Thursday, June 10, 2021

[Blog Post] Constellations of Scars by Melissa Eskue Ousley

Constellations of Scars
Melissa Eskue Ousley
Published by: Midnight Tide Publishing
Publication date: June 9th 2021
Genres: Adult, Dark Fantasy, Fantasy

“An indelible story of loving yourself in a world of dreadful realities.” – Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Not all gifts are a blessing. Some are a curse.

When Amelia turned 12, she began growing pearls. Every month, a crop of beautiful pearls bursts from the skin on her back. Her mother, Denise, believes her daughter is blessed, and sells the pearls to put food on the table. Amelia sees her condition as a curse. As the pearls form, her body aches and her skin grows feverish. The harvest of pearls brings temporary relief from the pain, but leaves her back marred by scars. Denise hides Amelia away from the world, worried that Amelia’s gift will be discovered and she will be abducted for the wealth she can provide. Now a young woman, Amelia realizes she has become her mother’s captive, and plans her escape. When she runs away from home, she finds a new family in a troupe of performers at a museum of human oddities. She soon discovers the world is much more dangerous than her mother feared.

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Author Bio:

Melissa Eskue Ousley is an award-winning author living on the Oregon coast with her family, a neurotic dog, two charming cats, and a piranha. Her suspense novel, Pitcher Plant, is set in Seaside, and won a 2018 Independent Publisher Book Award. Her young adult novel, Sunset Empire, debuted in a bestselling boxed set. Her short stories have been included in Rain Magazine, The North Coast Squid, and various anthologies. When she’s not writing, she can be found volunteering for her local wildlife center, caring for injured owls and hawks.

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I asked the author:

Favourite Memories from the Library

I grew up in a small town, so the library was my window to the world. Books allowed me to visit new places both real and fiction, to escape and live a whole other life for a while. One of the first book series that got me hooked was Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising. I also enjoyed the Narnia series by C.S. Lewis. When I was in sixth grade, I read The Talisman by Stephen King, and it remains one of my favorite books. After that I checked out every Stephen King book available in our little library. I think that probably worried my parents, but they tolerated my newfound love of horror. To this day, he is one of my favorite authors.

Reading taught me most of what I know about writing, about how to build worlds and invite a reader in. I was lucky to have access to a library and to be able to travel to other worlds and learn about other ways of thinking when I wasn’t able to travel in real life. That allowed me to dream and to understand the world was a lot bigger than what I had experienced in my small community.

As a writer, my favorite memories of libraries have been sharing my own books with readers. I’ve gotten to travel around Oregon and teach writing workshops and share passages from my novels. It’s always a joy to connect with readers over our shared love of books.

Another fun experience I’ve had as a writer is to serve on the foundation board for my local library, raising money to fund things like library cards for children, increasing our Spanish collection, backpacks with literary activities for early readers, and a maker space with a 3D printer. It’s rewarding to be a part of something that benefits the community. We are currently working to make the library more accessible to all patrons, installing automatic door openers and funding an ADA accessible computer station. I love that libraries have something for everyone and serve the entire community, and it’s wonderful to be part of that legacy.

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