Welcome to my author's biography page. After learning a little about me, please also visit my blog page, Michelle's Musings, where topics range from current events to the writing process. For now, I'm posting on the 15th of each month.
As a fan of mystery and suspense from an early age, I've been writing since my teens. However, my love for math and science as well as my upbringing in a family with mental illness led me to a career in medicine. Always the curious type, I enjoyed the detective-like nature of practicing Internal Medicine wherein I encountered a variety of personalities amid difficult, emotionally charged life-and-death scenarios. But my penchant for writing revealed itself in lengthy patient chart entries!
Eventually, I reduced my work schedule and began writing health-related articles for a variety of consumer magazines to promote disease prevention to a larger audience. However, I remained intrigued by the complicated nature of human behavior during times of stress. I realized I had plenty of inspiration for complex stories about characters who face seemingly insurmountable obstacles.
To polish my writing skills, I enrolled in creative writing courses where I learned that compelling stories are centered on conflict. I soon developed the story concept for my novel, Hide and Seek, a haunting tale about a troubled twelve-year-old girl who strives to find identity and acceptance amid multiple family tragedies. In 2019, my novel excerpt was recognized as a top-10 finalist for the She Writes Press (2019 Indie Publisher of the Year) and SparkPress Toward Equality in Publishing (STEP) competition that aimed to increase representation of BIPOC authors. But along the way, I realized the most pressing story I wanted to tell was that of my own struggle to thrive in a highly dysfunctional family. Thus, I set the novel aside and began working on a memoir.
During the aftermath of the George Floyd murder, I also felt compelled to write personal essays that spoke to my struggles with marginalization and identity. The more I wrote, the more I developed my voice alongside the recognition that humor factors into my voice in a large way. One of my short humor pieces even won FIRST PLACE in the 2021 SouthWest Writers competition!
These days I'm more focused on nonfiction, but I've also delved into poetry. As a person with dyslexia, I'm finding that works shorter than novel length are better fits for me when it comes to focus. However, writing shorter works means multiple venues for an endless number of project ideas, such that I'm never at a loss for words (cliche intended).
I'm also pleased to announce that as of December 2023, I'm officially a volunteer for WriteGirl, a global organization that empowers teen girls to develop their voices through writing. According to their website, "WriteGirl is a creative writing and mentoring organization that promotes creativity, critical thinking and leadership skills to empower teen girls and gender-expansive youth." Amanda Gorman, an award-winning writer and the youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history, is an alumna of WriteGirl.
My writing society memberships include: The Authors Guild; The National League of American Pen Women, Inc.; San Diego Writers, Ink, and the Central Coast Writers (CCW) Branch of the California Writers Club. For more than 10 years, I've written a member profile column for Scribbles, CCW's monthly newsletter, and my opinion pieces have appeared in The San Diego Union-Tribune.
My medical credentials include an M.D. completed at the University of Southern California School of Medicine; Internal Medicine internship and residency completed at Highland General Hospital in Oakland, CA; medical licensure in good standing in the states of California and Arizona; certification in the specialty of Internal Medicine by the American Board of Internal Medicine; member of the American College of Physicians.