Rich Melcher graduated from Minnesota State University, Mankato in 1984 with a BA in Mass Communications, and is a writer and speaker in the Milwaukee area. He has written six books, the most recent entitled A Work In Progress, which is a novel for young adults depicting the story of two 14-year-old African American boys who stumble upon an ancient African ethics code and soon discover that the only way to get the next installment of the 10-part code is to live out the previous one. “The Code” takes them on a journey to becoming the best young men they can be.
“The Code” is an actual code of ethics he created over a two-year period. Morphing through 100+ versions, it started with 21 phrases, and then was whittled down to 16, then 12—even down to seven. Finally, 10 became the right number—and the book was built around those 10. In January, 2011, A Work In Progress was sent in to the publisher—a welcomed sight to see it off. Rich believes first novels are like first children—much anticipation, much gratification. A Work In Progress has brought both.
His other works are nonfiction, including a daily meditation book (Just a Little Somethin’), a memoir on bipolar disorder (Discerning Bipolar Grace) and a book of selected personal poetry (Soul In Motion).
In the play PIECES, Rich portrays a person struggling with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. Rich is also a presenter for In our Own Voice, sponsored by NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) and is a volunteer for Warmline, a non-crisis mental health support line in Milwaukee.