Melissa has been a closet Sherlockian since she was a young teenager, though even before she discovered the Canon, Holmes captured her imagination when she wrote a play entitled Sherlock Holmes Versus Dracula at the age of nine.
In November 2012, Brad Keefauver and Kathy Carter of The Hansoms of John Clayton came to a Christmas play Melissa wrote and directed entitled The Greatest Mystery of All, in which Holmes, Watson, and a myriad of other Canonical characters go back in time in a Sherlockian’s dream to investigate the first Christmas. Brad blogged about the play here–http://sherlockpeoria.blogspot.com/2012_11_01_archive.html This blog post provided Melissa with her first introduction into the larger Sherlockian world.
Since then, she has met several more prominent Sherlockians, and she is so impressed by their intelligence, wit, and friendliness that she is wondering why she was a closet Sherlockian for so long.
In June 2013, she won the 221B Cellars essay contest–http://www.221bcellars.com/1/post/2013/06/beeswing-essay-winner-melissa-anderson-of-peoria-illinois.html The essay is scheduled to appear in the Fall 2013 issue of The Watsonian.
Melissa has also recently finished a Holmes novel, which has been edited by Nicholas Utechin, and she has just begun submitting it to agents.