I guess you could say I’ve always been drawn to science fiction and fantasy. When I was little, I adored the STAR WARS, STAR TREK, and INDIANA JONES movies, and I would always watch THE TWILIGHT ZONE or THE OUTER LIMITS when they were on TV. In first grade, I desperately wanted to watch THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK when it hit the theaters, so my parents bribed one of my older cousins into taking me to see it.
I grew up in a small town, so the selection of speculative fiction for early readers wasn’t great, but that changed when I moved on to books for older children (way back before there was a middle grade or young adult section). It was like being in paradise. One of the first books that I read in the “Big Kid” section was A WRINKLE IN TIME by Madeleine L’Engle, and I fell in love with it. After reading it, I really thought for the first time that I could possibly become a writer one day.
I wrote a lot of terrible stories after that, then some not so terrible ones (I even won first place in a short story contest at my middle school). The desire to become a professional writer grew stronger each year, but I pushed it aside when I started college to get a more practical degree in teaching. After eight years in the classroom, the dream to write books never faded, so I decided to finally give it a shot. I started my first book in 2009, had a blast writing it, then ultimately trunked it in 2011 after hearing that dystopian was on the way out.
It was my second book—a time travel—that ultimately allowed me to sign with my awesome agent and landed me two book deals within the space of a year. I’m excited for you to meet Alora and Bridger next fall, and I hope you will love them as much as I do!
|Melissa Hurst lives in the southern US with her husband and three kids. She writes YA science fiction and fantasy, which means she considers watching Star Trek and Firefly as research. She dreams of traveling around the world and maybe finding Atlantis one day. Her debut YA novel, THE EDGE OF FOREVER, will be out from Sky Pony Press in 2015. To learn more, visit melissa-hurst.com or follow her on Twitter.|