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2013 Reading Challenge
Melissa Lenhardt
Melissa Lenhardt has completed her goal of reading 100 books for the 2013 Reading Challenge!
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Melissa Lenhardt

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member since
February 2009

About this author

Melissa Lenhardt’s childhood dreams did not include becoming a writer. In fact, she would have disputed the idea there was a creative bone in her body. Until one day she had an idea and started writing. She hasn’t stopped since.

Melissa writes mystery, historical fiction, women’s fiction. Her historical fiction manuscript won the Frisco Public Library First Chapter contest and her mystery manuscript is a finalist for the Whidbey Island Writers Association MFA Alumni Emerging Writers Contest. Her short fiction has appeared in the Western Online, Heater Mystery Magazine and Melissa is on the board of directors for the DFW Writers’ Workshop and Vice President of Sisters in Crime North Dallas.

Melissa Lenhardt is currently not accepting new questions.

Popular Answered Questions

Melissa Lenhardt Not having to work in an office from 8-5.
Melissa Lenhardt Be patient. The publishing industry moves slower than cold molasses. It's like living in the DMV waiting room. Only worse.

Be persistent. Don't give up…more
Be patient. The publishing industry moves slower than cold molasses. It's like living in the DMV waiting room. Only worse.

Be persistent. Don't give up after five agents reject your MS. Or ten agents. Or twenty agents. Your rejections won't stop when you get an agent. Then, editors start to reject your MS. Then, readers will reject your book. Rejection is the norm throughout the process. If you take rejection personally, you're in the wrong business. Self-publishing might be the best thing for you, but there are pitfalls and drawbacks to that avenue as well.

Learn to take constructive criticism. Was there a common thread in all those rejections? Characters not connecting. Dialogue stilted. Needs editing. If one agent says something, eh. Take it or leave it. (Though I will say that I had one agent give feedback on my Historical Fiction which no one else did that was absolutely spot on. I took her suggestion and the new first chapter won a contest.) If two say it, you should consider it. If three or more say it, your MS has a problem and you need to set your ego on the shelf and fix it.

Be professional. If your MS is rejected, don't send an angry email to the agent. Publishing is a small industry and word will get around about your lack of professionalism.

Join a writer's group. Make sure it isn't a group whose sole purpose is to compliment and stroke each other's egos. If they don't give constructive criticism, find another. If there aren't any in your area, join an online group through a genre organization such as RWA, WFWA, or Sisters in Crime. But, you have to be willing to return the favor. Honestly, learning to critique other people's work will make you a better writer.

Average rating: 4.74 · 19 ratings · 6 reviews · 2 distinct works · Similar authors
Stillwater: A Jack McBride ...
4.89 of 5 stars 4.89 avg rating — 9 ratings — expected publication 2015 — 2 editions
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Christmas Nookies (Hot Holi...
4.6 of 5 stars 4.60 avg rating — 10 ratings — published 2014 — 2 editions
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* Note: these are all the books on Goodreads for this author. To add more, click here.


Promotional material, Not the cover.

On June 1, I posted on the Swamp that some news was coming. Last Tuesday, I announced the news to my newsletter subscribers. Today, I’m posting it here for those who aren’t subscribed.

If the one-line pitch, “Outlander meets the American West” sounds like a novel you’d want to read, you’re going to be very excited about this deal. SAWBONES, the first novel in...

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Published on June 15, 2015 08:00 • 19 views

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The Vacationers
Melissa Lenhardt is currently reading
by Emma Straub (Goodreads Author)
bookshelves: currently-reading
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Black Kettle: The...
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The Heart of Ever...
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Melissa's Recent Updates

Melissa Lenhardt is currently reading
The Vacationers by Emma Straub
The Vacationers
by Emma Straub (Goodreads Author)
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Melissa Lenhardt wants to read
Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain
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The Martian by Andy Weir
"This book is so great. There's a lot of science but the author manages to dumb it down to where, if you are like me and not a math person at all, you can skim and get the idea. It's absolutely fascinating."
Melissa Lenhardt wants to read
Escape From Bagdad by Saad Z. Hossain
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Melissa Lenhardt wants to read
Re Jane by Patricia  Park
Re Jane
by Patricia Park (Goodreads Author)
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Devil and the Bluebird by Jennifer Mason-Black
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Melissa Lenhardt entered a giveaway
Dumplin' by Julie   Murphy
by Julie Murphy (Goodreads Author)
5 copies available, ends on August 25, 2015 Enter to win »
Melissa Lenhardt wants to read
Red by Jacky Colliss Harvey
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Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
Everything I Never Told You
by Celeste Ng (Goodreads Author)
read in June, 2015
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Brilliant, heart-breaking, gut-wrenching. Characters so realistically flawed it's painful to read. A master class in third person omniscient narration. Loved it. Highly recommended.
Tasha is on page 213 of 445 of Fangirl
More of Melissa's books…
Stephen King
“If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”
Stephen King

David Foster Wallace
“I do things like get in a taxi and say, "The library, and step on it.”
David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest

Katharine Hepburn
“If you obey all of the rules, you miss all of the fun.”
Katharine Hepburn

Walt Whitman
“Every moment of light and dark is a miracle.”
Walt Whitman

Herman Melville
“As for me, I am tormented with an everlasting itch for things remote. I love to sail forbidden seas, and land on barbarous coasts.”
Herman Melville, Moby-Dick; or, The Whale

120845 23 Short Classics — 18 members — last activity Jan 04, 2015 08:04PM
Inspired by a Huffington Post liscicle.
970 Boxall's 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die — 14259 members — last activity 39 minutes ago
For those attempting the crazy feat of reading all 1001 books! For discerning bibliophiles and readers who enjoy unforgettable classic literature, 100 ...more
25x33 Plantation Resort Book Club — 10 members — last activity Jan 11, 2014 02:15PM
Club of Wine and Proses
25x33 Women's Fiction — 119 members — last activity Oct 14, 2012 04:43PM
A place to chat about Women's Fiction; meaning a plausible story appealing more to women than men.
73960 Espionage Fiction Panel — 170 members — last activity Jun 22, 2015 01:17AM
Join us on Monday, August 13, 2012 for a special day-long discussion of espionage fiction. On Monday, August 13, our panel of acclaimed authors will a ...more
130060 Neja's Book Club — 625 members — last activity Jun 27, 2015 05:43AM
I always wanted to have a Book Club. I was always a bookworm. But, because I think there's a lot of cool groups here on Goodreads I thought it would b ...more
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message 1: by Moira

Moira Russell 'I adore Jane Eyre but think The Tenant of Wildfell Hall is better and have just a smidgen of resentment against Charlotte for repressing Anne's work'

MAGIC WORDS, my (new) friend. Oh yes. (I adore Charlotte too, but she didn't understand her sisters v well some of the time - as sisters do.)

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