(Header Artwork by Author and Illustrator, Edward Hemingway, 2008)
My name is Melinda Tyler and I’m lucky to be alive. I believe gratitude helped me transform and survive through many of life’s difficult situations.
Some people should never become parents. My father was one such. Throughout my childhood, he abused me in every imaginable way. This abuse left its ugly mark on many aspects of my life and led to much self-destructive behavior.
I became an exotic dancer in the early 1980’s, after which time I became a high-end call girl. I made poor choices. I also started and managed the world’s first fantasy phone call service, Julie’s Hotline.
Once I had the money, I started masking the pain of my childhood with drugs. Soon, I was at the lowest point of my life. For more than a year, I wandered city streets. Sometimes crashing on friends’ (or bar acquaintances’) couches. Sometimes I rode city busses at night sleeping in the back. The drivers were usually great: most figured out I had nowhere else to go.
In early January of 1994, I’d finally had it. Taking advantage of a friend’s place when he was away, I tried committing suicide—and nearly succeeded.
I awoke in the hospital, back from a three-day coma, from which I remember nothing. Fate is strange. I learned that my friend’s upstairs neighbor had checked on me during the night; he’d known I was suicidal because we’d talked about it that day after my second suicide attempt in which I had turned off the pilot lights on the stove and turned the knobs to high. Soon enough, from upstairs, he smelled the gas and yelled at me for attempting to blow up the house and his child and himself. I felt terrible. I’d never wanted to hurt anyone else–I just wanted my own pain to end. So, he’d known I was suicidal and sometime during that night, he decided to check on me, even though he hardly knew me. He found me unconscious, called 911, and that saved my life.
The first person I saw was a nurse who wore a nametag. Moses. Weird as it sounds, at first I thought I was in heaven because everything was so white. Then I remember thinking, I can’t be in heaven–I’d never have made the cut! Plus, the pain had started to settle in and I realized that the white all around was an ICU and I was in the hospital. When Moses welcomed me back to life, I was despondent. I was upset that I hadn’t succeeded and told him I wished I’d jumped off a building. He shook his head and said, “No. You would have jest messed yourself up and be in a wheelchair. You supposed to LIVE, girl. Now straighten yo ass up.”
Then he introduced me to the second man who changed my life: Tim Callahan. He got me into treatment with no money and no insurance. You cannot repay that kind of gift.
After visiting my estranged mother, she made me a great offer. I had told her I wanted to start college. She gave me that chance with much financial and emotional support. I moved back to Montana to build bridges with my mother and to make something of myself. I loved school and that surprised me since I could never pay attention long enough to do well in my k-12 classes. Heck, I had dreams of becoming a great actress or musician! But college opened up a world I never knew existed. I read, and read some more–and I loved every class I ever took. For me, it was the journey as much as the destination. I graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Psychology and Health and Human Development. From there, I entered a biopsychology doctoral program at Penn State.
Today, I teach. I write—I love to write. This is the second iteration of Melindaville. I published the first iteration in 2008, which ran through 2012. Then I started writing my first novel, the just published mystery, The Purified, which is available on Amazon—and soon on other sites and in bookstores. I am currently working on the second novel in the Montana Wylde series, The Deceived. I’m excited about the second in the series and like the way it is shaping up. I hope you will too!
I am excited, nervous, and happy to restart Melindaville and to launch my career as a novelist. I’m a better writer than I was in 2008 but I still have much to learn. I invite you all to share your thoughts and questions with me, as we continue on our life’s adventures.
Many thanks to my readers—old and new!
p.s. Visit and ‘Like’ my Facebook page and follow me @melindaville on Twitter and Instagram. I also invite you to visit my author pages on Amazon and on Goodreads. Thanks so much–I appreciate the support!