From Ravenz Reviews, Author Spotlight: 

What inspired you to write your first book?

My very first book was called, A Teenage Life. I was thinking about when I was a teenager. The town I grew up, the friends that I had, and my experiences. So I just thought to myself, I’m going to write a book! And I did. It took 6 months to write and The sequel, A Grown Up Life took a whole year.

How did you come up with the titles of each book?

With my current books that have been published. They are Poetry books, free verse. I came up with In The Mirror based on a poem I wrote. Poetry is always a reflection of the writer. So I thought In The Mirror was perfect. For Undone, It is also a title of one of the poems. But I also saw it as these are all the poems that didn’t make it to my first poetry book. 

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

My poetry is very personal. All the emotions and the things that I have experienced through out my life. I hope that when someone reads my poetry that they can relateand I hope that it can help.

What books have most influenced your life most?

I’ve always loved reading since I was a child. The book that really influenced me was the R.L. Stine Fear Street series. I had every book and I looked forward going to the bookstore. I regret to this day, giving those books away.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

Sylvia Plath was an amazing writer. I remember when I was a teenager walking the halls of my high school reading her books.

What book are you reading now?

I was reading Richelle Meads, Georgina Kinkade Series. I also loved her Vampire Academy Series. I' am just starting the 5th book in The Mortal Instrument Series by Cassandra Clare. Amazing! 

What are your current projects?

I always have current projects coming to mind. I had started a Zombie book. I love Zombies and I find them very interesting. I’m on Chapter 4, Hopefully I can be less distracted and finish. The working title is, Zombie Slayers. 

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your books ?

I wouldn’t change anything. I think the only thing I would change is the publishing company for my first two books. I never received an editor and they were published that way. Which, I think as a writer it’s embarrassing for someone to see errors. But those who did read it, enjoyed it despite the errors. 

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

The earliest I remember, Is in Junior high and we had to write a short story. I wrote a story and my teacher submitted it to a contest. I had actually won a ribbon and everything. I didn’t really start writing, writing till around the age of 15. I found that poetry really helped deal with all those feelings that you rarely understand at that age 

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

With my books, other then poetry. The most challenging is getting past Chapter 4. I’ve had a very hard time staying focused. 

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Both poetry books weren’t hard to write. I had already had a huge collection and just put them in order,

What would you do in a zombie apocalypse?

Such an awesome question. I love the whole Idea of Zombies. But I would probably be terrified. I would probably be one of the first to die. 

If you could be any paranormal creature what would you be and why?

Hmmm.. Paranormal creature.. I think it would be a Vampire. I think it would be fun.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

I just hope that my words can touch someone. Words are so powerful. I feel that if you can really get into a book or a poem. That you have that emotional connection, it’s one of the best feelings in the world. I hope that my writing can do that for someone

Fav Movie ?

My favorite movie of all time is Buffy The Vampire Slayer. When I was a kid I had it on VHS and watched it so much I had to get a new one. I also am a huge fan of the TV Show. I just think in general, Joss Whedon is a genius. 

Fav band right now ?

Recently I found Lissie, she has such an amazing voice. It’s a voice that’s so inspiring to me. 

Fav food and drink ?

Right now coffee is my favorite drink. I didn’t get to really have caffeine while I was pregnant. So now I just want it every day. Food it varies, But I love pasta. I also love potatoes. 


It appears Merced may be a hotbed for do-it-yourself authors looking to share their work with the world.
A trio of female writers from the Merced area recently had their works published through No Boundaries Press — an eBook publisher that handles submissions from across the globe and allows books to be purchased on the internet at Amazon and Barnes and Noble’s websites.
Local writers Melissa Darby, Toy Davis and Ellie Potts each had their works selected by No Boundaries and are excited about the opportunities the small publisher is providing them.
For her early poems, Darby drew upon her life in Atwater, recalling quaint moments in small town life like walking around town with friends or heading to the corner store to buy soda. Darby finds her haunting accounts of heartbreak and loneliness to be heavily influenced by Sylvia Plath, a long-time favorite of hers.Darby, who compiled poetry books with her classmates in high school, uses free-verse poetry as a way to express her emotions without being bound by structure in a very liberal and almost experimental style.
Davis on the other hand has always had a wild imagination. Her literary journey began in middle school by writing fan fiction for an R&B group with a friend. She channeled her love for music and writing by creating elaborate stories centered on the group’s members. Initially hesitant to share her work with others, encouragement from friends and family gave Davis the push she needed to actively pursue writing.
For Potts, writing was always second nature. Even as a young child, she would spend time making up stories. Yet Potts never really thought she was going to be a writer.
“I wrote the stories for me,” she says. “Sometimes the stories screamed to be told. I figure if people like them too it makes me happy to share.”
She is adamant about not being stuck in one genre, writing anything from space science fiction to romance to fantasy novels. Her most recent novel, “Space Rebels,” is about a future where Earth is in a civil war between the rich and the poor, and a cargo ship of misfits attempting to flee gets caught in the crossfire.
The three have just made one of the most crucial decisions an author can make, the decision to shift from writing for your friends and family to writing for the general public. After hearing about No Boundaries, Darby suggested Davis and Potts try submitting their work.
The company offers up-and-coming authors a wide range of opportunity to expose their work to a broader audience. By publishing eBooks, they remain accessible and affordable to those who may not have access to a bookstore or the money to spend on printing.
Following a sour experience with a previous publishing company, Darby was glad to hear No Boundaries had picked up her latest book, “In The Mirror.”
“I was amazed,” She admits. “It’s actually really hard to get people to publish poetry.” Potts was just as stunned, stating, “I didn’t even think they would like the books, but they did and I still get a little flustered thinking my book is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.”
Davis says that working with No Boundaries was a pleasant process, as the editors valued their opinions and work.
This is an exciting time for the trio, marking a major milestone in an author’s career. It will be interesting to follow them as they develop their voices and carve a place for themselves in the professional writing world.

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