Del Mar author publishes novella ‘His Mistake’


Melissa Lowes appreciates feedback from local community

By Marlena Chavira-Medford

Staff Writer

Del Mar author Melissa Lowes recently completed “His Mistake,” a wartime story set in WWI Europe. The plot centers on Frances, a privileged English woman who is plucked from high society and plopped into Southern Germany while her husband Reginald serves as a wartime correspondent on the frontlines. It is here that Frances befriends a German woman —the enemy — and eventually falls in love with a Belgian man.

“Though there is a love story, I wouldn’t call it a romance,” Lowes said. “All of this is happening amidst a war, so there is the grit and darkness of battle.”

To create that wartime scene, Lowes spent months researching.

“I wanted every little detail to be accurate. If I was talking about air raids or ships being sunk or field hospitals in war zones, I wanted all of those to be accurate descriptions,” Lowes said. “I actually learned quite a bit while writing this book. For example, one of my characters is a wartime correspondent, so during my research, I learned just how dangerous this job really was. I had always assumed that these reporters were out of harm’s way, off in a tent somewhere. But they actually went into battle in uniform, down on the frontlines with the rest of the soldiers.”

Using that historical context as a frame, Lowes weaved a complex tale, one that was inspired in part by a close friend’s experience with adultery.

“After hearing that story, I took it and ran with it. Before I knew it, this story and all the characters in it had taken on a life of their own,” she said of her novella, which at about 30,000 words is shorter than an actual book. “It took me about six months to write. Once I had the story in my mind, the rest just flowed.”

“His Mistake” will hit the shelves of neighborhood libraries and local bookstores this January, something Lowes likens to “your baby finally going off into the world.”

“I’m a local author, so I really do want to hear feedback from readers in this community,” said Lowes, who also has a son at Earl Warren Middle School. “Whether it’s positive or negative feedback, I want people to tell me what they think. I want to hear all of it so I can take it in and grow as an author.”

Lowes, who has also had a few short stories and an essay on Charlotte Bronte published, said she hopes to soon publish more work. She said she’s working with a literary agent on her latest project, a historical fiction about the Boer War of the 1880s, so “fingers crossed there’s more to come soon.”

For more information about Melissa Lowes and her latest work, “His Mistake,” visit


Some of Lowes’ previously published works include: