Melanie Finn was born in Kenya in 1964. She spent her childhood largely unsupervised, roaming suburban Nairobi’s remnant woodlands and back roads. When she was 11, she moved to Connecticut with her mother and stepfather, and later attended New York University, graduating with a BA in journalism.
For a decade, Melanie worked as a freelance journalist in Asia, Australia, the US and Africa, writing about a wide variety of subjects including the Grateful Dead, child soldiers and scuba diving. Landing in Los Angeles in the early 90’s, she lucked into a job writing erotica for the successful SHOWTIME series, The Red Shoe Diaries, starring David Duchovney. She then spent several years as a ski bum in Taos, New Mexico, before returning to East Africa to write her first novel. Away From You (Penguin, St. Martin’s Press, 2004) was long-listed for the Orange Award for Fiction and the IMPAC Award.
While in Tanzania, she met her husband, the wildlife filmmaker Matt Aeberhard. Together they made the acclaimed feature film, The Crimson Wing: Mystery of the Flamingos for NatureDisney. Following the life cycle of the elusive lesser flamingo, the film is also a love letter to Lake Natron, the remote and wild corner of Tanzania where the flamingos breed. During the three years they spent living at Natron, Melanie became the de facto medic to the local Masai, who had no meaningful access to medical care. Before returning to the US in 2009, she co-founded the Natron Healthcare Project to bring sustainable healthcare to the area.
Shortly after giving birth to twin daughters, Molly and Pearl, Melanie began writing Shame/The Gloaming. The theme of redemption after loss is inspired by her own experience of multiple miscarriages and by her need to find a hopeful world in which to raise children.
Find out more: I am a writer, I swing from a trapeze