A Word from Author Melanie Schulz on the Creative Process of “The Newstead Project”:
On a whole, this book does not fit me. I am a wife, a mother, a nurse. But if you dig deeper you can begin to see how this warped story came from my mind. I specialize in psychiatry, first off, which explains how Nathan made it into the story. But more than that, it explains the love, the loss, the deep feelings and emotions that take place. Secondly, while I wasn’t in the military, my husband was. In a lot of ways, his stories are Joel’s stories. And lastly I live outside. If I’m not running outside, I’m nature journaling outside, or gardening outside.
Those were the bones that built this story. The rest came from research. If at all possible I physically went to the locations I wrote about. I’m a visual person, so seeing things first hand helped it be real in my mind. But there was a darker side to my research, as well. I was writing about a school that was created to gather and train monsters. I only knew of one place to go to get my arms around that. I went to the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. After seeing pictures of faces; some vaguely aware of the horror that awaited them, some not, I was able to write about a school like Newstead. As for the rest, a lot of it came from the Bible. I wanted to know what a Nephilim could really do, and what an Angel could do, and what a demon could do. I wrote this book knowing it could be real, and for me it had become real. I hope that for you, the reader, it becomes real as well.
The Newstead Project
Author Melanie Schulz
I live in Upstate New York with my husband and three children, where I’ve pretty much been planted my entire life. Which is fine, because it’s beautiful here. My only complaint is that most people assume that New York means NYC, which it doesn’t. There. I’ve done my part in exposing the truth.
Truth. The truth is I’m not a writer; storyteller maybe, but not a writer. It wasn’t something I spent years dreaming of, or even what I went to school for. I’m a nurse. I love being a nurse. So why write? I don’t know. I do know when it started, though. September 3, 2010. I know this because I nature journal, and on that day Joel made it into my notes. I guess that’s fitting. Someone like him needed to be birthed out in the woods.
If you were to meet me, and I hope someday you do, you would not connect me with this story. I’m a wife, a mother, a nurse. The person who wrote this should’ve been a guy, first off, secondly he should be some militaristic strategist; that’s who you’d expect to see if you were to come to a book signing, not me. But I’m there, in every line. So if I don’t have the good fortune to meet you in person, I hope to see you in THE NEWSTEAD PROJECT.
But I’m no coward, so I stood and faced the man that had spent the better part of two minutes staring me down. He didn’t flinch as I stood up to my full height. He still had me by at least four inches.
He nodded once briefly and then turned and swung himself onto the upper bunk. The silence in the room was palpable. Marcus was the first to break it as he turned to me and started talking, but I wasn’t paying any attention to him. I was too busy staring at the broad back on the upper bunk, wondering what the hell his problem was.
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