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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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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.

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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: 4.77 · 22 ratings · 7 reviews · 2 distinct works · Similar authors
Stillwater: A Jack McBride ...
4.92 of 5 stars 4.92 avg rating — 12 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.

I promise I’m not going to post a link to every positive review STILLWATER receives. Pinky swear. But, I have to tell you about the blurbs I’ve received from awesome mystery authors Harry Hunsicker & Diane Vallere.

“Dangerous things lurk beneath the placid surface in Stillwater, Texas. Secrets shunning the light of day, decades-old betrayals, lies that have taken on a life of their own. Moo...

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Marked by Jenny  Martin
by Jenny Martin (Goodreads Author)
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Melissa Lenhardt is starting Where All Light Tends to Go: Listening to the audiobook. One of the best narrations I've heard.
Where All Light Tends to Go by David Joy
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Where All Light Tends to Go by David Joy
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Stolen by Lucy Christopher
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Raylan by Elmore Leonard
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The Heart of Everything That Is by Bob Drury
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Black Kettle by Thom Hatch
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The Vacationers by Emma Straub
The Vacationers
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"Happy news! My trailer is Book Trailer of the Day on Shelf Awareness today. So cool! THE WANDERERS, a YA novel about a sixteen-year-old horse shifter traveling with a shapeshifter circus, and a betrayal in camp that threatens the lives of them all..." Read more of this blog post »
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

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A place to chat about Women's Fiction; meaning a plausible story appealing more to women than men.
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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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