Getting to Know Melissa Storm
Melissa Storm is a USA Today best selling author who writes for The Gold Coast Retrievers series. She is also the author of the First Street Church Romance series that is the inspiration for the books in the First Street Church series. You can find out more about Melissa and her books here.
Where did you grow up, and where do you live now? Tell us something a lot of people don’t know about your home town.
I grew up in a small town called Oxford, Michigan. I hated it growing up and couldn’t wait to find my big adventure in the big city. Well, I went to the city… and came straight back. It seems the Midwest will always be home to me. Now I live about an hour from where I grew up in a suburb of Ann Arbor. I love being a part of a small town and really getting involved with the community. Each year my husband and I sponsor a popup bookstore as part of our summer festival—maybe one day we’ll open a brick and mortar store to bring our love of reading to our neighbors!
What is your favorite part about writing Sweet Romance?
I love that Sweet Romance focused on the emotions of falling in love, because that’s the best part! Who needs sex scenes when a simple brush of fingers can be equally swoon-worthy? The slow build up to that all important first kiss gives me butterflies every single time. It never gets old!
Who or what inspired you to become an author?
I first started writing stories when I was maybe 7 years old. My earliest books were illustrated and featured silly cat and dog characters that I hoped would amuse my two younger brothers. Back then, I wanted to be a Disney animator when I grew up and actually won a fair number of art contests. As I got older, I turned more toward the written word and started working on my first novel in tenth grade. I didn’t finish writing a full book until the ripe old age of twenty-five. I’m thirty-three now and haven’t looked back!
If you weren’t an author, what would you be doing?
I love business! Even though I went to graduate school for survey methodology, I found my true calling in thinking up and implementing all my big business ideas. In addition to writing, I also own six—SIX!—businesses that offer services to writers and readers. I can’t picture my life without them, just as I can’t picture my life without writing or reading. If I wasn’t an author, I have no doubt I’d still be working closely with books… and probably finding a way to incorporate my passion for dogs, too. Japan has cat cafés. Why can’t Michigan have Chihuahua libraries?
Do you have any pets? Please tell us about them!
Oh, do I ever! We have five dogs and one cat. The cat’s name is Shcrodinger. He’s pretty cool and a good sport about all the dogs. My oldest dog is Polo, a ten-year-old Golden Retriever. We also have a Pomeranian named Cricket, a Pomsky named Sitka, and two Chihuaha-Corgi mixes. We first adopted a Chihuahua puppy, whom my daughter promptly named Sky Princess and I promptly fell head over in heels in love with, but later her mother needed to be rehomed and we jumped at the chance to take in our dog’s mom! That’s when we found out that Mila is actually part Corgi, which means Sky is, too! I love Chihuahuas so much, I want to open a Chihuahua Rescue someday soon. I also have a Chihuahua romance series coming out next year, and we are in the process of adopting some senior Chihuahuas from our local Humane Society to give them comfort and love in their final years.
Have you found your own real life happily ever after?
In 2012, I thought my life was falling apart. I had never expected to get divorced, but there I was, bitter, angry, hating myself, and completely spoiled on the idea of love. My eight year relationship had taken a turn for the worse about a year and a half before then. I had opened a successful business, followed my dreams to write my first novel, and become a stronger, truer version of myself.
My ex… he didn't like that so much. I will spare you all the details, but just understand I found myself completely wrung out, broken, and frail.
I was at my worst, my weakest, when my true love finally found me.
Enter Mr. Storm.
He, too, was at his worst, his weakest. He was actually contemplating suicide. It was bad. But we found each other. I wanted to date and have some fun, so I joined Match, Zoosk, eHarmony, all that stuff. And there I found Falcon, a writer like me, cuddling a gorgeous husky dog in his profile pic.
And so I reached out… as friends. I wanted a writing partner, not a life one.
But then the strangest thing happened. We met, and even though I still had relegated him to the friend box, I knew instantly that I wanted him in my life forever. Feelings like that don't just happen every day!
We became friends, good friends, best friends, and then less than a month later on one glorious labor day weekend, we shared our first kiss. And on December 1 that same year (yes, less than three months later!), we got married under the gazebo in a tiny park by our house. There were no bells, no whistles, no pomp or circumstance. Just love.
More than five years later, here we are. Still in love, still facing battles in our lives, but also fighting together. I don't know where I would be today, don't know who I would be, if not for Mr. Storm. He doesn't just make me a better person. He makes me myself, the person I actually am inside.
What is one book that impacted or changed your life that you think everybody should read? Tell us about it.
Argh, this is so hard! I read about 100 books per year and honestly love most of them! When you multiply that by my thirty-three years of age… that’s a lot of books! If I had to recommend one, I’d say The Art of Racing in the Rain is a relatively recent read that had a huge impact on me. It’s got everything—romance, dogs, heartbreak, and a beautiful story you’ll never want to forget.