To celebrate the release of her new book Gather The Daughters, author Jennie Melamed tells us a little bit about herself. 

Jennie Melamed by Jennifer Boyle

Jennie Melamed by Jennifer Boyle

I like to swim with sharks.  I recently went on a scuba diving trip to the Bahamas, where I learned this about myself! You can read more on my blog at 

I am crazy about dogs. Once I walked full on into a plate glass window at a very fancy restaurant because I was distracted by a cute golden retriever outside. I feel like dogs are evidence that there is goodness in the world. 

I have OCD, anxiety, and depression. This was a huge secret in my twenties. Working with the younger generation has helped me realize that mental illness no longer has to carry stigma and shame.

I love learning. I have two undergraduate degrees and two graduate degrees, and this is why I'm drowning in student loan debt. I still have a wish list for what I want to study when I pay off my loans, though!

I talk to my mother every day. As I teen, I loudly predicted to her many times that I would never talk to her again as an adult. And here we are, chatting daily. I have an amazing mother.

I am terrible at most of my hobbies. I am an awful runner, can barely knit a scarf straight, and have no sense of navigation while sailing.

I love going to New York City because I can do whatever I want. No matter what I do, there is somebody doing something stranger nearby. I sing songs, walk barefoot, yell cheerfully at my brother. It's fun.

I considered a career in musical theater. I sing well, and act well. Unfortunately, I dance terribly.                                        

I'm a Jewish atheist. It sounds paradoxical, but really there are a lot of us around.

I once put Gather the Daughters away as unpublishable. It took so long to find an agent willing to represent me. Taking it off the shelf was one of the best things I ever did. If you know you have something good, keep trying.