Author Dr. Melissa Yuan-Innes, jumping for joy in Taiwan

Local author begins global adventures on the page and through audio waves

Author Dr. Melissa Yuan-Innes recently signed a five-book contract with NARAT, a leading organization in worldwide adventure travel, and a three-book exclusive audio contract with the Kobo Originals program.

Yuan-Innes, who writes fiction under the pen name Melissa Yi, will create a unique, character-driven adventure novel series set in different locations around the world, starting with Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands.

This is the first time a travel company has collaborated with an author to write novels of international intrigue in this capacity.

“We’re still working out the book details,” says Yuan-Innes, “but the protagonist is a man of classic adventure who’s drawn into an global web of intrigue. He’ll be inspired by Thanushka Nanayakkara, the founder and CEO of NARAT.”

Is it ironic that Yuan-Innes signed the contract one month after releasing her sixth Hope Sze medical thriller, Death Flight, which depicts murder on board an airplane?

Yuan-Innes laughs.

“I thought of that, too. I’ll keep an eye open in the air—not to mention when I’m hiking up Cotopaxi Mountain, or checking out blue footed boobies in the Galápagos!”

Meanwhile, in Canada, her first three Melissa Yi medical mysteries will transform into audio books delivered exclusively through the Kobo Originals program.

“I’m excited that readers who listen to books will be able to hear Dr. Hope Sze for the first time. Kobo Originals launched with Zoe Whittall’s The Best Kind of People, which was nominated for the Giller Prize, and Cherie Dimaline’s The Marrow Thieves, a Canada Reads finalist, so it’s a huge honour to have Code Blues, Notorious D.O.C., and Terminally Ill join that kind of calibre.”

The narrator for the Hope Sze novels, Jenny Kelly, is a San Francisco-based voice actor over ten years of experience in studio and on stage, with a special passion for audio book narration. Yuan-Innes says, “I liked Jenny Kelly’s humour and warmth, because even when Hope faces the most harrowing adventures, she laughs. Even if it’s through her teeth.”

Although Yuan-Innes will be roaming the globe, she’ll return to South Glengarry to write her novels, including the seventh Hope Sze thriller. She says, “Charles Darwin wrote that ‘nothing can be more improving to a young naturalist, than a journey in distant countries.’ At the same time, as Dorothy pointed out in The Wizard of Oz, ‘There’s no place like home.’ I can’t wait to explore the world and create back home, surrounded by my family and friends.”


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