I grew up with loving parents and younger brother and sister. I always enjoyed play-acting and dress-up. My family lived in a number of places in northern and southern California and Central Texas. From my parents I learned a love of travel and the value of people and places and a strong work ethic.
After high school, I put myself through college at Rick's College (now Brigham Young University Idaho) in Rexburg, Idaho, and then Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. I graduated from BYU with a Bachelor's degree in Developmental Psychology (with emphasis in Childhood).
After college I married Brian Neely, who also went to Rick's College and BYU. Brian and I eventually moved on to Fort Collins, Colorado, and later Stillwater, Oklahoma. At Stillwater, Brian entered graduate school at Oklahoma State University. We have resided in Stillwater ever since.
Along the way we managed to produce five lovely off-spring - three girls and two boys. Of course, during the past 20 years I have read literally hundreds of children's books. Our oldest has flown the roost.
In the 1990's I took some family stories about John and Betty Taylor and developed classroom presentations for my own children's classes. As the word spread, I was invited to more and more classes. Eventually, I was asked to be a guest lecturer at college classes for teachers, showing them how they could bring history alive in the classroom. Soon after, I began setting down the "John Honey" stories on paper. In 2007, I became a founding member of the Red Dirt Writers Society. With the group I was forced (or given the opportunity) to stretch my writing talents. As I got more involved in writing, I found ideas for new children's stories.
I have continued my involvement with the Red Dirt Writers. I am also actively involved with the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). I am grateful for the encouragement, training, and companionship I have received from the members of these two groups.
This is the website of Melissa Neely.
Revised March 2011.
Website design by Shoppe Foreman.