Melanie Turner wrote her first novel “Judy and the Palomino” in the sixth grade. The serialized mystery followed the adventures of a young girl tracking down a gang of horse thieves. Every Friday afternoon, Melanie headed down to the principal’s office, not for detention, but to read the latest chapter of her story over the school’s intercom. This experience led to a life-long journey of writing.
Her love of the written word eventually landed her a food column (Melanie’s Mirepoix) in the Lodi News Sentinel, and her passion for words garnered several awards for her poetry. A paycheck or two – and a dare from a friend – convinced her to take her craft more seriously, so she enrolled at Full Sail University and graduated with a BFA in Creative Writing for Entertainment in 2014. While attending the University, she received a Course Director’s Award and saw her poetry published in the literary journal “The Aviator”.
In addition to school, she juggles both a full-time job and a part-time job, and a family. But, it is her first love – writing – that drives her. So she writes, more often than not on sticky notes, pieces of scratch paper, or the backs of envelopes, whenever and wherever inspiration strikes and time allows. Her newest works include a mystery set in 1920s Oregon and an epic fantasy novel.
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Melanie’s love for books and writing comes naturally and is evidenced by the typewritten pages displayed on her website. These pages are from short stories her father wrote and carried with him in a now battered suitcase from South Carolina’s Clemson University to the University of Missouri and eventually to California where he worked as a reporter and, ultimately, managing editor for the Lodi News Sentinel. After leaving that job, he and his wife opened a small independent bookstore in Lodi where Melanie would spend hours curled up in a corner reading anything and everything she could get her hands on.
Although she grew up in Lodi, California, and never lived more than ten miles from her hometown, she found her true home when she took a giant leap of faith and moved to southern Oregon in 2004 where she resides to this day. She lives with her husband and two of their eight children (together with a dog, cat, and a rabbit) in a small house on a busy street with a spectacular, unimpeded view of the beautiful Siskiyou (pronounced “sis-skew”) Mountains.