DR. MEL'S MESSAGE - From my novels to my other projects, no telling what you will read. This is the only place you will get to read about how I developed a screenplay into a novel and what is the driving force. I will talk about many things from films to books to acting to producing. It really will depend on where my mind takes me. I hope you will join me on this journey.
your readers a little about yourself, where you grew up, where you live now,
where you went to school etc. Let them get to know the personal you.
thing most people remember about me is my prosthetic eye. A lawn dart accident
claimed my left eye when I was 11. Not only has it given me a unique
perspective on life, but it has deepened my trust in God and His sovereignty.
Now, I write and help others produce their works. Everyone has a story to tell,
and I’m equipped to help through Story Builds Creative.
I live in North Mississippi (near Memphis, TN) and lead worship at my
church, Compel Church, with my wife.
Coming from the rich writing heritage of Mississippi, I also write fiction
under M. Lacey. I hope to stretch people mentally, emotionally, and
My non-fiction work comes from over a decade of leading worship and pastoring
people, helping them encounter God and experience life change. As a creator
himself, I am always chasing passions and striving to be better.
My degrees in math and English came from the University of Mississippi (Ole
Miss). That experience, along with vocational certificates, self-taught
musicianship, and woodworking, deepens my storytelling and ability to connect
On most days, you can find me with a mason jar of sweet tea or wrestling with
my two young sons and baby girl. By writing consistently, I am working towards
a life where I can spend more time with my family while inspiring others to
live out their dreams.
the 6th devotional book in our Christian Devotional collection, and our
followers and writers voted. This one was next on the list, as much as I didn’t
want to do it! I’m so glad I did, though. I love writing and supporting other
authors in their careers.
Where did you get the inspiration for your book’s cover?
create covers for these books and for my clients. I used the previous books as
the template, so it was all about the photo next. Searching for something that
served the devotional concept and Christ-centeredness, I went through maybe a
hundred photos, then dozens then landed on about 6 I liked. I had our
followers vote for those to get to the final two, and then I used my discretion
as a book producer to choose the final design. I love how the light between the
couple symbolizes Christ, and the overall brightness keeps it hopeful; no matter
how hard it is, God can take your marriage from broken to beautiful.
Who has been the most significant influence on you personally
and as a writer?
authors, C. S. Lewis is a huge inspiration due to the scope of his work in
fiction and non-fiction as well as the depth of every piece he’s created.
Oswald Chambers is another standout as “My Utmost for His Highest” showed me
the value and power of devotional works.
Personally, there have been several people—from family members to church
leaders—who have influenced me. But the people I’m most inspired by are my
children and, thus, my present and future self. I want them to know how capable
they are, what they can accomplish, and even how to become what God has created
them to become. As I continue to search for that myself, I can help lead them.
What were the struggles or obstacles you had to overcome to get
this book written?
challenge was insecurities in my own Christ-centered marriage. I share more in
the book, but it’s hard to feel like I have the wisdom to offer when our marriage
isn’t perfect. I realized the goal is closer to perspiration than perfection.
We’re fighting for our marriage; I want others to see that.
The Second was finding high-quality writers and getting their work edited
to our standards. Managing 30 people, authors/writers/editors/submissions/etc. is no easy task! As I work on further collaborations, the system gets better each
And finally, the hardest part of this collaboration was making the time to work
on it through various changes in my personal and work life. In 2021, I produced
and/or wrote at least 9 books. In 2022, I went full-time at church, and we
had our third baby on top of other commitments and jobs.
crazy thing is that this isn’t JUST my book…it’s a collaboration (which I
produced and wrote for) from over a dozen authors and several more people with
stories who aren’t technically authors.
The truth that we dive into is that marriage is designed by God, and it is for
Have you ever seen those marriages that seem to just have everything together?
Clearly, God is in the center of it, and He put those people
together. Well, this book is NOT full of those. God may have formed the unions,
as only He can, but these are stories of REAL marriages, problems, and
God-given solutions. One day, you’ll have that marriage everyone envies, but
you’ll also have a story of God’s faithfulness to use that marriage for good. We
need all the help we can get, so I asked my author and married friends for
their stories, seeking out the BEST advice they had for cultivating strong,
enduring marriages centered on Christ. Some of these devotionals are from “equally
yoked” marriages. Some are from believers married to non-believers, and some
are from married couples who found God together along the way.
particular book is for Christians (of any age) who are married or considering
marriage as well as those who may be married to non-believers. The cover makes
it feel like it’s for newlyweds, but the various authors write from multiple
stages of their marriages, from newlywed to 30+ years.
What do you consider your greatest success in life?
greatest success isn’t about me at all; it’s about Jesus. The salvation He
offers, which I accepted, is truly immeasurable and eternal.
Next to that, I believe the way my kids are growing up and excelling means a
lot. I’m also a 6x best-selling author of Christian devotional books, a fiction
author, a singer/songwriter, a worship leader, and a woodworker.
What one unique thing sets you apart from other writers in your
The multiple author
viewpoints make every piece more potent. By doing this, the reader receives the
very best from each writer while also reading from various perspectives, some
that may challenge more than others.
As for me, my writing
comes from a deep, growing relationship with a God who has allowed many
difficult things to happen yet gives peace through each trial. I will always
look for a unique perspective when writing, teaching, and sharing.