Born and raised in North Dakota, Melanie Nilles continues to call the state home. Her interest in science fiction and fantasy was planted as a child through the rough times of shuffling between divorced parents, when she would escape through imaginary play with two brothers and childhood friends. Through the years, she fed her imagination with books and movies and knew from a young age that she wanted to put her own ideas into words.
After her mother remarried and moved her and her brothers to their stepfamily’s farm, Melanie turned to horses as her escape. Chasing cows became a way of life on the open prairie, which she grew to love. As her interest in horses expanded, she started showing in local 4-H shows and learned all she could about equine behavior and health. However, she never lost her interest in the magnificent worlds of science fiction and fantasy, and her horse craze fed her imagination.
As editor of her high school paper, she had a taste of the writing world, but it was never enough. In college, she started her first novels. Though they were never published, she considers them necessary practice towards reaching her dream of becoming an author. By the time she finished college with a Bachelor of Science degree from North Dakota State University in Fargo, North Dakota, she had several stories written but nothing published.
With nothing keeping her in Fargo, she moved to Bismarck, where she could live and work close to her family. Within a couple years of her return to western North Dakota, she met Allen Nilles online, and in less than two years, they were married.
Since then, her husband has been an inspiration to her writing in many ways. Both Allen and Melanie share an interest in dragons, fantasy, and science fiction, evident by their collections of Pocket Dragons, movies, and books.
After she finally saw her dream of being offered a contract by a publisher, a new world of publishing opened up. In 2009, Melanie decided to step into the new world of digital self-publishing and saw opportunities flourish that changed her life.
Melanie continues with her love of horses, an interest her husband doesn’t share. She currently owns a warmblood, which she trains in dressage with guidance from her USDF gold-medal instructor and visiting clinicians. She writes when she can around a schedule that includes time for her two children, husband, horse, and cats. But she also squeezes in time online on her blogs and forums. She now writes under two pen names to separate her styles of writing–Melanie Nilles for young adult and/or love stories and M. A. Nilles for darker subjects.