Melisa Michaels (sometimes Melisa C. Michaels) is an American author of SpeculativeFiction and MysteryFiction. And yes, her first name is spelled with one 'l'.

She is best known for her ''Skyrider'' series about a two-fisted ActionGirl space pilot in the Asteroid Belt, the first novel of which was nominated for a Locus Award. She has also written the Rosie Lavine UrbanFantasy/Detective series; a "straight" mystery novel, ''Through the Eyes of the Dead''; and a couple of other ScienceFiction novels.

She originally chose "Michaels" as a pen name to honor several important men named Michael in her life (including fellow author, Creator/MichaelKurland). In an amusing real-life twist, she ended up marrying a man whose last name was Michaels.

In addition to her writing, Michaels served as the Webmistress for the Science Fiction Writers of America for many years, for which work she received a special UsefulNotes/NebulaAward in 2007, along with Graham P. Collins.
!! Works by Melisa Michaels:
* Skyrider (1985-1988)
** ''Skirmish''
** ''First Battle''
** ''Last War''
** ''Pirate Prince''
** ''Floater Factor''
* ''Through the Eyes of the Dead'' (1988)
* ''Far Harbor'' (1989)
* Rosie Lavine (1997-1998)
** ''Cold Iron''
** ''Sister to the Rain''
* ''World-Walker'' (2004)

!! Tropes in Melisa Michaels' works include:
* ActionGirl: Melacha "Skyrider" Rendell is a taciturn, two-fisted hot-shot belter pilot who likes to get into fist-fights to perk herself up after a dull run. Or to relax after an overly exciting one. Or because it's Tuesday. Really, who needs an excuse?
* AsteroidMiners: Skyrider is from the belt, and the series is heavily focused on the conflicts between the belt miners and Earth.
* BadDreams: In the short story, "I Have a Winter Reason" (which was repurposed as the prologue to the first Skyrider novel), Melacha ("Skyrider") is tormented by dreams of the accidental death of her lover Django, for which she feels responsible.
* ConflictingLoyalties: Skyrider's primary loyalty is to the belt, but she stayed out of the last war because she has close family still living on Earth.
* CreatorThumbprint:
** UsefulNotes/{{Romani}} (Gypsy) culture appears in many of her works. In the Skyrider series, the belt has been populated heavily by Rom, and in ''Through the Eyes of the Dead'', the murder investigation involves several Rom families living in San Francisco.
** UsefulNotes/{{Hawaii}}an pidgin pops up regularly in her works; Melisa lived for many years on Oahu. The TranslationConvention version of the Belter pidgin in the ''Skyrider'' series, for example, is strongly reminiscent of Hawaiian pidgin.
* FeministFantasy: The first Skyrider novel, ''Skirmish'' was republished by a house that specializes in [=FemLit=]. Whether merely starring a two-fisted ActionGirl ''really'' qualifies is a matter for debate.
* FirstPersonSnarker Melacha oh so much.
* TheGrinch: In ''Cold Iron'', which is set during the Christmas season, it's revealed that Rosie Lavine ''really'' dislikes Christmas. She knows its a personal quirk, and doesn't make a big deal of it, but the constant bombardment of Christmas carols makes it extra hard for her to remain cool, collected and objective.
* HardboiledDetective: Rosie Lavine is basically the hardboiled archetype, lovingly [[RecycledInSpace Recycled In]] UrbanFantasy.
* ImprobablePilotingSkills: Skyrider has this reputation. She's widely considered to be the best pilot in the belt. To some extent, the reputation is deserved, as she proves when she has to manually dock with a spinning, out-of-control ship, rescue its crew, and get away safely again.
* KnightInSourArmor: Skyrider is cynical, taciturn, snarky, and anti-social, but when the chips are down, she knows she's the best, and often only, person for the job, and reluctantly picks up her metaphorical lance. Again.
* LaserBlade: When a belter picks a fight with Skyrider because she's trying to remain neutral, he ends up stabbing her with a "force blade".
* MagicallyBindingContract: Much of the conflict in ''Cold Iron'' revolves around the fact that elfrock star Jorandel desperately wants out of his contract--and elven contracts are literally impossible to break.
* NeutralityBacklash: Although they admire her skill, a lot of belters don't trust Skyrider because she tried to remain neutral in the last war. On the other hand, a lot of Earthers don't trust her because she's a belter.
* OnlyKnownByTheirNickname: Skyrider considers this a problem. She thinks it's a cheesy, EmbarrassingNickname, but few people actually know her real name.
* OurElvesAreDifferent: In the Rosie Lavine novels, Elves are noble and beautiful and all, but the ones who come to Earth seem to really like to slum it up, and Elfrock as a genre is dark, metal-tinged and frequently drug-driven.
* SexDrugsAndRockAndRoll: In ''Cold Iron'', the first Rosie Lavine novel, elves who come from faerie to become elfrock stars usually indulge in the worst forms of this trope, at least [[UnreliableNarrator according to Rosie]]. The trope is even mentioned ''almost'' by name by another character:
--> '''Hilly''': Sex, drugs and elfrock ain't what their fans imagine it is.
* StoppedNumberingSequels: The Skyrider series was originally intended to be a trilogy, and the first book was initially published as ''Skyrider 1: Skirmish''. None of the other books in the series ever had a number, and reprintings of ''Skirmish'' omitted the "Skyrider 1" part as well.
* Title1: The first novel of the ''Skyrider'' series was published as ''Skyrider 1: Skirmish''.
* TranslationConvention: In the ''Skyrider'' series, Belter pidgin is a language derived from several languages of the early migrants. This is rendered as something resembling Hawaiian pidgin. The narrator freely admits that she's translating it for our benefit.
* UnreliableNarrator: Both Skyrider and Rosie Lavine narrate their own stories, and both eventually reveal that their version of the story may be a little influenced by their prejudices: Skyrider with respect to Earthers, and Rosie with respect to Elves.