About Melanie Lamaga

Melanie w Jaguar

Near Mexico City, with Aztec Jaguar

The Basics…

I earned a BS in Photography from University of Maryland at Baltimore County, and an MFA in Creative Writing from Virginia Commonwealth University, and I’ve been writing fiction for about twenty-five years.

My work has appeared in The Pearl, The Tusculum Review, Fiction International and Zahir. I published my first book in 2014, a collection of magical realist stories, The Evolution of Reptilian Handbags and Other Stories. Now I know what people mean when they say, “I can die happy!” However, I hope to finish a few more before I go. I’ve got a bunch in progress, mostly novels.

I’m also excited to be part of the newly launched Metaphysical Circus Press, which will be publishing stories and books in the fantastic, weird and magical realist modes. It’s a press by authors, for authors. We’re trying to reinvent the wheel so it rolls better for creatives: bigger slice of the pie, more control. It’s an exciting time in the publishing world, for those who aren’t afraid of change.

Going Deeper…

I am an iconoclast, DIY kind of person. I would rather take my time and figure things out for myself, then try to fit in someone else’s shoes. I leap into the abyss on a regular basis and see where I land. It’s not always the easiest way, but I recommend it, despite the skinned knees and bruises that sometimes result. Without them, I wouldn’t quite understand the world. I wouldn’t have compassion for the mistakes of others if I hadn’t made so many myself. I wouldn’t be able to tell stories.

For me there are no distinctions between spirituality and work, or art and life. As much as people and places do, stories and ideas have the power to transform me at my foundations. I’m interested in books that wake me up or make me dream, those that explore the intersection of subjective and consensual reality, and the spaces we inhabit when we step more fully into our truth.

Where it happens…

Most of the time I live in Baja California Mexico with my husband (Jose Angel Sanchez Pacheco, a marine biologist and conservationist). We operate a lodge and outdoor adventure business on a remote island, so if I seem to disappear in the summer, that’s why. The rest of the year, I madly write, edit, read, write the occasional book review, make art, exercise, play with the dogs, catch up with family and friends, etc. I try to be balanced, but the truth is I want to snatch as much life and art as I can in both hands. There may not be enough hours in the day to do everything I’ve got planned, but I’m giving it my best shot. No mistakes, only adventures!

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