I like to think I was born a writer, but that isn’t strictly true. I was born with a passion for language, for storytelling, and the ability to build new worlds in my head. This creative gene, as you might call it, has taken many guises over the years. When I was old enough to write (legibly), I began to practice my handwriting, gaining the pride of my family due to my deft calligraphy skills. I grew out of that stage as soon as the stories began to crowd my young mind, and I found my hands couldn’t keep up! I’m a terrible writer now, my Calligraphy teacher would weep in shame – I have the script of a harried doctor; except people have no inclination to translate my scrawl.
Later I began acting out the scripts in my head, torturing my family with my many adventures. It didn’t stop there – unfortunately. I began to act out scenes from my favourite television programmes, before taking the characters and imagining new journeys for them to conquer. My sister was usually forced into ridiculous roles, until she grew enough to tell me what I could do with my new script!
The fact is, I’ve always been a dreamer. I was a confident child, or I started off that way. I was bullied at school, and soon after I began to withdraw into myself. The more I disappeared inside my own head, the more I struggled to relate to people. Throughout my teens I wrote dozens of short stories, thought about developing a novel and then, everything stopped. I found myself with new responsibilities; a demanding job, an interest in British Sign Language (BSL) and later, a family. When I look back I realise that, during those years, I didn’t write at all.
I continued to learn BSL, became fluent in the language and trained to become an interpreter. For a while I was happy to spend time in the worlds other people created. The characters inside my head, for the most part, were quiet.
Then, ten years ago, my father passed away and for a while I got lost. It led to the breakdown of my marriage and the only thing that got me through it, apart from my wonderful girls (I have two daughters) was writing again. And, like a switch, the characters started chattering – practically drowning each other out in an effort to be heard. So I began writing as often as I could. Being a single parent with a full time job, it wasn’t always easy, but that’s what insomnia is for! At least in my case.
I wrote my first book, The Conduit, in 2005, tore it to pieces so many times it was almost unrecognisable and published it in 2008.
I wrote the sequel to it in 2009, The Missing Link, but didn’t publish it until last year. I dedicated the story to a friend who was murdered in 2006. We had lost touch at the time of his death, but were close as children and I have fond memories of him.
Although my style usually leans towards Science Fiction, especially in my shorter works, I wanted to try my hand at a thriller. A group of individuals began to take shape, influenced by my brother who serves in the Armed Forces. That’s how Morgan and Fairchild was born. I published Sins of the Father in 2012.
Of all my characters, the team at Morgan and Fairchild are some of my favourites. One character in particular, Jonathan Jukes, hounded me for almost a year until I gave in and set the time aside to tell his story. Hands of Evil, the second in the series, which was published on the 31 July 2014, is JJ’s story. I’m already planning a third.
Before I get to that though, I will be releasing the first in a new series, Worlds Apart, in November of this year. This will also be my first full length Science Fiction novel and I’m really excited about it. It’s a tale of alternate realities and a group of travellers who must fight to save a dying system.
Besides these novels I also published a book, Addy’s Choice, under the pen name Nat Hobson. My Grandfather was Nathaniel Hobson, and I think he’d get a kick out of knowing I wrote something under his name. Addy’s Choice is a romance novel, and although all my stories have a romantic element I wanted to write an easy to read, feel good novel, completely separate to my other series. I aim to write another book using the pen name, early next year. This will also be general fiction, and a continuation of Addy’s adventures with the Winchester Brothers. Fans of the first book have shown an interest in Tyler Davies, so it will be his turn to shine!
When I’m not busy reading or writing, I’m spending time with my girls. They are my absolute joy. We travel a fair bit, have a fondness for the cinema, and girly nights in. As yet they don’t share my passion for writing, or reading, but I live in hope! I try not to force literature on them, especially as they still haven’t forgiven me for making them watch every Marvel adaptation which hits the big screen!
This year has brought many wonderful things. I started blogging seriously in January and I haven’t looked back. I’ve met some terrific people and gained an endless amount of support. I love being part of a writing community and I grow every single day. I’m looking forward to extending that community and giving back in any way I can.
If you’d like to know more about my work, or touch base on my blog, you can find me at any of the following places:
mbarkersimpson.com – mbarkersimpson.co.uk – Tumblr
Facebook – Twitter – Goodreads
29 thoughts on “Meet Guest Author Melissa Barker-Simpson”
Great post Mel! I must ask – are you a Brit? I am, though you probably know that already! It’s fascinating to read about your journey as a writer and a person.
I too was bullied at school and had a very tough time in my teens. Life is so much better now. But at least these bad experiences are fuel for our writing!
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Reblogged this on theowlladyblog.
Great feature, Melissa! I loved getting to know more about you. And by the way, Nathaniel Hobson is a GREAT pen name!
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Thanks, Quanie. That’s so lovely. I’m glad you enjoyed the post. I like the pen-name too – my grandfather had a lot of stories to tell, so I’m sure he’d approve 🙂
🙂 I know the feeling!
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Thanks for commenting, and empathising with the post 🙂
Thanks, Gina. It’s wonderful to know my friends have my back 🙂
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