I’m Meri Greenleaf, a fantasy artist and writer from West Chester, PA, a suburb of Philadelphia. While I've always been an artist at heart, art was joined by a love of the written word when I began taking as many literature courses as I could in college. With this as my focus, I graduated with a degree in English in 2005 from Penn State University.

Around that time I began experimenting with fanficion, mostly involving The Lord of the Rings with a few other book fandoms thrown in. I say fanfiction, but in reality it was usually humor and parodies, most likely influenced by my love of Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adams, and Mystery Science Theater 3000. When I drifted away from fanfic into the fantasy world my husband and I had created for D&D games (The Acolyte's Map and Hidden Magic are my stories based in this world), I kept humor at the forefront.

My current project is a lighthearted series of fantasy novels (with an occasional short story) set in an arts-centric culture. Artists, inventors, and circus/carnival performers fill the cast of characters and make writing this a blast! I enjoy the opportunity to design cultures, species, and magic from scratch, so a lot of my time spent writing has also been spent world-building. I moved away from the vaguely-Medieval fantasy of my D&D world stories into something that's much more technologically and culturally advanced for this series. In Concordia, magic is science as much as it is art.

The Unexpected Inspiration series is kind of a mishmash of genres all around. It's fantasy that's quite possibly Young Adult or New Adult. It's got romance, comedy, magic, and a cast that's entirely LGBT+. And carnival performers. Lots and lots of carnival performers!

Subverting tropes and cliches brings me gleeful satisfaction. It's so much fun to blaze your own trail and make your own messes! (Okay, maybe that's my artist side speaking. Below are plushies/dolls I made of the main characters in Unexpected Inspiration!)

As well as writing and art, my hobbies include reading (British literature, fantasy, and Greek mythology are my favorite genres), visiting the Renaissance faire, putting together costumes, Dungeons and Dragons, studying tarot and runes, Pokemon, geocaching, and flow/circus arts. I’ve taken up hooping (hoop dancing), juggling, levitation/flow wand, and poi, which I will admit were largely influenced by the fact that I’ve spent so much time writing carnival performers. I joke that by the time I’m ready to have the series published, I’ll be adept at all of the flow arts. Research doesn't just have to come from books!

If you're wondering why this blog is called "Musings of a Messenger", the answer is because I used to write Messengers. My first characters were Cyneric and Raff, both clerics of a god of Mischief and Messages. Their winged fox holy symbol is still the symbol I use for my writing since I consider those two characters my original muses. I may not write them at the moment, but they hold a special place in my heart as the ones who got me back into writing and set me on my dream towards becoming an author.

If you're into social networking, you can find me in lots of places!
  • Tumblr
    (Where I share even more about writing including daily/weekly writing status updates and some bite-sized updates about my life with a little geekery and positivity thrown in.)
  • Wattpad
    (Another place I share my short stories; I'm gradually adding previously shared ones there.)
  • Twitter
    (Ramblings about writing whenever I can squeeze said ramblings into 140 characters.)
  • Pinterest
    (Inspiration boards based on my characters and fantasy world. Lots of pretty pictures!)
  • Instagram
    (Photos related to my writing progress along with lots of videos of my flow arts journey. My characters are carnival performers, so part of my research is learning different props and forms of dance.)
  • Facebook
    (I don't add people I don't know, but I do make all my writing posts public, so go ahead and hit the "follow" button.)
  • Google+
    (All my posts here are public, so you can do the follow thing here, too!)
You can also find some of my art/accessories in my Storenvy shop or view it in my Flickr photo gallery.