May 31, 2022
ღ About Melinda Priebe ღ
Melinda Priebe is an author, artist, and jewelry maker who lives in South Bend, Indiana, with her supportive husband. She works a full-time job and keeps busy with church, family, and friends. Melinda also painted and designed the book cover for My Inner Studio.
Melinda has overcome much trauma in her life and hopes she can encourage others to move toward healing
Tell us a little about yourself and how you were raised.
My dad’s side came from Scotland. They were Knights. My Grandparents and parents would talk about how they fought and stayed in the battle and never gave up. They showed me the Knight’s motto, which was:
- Fear God and maintain His Church
- Serve the liege lord in velour and faith
- Protect the weak and defenseless
- Help the widows and orphans
- Refrain from being offended
- Live by honor and for glory
- Do good deeds without them being noticed
- Fight for the welfare of all
- Respect those in authority
- Guard the honor of fellow knights
- Have no part in unfairness, being mean and full of deception
- Keep faith
The knight motto intertwined through my very being. It wrapped around and even made my Christian faith that my parents and grandparents introduced me to stronger. After all, the Bible talks about the full armor of God in Ephesians 4:16 I have lived that regardless of the hardships and great losses that I have had in my life. (this part might be best in the one area where I answer about my biggest challenges. ) I would have given up my writing ability and art ability without this determination and faith. I also would have given into embarrassment when my health issues slowed me down from getting my books and website done on time.
I learned at an early age that sometimes it is okay to let go of something to do something else, or to retry the something a different way. It is alright to ask for help. As a child, I was shown how to snap a rubber band and hit a toy target. After my brother thought I knew what I was doing, he walked out of the room. I started snapping the rubber band. But being left-handed, I kept flipping the rubber band back towards my cheek bone. I kept trying. Finally, I asked for help. After that, I began hitting my toy targets. My book writing and art restoration has been a difficult journey. It has snapped me in the face a few times, both emotionally and financially. I know God is in it. I asked for help and retried. I am now back at it and am reaching my target goals. Not as fast as I want to, but am thankful and praising God for the steps I am making.
Father God has a plan for me, and for the books He has placed in my heart. So, I will keep moving forward. I will finish my books and have them out for everyone to buy. I will also help other authors get connected with readers along the way.
Tell us about this book.
The first book that I am working on right now is a younger version of a zoo book called A Walk through the zoo. It is designed for younger children. Eventually I will have one together for older children.
My second book that I am working on is called RT’s Struggles. The subtitle is And how he overcame them all.
What was your inspiration for starting this book?
My zoo book was started because I love the zoo and drawing animals. I wanted to share my love for animals, the zoo with others in story and art.
My second one is a true story, and it is amazing how RT was able to go past being a cotton picker and achieve his goals in a day when African Americans had no rights.
What do you find to be the most challenging when writing?
I have had several things that made writing these books challenging. The first challenge came about when my health started going bad two years ago. I began to lose energy; I could not focus very well and all that bothered my art and writing. I got behind in everything. Thankfully, I am doing a lot better. I am finally being able to focus on my art and writing. The health struggles I had were a combination of covid-19 and a parathyroid tumor. Thankfully, the tumor was benign, but the tumor prior to removal still messed with my calcium levels and vitamin D and created all kinds of problems.
The second challenge was that my book designer has had problems putting the books together. I finally found a good designer and my zoo book is almost ready. I have two more illustrations to have her finish for my other book.
How do you feel writing has affected your relationship with God?
. A traumatic brain injury took my art and writing ability away from me for a long time. Doctors did not think I would even see any of it restored. I will be telling more about that in the revised memoir called My Inner studio. I hope to have that memoir finished by Christmas of 2022.
I can share though that I knew God would restore those abilities, because He kept giving me new ideas and my heartbeat even in my sleep with the passion to do both.
What age did you realize you loved books and when did you start writing?
I loved books from the moment I first knew what books were. I was inventing stories as fast as I could communicate. I started writing stories when the first-grade teacher had us write sentences for our spelling words. I just could not write a sentence. I’d write an entire story and use a spelling word on each page.
Is there a special place you like to write?
I could sit down and write anywhere, but I’d rather be inside my own art/writing studio in my house.
This special place is also a place I like to sit down and read books from other authors.
Can you share with us a book you have read recently, are currently reading?
I recently read book one of the Painted Vessels (The Vessels Series) May 17, 2020 by Gina Renee Freita. I am also re-reading Under Penalty of Death Book 1 of 1: Slavery of the Heart by Kristena Mears. Both are amazing books.
What advice would you give a new author?
- Do research. Example was the bison and the green grass I had to add into the painting.
- Learn what you can about showing and not telling,
- Find a good editor before your book is finished. Learn how to market,
- Get a good website.
- Learn how to market and when to start marketing your books. Or they would end up sitting undiscovered like my first book. I will start marketing the book I have on Amazon after I get the other three finished. Waiting is not good advice, but was the right decision for me.
- Get connected to great safe Christian writers FB groups
- Learn what and how to stay away from vanity press publishers
I could add more here, but that is a good start.
What project is next on your list?
I will be making my memoir called My Inner Studio larger. I was told that this book as the making of a best seller, but it needs more detail about my life. I also have a novel that I am almost finished with.
Where do we find you and your books?
You can purchase it by opening my website. melindapriebe.com
I hope to have a walk through the zoo and Rt’s Struggles published in the next month.
You can also purchase Johnny Loves the Library on Amazon.com.
At present, I am updating my website and will be updating my book. Both will be completed soon.
2 thoughts on “Author Interview with Melinda Priebe”
Thank you for sharing this wonderful interview, Kristena! Melinda’s story is a source of encouragement and a testimony to the fact that we don’t have to be perfect in order to serve God. I taught high school English for 28 years at a Christian school in South Bend. For 25 of those years, I also took care of my sick wife and wrote the first 5 books in a 6-book middle grade fiction series. She was in Heaven when I wrote the final book in the series.
I just bought Melinda’s book on Amazon.com, and I plan to share it with some of our grandchildren. God bless both of you. Keep writing!
Thank you, Mark. I would love to hear more about your story, sometime.
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