Author Interview with Melissa Walker

Author Bio:

About Melissa is a writer who has worked as ELLEgirl Features Editor and Seventeen Prom Editor. She co-founded I Heart Daily with fellow ex-ELLE girl Anne Ichikawa in 2009. It’s a daily newsletter about likable stuff. Melissa grew up in Chapel Hill, NC and now lives in Brooklyn with her husband and baby girl. She’s the author of the Violet on the Runway trilogy, Lovestruck Summer, Small Town Sinners  and Unbreak My Heart. Visit her official site here.

Do you begin with character or plot?

I always hear my characters first. They talk in my head for weeks before I pay enough attention to figure out what their story is. This does make me seem crazy sometimes, especially when they get loud.

Where do you get your ideas?

Everywhere. I eavesdrop a lot and I watch a ton of TV. There are plotlines and dramas and characters all around you if you tune in.

What is the best writing advice you’ve ever received?

I recently heard Allen Zadoff say that you should never screw the next guy who’s going to keep writing tomorrow. Meaning, don’t mess yourself up by stopping in a place in your draft where you don’t know what happens next. Always set yourself up to be able to start writing again quickly. Sometimes that might mean stop mid-sentence and then pick it up the next day. Great, great advice!

What one word describes you? Why?

Nostalgic. I think about the past a lot, and even when I’m having a great time in the present I’m often thinking, “Oh, what a lovely memory this will be!” It’s weird, I know.

The work is done. How do you recharge?

Yoga. Walks in the park. Making my baby laugh. Baby laughs are the BEST THING EVER.

What element would you add to your writing space if money wasn’t an issue? 

A window with a water view.

Daily word count?

1000, ideally.

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About Brittney Breakey

I love reading children’s fiction, coffee dates with my husband, trips to the library, thrift store bargains, chips and salsa, music of all kinds, lazy summer days, competitive games of Pictionary, and celebrating a long day of writing with ice cream and peppermint tea. I’m a two-time graduate of the Institute of Children’s Literature, and I’m currently working on a humorous mystery for middle graders. I launched Author Turf in January 2011, and it has been an absolute honor to work with so many inspiring authors, promote their work, and learn about their writing processes. I hope you enjoy each and every interview.
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