Monday, November 10, 2008

Chat With An Author: Melissa Walker

Here is a new addition to my blog called Chat with an Author, the first of this is with Melissa Walker, author of the Violet Series, The Violet Series are some of my favorite books, so I was very excited to be able to talk to her. Here is our chat:

How did you first get into writing?
Well, the summer before I started high school, I filled a loose-leafnotebook with the tale of a geeky girl who wanted to find a prom date,so I guess you could say I always had some book dreams. But after I started writing for magazines, I could hardly process anything over 1,000 words, so writing a book seemed daunting. I honestly think it was the ElleGirl audience who inspired me: They were such smart, funny girls, and I got to the point where I wanted to write more for them.

What inspired the Violet Series?
My time at ElleGirl especially gave me insight into the fashion world and how newer models live in NYC (which can be glamorous, scary,thrilling, and a little dark all at the same time). That knowledge kind of overlapped with my long-time dream of writing a teen novelabout a small town girl in the big city (original, right?). The fashion world thing gave it more focus and helped me nail down theplot.

Were any of the characters from the Violet Series based off real people?
Lots of Violets likes and dislikes are my own. And I might have known a guy like Kurt in college (he's in Violet in Private). But therest--truly--are combinations of people I've known and pure imagination.

The books are based around the fashion industry, and are pretty welldescribed, how did you do research for these portions of the books?
I spent so much time working at fashion magazines that I had seen a lot by the time I sat down to write, so I just worked with what I knew.

Who is your favorite character from the books?
That's like asking a mom who her favorite child is! I don't know. I guess I do have a fondness for Roger.

What's in the future for Violet?
There are just three books at this point, so the future may be inreaders' imaginations.

What was your first job as a writer?
My first "job" was on my high school yearbook as a Features Writer. But if you mean the first time I got paid for being a writer, that wasat ROSIE magazine, Rosie O'Donnell's short-lived title. I was an editorial assistant and had just moved to NYC--it seemed superglamorous, and I loved every minute! 

What was your favorite assignment as a journalist?
Probably going to Brazil for Sao Paulo Fashion Week--I had a blast andlearned so much about the fashion industry's international side.

What do you suggest to girls who want to get into writing?
First, you have to read. Read, read, read. You'll learn so much aboutcharacter, plot, pacing, conflict, etc. from reading. Secondly, keep ajournal, something you're not afraid to find your voice in, somethingthat's just for you. It will help you practice your style becauseyou'll write freely--and one day you'll turn back to it for story ideas!

And lastly, part of my blog is to get the readers to think about atopic of importance, so if you would like to give the topic for thisweek that would be great!
Sure! In Violet in Private, Violet gets a designer to use "green"cosmetics as makeup for a fashion show. In real life, that scene wasinspired by Teens for Safe Cosmetics, a great organization of girlstrying to make sure that makeup is safe and environmentallyresponsible. Check them out:
Thanks Melissa for doing this! And everyone, you should think about checking out that link to the website that Melissa gave, it's really cool!


Allison said...

Great interview!!

Red Sox Girl said...

it's going into lamplighter