Melissa Walker is the author of the enjoyable summer read Unbreak My Heart. She also penned Small Town Sinners. Recently, I asked Melissa a few questions about her latest book. See what she has to say about Unbreak My Heart.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.
[Melissa Walker] Author of teen books, magazine writer and editor, lover of iced-coffee, mix tapes, Friday Night Lights and Tarheel Basketball.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Unbreak My Heart?
[Melissa Walker] Sure! It’s the story of a girl named Clem who is spending the summer with her parents and little sister on the family sailboat. She starts out heartbroken because of an incident that happened last year, and she slowly works through her pain (with the help of the fam and a sweet guy she meets on the river).
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?
[Melissa Walker] I broke up with a best friend once, and it was (and is) truly painful. I wanted a way to get at that feeling, and these characters came to me as I thought about that situation.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What was the most challenging aspect of writing the book?
[Melissa Walker] The story alternates between past and present (the year that broke Clem’s heart and the summer that heals it), so getting that balance right was tough. I rearranged chapters a LOT, and that can get confusing!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Clem?
[Melissa Walker] Introspective, regretful, hopeful
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are three things James would never have in his pocket?
[Melissa Walker] Ha! Love this question. He would never have: a banana (too smelly), a hole (he’s very put together) or a cigarette (he’s too into fresh air).
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Clem’s single most prized possession?
[Melissa Walker] Probably her iPod. She needs her life to have a soundtrack.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?
[Melissa Walker] I do watch a lot of TV and movies, and I read a lot, but I think "real life" is my greatest influence. Walking around, I catch snatches of conversation, see people act a certain way, watch how someone moves. That inspires me to sit down with new characters the most.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?
[Melissa Walker] Laptop, iced coffee, and at least two hours of uninterrupted time.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?
[Melissa Walker] The Difference Between You an Me, by Madeleine George. Best kissing scenes ever.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?
[Melissa Walker] It would likely be Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume. I could not get enough of Fudge.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
[Melissa Walker] Read! Yoga. Park walks. Baby snuggles.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thanks!
You can order Unbreak My Heart and Small Town Sinners from your favorite bookseller, or by clicking the links below