Melissa Meszaros ‘12 (Antioch Los Angeles, MFA in Creative Writing) had her memoir Heavy Metal Headbang published by Oil on Water Press on March 3, 2022. A writer and comics industry publicist, Meszaros’s memoir offers an inspirational first-hand account of what it was like to live through a life-changing brain injury and how she fought to find herself again.
On her way to a Judas Priest concert, the accident happens. The traumatic brain injury Meszaros sustains changes everything; her life is turned upside down. Her steady job as a Hollywood publicist and her trusted friends and colleagues are called into question. Even her own reflection staring back at her is a stranger. As she navigates the legal and medical battles, Meszaros also begins to challenge her own fractured self. For a publicist, identity is everything. What begins as a series of snapshot memories soon becomes an inspiring personal tale of recovery, as Melissa questions both her own identity—and her career. What does it mean to suddenly disappear from a rock’n’roll lifestyle when your whole professional life has been dedicated to making others famous?
Heavy Metal Headbang is currently the #1 new release in Heavy Metal Musician Biographies on Amazon. It debuted at #77 on Amazon’s best sellers in Heavy Metal Musician Biographies and was on Nylon Magazine’s March 2022 Must-Read Book Releases. The book sold out in the US prior to the release date on Amazon US & UK, Barnes and Noble, and Books-a-Million. The book opening was held at the highly regarded Book Soup in Hollywood and the audiobook was read by Meszaros at the old Reciprocal Recording, where the grunge sound was founded.
“What matters most to me is that it resonates with folks and helps them feel less alone—whether dealing with alienation, existential angst, mental illness or a brain injury,” said Meszaros. “If Heavy Metal Headbang can do that for one person, it was definitely worth a go in sharing my own experience.”
Meszaros has been invited to speak for TBI One Love, an organization created to provide information, support, communication, and connection for individuals interested in Brain Injury recovery. Heavy Metal Headbang is currently being optioned for a graphic novel and film adaptation. She is the owner and lead at comics publicity house Don’t Hide PR. A former music and film publicist, Meszaros launched the music festival Grrrl Front in 2013 and has helped hundreds of indie creators make their mark in entertainment.