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The Lookout | September 28, 2021

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English professor is published author

English professor is published author
  • On September 23, 2020

By Maddy Warren
Editor In Chief

LCC English Professor Melissa Lucken channels her passion for writing through teaching, and shares her knowledge and background with her students.

Lucken teaches ENGL 121, ENGL 278 and Writing the Novel at LCC. When she is not teaching, she spends a good amount of time writing. Lucken has published multiple books and has written fiction for almost 30 years.

“I’ve written in many genres: horror, young adult, paranormal romance, suspense, for example,” Lucken said. “The majority of my fiction is published under my pen name, Isabelle Drake.”

Lucken recently sold the gaming right for her chick lit novel, “Unfinished Business.”

“It’s in development with Higgs Technology, for the game ‘Stories and Choices,’” she said. “My most recent release is ‘Not Home for the Holidays,’ a flip of the typical Hallmark Christmas film.”

Holly Mayes, a former LCC student and a friend of Lucken, met Lucken at the YMCA a year before taking her class, Writing the Novel. The pair talked about writing and Mayes learned of Lucken’s class.

Mayes took Writing the Novel back in 2014. Prior to the class, she had been writing for her entire life, and had written scenes about a girl with superpowers.

“I had no idea how to gather those scenes together into something cohesive, or what to do next, so this course seemed like the next logical step,” Mayes said. “I enjoyed the class because Melissa (Lucken) provided instructions on how to keep moving forward and what to do when the book was actually complete, which is really the next hardest part of the journey – if you’re writing to get published and not just for pleasure.”

Lucken and Mayes forged a friendship after the class ended and are still close today.

“She enjoys writing and she enjoys teaching, it’s evident in her daily life,” Mayes said. “She is a dedicated writer. She sets time aside to sit down and write and she’s disciplined about it. I’ve learned that from her and I try to be as devoted as she is.”

Mayes has read a lot of Lucken’s work and the two now beta read for one another.

“I enjoy reading her work,” Mayes said. “Her characters are relatable and I think she has a way of sharing stories … That’s what writing is about; being able to escape this world, even if only for a short period of time and in a story.

“She does this in her writing and for me, her class taught me how to create those worlds myself.”

Lucken’s most recent work, her first nonfiction book, “The Binge Watchers Guide to Riverdale,” was completed this summer. In order to complete this, Lucken watched every episode at least three times.

“It’s a companion to the CW show ‘Riverdale,’” Lucken explained. “It’s meant to make watching, a.k.a. binging, the show more fun and more informed. There are episode summaries, chapters with commentary and analysis, and trivia quizzes.”

“The Binge Watchers Guide to Riverdale” is set to be published later this year. It will be available on Amazon and all other book retailers.