About Melinda O'Neill

On a long enough timeline, the survival rate of everyone drops to 0 – Chuck from Fight Club
Melinda O'Neill
My mother and I had what my well-paid therapist would generously term “a complicated relationship”. The six years I spent caring for her, watching Alzheimer’s slowly suck out her soul like a dementor from Azkaban, were no Nicolas Sparks’ tribute movie.

But as I became the holder of memories she could no longer keep, I discovered a woman who, in her struggle to be ordinary, lived an extraordinary life.

In the end, she inspired me to hurry up and chase my own dreams before I could no longer remember what
they were. As part of that chase, I am now trying to be a writer.

The first advice given  to new aspiring writers is to "write what you know." Having survived my zany family into adulthood and created my own brand of family crazy with my husband, four kids, and a house full of pets, I knew my stories had to be rich with humorous family relationships.

As the dead bodies started spontaneously showing up in my stories, I thought I might be channeling some inner desire to murder certain family members. Jail was not really an option. So, instead of needing to hide the bodies in real life, I produced my first lighthearted, romantic mystery series.

This blog serves as a chronicle of my writer journey and a reflection space for some of the last lessons my mom taught me I am now trying to live every day. Many of them are not rocket science. If anything, looking back, I feel like an idiot for not learning some of them sooner, and I can hear her voice in my head saying, “See, if only you’d listened to your mother!”

So, I don’t profess that this offering will give readers any massive insight. What I do hope you find here is some kinship. If you have started a writer journey of your own, are caring for sick loved one, coping with an outrageous family, dealing with grief, in the midst of a life change or just trying to be a better you, your best you - come on in.

The cork’s out of the wine and I left you out a glass.

I am currently on submission with two mystery books and am represented by Priya Doraswamy of Lotus Lane Lit

Things About MJ O'Neill

  • I am stubbornly left handed
  • My favorite hair band is the Scorpions, much to my hubbies dismay
  • I have 4 kids ranging in age from 21 to 4 and am currently teaching one to drive a car and one to drive a bike
  • We have cocker spaniel named Divo (after the band) and a cat named Twilight, who is currently suing Stephanie Meyer for name infringement.
  • I am a TV talent show junkie - American Idol, the Voice, America's got Talent, So you think you can dance...bring 'em on. I love to see talented people win the lottery.
  • Beansprouts should not be allowed in Chinese food
  • Hockey fan
  • In high school, I was on the debate team. My characters have great arguments.
  • I grew up in a small Illinois town outside of St. Louis, Mo. where everyone knew everybody else's business. I also write a pretty good busybody. 
  • As a certified project manager (or a PiMP as my daughter says) I believe everyone's life should have a project plan. After caring for my mom, I think your death should have one, too.

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