Melissa Combs

When the snow flies in Indiana, I'm dreaming about palm trees and 80 degrees. In between planning my next beach getaway, I'm taking dictation—i.e. writing down the stories the voices in my head are weaving.

The first stories I learned were the folktales my grandmother handed down by word of mouth, because as a child, I was blind. A double corneal transplant, among other groundbreaking treatments, gave me the miracle of sight at age 22—for about ten years.

Those precious years were a turning point for me in many ways, and I eventually stopped only listening to the voices in my head and, literally, put pen to paper. Hard work, determination, persistence, countless writing workshops and conferences, and cutting my teeth on fanfiction finally led to the publication of my first novel in 2006. To date, I've published dozens of books in various genres.

My eyesight will eventually fade, but my writing voice has been unleashed, and there is no turning back. In 2020, I earned a dual M.A. in English and creative writing. In addition to writing my own stories, I enjoy editing, research, cultural studies, the paranormal, and mentoring aspiring authors. Plus, I'm sure it will surprise no one that I'm an advocate for the blind. Because everyone has a voice, and they deserve to be heard.

Photo by Rafael Lopez.