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The Write Job

Jan 07, 2013

Melanie Chrismer insists that writing is the right job for her. “Writing stories is fun, but making it fun for others is hard work,” she says. “Of course, hard work pays off. When you complete a story, then the reward is that feeling inside. It’s when you say to yourself, ‘What do you know. I did it!’ ”

Melanie’s been doing “it” since third grade, when she wrote a story and discovered her words had the power to make others happy. This made her especially proud because she had a slow start reading and writing. “I learned to read in the first grade,” Melanie explains. “At first I was in the lowest reading class. I had a hard time focusing. It turned out that I needed strong glasses. When I could see better, I began to read better. Then I began to write.”

As an adult, she launched her writing career by working at jobs where words ruled—in a library, at a school, and as a freelance writer and newspaper reporter. One of Melanie’s freelance writing adventures led her to ride NASA Space Center’s Vomit Comet—the zero-gravity astronaut trainer. While there, she met Edwin Hubble, the scientist who designed the Space Hubble Telescope, and turned that experience into one of her first published books, Highlights from the Hubble Telescope: Postcards from Space. “Everything can be used for a book,” Melanie says. “There’s an adventure in every story.”

Find out what Melanie loves most about her home state of Texas, how writing can be like making a dress, and who some of her biggest inspirations are (hint: her teachers!) on The Studio.