We have a special treat for you today, an interview with Melissa Walker, the author of Small Town Sinners which is one of my most anticipated books of next year, it comes out on July 19th 2011, so keep your eyes out for it then!
What’s your favorite dessert?
All-time: Key Lime Pie. Lately: Blueberries with ricotta cheese and a drizzle of maple syrup—trust me!What inspired you to write a novel involving Hell Houses?
I pitched and wrote a piece on Hell Houses for ELLEgirl when I was Features Editor there because I had heard about the concept from a friend’s mom. I was so intrigued by the small town I traveled to and the warmth of all the teenagers I met, plus their obvious passion for this production, that I had to revisit that world.What were you like when you were Lacey Anne’s age?
At 16 I was obsessed with my clunker used car (which I’d saved up to buy since age 10), I was praying I’d find a boyfriend before high school ended so I could have an epic first love story (I did), I was being encouraged to write by my parents (thanks, Mom and Dad) and I spent nearly every moment with my group of friends, whom I laughed with nonstop. Now that I’m older and have met more people, I can confirm that they were and are some of the smartest and funniest people in the world.What do you hope a reader will take away from Small-Town Sinners?
When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I hope readers will take away whatever they need in the moment that they read the book. Maybe that’s a sense of kinship with Lacey Anne because their world is changing too. Or maybe it’s that there are a lot of ways to have faith in the people around you. Mostly I just hope they like the book, and that something in it stays with them in a positive way.
I pounded out a paragraph-long tale called “The Very Vain Cloud” on my parents’ typewriter at age 6, and I never stopped making up stories. When I joined my high school yearbook staff and got to write articles, I knew I wanted to go into journalism. Fiction came later, after I met some crazy characters out in the world.If you were directing the film version of Small-Town Sinners, who would you cast in a few of the main roles?
I’m a huge fan of unknowns, and I’d probably like to see fresh faces playing Lacey Anne and her friends, but that’s avoiding the question, right? If I had to cast, I’d go with Taylor Swift as Lacey Anne, Ashley Green as Starla Joy and maybe David Archuleta as Dean (does he act?). If not him, maybe a Jonas brother—probably Nick, with some weight gain. For Ty, I have a picture in my head that I can’t replace with a real actor. Book guys are better. I will say that I’d love to see Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton (Coach and Mrs. Taylor on Friday Night Lights) as Lacey Anne’s parents. Love them!What are you working on now?
I’m working on a still-untitled book for Bloomsbury about a girl named Clementine who spends the summer with her parents and little sister on a boat. It’s the summer following a particularly dramatic year, and she has a lot of things to figure out about herself. Like why the hilarious red-headed guy who she keeps meeting dockside has such a hold on her thoughts when she’s supposed to be single this summer.
xoxo and Love Always,
Shelbie and Amanda