Once upon a time, there was a girl who loved books...

Misty Massey Mad Kestrel

Misty Massey, author of Mad Kestrel

My parents are both educators, and encouraged my reading addiction from the time it manifested sometime in kindergarten. I read everything I could get my hands on. I plowed through Nancy Drew, the Bobbsey Twins and all the wonderful horse stories by Marguerite Henry by the time I was ten, and soon moved on to C S Lewis, JRR Tolkien and Edgar Allen Poe.  I was one of those kids who was never seen without a book in her hand.  When I was twelve, we moved to the Lowcountry of South Carolina.  I'd never been anywhere so beautiful!  The giant live oak trees, the lacy Spanish moss, and the ancient buildings fed my soul's belief in magic.  I often wandered into the marshes near my home, certain that if I believed hard enough, the elves would show themselves to me.  (They haven't yet, but I'm not giving up.)  My father is a history buff, so we were soon touring all the historical sites we could reach in a day's drive.  During a trip to Charleston, SC, I began learning about the real pirates of the Caribbean and found myself utterly captivated. 

It was never a real surprise to anyone that I wanted to write books. My first attempt was a four-page short story based on my favorite television show at the time: The Wild, Wild West. They call that sort of thing fanfic now...  I was published for the first time in my sophomore year of college. My story, a fantasy piece based on the Olympic flame-bearers, didn't win first place but was chosen for the student anthology. Seeing my work in print was a sweet taste, one I wanted to experience again. Over the years I wrote short story after short story, and managed to sell a few to small-press magazines.

I joined a writer's group, the South Carolina Writer's Workshop, in 1995, and met the novelist Faith Hunter.  Faith encouraged me to try novel writing.  At first it was hell - for someone who was used to being finished before page 20, producing 80 to 100 thousand words was unimaginable. But I kept at it, and finished my first novel in 2002. I met my agent, Holly McClure, in the summer of 2004, and she sold my novel to Tor Books last June.  I'm presently hard at work on a second tale of Kestrel, and have a couple of other novels in various levels of production.

I am married, and we have one son. No cats or dogs around here (due to allergy issues) but we are owned by Cleo, a guinea pig, and Scarlet, a Mexican Milk Snake.  When I'm not writing or reading, I study Middle Eastern dance, and perform as a member of the Beledi Beat Dancers, under the direction of the amazing Yasmine, of the Bellydance Superstars. 

Misty Massey at the beach