Meet The Author

Born in historic Morristown, New Jersey, Melissa Desmond has been a passionate animal lover all her life enjoying the companionship of cats, dogs, hermit crabs, birds and fish from a young age. Moving with her family to Sydney, Australia when she became lifelong friends with Joanna Blaylock (nee Yetman), who would later go on to illustrate Tyson's Tail, Melissa's first published book.


While Melissa had experienced pet loss as a child it was the tragic death of her beloved cat Tyson as an adult, and the incredible experiences that followed, that inspired her to write Tyson's Tail. The immense grief that Melissa experienced in the wake of Tyson's death became a catalyst for personal growth and spiritual awakening, leading her to study life, death and the afterlife. Based on a true story, Tyson’s Tail is Melissa's own personal experience of losing her much loved, crazy cat Tyson, who chased one too many possums, and was hit by a car in the fall of 2008.


As a mother of two girls, Arabella and Indiana (aged 8 and 5) a life coach, and an intuitive healer, Melissa wanted to share her magical, spirited story to help heal the hearts of animal lovers of all ages. She hopes her story will uplift, inspire and empower readers facing the very same but seldom spoken pain to embark on their own journey from grief to gratitude, knowing that love, kinship and spirit can never die. 

Now residing in beautiful Tampa, Florida with her family, Melissa enjoys being with her family, writing magical"tails", her beloved pets, spending time in nature, and helping others live their best lives.

Thank you for being part of our story!

Meet The Illustrator

The beautiful ethereal water color illustrations of Tyson's Tail which bring this magical story to life were lovingly created by Joanna Blaylock. A passion project for both Melissa and Joanna, Tyson’s Tail is a tribute to all the animals that have “gone ahead” to “light the way” with their love.


Joanna is an acclaimed student of the Sydney Gallery School 97-2001 (Advanced Diploma in Fine Arts), who now lives in regional Queensland Australia, in an enchanting town, Maleny. Joanna knows the deep pain of losing a beloved "fur child" and has worked tirelessly alongside Melissa to create a visually rich and emotive story through images that speak volumes to anyone grieving a beloved pet. 


Tyson's Tail is dedicated to her dog Lily, who rests amongst the Lilly Pilly trees and whose spirit stays with her always. Enjoying a rewarding family life in rural Australia with her husband Ben and two sons, William and Heath, Joanna is a talented artist who pursues a creative career with her business Tree Fox - including making skincare from home grown herbs and flowers, sewing, and illustrations.



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