Robin Mellom is the author of DITCHED: A Love Story, a teen romantic comedy, as well as THE CLASSROOM: The Epic Documentary of a Not-Yet Epic Kid, the first book in her series for middle grade readers, both from Disney-Hyperion. She has taught grades five through eight and has a master’s degree in education. Robin lives with her husband and son on the Central Coast of California. For more information, visit her site.
Let the conversation begin!
What is the best writing advice you’ve ever received?
There were several times I wanted to give up in my path to publication, but it was the advice from other writers, agents and editors that kept me going.
I remember being a conference once and an author said, “If you’re getting good feedback on your writing, do the work and then wait in line for your turn.”
I really think that’s true. While we’re waiting for our turn, we have to do the work. Write the book. And then write another one. And then…yes…write another one.
My first book that sold, DITCHED, was actually the sixth book I’d written. And I don’t regret writing those other books for one moment. They helped me develop my skills, find my voice and develop the confidence to take a concept like the one I came up with for DITCHED and do it in the way it deserved. I wasn’t ready to write that novel ten years ago. However, the gravy for this story? The very first book I wrote (yep, ten years ago!) is now being re-imagined and will be published as THE CLASSROOM in June. So you never know if something sitting in that drawer might season up nicely for the future.
Can you share your journey from writing to author?
I was the type of little girl who would write stories on folded up paper and make title pages and draw a cover and then NEVER let anyone read them. I knew I wanted to be a writer, but first I became a teacher. Middle schoolers are my favorite people on the planet (seriously!) and the subject I adored teaching them most was creative writing. I would give them an assignment and then write along with them. Over the years, I’ve also worked as a social worker for children with autism and a news assistant at a newspaper. It took over eight years of serious writing “on the side” before I got my first book deal.
Name a turning point in your life that makes you smile.
When I was in fourth grade, I won the school-wide spelling bee, beating out a seventh grader. A seventh grader! My winning word? Believe.
If there were a holiday in your honor, what would it celebrate?
The invention of coffee that never gets cold.
What was the best thing that happened to you this year?
The release of both of my teen book and my middle grade book. It’s been like giving birth to babies. My little book babies!
What is your definition of a productive day?
Getting my word count done by noon, going for a run, eating, showering, and picking the kid up from school on time. Everything after that is all gravy!
Have you ever jumped out of a plane? If you knew you would survive, would you do it?
No. And no. I just don’t think jumping from a plane is super necessary for my happiness. Honestly, I find Zumba class to be exhilarating enough.