Author Spotlight: Melissa de la Cruz
Young adult superstar author Melissa de la Cruz is one of our favorites. Who can't help but be captured by her popular series Au Pairs, Blue Bloods, The Ashleys, or The Queen's Assassin, just to name a few? Melissa has an impressive resume, having written over 30 books, been published in twenty countries, as well as topping some of the most exclusive bestseller lists around.
Melissa was born in the Philippines and grew up in Manila until age 13, when her family immigrated to the United States and settled down in California. After graduating from The Convent of the Sacred Heart, Melissa went on to study at Columbia University, where she majored in Art, History, and English.
Ever since she can remember, she has always wanted to be a writer, but her journey as a writer wasn't as straightforward as you might imagine. After graduating from Columbia, she took a job as a computer consultant, as it provided an income while she worked on her first novel. She recalls writing on weekends and being desperate to leave the corporate world even though she was good at it.
Incredibly, she finished her first novel at 22, but it wasn't the success she had been hoping for. One of the agents that responded to her was Geoff Kloske, and although he wasn't interested in buying her book, he saw something in her writing and suggested she start writing for magazines so that she could become more well-known. She went on to publish her first essay in the New York Press in 1996 and covered the fashion world for them for a number of years.
Success at last as she published her first novel called Cat's Meow, in 2001. But the book that led to her entry into the exciting world of young adult fiction was How to Become Famous in Two Weeks or Less, which she wrote with Karen Robinovitz. As a result of its success, she was contacted by Simon & Schuster, asking if she would be interested in writing a glamorous book for young adults. And the successful series The Au Pairs was born. It was a book that would change her life.
She enjoys writing for young adults as she loves their enthusiasm and believes that teens are the best readers, as they pay attention and definitely aren't shy with their feedback. But part of the appeal is that she feels like a teenager again!
As they say, success breeds success, and Melissa was approached by Hyperion to try a new genre, horror! She had already been heading that way with thoughts of writing a dark fantasy book, and Blue Bloods came into being. She has continued to inspire young adults with Angels and Sunset Boulevard, The Ashleys, and The Beauchamp Family.
Other works include the Heart of Dread trilogy which she co-authored with her husband Michael Johnston, The Ring and the Crown, The Wolf Pact, Alex & Eliza, the Disney series Descendants (the list is endless), and her most recent work, The Queen's Assassin.
Here are a few of our favorites -
The Au Pairs is a delightful story focusing on three different girls who are nannies in the Hamptons to a wealthy family—they babysit by day and party by night. Her style of writing flows easily captures you; before you know it; hours have passed as you are transported into a world of fun, full of romance and drama.
Her dark fantasy series Blue Bloods has been a resounding success, with over three million copies in print. The series follows a group of diverse New York teens as they trace their ancestry to the Mayflower and discover their secret heritage - they are Blue Blood vampires, fallen angels who were cast out from heaven with Lucifer and are doomed to live on earth. As they start to discover their new powers, there is something or someone out there who is hunting them. Is it the Silver Bloods, vampires who feed on other vampires, or something equally sinister? This series will have you riveted from the get-go!
Angels on Sunset Boulevard is a series based in Los Angeles and is about a group of teenagers who are trying to fight an evil cult that lures their members via the Internet. But don't be fooled; it isn't all dark—there is plenty of romance, drama, and a bit of rock and roll.
Her series The Ashleys appeals to all teenage girls following four girls, three of whom are called Ashley, and yes, they are those popular girls in junior high we all envied. Lauren, on the other hand, has transformed herself from geek to goddess and has one objective, to destroy the rule of the Ashleys and make the seventh grade a place for everyone.
The Queen's Assassin is filled with excitement and mystery. The story centers around the Queen's deadly assassin Caledon Holt, who has inherited a blood vow from his father. He is bound to the Queen until he fulfills the task of finding the magic scroll. Shadow, on the other hand, is a young girl who dreams of becoming an assassin and a member of the guild, even though her family has other plans. Her loyalty is to the court as he is to the Queen.
The prospect of war and a surprise attack force the pair to work together as assassin and apprentice where they uncover secrets that will change their lives forever. The inevitable conflict between love and duty ensues in this fantasy-filled drama. Who knows how this will end?
And when she isn't writing, she spends most of her time with her daughter, husband, and family. Going out for dinners, seeing friends, and planning the next holiday are all on top of her list. And speaking of holidays, it is what motivates her to finish a book, knowing there is an exciting holiday on the horizon. We can't wait to see what she has in store for us next!
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