Author Melissa Kline has done it again. She has written a breathtaking coming-of-age story that addresses issues affecting teens from all backgrounds. As a high school teacher, I understand fully some of the social issues most teens encounter on a daily basis. It is not easy being a teen, and Miss Kline has written a well-penned story that chronicles the life of Storm, the main character.
Storm is a story that most teens will be able to relate to, because the characters are believable. The emotional difficulties Storm has to endure are what most teens in real life may experience, and this is why I enjoyed reading Storm. Navigating through emotional ups and downs is never easy, but the author does an outstanding job showing that with determination one can overcome any and all obstacles.
After reading Storm, I wanted to find out how Ms. Kline came up with such a riveting story line. Below is an interview she agreed to do.
What inspired you to write Storm?
Storm came to me right after I finished writing a novel where one of the main characters died. That story ended in a funeral home and the essence of Storm seemed to arise from the feeling of mourning. Storm “spoke” to me and I knew that his story needed to be written.
How long did it take you to write Storm?
It took me about a month to complete the rough draft. I tinkered with the first chapter after receiving a few suggestions from publishers, then decided to revise the entire manuscript a couple of years before it was published. Storm and I have had a very long relationship — it took years to fully develop this work. I’ve learned that it is important to honor the writing process and each book’s timing.
I noticed there were quite a few sex scenes in Storm. Why did you decide to include the sex scenes being that the novel is for teens?
This is a great question. Sex is a touchy subject and this has definitely been controversial for my readers. However, I don’t believe that this book would have been as powerful if I had left out the intimate stuff. I feel that this part of Storm’s experience was important to include because sexuality is one of the challenges that teens contend with in our society today. I chose not to glaze over the issue or completely omit Storm’s sexuality because this would not have seemed genuine or realistic. I am telling the story of a teenage boy who lost his mother and whose father is emotionally preoccupied. So, I think that Storm’s intimate encounters are authentic to the circumstances that that the character faces. And please notice that there are repercussions in the story for Storm’s promiscuity. I am by no means advocating teen sex or promiscuity, but I think that every teen is faced with making decisions in this area. I hope that my readers will take away a valuable lesson by reading about Storm’s mistakes.
What lessons do you hope teen readers will learn from reading Storm?
A sense that they are not alone and that there is hope for the future. That you can make mistakes and overcome. To keep moving forward. To have compassion for yourself and others. To know that it’s okay to reach out and ask for help. To realize that nobody is perfect; we all have secrets, wounds and scars. Embrace who you are, quirks and all, and be proud!
I understand Storm was a finalist in some prestigious awards. Can you tell readers about those?
Storm received recognition as a finalist in the 2012 ForeWord Book of the Year Awards and 2013 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. I attended the NGIB awards ceremony in New York City where I received a medal and celebrity treatment. It was one of the best experiences I’ve had as a published author. Being honored and recognized as a finalist in both of these awards programs is incredibly significant. It is so important to celebrate and to be celebrated.
What are you currently working on?
I am currently working on a book similar to Storm called, Accepting Hannah. I’m also working on a sequel/series to My Beginning. I have many projects in the works, including a fun, non-fiction book project for teens. Lots of books to come!
What advice can you give for those wishing to get published?
Enjoy the process — being published is wonderful but there is nothing like having the freedom to write for the pure love of it. Be patient and know that your time will come. Don’t ever give up on your dreams.
Thank you Ms. Kline for doing this interview. I am wishing you great success with all of your future projects. To learn more about Melissa and her continuing journey, please visit her website