Melissa Cook grew up in Detroit, Michigan, and Tucson, Arizona, before moving to Burlington, Wyoming, where she married Elgin Cook. Together they raised three boys in bush Alaska while working as teachers and school district administrators. Melissa completed her undergraduate work (1993) and teaching degree (1994) at Black Hills State University in Spearfish, South Dakota. She earned master's degrees in educational technology (2002) and school administration (2007) from the University of Alaska.
Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2000, Melissa learned to manage chronic illness while living remotely and eventually went on medical disability in 2011. Despite health issues, she blogged daily about life with MS on and earned certifications as an EMR and then EMT. She volunteered for the Thorne Bay EMS (Prince of Wales Island, Alaska) until she and her husband retired and left the state in 2016.
Today, Melissa and Elgin reside in a small farming community in Wyoming. They have spent their retirement days Jeeping, writing books, traveling, building their home, and spending time with family. They create videos for their Wyoming Jeepers YouTube channel throughout the year. Melissa continues to volunteer for the local fire department, maintains her EMT certification, and serves on the Wyoming Writers, Inc. board.