Melinda’s Journey: A long and winding road . . .

Before becoming a multiple award-winning, best-selling fiction author, Melinda Rucker Haynes worked as an adult education research project director and published nonfiction. She jokes she learned to write fiction as a grant writer who moonlighted as a corporate trainer of fascinating people working at an area in the Nevada desert that didn’t exist. After gypsying around the world, living in four foreign countries—most recently Washington D.C.—Melinda continues to search out enchanted stories beyond her imaginary magical story pool in ghost towns, massive cities, vast night skies, and mysterious ancient sites throughout the world. Her interests and hobbies include magical story pool fishing and encouraging her citrus trees, fairy gardens, and fellow magical thinking enthusiasts. Melinda also enjoys frequent fantasy flying, past lives exploration and opus magnum experimentation.

 Her young adult paranormal novels, Ghostly Acts and The Haunting of Josh Weston (Escondido Magic Series) are multiple award winners as is her paranormal romance thriller, The Eternal Trust, the first book of the Soul Searchers Series for The Wild Rose Press. Melinda is currently working on her new and already award-winning YA paranormal, The Boyfriend App, and Josh Weston’s second adventure in the Escondido Magic Series, coming in 2019. The second Soul Searchers book, Breach of Trust is also 2019 release. A menopausal vampire has been doing hot laps in Melinda’s magical story pool and her tale, A Dark Inclination: Confessions of a Menopausal Vampire is coming soon.

Get your kicks on Route 66.

Not so long ago, nor as far away as some might believe, in the great boom-time of postwar birthing a babe came forth in the August heat of a Mohave Desert afternoon. Growing up in a tiny northwestern Arizona town of windblown gas stations and motels on Route 66 inspired Melinda’s love of hot cars and heroic journeys. Her childhood was full of imaginative speculations about the exotic destinations of all those Back East cars zooming down Route 66 filled with tourists going somewhere she wasn’t. Yet. After graduating high school with the same kids with whom she entered Happy Corner Kindergarten, Melinda decided it was time for new faces and new places.

Move along, move along.

The next leg of Melinda’s journey was her over-active “professional” phase, or so says her Résumé. (Click it if you’re into just the facts, ma’am.)

Melinda jokes that she learned to write fiction as grant writer and lecturer at University of Nevada Las Vegas. While doing so she met a handsome Viet Nam vet undergraduate who had his eyes on the sky. They married four months later, he graduated, and the next summer they added a son to the flight crew. Melinda directed education research special demonstration projects and moonlighted as a reading improvement trainer for strange folk who toiled at a site in the Nevada desert that doesn’t exist. The family began their world tour, moving to Seattle with an aerospace company that sent them to live in Montreal, Canada, Sao Paulo, Brazil, and an English village outside of London and many other lesser garden spots. Melinda shifted her focus from writing grants and textbooks to fiction, volunteer work, touristing and momming the smartest, cutest redheaded kid in the world. When they finally returned to live in the States, a creatively naughty Airedale terrier joined the family and showed up in Melinda’s novels. More moving house and interesting travels have brought her to . . .


At this stage of her road trip, Mmmmmelinda—the number of Ms varies given her mood—has returned to her home state of Arizona. She and her husband often visit their son, his wife and their Airedale and Westie terriers, who live a few miles beyond the eastern end of Route 66. Melinda truly appreciates her precious time that she bestows on her writing, desert gardening, piano lessons and photo-documenting desert high strangeness. She’s the founder of Tall Grass Editing CoOp of talented Tucson writers who inspire and edit each other’s work. Melinda still meets weekly via FaceTime with her longtime Seattle critique-mates and dearest friends who are writers, of course.

The Wild Rose Press has contracted Melinda’s award-winning YA paranormal novels, GHOSTLY ACTS and THE HAUNTING OF JOSH WESTON released Summer 2018.

Melinda Rucker Haynes


Melinda Rucker Haynes has published award-winning novels in the romance sub-genres of paranormal, young adult, contemporary, romantic suspense and a short story in paranormal romance anthology. Melinda’s other published work includes three nonfiction books, numerous articles, and columns on a variety of subjects, including education research, instructional processes, and assessment. She has worked as a freelance copy editor and has won awards for editing professional journals and newsletters.

Melinda holds a bachelor of arts in secondary education with a Spanish teaching major, English minor, and reading specialization. She received a master’s degree in secondary/adult education with an emphasis in reading, second language acquisition and learning disabilities from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She is a former education research projects director, grant writer, and corporate trainer. Her interest in curriculum development and teaching led her to create Story Compass©, a creative writing development process and tool that her students enjoy in her international writing workshops, creative personal development seminars and presentations.

Melinda’s postgraduate work includes advanced study of language, artistic expression, neurolinguistic programming, hypnosis, and metaphysics. Melinda applies her continuing study of human behavior, positive change creation and motivational techniques in her creative coaching practice that emphasizes block removal and flow generated production for writers and other creatives.

Writing Awards

  • Pacific Northwest Writers Association 2018 Literary Contest–Romance Category Finalist Award
  • Arizona State Library ONEBOOKAZ Literary Contest Young Adult Category WINNER
  • Pacific Northwest Writers Association 2017 Book Cover Contest WINNER – Cover by Valerie Howard
  • Pacific Northwest Writers Association 2017 Book Cover Poster Contest Finalist Award
  • Pacific Northwest Writers Association 2016 Literary Contest—Historical Category Finalist Award
  • Pacific Northwest Writers Association 2015 Literary Contest, Romance Category Finalist Award
  • Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award WINNER
  • Three-Time Finalist, Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Awards
  • RWA Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal Romance Special Interest Chapter PRISM Award, Best Light Paranormal
  • RWA Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal Romance Special Interest Chapter Sapphire Finalist Award
  • EPIC Best Young Adult Novel Finalist Award
  • International E-Book Award Nominee
  • TARA (RWA Chapter) Best Paranormal Romance Finalist Award
  • Gr. Seattle RWA Emerald City Opener, Best Contemporary Romance WINNER
  • Gr. Seattle RWA Emerald City Keeper, Best Contemporary Romance WINNER
  • RWA Best Chapter Newsletter Editor Award WINNER
  • EPIC Best Paranormal Romance Award WINNER
  • RWA Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal Romance Special Interest Chapter, Best Short Story Sapphire Finalist Award
  • RWA Historical Romance Special Interest Chapter RTTA Finalist Award
  • Sacramento Valley Rose Silver Rose Award for Website Excellence WINNER


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