April 24, 2011

Melissa Newman --- Unbridled Spirit!

Horse Capitol of the world, home of Colonel Sanders’ original Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant, the only place in the world where you can see the Moonbow, and of course, home of the famous Kentucky Derby.
Lush grass and mountainous scenery, Kentucky offers plenty of fresh air, sunshine and friendly folks. Between Louisville, Lexington and beyond, small towns full of awarding-winning teachers, journalists and authors dot the map. It’s in those small towns you’ll hear a Kentucky favorite, “The bad thing about where we live is everybody knows your business and the good thing about where we live is everybody knows your business.”
Bourbon distilleries, wineries and breweries lay heavy in the west while religion and politics fan away the vapors of burning mash in the east. Caves, lakes and mountainous parks are ever present, reminding us we are small and should be humbled by the gifts those powerful forces of nature left for us to enjoy.
We claim ownership of great novelists like Barbara Kingsolver, Bobbie Ann Mason and Robert Penn Warren; and Woodward and Bernstein have nothing on Kentucky-bred journalists like Hunter Thompson, David Dick and Dianne Sawyer.
Rosemary Clooney and her nephew George remind us we are not a bad-looking bunch while George’s famous journalist father Nick reminds us to thank our watchdogs for their vigilance as they uncover the cruel intentions of those who would do us harm.
Kentucky is home, which is the best compliment I can give it. There’s really no place I’d rather be. I can walk out my front door, do a 360-degree turn and never see where Earth meets sky. I am completely surrounded by my mountains. They wrap my little town like the old patch-work quilts my grandmother used to make. I am contently nestled inside  the folds, warm and comfortable.
Having spent 20 years in the newspaper industry, working all over the Midwest, I am happy to be home again. I have called Southeastern Kentucky home my life and truly embrace the title of southern writer, bestowed upon me by my readers. I credit my writing talent to a colorful family full of natural storytellers with interesting stories to tell. I am happy to say I am nowhere near running out of novel material and interesting characters recalled from those tales. My first novel, Sister Blackberry, was released by Whiskey Creek Press in 2009; my second, House of Cleaving, will be released June 2011.
I make my home in Barbourville, Kentucky with my husband Frank, an attorney on our town’s courthouse square. I have given up journalism to focus more on my writing. So far it has worked out well. I work as alumni relations director at my alma mater, Union College, where my husband and I both received our degrees. Frank and I have two grown daughters, a dog and a cat.


  1. What a beautiful state you have. I've been there many times and have enjoyed each. :)

  2. Hi Melissa, I always love to watch the derby and see all the people dressed up. I'm sure you've lots of stories based on people and family you know. Keep up the wonderful writing. Nora

  3. Thank you for that fine blog about Kentucky. Everyone knows about the horses, but I didn't know about the rest. Your writing is lovely and the photos are beautiful. Good luck with your writing career.

  4. Well said, Melissa. A fitting tribute to a beautiful place.

  5. I can see why you love it! Congrats on the releases!

  6. I used to live in KY and will be moving back there with my mom when she's ready to move. I loved it and the scenery is breathtaking. thanks for the post today, the pictures were absolutely breathtaking.


  7. Hi Melissa,

    I have to agree. We drove through Southeastern Kentucky a few years back. I'm a native of Tennessee, so it's safe to say, Kentucky's beauty spills over the line. LOL

  8. Kentucky is such a beautiful state. I would love to visit one day. It is on our list. thanks so much for sharing. debby236 at gmail dot com


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