two broke up. They married a year later, and Melinda resumed working where she did in college as a medical coder, in a field that allowed her more time to spend with her family and to begin work on her first manuscript.
Her current day jobs run the gamut from coding from home for various medical facilities in different states; to being “Dance Mom” (and Taxi Cab Driver Deluxe) to her daughter Shelby; to keeping her son Jacob on task with academic assignments and room-cleaning; to cooking Rachael Ray-inspired meals to please her hubby Gary; to caring for her sweet, but energetic Pug, Frappy.
Melinda’s favorite “job” is happily writing books. Love, Texas – Population 2 is her debut Christian contemporary romance novel. It was inspired by Melinda’s life as a reporter, her reunion with her first love, and her faith journey. Her next books will include a Christian women’s fiction novel about two very different sisters who walk the fine line between love and hate, and a Christian Contemporary romance novel about a love that sparks between a once-wild-child city woman and a conservative small-town fireman.
Melinda lives in scenic Canyon Lake, Texas, a friendly community situated about mid-point between Austin and San Antonio. Her favorite pastimes include: watching at least one drama or comedy DVD a week; spending time with her family and friends; listening to a wide-genre of music; and reading novels, especially those written by some of her favorite authors such as Anita Shreve, Jodi Picoult, and Jane Porter.
BLOG STOPS: AUTHOR INTERVIEWS, GUEST POSTS, BOOK & AUTHOR HIGHLIGHTS … AND MORE!
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February 9, 2018: Toni Shiloh