This is one of the most fascinating interviews I’ve done. Mel Greenberg, is a best-selling author, producer and midlife advocate who published her first book at 58 years young. Mel oozes glamour, has a beautiful soul, and a real zest for life. You can literally feel her warmth radiate from her photos on Instagram and lifts your mood with her kind and empowering words.
I caught up with Mel to find out more about her career, her books, her personal life as a mother, and when she was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. Plus, we also delve into her beauty and skincare routines.
[Sarah Sian] Can you tell us your full name and title
[Mel Greenberg] Mel Greenberg and I’m a Best-selling Author, Producer and Midlife Advocate.
[SS] How did you get into writing? How old were you when you first got published?
[MG] I’ve been a writer, in one form or another for as long as I can recall! My fourth-grade teacher really lit the fire in my soul, nurturing my interest. I studied broadcast journalism in college and followed that career path into radio and television copywriting and production. I published my first novel, in 2018, at 58.
[SS] Tell us about your first book and career highlights?
[MG] My debut novel, Running With Our Eyes Closed is a story of rediscovery. Life is messy, love is complicated, and empty-nesting is not for the faint of heart.
In 2013, my nest emptied as my youngest son headed to Kentucky to play football, fulfilling his childhood dream of playing in college. A remarkable transition followed in the wake of that departure. While there wasn’t one “AHA” moment when my days took on a notably grey hue, there were changes, signals that life as I’d known it was shifting – I was different. My life of writing personally and professionally helped me. Journaling became a way to ‘work though’ my fears, my heartbreak, my hopes. Those hopes would ultimately save me.
I witnessed the sense of loss and uncertainty other parents experienced. I was not alone. It became clear that Empty Nest Syndrome was far more than a cliché. And I was hunkered down in the trenches with the beast. My “AHA” moment appeared cloaked in self-doubt and wonder. While vacationing in Italy with my husband, I broke down. My confidence was shot. I had absolutely no idea who or what I was supposed to be now. The so-called golden years were tarnished. I had no plan, and this was foreign territory for me.
It was during this time that a story began to take shape. The characters Samantha and Michael came to life. And so did I! In the two years since its release, my highlights include:
Writing the next book in the series due in 2021. I’ve appeared in two international best- selling books, on a global summit panel for coping with and surviving cancer, numerous podcasts and radio and television, founded a hybrid publishing company, and travelled the world speaking, writing and working on behalf of women and aging with purpose.
[SS] You describe yourself as a ‘survivor’… can you tell us more?
[MG] I turned fifty in the summer of 2010, it was not the joyous milestone I’d imagined, but it was memorable! I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I celebrated my fiftieth birthday, reflecting that my mother had passed just a week before hers – from the same cancer.
She was diagnosed when I was thirteen, losing her hard-fought battle just four years later. I was a college sophomore when I became a motherless daughter. Nothing about the life I’d imagined came to fruition in quite the same way.
I don’t view overcoming or living through what life handed me as something to survive. I’ve “survived” more than some, less than many. Life has had its way with me! I was born and raised in San Diego. Moving across the country to attend college would be the first of many pivotal moments. Escape was my guide, losing my mother to cancer at the age of seventeen sets those wheels in motion. Looking back, as I now view “sixty” quite clearly in front of me, I ran – to and from life, emotionally and physically. My foundation was crushed and I sought refuge the only way my seventeen-year-old self knew how.
Getting my own breast cancer diagnosis was my silver-lining moment. What I’d feared, what I’d moved 3,000 miles to “escape” had found me and ultimately empowered me to become the strongest version of myself.
[SS] What were your main beauty/skincare challenges when you hit 50?[MG] Ahhhhh! Addressing sun damage and all that it carries with it. My skin suffered tremendously growing up during the 60’s on the beach in Southern California. I like pure, clean and easy. So care now is much simpler now then it was in my 20’s and 30’s – yet far more effective!
[SS] At 60 years young can you share your favourite products and any insider tips?
[SS] My go to day/night moisturiser is Strivectin. My skincare guru and former dermatologist were on the team that developed NIA and eventually got it into the formula. To this day it’s all I use. That, and I never leave the house without a slather of sunscreen.
[SS] Tell us about your favourite makeup products and makeup tips?
[MG] Not unlike my skincare routine – simple, clean easy. My favorite brands are Trish McEvoy, Sisley Paris, Chanel and Nars lipgloss and Code 8 Radiate BB Balm with SPF, which I actually discovered while visiting London a couple of years ago – the BEST! My signature cologne is Fragonard, Diamant.
[SS] There are so many stereotypes like you can’t wear glitter eyeshadow after a ‘certain age’ what do think of these so-called rules?
[MG] I don’t subscribe to ‘fashion’ rules. If it feels good wear it, enjoy it. Life is short – those boundaries are silly.
[SS] During COVID has your beauty regime changed. If so how?
[MG] Well, not going out as much these days! Most day I do wear light mascara, sfp foundation and my perfume. Again, simply because it makes me happy. Also, and perhaps most notable is that I don’t blow my hair dry as often. I do have naturally wavy hair and I’ve not only loved the beach wave ease and look but my highlights last so much longer. Silver linings abound!
[SS] Complete the sentence… a woman is her most confident when……
[MG] She is unapologetically herself, assured in her ability to thrive, that her voice can and will be heard.