Jim Melvin was born in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., but spent the majority of his life in St. Petersburg, Fla. He now lives and writes in Clemson, S.C.
Jim grew up on the shores of Tampa Bay, and he spent much of his childhood swimming in shark-infested waters and not even knowing it. At the time, he probably was too skinny to attract a bull shark’s attention.
About 10 other boys Jim’s age lived on his same street, and they hung out morning, noon and night playing the usual sports that young boys love—football, baseball, "kill the carrier,” etc.—but as a group they also were obsessed with playing fantastical games that contained magic, monsters and super heroes. It was in this setting that Jim’s imagination was born and nurtured. To this day, he still likes to play "kill the carrier.” (Not.)
Jim wrote his first novel, titled Sarah’s Curse, when he was 20 years old. It was shopped by an agent but did not find a home. Jim didn’t care. His second novel, which he decided to call Death-Know, would be the one that hit it big. However, for the next 25 years there would be no second novel. Life got in the way. It wasn’t until his mid-40s that Jim finally wrote book 1 of his six-book high fantasy series, The Death Wizard Chronicles. As it turned out, it worked out for the best. Life’s experiences had rounded out the setting.
Jim graduated from the University of South Florida (Tampa) with a B.A. in journalism. He was an award-winning journalist at the St. Petersburg Times (now called the Tampa Bay Times) for most of his career. As a reporter, he specialized in science, nature, health and fitness, and he wrote about everything from childhood drowning to erupting volcanoes.
Jim likes to meditate. It clears his mind for long bouts of writing. He also enjoys the study of Eastern philosophy, which provides excellent fodder for high fantasy.
Jim is married with five daughters. His three youngest daughters were adopted from Cambodia.
Recently Jim finished book 1 of a young adult fantasy trilogy titled Dark Circles, which is about a group of kids who are transported to a land where it is deadly to sleep.
His Books from BelleBooks/Bell Bridge Books: