Mom’s Choice Awards is excited to announce another post in our interview series where we chat with the inventors, designers, publishers, and others behind some of our favorite family-friendly products.
Hi, Mom’s Choice readers, thank you so much for joining us today for another interview in our ongoing series! We recently had the chance to speak with Melanie Burgess, author of the Mom’s Choice Award-winning book, Fingerprints of God! Fingerprints of God is a beautifully poetic book, teaching children that the world has been created and God is the Creator. If you simply look at the beauty of the galaxy, the earth, and everything on the earth you can clearly see the truth of God’s magnificent creation. This is Melanie’s second interview with us and her third book to win a Mom’s Choice Award! Keep reading to find out more about Melanie and her newest award-winning book, Fingerprints of God!
MCA: Hi Melanie! Thank you so much for joining us today and congratulations on your newest Mom’s Choice Award. Can we start the interview by having you give us a brief background on yourself, including what you’ve been up to since we last spoke February 4, 2021?
Melanie: I am a 2014 graduate of Charis Bible College and the author and Illustrator of two other award-winning children’s books Stinky Owl and To Be Or Knot To Be. I am happily married to my husband, David. I am a mother, and grandmother and am an avid animal lover. I have 2 German Shepherds and 4 cats. I have been employed as a server at Applebee’s for over 8 years. Since 2021, David and I retired from our camp host position at Rocky Gap State Park and bought our forever home in my hometown of Westernport, MD.
MCA: That’s so exciting, congratulations on your forever home! Can you share with us what was your path to becoming a writer looked like?
Melanie: My path to becoming a writer was clearly directed by God. I never planned on, or even thought about writing children’s books throughout my life. Honestly, I don’t really even enjoy reading all that much, except for reading to my children. I always loved reading to my children and the children I used to provide daycare for. So it is ironic to me that God would lead me to write children’s books.
In 2016 I listened to a teaching by Andrew Wommack called What’s in your hand? He talked about God giving people creative ideas to help prosper them. He continued by saying that the ideas would normally flow through the gifts, talents, and abilities that God has given you. After listening to this I asked God to give me a creative idea using the talents He gave me. I had always been able to draw, so for me, my children’s books are just as much about the illustrations as the story.
MCA: What was your inspiration for writing Fingerprints of God?
Melanie: My inspiration for writing Fingerprints of God came to me when I was working on illustrating my 2nd book To Be Or Knot To Be. One night while lying in bed I just kept hearing “If God had Fingerprints where would they be?” I heard that question over and over until I finally asked “well God where would they be?” His answer; On the millions of stars overlooking a moonlit sea. I knew right then that God wanted me to write another book. I got up the next morning and penned it. It took me 2 years to illustrate the story and I added the African plains and the Mosquito Bay parts during that time.
MCA: Why did you feel you needed to add those pages?
Melanie: As I read through the story I saw how God had used so many places on earth, and in the galaxy. I felt something was missing so I once again asked God what was missing and I felt Him say Africa! As for the Mosquito Bay page, I was watching a Saturday morning program called Rock the Park. This is a program that it’s hosts travel to national parks to spotlight their beauty and wildlife. In this particular episode the hosts were in the Virgin Islands and they were talking about bioluminescent jellyfish and other organisms that emit light. At that time I was 50 years old and had never heard the term bioluminescent, and certainly didn’t know what it meant. Since my books all have an educational aspect to them I knew I had to include this amazing fact that only can come through a creator!
MCA: What are some of the key lessons found in Fingerprints of God?
Melanie: Fingerprints of God has so much to offer. The main take away of course is that if you simply look at natural things you cannot deny that there must be a creator. The scripture verses used throughout the book verify that the world has been created. Especially Romans 1:20 which says; Ever since God made the world, he has been showing people clearly about himself. We cannot see God. But the things that he has made show us clearly what he is like. We can understand his great power that continues forever. We can know that he is the true God. So there is no reason for anyone to say, ‘We could not know about God.’
The fun fact section at the end of the story has so much information in it that children and even adults can learn from them. True Science never contradicts the word of God and I used many of the aspects displayed in the story to educate children of the wonder and miraculous creations of God.
Lastly, the cover itself is a lesson. I thought about what to do for the cover for a long time, well over a year. I talked to God about it many times, asking for the Holy Spirit to give me a picture. Then one day I just saw it in my mind. I believe it is what God wanted for this book. The book is His, after all, He just used me as a tool to get it on paper. The hand is the hand of God, which is Jesus in his mortal body. The bubble is a circle representing God’s unending love for us. All bubbles reflect a rainbow on them. A rainbow is a sign of God’s covenant with all living creatures on the earth. Furthermore, to blow a bubble you use your breath, God breathed his spirit into Adam when he created him, so it also represents the life-giving breath of God. The tree represents life, growth, provision, beauty, and God’s family. From the beginning of creation trees play a major role in all of those areas. The tree is a symbol of where God meets with humanity and blesses them as part of His family. The water represents many things as well. Water symbolizes cleansing, life, refreshment, fertility, birth, and satisfaction. Water also points to Jesus. Cleansing is something that only Jesus can give us, he cleanses us from our sins. Jesus also gives us a new life, and water is used in baptism to showcase the acceptance of Jesus and the denial of self. Jesus is the Living Water and in Him is complete satisfaction so that we never thirst again. Furthermore the water is a representation of the Holy Spirit. The presence of the Holy Spirit brings life it refreshes and restores our souls. When we have God’s Holy Spirit living in us we have the life source of the Living Water from within, and we never have to worry about emptying our source. Finally, the waterfall flowing out of the bubble is the rivers of living water that flows out of the hearts of the believers.
MCA: What kind of response from readers have you received?
Melanie: I have received nothing but positive responses and reviews for my book. It blesses me to see how God is touching lives through my work. One of my favorite reviews says” Not only is Melanie Burgess an outstanding creative writer, but she is also a talented illustrator. She writes about seeing God in nature and then illustrates her points. Your child will enjoy seeing the different animals and scenery. You can see the hand of God in all aspects of creation. Share with your child that God shows His existence and it is up to the individual to look for those fingerprints. Melanie desires to share God and His love for His creation. She does this masterfully, and God will honor her work. Fingerprints of God is one book that needs to be on the shelf of every child who lives in a Christian home. Help your child understand that the God Who created the universe and everything in it is the same God that created and loves them.”
MCA: If you could ensure readers of your book walk away with one main lesson, what would it be?
Melanie: The main lesson in this book is that God created all things and you can find proof everywhere you look.
MCA: What is next for you in your writing career?
Melanie: God is leading me in a different direction in my writing career and has given me a wonderful story for a young adult Christian novel.
MCA: We cannot wait to read it, please keep us posted as to when it will be released!
You can learn more about Melanie Burgess and her award-winning book, Fingerprints of God by visiting her MCA Shop pages.
Sounds like a wonderful book for children!