Collapsing Into Life was long in gestation, passing through several distinct versions over the years. It was based--very loosely--on the circumstances a close friend of mine found herself in way back when. To me, it felt like she was living in three places at once. No, she's not Melissa, but her situation did stimulate my thinking for this story, which went well and truly off-piste. And yes, we remain close friends to this day.