Melinda Metz grew up in San Jose, California. People sometimes ask if she knows the way there. She kinda does, but she has an off-kilter sense of direction, so to be confident of arriving, it's better to consult some kind of navigational device.

Her mother tried to teach her to read in kindergarten, but Melinda had no interest. She also had no interest in learning to write her name. (FYI, when Melinda was in kindergarten it was all about finger-painting, play time, and naps.) Eventually, she mastered both and even majored in English at San Jose State University.

After college, Melinda moved to Manhattan to seek her fortune, which involved learning to identify fruits and vegetables while working at a grocery store, making $2.73 working backstage for an off-off Broadway play (her part of the box-office profits), and editing books.

Melinda and the lovely and talented Laura J. Burns pretty much became unofficial writing partners when they were editors at the same company. They teamed up to brainstorm story ideas, and at some point their brains fused in some key places. Later they worked on the Roswell High book series, Laura developing and editing the series, Melinda writing.

That series led to Melinda and Laura, now an official writing team, writing two TV pilots, moving to L.A. to work on the Roswell TV show, and briefly living in Toronto while on the writing staff of 1-800-Missing. They both continue to write books, together and separately.

Laura and Melinda have a new book out in January 2016--Sanctuary Bay, a young adult thriller set on an elite private school on an island off the coast of Maine, a school with many secrets.

Melinda's middle-grade book, Between Us, part of the Picture Perfect series, is set mostly in her current hometown--Concord, NC, because there aren't enough books set in Concord. It features some of her favorite places, including the Family Restaurant, which serves pancakes as big as your head!

The first four books in Melinda's S.M.A.R.T.S. series are out now, and there are two more to come. The series of middle-grade mysteries focuses on the kids in a makerspace club, and includes lots of science facts. (Melinda minored in Biology. Weird, huh?)

And--shhh--Melinda has a secret identity working in the children's room at the Kannapolis Library, where she gets to read stories to kids for money.

Melinda has never regretted learning to read and write her name.