‘Roswell High’ author to teach writing course at RCCC

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 7, 2014

Popular book series like “Harry Potter” and “Twilight” started a young adult fiction craze — or a revival, as some might say.
Now we see comic books flooding the big screen and young adult books like “Hunger Games,” “Divergent” and “Vampire Academy” sweeping the box offices.
Starting Aug. 12, aspiring writers can take a two-week personal enrichment course at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College to learn about the basics of writing fiction along with priceless techniques from author Melinda Metz in the college’s Basics of Writing Fiction class. A second class will begin September 12.
Metz, author of more than 50 books ranging from teens to middle-grade readers, will teach local aspiring writers how to turn their story idea into a real work of fiction.
Metz knows success firsthand. Her young adult book series “Roswell High” was turned into the TV show “Roswell.” In addition to writing for “Roswell,” she also wrote for the TV show “1-800-Missing.”
“Lots of people have grand ideas for books — the trick is to be able to build the story into a book and actually keep the story going,” Metz said.
The course is not just geared at those writing for a young adult audience. Before becoming a writer, Metz spent ten years as an editor, working on all kinds of fiction for both children and adults.
“Some people say, write what you know. I say, write what you like to read. I certainly don’t ‘know’ vampires, but I like to read about them, so I write about them,” Metz said.
In two-hour classes, students will write and explore their story ideas with a variety of exercises and writing prompts.
By editing work for a number of years, and writing for both print and TV, Metz has experience and expertise that can help local writers. As an editor for R.L. Stine’s popular “Fear Street” series, for instance, Metz learned the ins and outs of helping authors create their best work.
Metz has lived in the area for the last nine years and currently lives in Concord. She will share her best insider tips on how to write based on what you enjoy reading, how to make your ideas into a whole book and the best way to experiment with different genres.
“I didn’t start writing until I was 35. I had it in my head that writers were special, even though I knew a lot of writers. If I can help anybody get there sooner, I’d love to do that,” Metz shared. “Writing is not magical, it has to be learned.”
Metz is currently working on a young adult thriller for St. Martin’s called “Sanctuary Bay” due out spring 2015. She’s also working on a series of short mysteries for third and fourth graders.
Classes are offered on North Campus in Salisbury and the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis.
For more information, visit www.rccc.edu/writing or call 704-216-7222.