Melissa headshot

Horror with heart.

That is what I strive for in both my novels and short fiction. To create stories that strike a balance between the dark side of human nature (fear, disgust, revenge) and the light (triumph, hope, love).

As a social psychologist, I’ve conducted studies that examine sexism, racism, and social connections. My research has been featured in several publications (e.g., The New York Times, Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, Esquire) and radio interviews (Oprah Radio, Martha Stewart Radio). As a professor, I loved to share my knowledge of psychological science with others in a fun and engaging way. For examples, check out my non-fiction work and my Psychology Today blog.

My fiction weaves this knowledge of psychology with my love of writing. Using supernatural elements, I like to build stories around everyday people (often women) who are put in impossible situations. Then I see how they fight their way out, proving that light can sometimes win over dark.

If you would like to contact me, I would love to hear from you! I’m at melissa.burkley@gmail.com