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


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 fast times. She indulged in 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 in the mid-sixties with the same kids with whom she entered Happy Corner Kindergarten, Melinda decided it was time for new faces and new places. She started her travels with a tour of Arizona’s universities which was interrupted for a few years by a huge wedding to a Magic Man. Before they took different forks in road, they had many adventures in several Western states and Mexico.

Move along, move along.

The next leg of Melinda’s journey was her over-active “professional” phase, or so says her Résumé or CV (Click it if you’re into just the facts, ma’am.) Melinda jokes that she learned to write fiction as grant writer 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. 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 next five novels. More moving house and interesting travels have brought her to . . .


At this stage of her road trip, Mmmmmelinda—number of Ms varies given her mood—has returned to her home state of Arizona. She has successfully completed a detour into chemotherapy at University of Arizona Cancer Center in Tucson that resulted in a magnificent rerouting of her journey. She loves playing with her husband of thirty-nine years, and they often visit their son, his wife and their two Airedale and Westie terriers, who live a few miles beyond the eastern end of Route 66 in Alexandria, Virginia. Melinda truly appreciates her precious time that she bestows on her writing, desert gardening, piano lessons and photo-hunting the wily Cruel Shoes for her website and Pinterest pages. She’s formed an 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.  

Melinda Rucker Haynes


Award-winning author Melinda Rucker Haynes has published six novels in the romance sub-genres of paranormal, young adult and contemporary 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 and Nominations

  • Arizona State Library ONEBOOKAZ Literary Contest Young Adult eBook 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

Curriculum Vitae

University of Nevada Las Vegas: Bachelor of Arts, Secondary/Adult Education, Spanish major, English minor, Reading Specialist.

University of Nevada Las Vegas: Masters of Education, Secondary/Adult Education, English as Second Language, Learning Disabilities/Language Acquisition.

UNLV College of Education: Project Director, Administrator of Special Demonstration Adult Education basic education grants and ESL, alternative HS diploma projects.

UNLV Lecturer, College of Education: Curriculum developer, curriculum/teacher training guide editor and author, teacher trainer, foreign student advisor, student teacher supervisor, professional journal editor and contributor, Spanish teacher, ESL instructor to foreign students, Reading Center Clinician, Child Find Diagnostic & Prescription team member, staff test and measurements/instructional goal instruction.

Nevada Department of Education: Consultant, grant writer, ABE program administration, grant application assessment team member. Corporate Trainer: Reading Improvement for the Professional (speed and comprehension)

Fundraiser, lobbyist to Washington State Senate Committee on Higher Education.

Community development volunteer in adult literacy programs and King County Library—Young Readers, creative writing workshops.

Copy Editor for Outdoor Guidebook publisher, professional journals.

Education Consultant: Home schooling curriculum development and instructional techniques.

Motivational Speaker, creative writing instructor.

Certified Hypnotherapist, National Guild of Hypnotists.

Certified Neurolinguistic Programming Practitioner, TimeLine Therapy Practitioner, Hypnosis—Tad James, Ph.D., American Board of Neurolinguistic Programming.

Certified in Past Life Regression Therapy, Dr. Brian L. Weiss Institute.

CEO, Sonrisa Multimedia: Digital publishing, Personal Time Travel© personal development training products, Story Compass© creative writing process and tool, Rewriting You© transformational writing seminars, backlist and program management.


Contact Mmmelinda.