Friday, June 1, 2012

GCC Presents: Melissa Walker (and an awesome contest!)

Melissa Walker is not only one of my Girlfriends Cyber Circuit sisters, she is one of my favorite YA authors and an amazing writing bud. I'm super excited to read her new book UNBREAK MY HEART and to share this interview with her about it so you can learn more!


Summer will be the season for Melissa Walker fans to fall in love all over again. UNBREAK MY HEART is told in alternating chapters that chronicle the year that broke Clementine Williams’s heart and the summer that healed it. Inspired by Melissa’s own experience sailing with her family as a teen, this is the perfect beach read for fans of Sarah Dessen, Deb Caletti, and Susane Colasanti.

Usually Clem would dread the idea of spending an entire summer sailing with her family—two parents, one annoying little sister, and no internet, all on one tiny boat; however, right now escaping her life on land sounds pretty good. Clem did something bad during her sophomore year, even though she didn’t mean to. She fell for her best friend’s boyfriend and thought that he was falling for her too. Now the school year is over, the truth is out and he’s been excused while she’s been exiled, leaving her with no friends and zero social life.

When she and her family set sail the last thing Clem is looking for is another romance, but perhaps it found her anyway. His name is James. He’s cute, funny, and best of all, doesn’t know anything about her past. He and his dad are sailing the same route as Clem and her family for the summer and he's just the distraction Clem needs. Can he break down Clem's walls and unbreak her broken heart?

About the author

MELISSA WALKER is the author of Small Town Sinners, the Violet on the Runway series and Lovestruck Summer. She has worked as ELLEgirl Features Editor and Seventeen Prom Editor. Melissa manages I Heart Daily, an e-newsletter and blogs for ReaderGirlz, an online community for teens. A Chapel Hill, NC native, Melissa now lives in Brooklyn, NY.

The Interview

Q: What inspired you to write this book?

MELISSA: A painful friend breakup I went through has been on my heart forever, and I wanted to write something that captured those emotions.

Q: The main character of my first book, I WANNA BE YOUR JOEY RAMONE, is the kind of girl I wanted to be (a rock star!), the MC of my second book has a lot more in common with teenage me. Is your main character someone you wish you could be, someone a lot like you, or your total opposite? How so? 

MELISSA: Clem feels a lot of the emotions I felt when going through a situation similar to hers, in terms of losing a friend. But though my characters start out somewhat like me, they always end up being wholly their own person.

Q: If there was a soundtrack for your book what are five songs that would be on it and how do they relate the story?

MELISSA: There is one! It's here, with explanations for each song:

And if you create your own breakup playlist, you can enter to win a copy of the book plus an IPOD loaded with songs!

Q: In addition to writing books, I also write for a website for teens called Rookie, which has a regular feature called "Literally The Best Thing Ever," wherein we write about a thing that we think is super mega awesome (even if it is the type of thing that others might call a guilty pleasure, we believe there is nothing guilty about pleasure!) and explain why we think it is literally the best thing ever. It's generally a kind of unexpected thing, for example I wrote one about the soap opera, One Life To Live. I don't expect you to write a whole essay obviously, but can you briefly tell us what either you or your character (or both!) would say is "Literally The Best Thing Ever" and why? 

MELISSA: Clem would probably say that "literally the best thing ever" is Root Beer in a glass bottle. I don't go into it at length in the book, but she has serious love for the thick glass that the old-fashioned root beers were served in, the way the coolness clouds the bottle when it's ice cold and condensation drips down the sides. The first sip of a soda served that way, out in the cockpit of a sailboat on a hot summer day? Heaven.
 Q: What are you working on for us next?

MELISSA: I have a letter in DEAR TEEN ME, an anthology of YA authors writing letters to their teen selves, which is out in late October. And I've got another book in the works for 2013, but I'm keeping mum for now. (Aside from the "ack! This book is so hard to write!" rants on twitter.)

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