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A work in progress

Kathleen Squire-Merolla gave herself 30 days to write an entire novel in November 2008.

The result was her first mystery, dedicated to her love of Native American tradition, and entitled The Revelation. It's a story about a Native American woman named Raven Lonewold who falls into a coma after a car accident where she travels through a past shown to her by family ancestors.

"I have Native American roots," she said. "I'm from Syracuse, and I have Onondaga roots in my family tree."

Merolla, a Latham resident, started the book after her friend tipped her off to the National Novel Writing Month's website (www.nanowrimo.org), which gave authors a goal to write 50,000 words in 30 days. The guidelines were to write what she knew about, so she wrote about Native American culture.

Her three subsequent books have not followed the same theme, though, but they all fall under the genre of adventure-mystery, as it is Merolla's favorite genre.

Currently, Merolla has been promoting her two latest novels. "Lies and Deceit" is a story about siblings separated at birth and placed into separate foster homes only to reunite later in life, and "Celebrity" is about a girl who was attacked by a stalker early in her life only to be tracked down again after winning a national singing contest similar to "American Idol."

Merolla said she found inspiration for "Celebrity" while watching "American Idol" on television and wondering if she could deal with the transition of going from a regular person to famous, similar to what some of the contestants on the show experience.

"It's all of these starry-eyed people going into those competitions," she said. "What happens? Is fame all you thought it would be?"

She added that once a person wins a competition like "American Idol" they instantly lose their anonymity. She then asks herself, "Is that something I'd want?"

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