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DOWNEY - New author Melissa Buell announced her new series "Tales of Gymandrol" to students at West Middle School on Oct. 17.
Melissa was born and raised in La Mirada and now resides in Fullerton with her husband and two sons, Calvin, age 9, and Wyatt, age 5. She has been married for 11 years, and works as a high school English substitute teacher. Since her children are still young, she would rather be a substitute than a permanent teacher.
While in college, she majored in English because she discovered she could write novels like some of her high school teachers. Not for herself though, she wanted to write a series that her sister (who was 15 at the time) would enjoy. And that's how her first young adult novel, "The Seventh Blessing," came to be.
In the first book of this series, we meet Samantha, who is not just any ordinary girl: she's a young princess who has been blessed by fairies. But instead of getting blessed with dancing, she gets blessed with languages, swordsmanship and other "boy" qualities.
She figures out all blessings but one, the seventh blessing.
As usual, she gets in trouble and is forced to travel around with other princesses and princes in the royal circuit. Little does everyone know, she's the knight defeating all the other princes. She's risking everything to help one family make it through the week. The people who know the truth about her blessings have been sworn to secrecy... anything to protect the princess, the poor, poor princess... not!
If you'd like to know more about little Samantha's troubles, please buy Melissa's newest trilogy.
Back to the author; naturally she loves to read. When Melissa was younger she loved to borrow books from her local library and read for hours on end. She also wrote book reports for fun; that's what folks in the modern world of today would call dedication.
She also loves to go camping, do arts and crafts, and watch Disney movies with her two little readers at home. Since she's a normal human being, she'd had doubts about writing, but loves the fact that her fans are - and will always be - behind her 100 percent of the way, proving her fears wrong.
One thing you should always do when reading her books, she says, is to always, no matter what, "Root for the good guys; never the bad guy!"
Melissa gladly came to West because of our Author Day Program. This special Author Day presentation was arranged by West Middle School's librarian Julia Desalernos. Mrs. Desalernos is deeply committed to bringing a variety of talented published children authors to West to inspire all students to read more and utilize their creative writing skills.
While at West, 1,000 enthusiastic students sat through Melissa's assemblies and were enchanted when she read from her novel. She informed the students of how she conceived her story ideas.
On a funny note, she shared with the audiences many memories of her youth, like how she couldn't climb fences, and how much she doubted her writing abilities, only to be proved wrong.
Published: October 25, 2012 - Volume 11 - Issue 28