Featured Stories

Other Pamplin Media Group sites


Alexander teams up on new book

Lake Oswego High grad finding fertile writing fields in Los Angeles


The Autumn trilogy by Jessica Alexander and Dana Melton is about a young girl who finds the future to be a very exciting but dangerous place.

Jessica Kirby Alexander is still a Lake Oswego girl at heart. But she has found that Los Angeles is a great place to be a writer.

“I always miss Lake Oswego so much,” said Alexander, who graduated from Lake Oswego High School in 1999. “LA couldn’t be more different.”

As far as living goes, Alexander traded a garden for a traffic jam. But the soil for writers is rich in Southern California, and she has teamed up with her writing partner Dana Melton to produce “Autumn in the Dark Meadows,” the second book of a trilogy. Together the two young women write under the pen name of Kirby Howell.

Whereas their first book, “Autumn in the City of Angels” was an urban science fiction drama, the second book goes outdoors, where people are forced to learn survival skills. A teenager named Autumn Winters must learn how to survive when Doomsday strikes.

“Dystopian (the near future) fiction is really big right now,” Alexander said. “Our book has an apocalyptic theme, something like “The Stand” By Stephen King. It’s sort of science fiction lite. It’s not too heavy.”

Alexander’s drive to become a writer started as soon as she met Melton when they were freshmen at the University of Alabama in 2000.

They clicked so well that they teamed up to write a script that took a national award in a prestigious student script writing contest.

“We decided we were just right together,” Alexander said.

The professional bond grew tighter when they both moved to California at the same time and entered the television industry. They wrote up a storm for a lot of TV programs. This was fun but not quite satisfying.

“Four years ago we decided to abandon scripts and write novels,” Alexander said. “We thought, ‘Oh my gosh! This is much better.’ ”

While Kirby Howell’s main target is teenage girls, they have discovered a wide range of readers who like their books.

“Women of all ages like them,” Alexander said. “Even men like them. Women like the romance, and men like the science fiction elements.”

Alexander married her husband Brian (also a television writer) five years ago because he was such an inept driver of golf carts. While tooling around a course with Melton he crashed a cart, causing her to suffer a concussion. The person Melton listed to call in an emergency was Alexander, and Brian called her. From bad driving a romance bloomed.

It just might make a good incident for one of Kirby Howell’s future books.

For more information, go to kirbyhowell.com.



Local Weather

Mostly Cloudy

48°F

Lake Oswego

Mostly Cloudy

Humidity: 93%

Wind: 6 mph

  • 22 Nov 2014

    Showers 51°F 44°F

  • 23 Nov 2014

    Rain 50°F 44°F