We’re All Stories in the End
By Melissa Sell
Please welcome Melissa Sell of United Faedom Publishing to the Writer's Journey Blog this week!
When I was young, I danced with faeries, solved mysteries with Nancy Drew, and attended Sweet Valley High. Books were my lifeline. There isn’t a time in my life where books didn’t play a role. Christopher Pike, L.J. Smith, and R.L. Stine still line my bookshelves with their tales I cherished from years long passed. The fourth grade brought a revelation that I could be a writer one day just like those authors I loved to read.
A school assignment brought attention to a budding ability when my teacher called my mother in for a meeting. We had a one sentence assignment to write a small story. I had five pages and my teacher wanted confirmation that I wrote it and had not copied it from somewhere. My mother, whose expression somehow managed to look insulted and proud in unison assured her it was my original work as she had watched me write the whole thing.
I penned my first five-thousand-word story the same year. It was about the great grandniece of Sherlock Holmes. Poetry was my next step and although I won many contests, I longed to see my name in print. At fourteen-years old I was traditionally published in several poetry books and the love of writing only grew. I wrote scripts and plays for my cousins to act out while I played director and cameraman. If I weren’t reading, I was writing my next piece. My life was consumed by words and my yearbook even displayed the phrase, “Most likely to be a writer.”
Fast forward to my twenties and after the same amount of rejections later, I accepted the fact that I would not be a published author. I still wrote for myself and enjoyed my own tales. Then an unexpected darkness settled over my life, and my dreams were suspended--writing and reading ceased. It was a decade before the clouds finally began to thin, and I picked up my pen again. I was mad with ideas and wrote until my hands cramped. I didn’t share anything anymore, but I was relieved I could create again.
Late 2009 my co-workers and I started a book club once we realized our mutual love of reading. One close friend mentioned my love of writing and the other members requested a story. As much as I wanted to decline, I followed through with the request. That short story turned into a three-book trilogy later to be independently published in 2012. The Chronicles of Fey was a hit on Amazon and I received delightful reviews. However, I wasn’t satisfied with them and have since removed them from publication to be “remastered.” They have undergone a manuscript makeover with new covers and the first will be re-released later this year.
I joined a writing group in 2017 where I have met of the most AMAZING friends and fellow authors. They have been a staple in my life, and not just my writing journey. I was introduced to the owner (who is now a soul sister) of Stormy Island Publishing who published my first short story, An Irish Promise, in the Salty Tales anthology. Since then, I had short stories accepted by Pixie Forest Publishing and several others. I worked with Stormy Island Publishing for a time until we went on a much needed break, and during that time I was asked to help with a newer publishing company trying to get its feet off the ground. I obliged.
The original creator had a change of heart and before any books were even made I gained full control of the company known as United Faedom Publishing. To date we now have three published anthologies, Merrow, Untamed, and a poetry anthology Songs of the Rainbow. Our third anthology, Tot Tales, will release March 20th of this year.
I’m determined to help all walks of authors achieve their publishing dream, even if it’s one story at a time.
We have some exciting things in the works. This includes our opening to novelettes, novellas, and novels, which will begin in May of this year. We will also begin signing authors for their own short story collections at this time as well. Our new call starts in April and will be a six-book series. The series is called the Elemental Zoological Preserve. It’s a preservation for all endangered magical creatures, and is set up in sections: Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Spirit. Each book is an element. There will be a list of endangered creatures to choose from and all authors are required to write two different endings to their submissions. One where their character survives and one where they meet their demise.
An entity is released into the park and wreaks havoc among everyone, including human visitors. There will be more details on the website when we are accepting submissions on this call, and it has received positive reviews among our publishing group.
From an author point of view, not everyone will know us personally. We can only leave behind our words, stories with sprinkles of our souls embedded in the phrases. My favorite quote of all time is this, “We’re all stories in the end, so make it a good one, eh?” -11th Doctor, Doctor Who. Just like everyone else on Earth, I too, wanted to be remembered.
Melissa Sell was born in Louisville, Kentucky, where she still resides. She is an editor, novelist, poet, short story author, and owner of United Faedom Publishing. She's a SuperWhoLockian, who enjoys baking, reading, and Halloween. Melissa is married to her favorite nerd, and a mother of four humans, plus five fur babies.
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Come Fairies, take me out of this dull world, for I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame! - William Butler Yeats