Ashland, Kentucky

Melissa answered questions about her novel Sister Blackberry during the book event at the Flatwoods Branch Library in Greenup County, Kentucky.

Twelve Novel Women, a reader's group from the Ashland, Kentucky area, invited Melissa to speak about her book Sister Blackberry. The group took chose the novel as a project for the month of May. Melissa visited the group and other fans Saturday, June 19th.

Readers were curious about how Newman crafted her stories.

Melissa spoke with the Twelve Novel Women group about various issues dealt with in the book and how they relate to other women's issues.

Larry Day, Greenup County High School English teacher, speaks with Melissa about Sister Blackberry.

Sister Blackberry fan Mary Hafey Johnson asks Melissa questions about the novel.

Melissa is pictured here with several members of the Twelve Novel Women reader’s group.

Melissa donated four copies of Sister Blackberry to Greenup County area high schools as well as three books to the Greenup County Library System.

A Note to Readers

Just a Short Hiatus ... More Novels to Come

While Growing Up Wilder was my last novel, it will certainly not be my final. I have two outlines just dying to escape from my desk drawer and I often have to apologetically shove them back in when I find they have made it to the surface time and again.

I am currently working toward completing my doctorate degree (I am all but dissertation, folks!) and I am tangled up in research that uses storytelling and social media as a way to increase hope levels for individuals and entire communities.

This research is allowing me to focus on solving a problem within Kentucky's Appalachia - negative stereotypes.

Readers, please be patient. I will return to fiction shortly. Until then, please continue to share Sister Blackberry, House of Cleaving and Growing Up Wilder with your friends and family.

As always, I welcome your notes and messages.