Author’s Corner: Former Kingsport resident returning to area for book signing

Holly Viers • Dec 19, 2018 at 1:02 PM

KINGSPORT — Though she now calls Canada home, Melissa Sneed Wilson has a special place in her heart for Kingsport.

A graduate of Dobyns-Bennett High School and East Tennessee State University, Wilson spent many years in Kingsport before relocating to Brooklyn, New York, and then Vancouver, British Columbia. She will return to the area on Thursday to sign copies of her recently released book, “Growing Up and Going Back.”

“The inspiration behind writing ‘Growing Up and Going Back’ comes from my own experience living in a small town and then moving away, the positives and negatives that come along with that,” Wilson said. “I always find it incredibly sentimental when I come back to visit, which I try to do twice a year.”

What’s your background?

Wilson is a native of Columbia, South Carolina. She grew up in Arkansas, Massachusetts and Argentina before her family ultimately settled in Kingsport in 2001.

After graduating from Carson-Newman University with a bachelor’s degree in communications and Spanish in 2011, Wilson earned her master’s degree in professional communication from East Tennessee State University.

Wilson worked in the communications industry for over five years and is now a stay-at-home mother to her son, Nolan. She writes as a hobby and is currently working on a second book called “Back to Bethlehem,” which follows a family that discovers the true meaning of Christmas.

About “Growing Up and Going Back”

Wilson’s debut novel follows Jennifer Johnson, who left her southern roots behind after college to start over in New York City. Just shy of turning 29, Jennifer is let go from her job as a public relations manager and returns to her hometown of Edmonds, Virginia, for the summer.

While flying back to her hometown, Jennifer reconnects with an old friend from high school, Aaron Scott. Throughout the story, Jennifer must learn to readjust to living life under her parents’ roof with her younger sister while beginning a new summer job in the most surprising of places.

The book was the recipient of Jan-Carol Publishing’s 2018 Believe and Achieve Award and is available for purchase through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Jan-Carol Publishing.

“At the heart of the book is a love story, not just the love we have for a romantic partner but our love for our friends, our parents, our siblings,” Wilson said. “At the end of the day, that is what matters most.”

When is the book signing?

The event will be held Thursday from 5-7 p.m. at Style Boutique in downtown Kingsport. Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the event.

“I hope my readers come away from my novel a little bit lighter than when they started it,” Wilson said. “I wanted to write a story that was positive, hopeful and encouraging. Those are the kind of books I like to read, and that is kind of author I want to be.”