Growing up in Redwood Falls, Michele Neyers was a bit of a bookworm.
“I remember sitting on the floor between the shelves of the public library just reading books,” said Neyers.
Not only did that provide a form of entertainment for her it also became a source of inspiration for Neyers who recently had her first book published.
Neyers’ book “3 Lines, 30 Days: Unleash Your Inner Poet,” includes a number of poems Neyers has written in her life, but the book does more than that. It encourages others to do the same thing by writing their own poetry.
The 3 Lines, 30 Days theme provides a challenge from Neyers, which was initially presented to her.
“In 2013, I was introduced to a simple poetry challenge,” wrote Neyers in her book. “Essentially, the challenge put before me was this – write three lines of poetry every day for 30 days in a row.”
There are no other rules to the challenge.
Neyers admitted she never really saw herself as a poet, adding she always believed one had to be gifted to write poetry.
Yet, she discovered something more about poetry and herself as she took on the challenge, and she has done it several times since then. Many of the poems that are published in her book are the result of those challenges.
Neyers, who graduated from Redwood Falls-Morton High School in 1987, went on to study mechanical engineering and engineering physics at South Dakota State University in Brookings, S.D.
Following college graduation, Neyers was offered a job at a company based in Brookings.
“I had been an intern at a software company in Brookings and was offered a full-time job there,” said Neyers, adding she was doing technical writing, and as time went on she filled a project management role.
As the company grew, the need to expand arose.
“They had a lot of college and university clients on the east coast,” said Neyers, adding one day at a meeting the staff was asked if any of them had an interest in moving to the east coast.
Neyers volunteered and soon after had packed her bags and moved to Virginia. That was 1994, and she has lived on the east coast since. Today she calls Annapolis, Maryland home.
“In a lot of ways I think Maryland is a lot like home back in Minnesota,” said Neyers. “There is a lot of farm country around here.”
Yet, Neyers added what kept her there is living close to the water.
After years of writing technical pieces for the world of education, Neyers opted to go out on her own, and today she serves as a consultant writing and managing proposals for schools, colleges and universities.
Yet, she also finds the time to write and to pursue what she called her “creative passions.”
“I always wanted to publish a book,” said Neyers.
The process started five years ago, said Neyers, when she first did the 3 lines, 30 days challenge. Some of her creative friends were meeting together to talk about and read poetry, and she said just being involved in something like that was something she was not used to doing. It was in that setting when Neyers talked about her aspirations to write.
Along the way, Neyers was also able to meet Peggy McColl, a best selling author, who became her mentor as she continued the writing and publishing process.
“Peggy has helped so many aspiring authors,” said Neyers, adding some of them have become well-known.
Under the guidance of a mentor, Neyers honed her writing skills and learned more about the publishing process.
In the end, Neyers opted to self-publish her book, but added under the Hasmark Publishing company she was able to find ways to better market her book.
“Although I am self-publishing my book, Hasmark helped with the layout and distribution,” said Neyers, adding the reason for self-publishing was to get her book on shelves sooner rather than later.
While one can find the book online, Neyers said she also has many copies readily available for sale.
In fact, she is hoping to find somewhere in Redwood Falls to have her book available. She is also hoping in the near future to make a visit to the community to host a book signing.
Neyers credits Jan Ellingworth and Sandi Swartz, English teachers she had in Redwood Falls, for supporting and encouraging her in her writing.
“I have enjoyed the entire process,” said Neyers, adding it was very exciting to open the first box of books when it arrived.
One can find a copy of Neyers’ book for purchase on Amazon or by visiting her Web site at www.micheleneyers.com.
In the meantime, Neyers keeps writing.