Monday, June 27, 2016

Be My Guest: Melissa Tagg

by Andrea Renee Cox
You might have noticed that my guest spot got delayed a week. That's because I was so busy working on an editing deadline that I forgot to send out a reminder to my friend Melissa Tagg. Oops! Thankfully, she was cool with having an extra few days to work on her article. So now, here is the author of new release Like Never Before (see my review here).
What I Learned From Logan
by Melissa Tagg
Sooo… I’ve been a little less than subtle about my relentless love for the main character in my latest release, Like Never Before. The guy’s name is Logan Walker. (This is where I would normally insert like a bazillion heart emojis, but I’m trying to hold back. Lol!)
There are a lot of things I love about this character:
   His listening abilities
   His almost intense love for his family, especially his daughter, and his sincere desire to do right by them
   His honesty about his wobbly faith
   His simple kindness

Logan is not the quippiest or tallest or strongest or showiest hero I’ve ever written. (Although, I would argue that the dude who portrays him on the cover of the book is by far the most, ahem, adorable of all my hero models.) But he is very much the most… something. I can’t even really put into words why I connected with this character so much.

Though I do know the connection I feel with fictional Logan Walker is at least in part due to a life journey we went on together last year... 

See, Logan and I are alike in some ways. At the start of Like Never Before, we meet a Logan Walker who is a bit, well, tightly wound. He is consumed with his speechwriting career while at the same time almost desperate for more time with his daughter. He feels like he’s failing her. In some ways, he feels like he’s failing life. And then, to make things worse, in the opening chapters, a new major responsibility lands in his lap. He’s always had a plan, a roadmap… but now? He’s having trouble navigating too many twists and turns at once.

In short, he is overwhelmed. 

I don’t have a daughter with a concerning speech delay. Though I do have two careers, neither one has me traveling the country. And I haven’t inherited a newspaper like Logan does in Like Never Before.

But I do have things. Don’t we all? And in the months before writing Like Never Before, those “things” came to a head. I felt overwhelmed… buried in responsibilities… constantly worried that I was failing at being a friend and daughter and sister and employee and author. I was tightly wound and found it nearly impossible to turn off my brain and enjoy the life I was living. If I had any kind of life roadmap, by that point it was crumpled and stained. (Probably from coffee… because the more overwhelmed I feel, the more coffee I drink. :) )

Then I started writing Like Never Before...

And Logan and I went on our little journey together. A journey of slowly learning to let go… to loosen our grasps on the way we thought our lives should look. We gradually stopped worrying so much about letting other people down… and started praying, “God, what do you want for me? How do you want me to spend my days?” We started relaxing, remembering how to enjoy old hobbies, being spontaneous.

We unwound.

And we remembered a wonderful, simple, but somehow life-altering fact: We don’t always have to have a plan, a roadmap. We don’t even necessarily need to see the next step from where we are now.

We just have to trust. Trust the one who does have a plan… listen… make space for God’s whisper. And too, be willing to be a little flexible, a little brave. Because his roadmap may not lead where we expect. 

It’ll lead somewhere better.


How do you make space for God's whisper?

Tell us of a time when you let go of your plans only to discover that God's plan for you was way better than yours ever could have been.



Melissa Tagg
About Melissa Tagg:


Melissa Tagg is a former reporter, current nonprofit grant-writer, and total Iowa girl. Her latest book, Like Never Before, was named by Publisher’s Weekly to their spring 2016 “Religion and Spirituality” Top 10 list. When she’s not writing, she can be found hanging out with the coolest family ever–not that she’s biased–watching old movies, and daydreaming about her next book. Melissa loves connecting with readers at www.melissatagg.com and on Facebook and Instagram.



About Like Never Before:

Maple Valley became Amelia Bentley’s haven after her heart and her dreams of a family were shattered. But her new life as a newspaper editor is shaken when the small-town paper is in danger of closing. Her one hope: A lead on an intriguing story that just might impress the new publisher… if only she knew who he was.
Now available!
After his biggest campaign success yet, widowed speechwriter Logan Walker now has the chance of a lifetime—a spot on a presidential campaign. But his plans are interrupted when he finds out he’s inherited his hometown newspaper. He travels home intent on selling the paper and spending some much-needed time with his young daughter before making the leap into national politics.
But instead of a quick sale and peaceful break from his hectic career, Logan finds himself helping Amelia chase her story. She’s scrappy, but wounded. He’s dependable, but lost. They may butt heads more than expected, but a series of leads on Maple Valley’s quirky unsolved mystery is just the start of the sparks that fly in the office and in their hearts.

3 comments:

  1. Melissa, the content and depth of this article are exactly what I needed to read today. Thanks for fighting through the battles with God. And thank you for sharing the results of those battles with us.

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  2. This was SO needed. <3 (And also a great reminder about why I love Logan ;) )

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Meghan! Glad Melissa's article touched your heart today.

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