Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Interview with Melissa Walker

How did you come up with the inspiration for Violet?
My time at ElleGirl especially gave me insight into the fashion world and how newer models live in NYC (which can be glamorous, scary, thrilling, and a little dark all at the same time). That knowledge kind of overlapped with my long-time dream of writing a teen novel about a small town girl in the big city (original, right?). The fashion world thing gave it more focus and helped me nail down the plot.

You have worked in the fashion world (ELLEGirl and Seventeen) - do you
think you portray the world accurately?

I think I portray it through my own eyes, as a girl from North Carolina who grew up outside of that world and then suddenly got a glimpse of it. So what I noticed--and wrote about--are probably different from what others might see. But yes, I did aim to portray that world as accurately as possible.

Is there anything you wanted to put in your books but couldn't because
it is geared to Young Adults?

Nope--I did everything I wanted to do. I've had some comments about Violet drinking, and the way people swear in the books, but I wrote a certain reality and didn't hold back, and my editor didn't ask me to either, which was nice.

How many more Violet books do you think you will write? Do you have
ideas for another series?

I think the 3 is it for Violet--she stands as a trilogy! My next book, LOVESTRUCK SUMMER, is a standalone teen romance set in Austin, TX. I'm working on another idea, but I haven't pictured another series yet.

What places in Chapel Hill, NC that Violet visits - were a favorite hang out spot for you?
Oh, all of them! Violet only hangs out where I hang out: Elmo's Diner, Katie's Pretzels, University Mall, Franklin Street... it's a great town!

How did you get the inspiration for your website - iheartdaily.com?
Honestly, my friend Anne and I just had all these things I wanted to write about, like, "Isn't this girl COOL? Isn't this bracelet COOL? Isn't this new band COOL?" and we wished we still worked for a teen magazine so we could point all that out, so we started our own daily newsletter online. It's fun for us!

If you couldn't be a writer (or have anything to do with writing) what
do you think you would want to be?

Hmm... this will sound odd, but I really did love my few years waitressing in college. It was good money, required a sharp, quick mind, and the co-workers were hilarious and smart. I might put waiting tables (at a good place!) as my #2 job.

Was there anything you wish I had asked you about? That you couldn't wait to tell me?

Just this: The book we're talking about this month on readergirlz.com is A NORTHERN LIGHT by Jennifer Donnelly, and it's soooo good! Everyone should read it and then come discuss. I love readergirlz chats.


Brooke Reviews said...

It's good to know that you stay true to yourself, and the modeling world as you saw it. I think holding back would have been a disservice. :) Great interview!

Katie said...

Waiting tables! Melissa is crazy! Haha. That's what I do right now (except without any tips) and it's killer.

Unknown said...

The fashion world AND an author...you have done it all girl!

Katie said...

Great interview! I love iheartdaily; i subscribed to the newsletter awhile ago.

Asylumgirl said...

Hey Melissa! I'm curious, since three books is it for Violet, where do you see her ten years from the ending of book three?


Diana Dang said...

Lovely interview. =) I got to say, being a waitress is an interesting choice! Haha, I'm too slow to do any of those fast-pace jobs in restaurants.

thebluerose said...

I just LOVE iheartdaily. It's so much fun. That's the first thing I click on when I log on to my email. I check everyday just to see the new things. Right now, I can't stop listening to School of Seven Bells or Anya Marina. They're my favorite artists right now.

I'm going to get the Violet books soon. I kept on begging my mom. =)

I have some older friends who are waiters/waitresses. It's their part time job to earn money for college. Whenever I go to the restaurant they work at, I leave a big tip. =P The next day, they would talk nonstop about how I shouldn't be so charitable and how it's their job....*sigh* I tell them to appreciate it. I'm not going to take anything back.

Thao said...

Thanks for the interview. I'm so curious about the books, hopefully I can read them soon. I like how you write truthfully. Teenagers do swear and drink don't they?

Pretty said...

It's so cool that you were an ordinary girl who entered in the fashion world. Waitressing sounds fun because you get to meet new people and learn new things.

Melissa Walker said...

Thanks for the comments, everyone!

Deidre, to answer your question, I see Violet as still with a hand in the fashion world, from behind the scenes. She'll be making sure girls are treated well on her watch, maybe as an advocate for healthy models. :)

Unknown said...

Your books sound fantastic! I haven't had a chance to read them yet, but there definatly on my list! And it was nice to read this interview thats neat that you worked at some big mag companys!

katayoun said...

great interview!

Kaye said...

It's good that you put reality in your books, otherwise readers know it's just cheesy. Good thing your editor doesn't "mess" with you! Teriffic interview.

Ms. Asphyxia said...

I know this is kind of OT, but I want to say that Chapel Hill, NC has some of the best resources on Southern History in their schools/libraries.

I missed out on reading young adult fiction when I was a young adult. Now, I find myself drawn to it for it's... innocence. You find true to life coming of age problems in them that adult fiction takes for granted.

Erika Powell said...

I have been reading a lot about this series and I really want to run out and read them. Great interview!

Book Sp(l)ot said...

The only time I was a waitress at all was before I even started elementary school ;) and I really need to start doing more at readergirlz.com-I keep forgetting :)


Paradox said...

Great interview! I love iheartdaily!!! And I doubt I would ever make a good waitress. I have a hard time concentrating on multiple things at once.

Anonymous said...

Great interview!

I wrote a certain reality and didn't hold back - Melissa, I love this. I struggle sometimes with "holding back" for various reasons, but I know I shouldn't do that! Your words encouraged me to stay true to my characters' reality. :)