Melissa Yapp was born and raised in Newcastle to a dedicated engineer dad and a devoted stay-at-home mum. Books and writing were always celebrated and encouraged with both Melissa and her older brother from a very young age – one of Melissa’s fondest early memories was sitting at her mother’s typewriter composing Shirley Temple stories.
Melissa continued to enjoy writing in her school years. Her mother’s influence of loving and caring for stray animals led Melissa to favour animals and pets as the stars of her work.
When it came to choosing a career, Melissa knew she wanted to help children – her mantra has always been ‘when you help a child, you help a whole family’. This initially led her to a career as a special education teacher, where she learned valuable teaching techniques, worked with committed, teachers and happily led the choreography in several school concerts. Working with a speech pathologist in her classroom, Melissa was drawn more and more to this profession, enjoying the opportunity to focus on specific challenges with individual families. She eventually bit the bullet and retrained as a speech pathologist.
Melissa now works in private practice as a senior speech pathologist and loves every minute. She exercises her writing muscle through producing some of the practice’s blog content, drawing on both her speech pathology and teaching knowledge, as well as her parenting and life skills.
Melissa lives in the Hunter region in New South Wales, Australia, with her wonderful husband Andrew, their two spirited and inspiring children, along with their adoring cavoodle Abby and their somewhat aloof kitten Hamish. Their favourite place is their backyard, growing vegetables or scootering around for the whole neighbourhood to hear.