Becky is offering a print copy of Family Secrets to the winner of this week’s drawing** (U.S. resident), so join the chat below to enter.
**Congrats, Lucy Reynolds, this week’s winner!
Becky Melby’s Roots
I’m a Midwest girl–born in Minneapolis. I’ve lived in Michigan, Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin. I married my high school sweetheart 46 years ago. We just celebrated 50 years since our first date! We have four sons, all married, and fifteen grandchildren.
My writing career began at the age of eight when I started writing stories on anything I could get my hands on. In fifth grade, when my teacher put my bunny poem (with a red “A+ Very Good!” on it), on the bulletin board, I knew I wanted to grow up to be an author. In high school I had a poem published in the local newspaper. That was a huge moment.
I was married with three kids by the time my first short story was published. I still remember dancing around my kitchen like a crazy lady with the acceptance letter in my hand.
A Debut for Becky Melby
Twenty-seven years ago I was a stay-at-home homeschooling mom. In the midst of the busyness of raising four boys, my writing dream was a fuzzy, distant memory. Then one day my friend Cathy Wienke called and told me she’d just literally thrown a book at the wall because of its trite dialogue and predictable plot. “We should write our own,” she said. And so we did.
A Surprising Turn of Events
Nine months from that conversation, we had a finished manuscript. This was back in the old days before the internet and email. We used Writer’s Market to find publishers that accepted unsolicited manuscripts and started sending out proposals.
Then, after a few rejections, we received a positive response from Barbour Publishing. They were interested in our story for their Heartsong Presents line. There was just one small problem: Their word count limit was 50,000 and our manuscript was 75,000! We faced the bird-in-the-hand dilemma. After a few days of prayer, we decided to go ahead and start slashing. As it turned out, what we thought would feel like lopping off body parts without anesthesia became a hilarious time of “Why did we write that?”
What’s Up With Becky Melby Now?
Cathy and I wrote eight other Heartsong titles and a novella together. I have also written a full-length three-book series called the Lost Sanctuary Series. (Out of print now, but watch for the series re-release later this summer.) I have two novellas in collections with Cynthia Ruchti, Rachael Phillips, and Eileen Key. A Door County Christmas and Cedar Creek Seasons are both set in my home state of Wisconsin.
Family Secrets by Becky Melby
Family Secrets, my recent release is the first in a series of Guideposts cozy mysteries called Secrets of Wayfarers Inn. In the series, three retired school teachers find an old warehouse that had once been an inn and hope to restore it to its former glory as a B&B and soup café.
In Family Secrets, someone (or something!) is out to stop them. The inn was once a stop on the Underground Railroad and each of the books in the series will contain a contemporary mystery as well as a glimpse into the life of Prudence Willard, a former slave who became a conductor on the UR and hid people escaping to freedom in the inn’s secret rooms. I am one of eight authors working on this series. One will be released every month. I just finished the manuscript for Book 9 which will come out in February.
Insight from Becky Melby
Tess, LuAnn, and Janice, the three main characters in Secrets of Wayfarers Inn have become my good buddies after all the time we’ve spent together. I love “watching” how they strive to be the hands and feet of Jesus while sleuthing around the beautiful riverside town of Marietta, OH.
I look back at the editing required for that first book as the greatest editing lesson I’ve ever had. Cathy and I basked in the joy of holding that first book baby in our hands. Back then, our readers sent actual handwritten snail mail. To know that our story was touching someone enough to motivate them to sit down and bless us with a letter was such a humbling experience.
Where to Find Becky Melby
Family Secrets can be purchased from Guideposts.
You may reach me on my website is www.beckymelby.com.
I’m also on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/becky.f.melby and my author page, https://www.facebook.com/Becky-Melby-Author-Page-147542291976020/
~ ~ ~
Lord, what a privilege and blessing it is as authors to realize our words encourage others and bring them closer to You, the Word. From all points in our great country and across the world readers are finding Your messages of hope and encouragement in stories you’ve given authors like Becky Melby. Please bless every word she writes for You.
~ For Jesus’ Sake