It wouldn't be summer without chatting with readergirlz diva and author Melissa Walker, author of LOVESTRUCK SUMMER - exactly the book you want to pick up for a lazy August day (especially if that day happens to involve beaches or indie music or charming Austin types or all of the above).
This book is a delight - I even overheard my husband thumbing through a few pages and laughing at Melissa's hilarious depiction of Quinn's romance tribulations. So I'm very pleased to invite Melissa to chat all things Lovestruck and Summery with us today!
Lovestruck Summer is the story of Quinn, an indie rock girl who came out to Austin, Texas for a music internship. She also plans to spend long, lazy days in the sun at outdoor concerts -- and to meet a hot musician or two. Instead, she's stuck rooming with her sorority brainwashed cousin, who now willingly goes by the name 'Party Penny.' Their personalities clash, big time. But Sebastian, a gorgeous DJ, definitely makes up for it. Sebastian has it all: looks, charm, and great taste in music. So why can't Quinn keep her mind off Penny's friend -- cute, All-American Russ with the Texas twang? Two guys + one girl in the live music capital of the world...
Holly Cupala: Melissa, tell us about your inspiration for LOVESTRUCK SUMMER.
Melissa Walker: I went to a wedding in Austin one summer and I loved EVERYTHING about the town! I took notes on all the places we visited, and I knew I had to set a book there one day.
How did you land such a cool writing gig?
HarperTeen does a "beach read" every year, and they came to my agent asking if I could write one. He approached me, and I'd always loved those bright, romantic books by Catherine Clark and Rachel Hawthorne. You know, the ones with cartoon covers? So much fun! They told me I could use any plot I liked as long as it was summery and full of romance. SIGN ME UP!
What kind of research did you end up doing? Anything unexpected?
I listened to a TON of country music, which I've been missing since I left North Carolina for New York City. I have Loretta Lynn on heavy rotation now.
My own teen years. They were seriously nutty.
Ideas: do you blab, or keep them top secret?
I talk to my husband Dave about ideas, definitely. He always wants me to add an explosion or a secret killer or something, and his ideas make me laugh. He thinks very Hollywood!
Hmmm, explosions at sunset...after concert...I can see it, Dave! Erm, anyways, do you have a secret to share?
If I dig deep into my psyche, I might admit that I have sometimes passed up guys who seemed "not my type," just as Quinn passes up cowboy Russ because he's not indie enough for her. I've always regretted saying no to those guys, who were sweet, funny, and cool in their own ways--just not in mine. I was small-minded. And I wanted to write the story of a girl with that same problem.
Very interesting, Melissa! Especially in coming back to the same problems we've struggled with ourselves. Thanks again for visiting Story Secrets!
Readers, if you haven't already, check out Melissa's uber-cool YA blog in which she extracts Cover Stories from your favorite YA authors and chats about writing...then skip on over to I Heart Daily, where you'll learn all about the things Melissa and fellow ex-ELLEgirl Anne heart, then complete the tour with a must-see stop at Before You Were Hot. Then submit a pic already!