Today we’d like to introduce you to Melissa Stuart.
Hi Melissa, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
My family moved to LA after my husband retired from the NHL. After 15 years in the fitness industry, my longtime dream of opening up a spin studio ended abruptly when my back suddenly ruptured after a day of horseback riding. I required emergency surgery, and in the ensuing two years, I endured several more spinal surgeries and was left with physical limitations to overcome. I was no longer able to do the two things I loved the most – teaching fitness and riding horses. Those days felt like a dark cloud was hovering over me, with little chance of the sun shining through.
I’ll never forget the moment that everything changed! My little girl, Stella had caught the horse-riding bug! This allowed me to find a new way to enjoy the magic healing that horses provide – through my daughter’s eyes! A beautiful pony named Luna eventually became part of our family. Luna’s name means “Moon” and Stella’s means “Star”. It felt like a match made in heaven!
One day I was watching my daughter ride her pony, and I noticed a yellow butterfly flying above her, just as they sometimes did when I used to ride. I was looking up enjoying that moment, and the words “ Always look up” came to me. When I began writing this book, those words became my focal point, not just for the book but for my life. That is how my book, “Butterfly Love From Above” came to be! I wanted to share with my readers that there is always something beautiful to see when we take a moment to “ Always look up”.
Instead of focusing on dreams that hadn’t come true, I chose to pick up the pen and re-write my story! I turned my pain to purpose and found my sunshine again by writing this book and getting involved with different Charity organizations that have become close to my heart. All proceeds of my book will help support charities for underprivileged children, equine therapy programs for children and butterfly/ wildlife conservation organizations.
My hope is that my story will inspire and touch the hearts of all who read it!
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
This writing and publishing journey was anything but smooth! When I first turned in my manuscript, I was thinking 3-4 months and it would be ready. After a lot of tears and wanting to give up due to so many unexpected delays and obstacles that were out of my control, it ended up taking 15 months! When I finally held the finished book in my hands, I literally cried tears of joy! It was a moment I will never forget. They say all good things come to those who wait, and that could not be more true of my journey!
Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I spent years in the Fitness Industry as a Group Exercise Director, Instructor and Personal Trainer. I’m looking forward to this new chapter as an Award Winning Author!
Any advice for finding a mentor or networking in general?
My writing journey began by taking writing workshops and one on one coaching through Performance Publishing Group. I also joined a few Children’s Book Author groups on Facebook, where I learned so much about the publishing process and great marketing advice for authors. Everyone is so supportive and helps encourage each other every step of the way! My PR company at forward publicity gets all the credit for a successful book launch!
- Paperback 16.99
- Hardcopy 21.99
- Gift set – Hardcopy / Butterfly Bracelet 39.99