Interview with correspondent, host, actress, and author Melissa McCarty

Today’s
guest wears multiple hats including, correspondent, host and actress. As an author, Melissa McCarty is here to talk about her book, News Girls Don’t
Cry.
Bio:
Melissa McCarty is a seasoned television news reporter and anchor. 
She’s been reporting the ‘late breaking stories’ for nearly fifteen
years. She earned her stripes in small markets such as Grand Junction,
Colorado, and Amarillo, Texas.
She made a name for herself in Las Vegas, where her investigative
reports made national headlines and served as the basis for an episode of
CSI.  One of her undercover investigations ended with an arrest, several
felony charges, and freed three women kidnapped and forced into a life of
prostitution.
After three years of reporting for ABC, Melissa was hired by CBS-2 and
KCAL-9 news, the duopoly in Los Angeles, as the go-to Breaking News field
reporter, where she often led multiple newscasts for more then five
years. 
She has appeared as an actress in several television shows such as ABC’s
Revenge, BET’s Real Husbands of Hollywood, NBC’s Chuck, FOX’s Lie To Me, HBO’s
Big Love, and films such as ‘In Sight’ and ‘Coldwater Canyon’. 

For the past year, Melissa has been the host for Newsbreaker a
division of ORA TV a new cutting edge TV network online created by the legend
Larry King and Carlos Slim. 
Melissa continues to lecture to journalism students at universities
in the Southern California area and periodically speaks to “at risk” teens for
community organizations. 
Her book News Girls Don’t Cry
is available at Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com  
Welcome, Melissa. Please tell us about
your current release.

News Girls Don’t Cry is a story about family, an inspiring
story of overcoming adversity, grabbing second chances and becoming happy with
your voice, with your choices. The crutch of the story is about loving someone
with mental illnesses and addictions. The book follows siblings growing up best
friends but torn apart over the years, as one sacrifices it all to succeed and
accomplish a seemingly impossible goal of becoming a Newscaster, the other
falls deep into darkness a world of gangs, violence, drugs and alcohol all
while trying to understand what was brewing inside; undiagnosed mental
illnesses. Melissa’s brother, her hero growing up, is bi-polar with severe
social phobias who spent years self medicating as no one in the family new
about the signs and symptoms of mental illness. So even as she calmly reported
the nightly headlines on TV, often times the topics were similar struggles
unfolding in her personal life. As she reported the news her brother was making
the news. In NGDC Melissa confronts the memory demons of her past, her regrets, and guilts and explores, as many career woman do, what hardened her along the way
and how she turned it all around. How her brother turned his life around and
chose life rather than risking death each day.
What inspired you to write this book?
The inspiration
to NGDC was my brother. Seeing his courage to overcome his mental warfare each
day, his addictions made me realize what I prioritized as important, my career
was not, what matters is family and not turning your back regardless of how
difficult they make it. His struggles are similar to millions and my raw,
honest and intense account of our journey will help others. 
Excerpt: Chapter 1
My Glamorous Life and Other Fallacies
            At
the age of twenty-two, only recently graduated from college, I conducted my
first live news broadcast in Grand Junction, Colorado.  I stood next to a dead child whose tiny body
was covered by nothing but a thin cloth. I was barely able to speak, deeply
shaken by the family on bended knees wailing at the feet of their baby. The
father had been pulling out of his driveway for a trip to the market, unaware
that his four-year-old had snuck out the door and run behind the SUV to join
him.
I
became fixated on the tiny foot poking out from under the sheet. Quietly hyperventilating,
I wanted to scream at someone to have the decency to cover it.
In
the many years since then, I have, in my role as a newscaster, seen hundreds of
lifeless or injured bodies, and witnessed up-close, distraught and hysterical
parents, children, siblings, friends and bystanders. The bodies come in every
manner and demeanor and disfiguration: decapitated, dismembered, bloodied, and
bloated. I’ve stepped in blood, feces, brain matter and more.
It’s
something I’ve never gotten used to. I did expect that my ability to stomach
such scenes would grow over time; others told me it would. I expected that I’d
become desensitized to it and be able to efficiently and effectively report on
it and move to the next assignment. Isn’t that what police officers,
firefighters and first responders learn to do? Why couldn’t I?
Long
after the cameras were turned off, the images and the back-stories lingered in
my mind, memories stacking up like books on library shelves. Regardless of the
“I’m tough” armor I strapped on for work each day, the images lived on in me
and replayed themselves over and over. Visions of death haunted me at night;
the sounds of screaming, pain-filled crying and shrieking robbed my sleep.
Tragic accidents, terrible crimes, devastating fires- and the faces and tears
of the family and friends upon learning about the demise of their loved
ones—seared my memory.
In
other words, I did become desensitized—but not in the way I had been told. In
response to the continuous exposure to horrific events, I distanced myself—walled
myself off emotionally, even from family, friends, and boyfriends. If they
didn’t understand why I had become so remote, they weren’t alone: quite
frankly, I wasn’t really aware of it myself. Not at the time. I had learned to
live in the real time of tragedy. The broad shoulders and brave face—smiling,
practiced, emotionally-restrained—of the newscaster were a crucial part of my
professional life. That persona allowed me to offer up the facts and shed light
on the issues of the day. It gave me the strength to counsel others in their
time of sorrow and pain.
But
it was also who I became all the time, even in my private life. I
couldn’t turn the channel off. I could easily tell someone else’s story:
families triumphing over illness, accident, or cruel fate. But I struggled with
accepting and supporting similar needs in my own family . . . and myself.
All
my life I’ve had an unrelenting drive toward success, yet I worked to keep
secret the upbringing that fueled that ambition. I was afraid of being judged
for where I came from and who I was then. I kept my past hidden from everyone:
the camera, my colleagues, the brass, even many of my friends. Almost no one
knew about my stormy personal history, one that could have made me a subject
for the evening news rather than the reporter. Given where I came from—the
family that I both loved and endured—it’s remarkable that I didn’t end up on
the other end of the microphone.
In
other words, for a woman in her thirties I have a lot of baggage. I’m not going
to say had a lot of baggage—because I still do. There will always be
baggage. I grew up with it. But the thing about baggage is that it can’t stay
in the closet for too long; it has a way of strapping itself around your ankle
like a ball and chain—and insisting on going everywhere with you. It lives in
your brain, governs your actions, and colors your sense of self-worth.
Ironically,
it was the same career that I used to push me forward that taught me about
myself and helped me turn my life around. Reporting on the difficulties of
other people was what forced me, finally, to not only confront the realities of
my own past, but accept and learn from them.
Which
brings me to my family . . . especially Mikey.
Always
Mikey.
What project are you working on next?
The next
phase for me is my transition back into TV which I’m excited about. I stepped
away for a year for this book and to work with a legend Larry King at his
company ORA TV an online network. Now I’m ready and excited to head back to TV.
When did you first consider yourself a
writer?
In my heart
I was a writer since high school. It’s when I’d sit for hours and days writing
poetry and reading each one to my friends. I became a paid writer right after
college.
Do you write full-time? If so, what’s
your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find
time to write?
After
college I became a paid writer/anchor/field reporter so I’ve been writing about
ten hours a day for almost 15 years.
What would you say is your interesting
writing quirk?
I love to
write with intensity, I dramatize often. Some would call me and my writing
dramatic but I think in color, I am drama, I am intense, and it’s just my
personality. But I see how others think it’s too much! Ha. 
As a child, what did you want to be
when you grew up?
I wanted to
be a supermodel. Then I wanted to be a life coach for troubled kids. So, I
combined the two and chose broadcasting for the vanity and for the community!
:o) wink, wink
Anything additional you want to share
with the readers?
I exposed
my deepest thoughts for purpose. I exposed my life and my brother’s life to
help others relate, learn, and realize we are stronger then we give ourselves
credit for, we can endure much and love even more.

Social media:  @Melissamccarty1, www.NewsGirlsDontCry.com or www.Melissa-Mccarty.com
Thanks, Melissa!

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