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about the author

Born in the Salinas Valley in 1980, Melissa now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. She received a degree in Psychology from the University of California at Davis and has ten years of experience in the field. Melissa currently works as a developmental cognitive neuroscientist taking pictures of kid’s brains. She studies how risk factors for mood disorders are transmitted from parent to child. Scientific papers she has contributed to have appeared in professional journals such as the Archives of General Psychiatry (JAMA), and Biological Psychology. Her professional research experience in the realm of psychology and psychiatry has proven invaluable in the development of this project.

In preparation for writing FINE, Melissa attended a yearlong workshop course in memoir writing at Stanford University gaining the skills and feedback necessary to fully realize her vision. She has also participated in additional workshops and short courses offered within her community. Melissa continues to connect with other authors by attending literary events and participating in a writers group. She maintains a blog detailing the often comical ups and downs of her writing experience as well as devotedly Twittering with other writers and scientists. Melissa enjoys the opportunity to connect with, and hear from, potential readers.

Continuing to lend her expertise in the realm of psychological memoir, Melissa is developing a second project titled Crushed: A Daughter's Memoir of a Hoarder which centers around her father’s own psychopathology of obsessive-compulsive disorder and depression. After her father suffered a debilitating stroke, Melissa saw with her own eyes, as she waded through generations of junk, why she was never allowed to visit his home. Her story and pictures, featured on CNN’s Larry King Live segment “Hoarding,” reveal what can happen when a man buries himself alive and leaves his daughter to clean up the mess.

In her personal life, Melissa volunteers her time to Oakland Rotary-3’s Three Books for Every Third-grader program, San Francisco’s Annual Literary Festival: LitQuake, and works as an advocate at her local rape crisis center. She is also an accomplished quilter, admitted tech geek, and avid runner.