Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Women Who Rock Wednesday: Melissa Walker!

Welcome to Women Who Rock Wednesday! As usual, we start by announcing last week's winner (dontcha love blogs that start with winners?), who will get a ton of awesome She Craves stuff... Your Mom from myspace, please send me a myspace msg with your address and t-shirt size to claim your prize!

Today's Woman Who Rocks is an author I just adore. Not only does she write amazing books, she's just a sweetheart and is so friendly and pro-active and I really really hope I get to meet her someday soon. It's Melissa Walker!!! (Picture below, showing off her new haircut!) 

Melissa is the author of the Violet series and she has another book called Lovestruck Summer that comes out on May 5th. I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to Lovestruck Summer, it's like the perfect beach read for people who adore music like I do! But I will let Melissa tell you more about it and share some other stories that show how much she rocks. Then, at the end, you guessed it! Leave a comment and you'll be entered to win a copy of Lovestruck Summer!

Q: Tell us what Lovestruck Summer is all about and how you came up with the idea to write it?

Melissa: I have always wanted to write a summer romance, and last summer I got my chance when HarperTeen told me they'd be into having me work on one for them. I'd also just spent some time in Austin, so I wanted to set a book there. The story follows Quinn, an 18-year-old indie-rock girl who lands an internship in Austin at the independent music label she loves. She expects to find her perfect hipster boyfriend... and she does... but for some reason she can't stop thinking about Russ, the Texas frat boy next door.

Q: You are best know for your Violet series, which is primarily about modeling and this book is more about music. What were some of the differences in writing this book and what, if anything, still felt somewhat the same and gives it that "Melissa Walker" stamp?

Melissa: Violet was my first fictional character, and she is A LOT like me. Quinn is a little edgier than I am, and that was fun to write. Still, they both find themselves questioning their own instincts and trying to out-think their hearts, which is something I think we all go through around 18 (or, um, 31), so there's some commonality there.

Q: This book has to have a soundtrack. What are five songs that relate to the book and describe how they relate?

Melissa: Ha! Well I mention so many bands and songs in the book that I made most of them purely fictional, just for fun. I even had my blog readers come up with band names for me, which ruled. But in terms of real songs, I'd say these are on there:

1. Waltz Across Texas by Ernest Tubbs.
I listened to this song 100 times while writing the book--it just made me happy inside.

2. Fools Rush In-Elvis
This is the first song that gets stuck in Quinn's head after coming to Austin. She hears a country version and just can't get it out of her mind.

3. Portland, Oregon-Loretta Lynn and Jack White
Quinn can't believe country music can mix with the type of sounds she likes, but she has to admit it after hearing this duet.

4. People are People-Depeche Mode
Quinn doesn't really get along with everyone in Austin right away... but she would like this song.

5. Speeding Motorcycle-Daniel Johnston
It's odd and a little off, but really touching and open. Quinn buys a shirt that has a Daniel Johnston drawing on it while she's in Austin.

Q: You also help run I Heart Daily, which I absolutely adore. How did you come up with the idea to start that site? What do you love about doing it? Does it suck up writing time in any way or inspire your writing?

Melissa: My friend Anne and I both really missed working for teen magazines, but we didn't want to go back full time. We were always sending each other links and talking about things we wished we could share in that magazine format, so we decided to make it official--a site for stuff we like that we think you'll like. Yay!

It's honestly such a blast. The business angle is hard--we haven't taken advertising yet, mainly because we're not sure how to deal with money--but on the writing and ideas side: FUN.

Q: I know Lovestruck Summer isn't even out yet, but what is next for you, Melissa?

Melissa: Hopefully another book! I'm working on something now, but it's not quite ready to go public.

Q: I have two standard questions for my women who rock. The first is a two-parter. What was the first album you bought and the first concert you attended? Be honest, we don't judge :)

Melissa: First album: Thriller, Michael Jackson. It was a cassette tape. My first vinyl was Cyndi Lauper's She's So Unusual. I loved MTV and these guys were in heavy rotation. First show: 6th grade, Poison--Open Up and Say Ahhh... tour. Tesla opened. Oh man, I loved it. Fallen Angel, Every Rose Has its Thorn? Somebody get me a lighter!

Q: Please dish about the moment where you felt most like a rock star. Maybe it was a moment of big success in your career, an "I'm Not Worthy!" Wayne's World type moment where you met someone cool, or a time where you just got the rock star treatment.

Melissa: I was once flown first-class to New Zealand to do a story about an upscale "finishing school" for privileged teen girls. The story ran in ELLEgirl (you can find it here: and during my two weeks in NZ, I had access to everything the girls did: mud baths, life coaching, personal shoppers, drivers and bodyguards... I had to admit I was living like a rock star. And it wasn't half bad.

Okay, that has to be another one of the top rock star moments we've heard. I totally envy Melissa! And I love that her first concert was Poison (in case you don't know I have a bit of a Rock of Love obsession), and the soundtrack for Lovestruck Summer just makes me want to read it even more, esp those last three songs. *Swoon*

What about you? Leave a comment about Melissa's interview or how badly you want to read Lovestruck Summer and you will be entered to win it!

I will draw a winner next week when I feature the woman who rocks my world most... I'm not talking about Courtney Love or Francesca Lia Block or Melissa Marr or the girls from Civet (again), though of course they would all be awesome to interview... I'm talking about my mom!!!! That's right, it's the Weds before Mother's Day, so I'm interviewing Mom! And I'll give out one of my books.... I'm not sure which. I'm letting her decide. She might lean toward IWBYJR since it was dedicated to her, but who knows she might pick Ballads...


Summer said...

really cool interview thanks!

Thao said...

Love the review! Melissa is always so fun and friendly. I really like how the new book sound, a cool read for summer.

I'm excited about the interview with your Mother. It'll be lovely to hear how she feels about IWBYJR.

Steph Su said...

I love fun summer reads and Lovestruck Summer seems like just that! The New Zealand trip sounds incredible though: a little slice of the other side of life. Nicee.

Paradox said...

Nice interview! I can't wait to read Lovestruck Summer!

Diana Dang said...

Melissa is such a sweet author and is ashamed to say I have not yet gotten around to her novels. I hope to do that soon. =)

Aww, I look forward to what your mother has to say. And what you will ask as a daughter, haha.

Anonymous said...

i love love love Melissa Walker!


ps-i'm 'Your Mom.'
i'll send you a myspace message.

Lalaland said...

I would have loved to be part of the school at New Zealand...

cupcakewitch said...

Melissa totally rocks on Wednesday and all the other days of the week!

sweetmelissa818 said...

Melissa is amazing isn't she! I've been anxiously anticipating Lovestruck Summer since I finished Violet in Private! Don't enter me, I've got it pre-ordered!

pepsivanilla said...

Great interview :) Sounds like Lovestruck Summer will be awesome! I love the story behind the I Heart Daily site!

Travis said...

I've been waiting to read this since Melissa announced it. I also can't wait to see all of the band names she used from her blog.

deltay said...

I love iheartdaily! Great interview; wow, that experience in New Zealand for the ELLEgirl article sounds like it was a total blast!

Mitzy said...

I absolutely LOVE Melissa Walker and cannot wait to read Lovestruck Summer.

p.s. I definitely would have People are People stuck in my head right now if it wasn't for all this dang classical music I have to listen to for a Music Appreciation class at the moment!

Yayyyy Cinco de Mayo/Loveestruck Release only ... 6? days away!!!

Keri Mikulski said...

Great interview.. Love the soundtrack.

Can't wait to pick up LOVESTRUCK SUMMER. :)

Tiff said...

Dying to check this book out--I've heard rave reviews about Melissa!

yabooknerd said...

Melissa def. rocks. I <3 her Cover stories and the books she recommends. Loved the Violet books and can't WAIT to read this one!

What a Girl Reads said...

Melissa sure does rock, I can't wait to read Lovestruck Dummer, it sounds like a great book!
Great interview,

sosarora_11 @

Nora said...

I can't wait to read Lovestruck Summer, it sounds like the perfect summer read!

shelburns said...

I love her song choices for her book soundtrack! I've been wanting to read this one since I heard about it. Just sounds like a fun summer read!

Thanks for the great interview!

Llehn said...

I would love, love, love to read Melissa's book!


Jen said...

I absolutely adored the Violet books and would love to win this

Anonymous said...

That was an amazing interview! I love Melissa Walker and can't wait to get my hands on her book! I'd go and get it on release day, but I have to pack and study for finals! Definitely will get it this summer though! :)

Tiff said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I have to check that music out. But I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of Lovestruck Summer!

Liviania said...

Great interview! Melissa Walker's a sweetheart, and I can't wait to read this one as a real life Austin indie girl. I look forward to the interview with your mom.