Michael Mele has pursued his
interests of teaching, theatre, and travel for many years. He graduated from
Syracuse University, where he majored in mathematics, education, and psychology.
He received his master of education from Harvard and taught mathematics for a
number of years. His desire to perform motivated him to leave his teaching
position to become a full-time dancer in New York City. He later spent much of
his dancing career in Michigan and New Hampshire.
Eventually, his passion for travel
took him to Italy, where he found his inspiration for A Gift for the
Contessa. The book is based in part on people Mele met in Italy, while
the places named in the book actually exist. Mele's theatrical flair comes
through in this book as he describes the people and places he encountered.
Children's Literature described the story as “a magical fairy tale set in
Italy with a happy ending.”
Mele currently lives in New York
City. He continues his association with Italy as the director of Il Chiostro di
Toscana, an annual artists' retreat that is held in Italy. He also wrote
Irish Lace, a chronicle of his Irish ancestors.
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