For those of you following along, Ambassador International has started interviewing its authors. Most of the interviews can be found on our YouTube channel here
However, today we are honored to have an author of Melanie on the Move here in written form!
J.D, please introduce yourself to our listeners.
Hi, and thank you for this opportunity to share about my book, Melanie on the Move. I’m J.D. Rempel and I write contemporary and speculative fiction for all ages.
My husband, Matt, and I have been married for 28 years. We have a turtle named Applesauce who loves to play peekaboo. I’m an Anglophile (a person who loves British culture). When I’m not writing or spending time with my family and friends, I watch British TV – mostly mysteries, play games, and read.
Please describe your book, its message, and tell us why you wrote it. My book, Melanie on the Move, a contemporary middle-grade fiction piece is for girls ages 8-13. My tagline for the book is a modern-day Little House on the Prairie. Melanie on the Move is based on the verse Romans 8:28, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” It’s the first in my series, The NorCal Girls. In Melanie on the Move, Melanie’s life seems perfect. She’s the star on her swim team, she has great friends, and she’s turning thirteen in just a few weeks. But when her family is forced to move to Northern California, her world starts to unravel. Isolated in a new town, Melanie misses her father, her friends, her pool, and even her bossy older sister. While visiting a church, she hears the message that God loves and cares about her. But it’s hard to believe when more and more troubles fall on her family.
I wrote Melanie to show readers we can trust God when He allows bad things to happen and that God can bring something good even from the difficulties in our lives. Another reason is that I wanted to give middle-grade girls a story similar to the ones I grew up on but for today’s readers. When I was that age, I spent most of my time in my room reading The Elizabeth Gail Series by Hilda Stahl and the In Grandma’s Attic series by Arleta Richardson.
What inspired you to write Melanie on the Move?
Growing up, my family went to Family Camp at Alliance Redwoods Conference Grounds almost every summer. Melanie on the Move is set in that area. Our family had such wonderful times at ARCG. Every time I visit there, I feel my relationship with God deepening. ARCG means so much to me and I want others to have a similar experience. Part of the proceeds from all of my books is donated to Alliance Redwoods Conference Grounds for camp scholarships and maintenance. I hope readers will fall in love with the book and want to visit Alliance Redwoods too.
Did you name any characters after people you know?
Yes, I did. Quite a few in fact. Cindy, who is Melanie’s friend is named after my younger sister. In the book, Cindy has brothers named Trevor and Tyler but those are actually my nephews. Bonnie and Rachel are based on good friends of mine. Also, Mr. Carlisle is named after an English professor who really encouraged me in my writing so I wanted to honor him.
Are there any characters in the book who are similar to you?
Yes. Some of the characters have different aspects of me, but Katie is the most like me. Also, much of the story itself encompasses my beliefs, ideas, and experiences.
The character Melanie is interested in birds, did you have birds as pets?
Yes, we did. We had a few parakeets. When I was first married, I had a pet bird named Duke (after John Wayne since I love westerns) who was trained. I could take him anywhere and he would always fly back to me whenever I called his name. When I’d watch TV, he would sit on my shoulders and around my neck and preen me just like Paco does to Melanie.
What is the hardest part of the writing process?
Since I write in multiple genres and for different age groups, the hardest part of writing is choosing which project to work on. I’m constantly distracted by new ideas. Writing is a passion for me and even at a young age, I was always making up stories. It’s hardest to find the one God wants me to write and then finishing it.
What are your current projects?
I’m working on the second book in the NorCal girls series. It’s tentatively called Melanie at Camp Redwoods. I’ve also been doing the narration for the Melanie on the Move audiobook. Recently, I finished my audiobook for another one of my books, Marigold and the Snoring King which I hope to release soon.
Has there been any exciting news in your life?
Yes, my other book Marigold and the Snoring King, a children’s picture book won Honorable Mention in the 2020 Writer’s Digest Self Published Awards.
How can we connect with you or purchase your books?
Melanie on the Move which was released with Ambassador International on April 23, 2020, is available from most major retailers like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and christianbook.com. My website is jdrempel.com where you can find out more about me and my work, as well as purchase signed copies of my books. I host on my website a Give-A-Book contest where I draw names to give out a free book to a school or library of an entrant’s choice.
You can connect with me through Facebook at jdrempel. I am also on Instagram at j.d.rempel and Parler @jdrempel.
If you have a chance to read one of my books, I hope that the lessons Melanie learns about God find their way into your heart too!
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