Mel Menzies, Novelist, Biographer and Non-fiction (Testimonies) Writer
In my experience, being an introvert in a family of extroverts has the effect of convincing you that you don't fit in. Insufficiently sporty, sociable or academic, it was to be books - the reading and the writing of them - that were my salvation. Quite literally when, having grown up in what my father jokingly called a 'family of heathens', it was as a result of reading a book under the bedclothes after 'lights out' that I made a commitment in my early teens! And having received my first rejection slip at the age of 14 from Argosy (a short story periodical), and worked as secretary to American author, Paul Gallico during the filming of his book Mrs 'Arris Goes to Paris, I suppose it was inevitable that I would eventually become an author.
My weaknesses were to become God's strength. With a failed marriage behind me, and the instruction to 'comfort others with the comfort I had received from him', my first two books, THE TUG OF TWO LOVES and DIVORCED BUT NOT DEFEATED, proved to be a revelation to readers all over the world - as I learned from the fan mail I received. With divorce anathema in Christian circles at the time, no one, it seemed, had ever before opened up in so personal a manner.
Further failure - and God's ultimate triumph - followed when my middle daughter began a 13 year heroin addiction, and became the subject of my book, WHERE IS MY CHILD?
SECOND MARRIAGE, STEPFAMILIES and HEALED WITHIN followed, while commissions for other books resulted in my being sent out to Geneva to visit the World Health Organisation. The book THE LAST MOUNTAIN became a Sunday Times No 4 Bestseller.
Eventually, while working for The Jubilate Group, I switched to fiction and A PAINFUL POST MORTEM was published, earning 5* reviews. In the belief that stories are the best way to convey truths that may otherwise be resisted, my latest novel, TIME TO SHINE, was published in 2014. A psychological mystery solved not by police procedures but by quirky counsellor Evie Adams, it is the first of a series set in the historic and picturesque city of Exeter. A second edition of TIME TO SHINE is due to be published in June 2015 and, as this is the start of the Evie Adams series, it will be followed by a second book titled CHOSEN?
Happily remarried for over thirty years, I give grateful thanks to my husband and daughters for their practical help and support of my writing, as well as their patience and encouragement. Recently retired as Chair of the Association of Christian Writers, I lead a local writers' group and a readers' group. More information may be found on my website here: Book Reviews, Questions & Discussion Summaries For Book Clubs & Readers' Groups.
Divorced But Not Defeated "Thank you for sharing yourself and the treasures God has given you out of your darkness and hurt. The lessons you share are for us all." — Dr Anne Townsend
Where is my Child? "Some of the most moving passages in this book are the conversations between mother and daughter. You may be tempted to be critical..." — Rev David Coffey
There's more... Have been keynote speaker at Swanwick for Salvation Army.
Have led writers' workshops at High Leigh etc.
Spoke at luncheon club recently.
Did writing workshop last summer.
Was on Premier Radio (40 min slot) Dec 2014.
Was on Caroline Martin Show BBC West Midlands.
Regularly asked to be on BBC 5 Live panels.