Today I have Melissa Walker on the blog as part of her blog tour for her new novel Unbreak My Heart which is coming out on May 22nd!
I am so honored to have been able to interview her! I absolutely adored Unbreak My Heart and can not believe I haven't read anything by Melissa before this. Her writing is just so amazing guys. Pre-order Unbreak My Heart and be prepared to fall in love with its story and not to mention the redheaded hunk James. You can Pre-order a copy at Amazon, Barnes & Nobel, and the Book Depository. Now that I have gushed a little bit about the book (if you want to see my full blown gush fest read my review here) I will now move on to my interview with Melissa Walker!
Me: Hi Melissa! Before I jump into some of the interview questions I was wondering if you could introduce yourself a little.
Melissa: Sure! Lets see, I'm a former magazine editor who now writes Young Adult novels full time. I run a daily newsletter for teenagers at iheartdaily.com, and I love really light-and-sweet iced coffee, mix tapes, Brooklyn, and UNC-Chapel Hill basketball. I'm married and I have a 9-month old baby girl named June!
Me: What inspired you to write Clementine's story, was there anything specific that sparked the idea?
Melissa: I've had the experience of losing a friend, and I wanted to write something about it, because it was (and still is) really painful. It was cathartic for me to talk about Clem and Amanda's friendship, and how it fell apart.
Me: Why did you decide to set Clementine's story on a sail boat?
Melissa: I spent lots of time with my parents on a sail boat growing up. The close quarters encourage lots of...closeness (for better or worse) and I figured I could really show family dynamics in this setting.
Me: Do you plan to write more about Clementine or is UNBREAK MY HEART the only book we will see of Clem?
Melissa: I don't have a specific plan to write about Clem again, but you never know! I do make a point to let my past characters appear, very subtly, in each book I write.
Me: There is a lot of different type of music mentioned in UNBREAK MY HEART and I was wondering if you listened to a lot of music while writing this book?
Melissa: Yes! I lived in headphones while writing this book. I have a mix tape very much like the one Ethan makes for Clem, and it was on constant rotation when I wrote the flashback scenes. Music sets an emotional tone, and I wanted to FEEL what I was writing, even if that meant tearing up in a coffee shop.
Me: Do you think you have the same kind of taste in music as Clementine?
Melissa: Yes. I was listening to what she was listening to, so I didn't want to torture myself with stuff I didn't like.
Me: Was there any part in UNBREAK MY HEART that you found difficult to write, what about the easiest?
Melissa: I struggled with some of the parent scenes. I know parents aren't usually huge parts in YA novels, and I worried that things might get cheesy or boring when the parents were involved. So I rewrote a few mom-and-dad parts to try to make sure they were characters readers would like too.
Me: I've never heard of the song game and was totally curious if the song game was something you actually played or did you come up with it specifically for this book?
Melissa: I played it all through high school! I think I made it up back then, but who knows? Maybe its a thing? My character Violet in the Violet on the Runway books also plays it. It's too fun not to include whenever possible.
Me: If you could spend one whole day with one of the characters you created in UNBREAK MY HEART who would you pick?
Melissa: Olive, Clem's little sister. She was a lot of fun to write and she made me laugh a lot (which sounds crazy because I was creating her, but really, it was like I could hear her in my head)!
Me: Do you have any advice you can give to aspiring writes like myself?
Melissa: Read, read, read. As much as you can! Notice how authors pace their stories, how they get characters out of crazy situations, how they start chapters, what their dialogue sounds like. And then try writing, try a little bit each day and see what comes easy and what's harder. Then do more of the hard parts, for practice.
Me: Of all the amazing bits and pieces in UNBREAK MY HEART what was your favorite line or chapter from the book?
Melissa: I liked writing the "drive in the country" scene, because it was full of so many emotions, from excitement to fear to longing to heartbreak. Sometimes there are moments frozen in time that contain 100 feelings at once, and that scene felt that way.
Me: Now some this and that questions! :)
Me: Coffee or Hot Chocolate?
Melissa: Iced coffee! Except when it snows. Then definitely hot chocolate.
Me: Summer or Winter?
Melissa: Summer! I love an outdoor cafe beyond reason.
Me: Team Edward or Team Jacob?
Melissa: Team Jacob. I love a friend-turned-boyfriend. He earned it!
Me: Wuthering Heights or Romeo and Juliet?
Melissa: Romeo and Juliet, if only because I fell for the Leo/Claire Danes movie 18, and I still love it.
Me: Thank you so much Melissa for taking the time to answer all these questions and most of all for writing such an amazing book that really touched my heart! It's gonna be with me for a very long time!
Hope everyone enjoyed the interview and pre-orders this book! It's so fantastic guys. You will LOVE it! You can find Melissa Walker on her author site, twitter, and facebook.