Meet Melanie Weiss
Melanie Weiss, MSN, RNC-MNN, IBCLC, CPA, is an award-winning author of two medical picture books for children and teens. She’s a registered nurse and adjunct professor at Adelphi University's College of Nursing and Public Health in NY. Melanie lives on Long Island with her husband and has three adult sons.
When did you realize you wanted to write a book? What inspired you?
I was inspired to write a book due to a relative who had a rare condition and was unable to find any children’s books on it at the time. My first book was published in 2015.
What are the titles of your books ?
My first book is entitled, In a Pickle Over PANDAS. PANDAS is an acronym for Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Streptococcus. It's an atypical autoimmune condition triggered by a strep infection or exposure, and falls under the umbrella term PANS. PANS is an acronym for Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome, which includes other bacterial, viral, and fungal infection causes.
My second book is entitled, In Limbo Over Lyme Disease, published in 2019. Lyme disease can be a trigger for PANS.
What genre do your books fall under?
My books are medical picture books. In a Pickle Over Pandas is for children. In Limbo Over Lyme Disease is for tweens, teens, and young adults.
How long did it take you to write your first book?
It did not take me very long to write my first book but finding a good illustrator took some time.
How did you go about finding an illustrator?
I placed an ad, and word of mouth, but ultimately, my publisher was able to provide me with an illustrator who did a fantastic job.
How closely did you work with your illustrator? Can you briefly explain the process?
I was concerned because I did not work as closely with the illustrator as I had expected to. I sent him my manuscript and he came up with illustrations for each page of text. Regarding the cover, it was my vision that was used in the end. The illustrator was completely in sync with what I wanted the pictures to convey and we never actually even spoke.
Have your books won any awards?
My first book, In A Pickle Over PANDAS, won multiple awards, including:
Silver Medal - 2016 Living Now Book Awards (Children's Non-Fiction)
Bronze Medal - 2016 eLit Electronic Book Awards (Health/Medicine/Nutrition)
Finalist Medal - 2016 Next Generation Indie Book Awards (Children's/Juvenile Non-Fiction)
Finalist - 2016 10th Annual National Indie Excellence Awards (Medical)
Finalist - 2016 Readers' Favorite International Book Awards (Children's Educational)
Five Stars - 2016 Readers' Favorite and Amazon Book Reviews
My second book, In Limbo Over Lyme Disease, so far, has won:
Finalist Medal - 2021 Next Generation Indie Book Awards (E-Book Non-Fiction)
Five Stars - 2021 Readers' Favorite and 2019 Amazon Book Reviews
This book was also featured in the Adelphi University 2019 Authors & Artists display and reception, as well as the 2020 Adelphi Research Magazine.
Did you seek out contests/awards specifically related to your genre? If so, how did you go about finding them?
I did a Google search to find what book contests existed but then had to make sure that my books were eligible. There are certain criteria that must be met, especially related to when the book was published.
Do you have plans to write additional books?
I started a novel several years ago but have not found the time to work on it further or complete it. I have three chapters completed. It is a romance/adventure novel.
What advice would you give to writers just beginning the process?
My advice is to take your time writing and finding a publisher that has a good reputation and is trustworthy. In my case, I used a publisher that assisted me to self-publish my books.
To purchase Melanie's books: