What writers do you consider your “sisters”? Are there any published writers that you hang out or tour with a lot? Call? Email? IM?
I have LOVED the supportive young adult author community! I've gotten great advice and many niceties from Carolyn Mackler, Sarah Mlynowski, Beth Kephart, Lisa McMann, David Levithan, Siobhan Vivian, Jolene Siana, Sarah Grace McCandless, Elizabeth Scott, E. Lockhart, Alexa Young, Kristen Kemp, the fun voices of teenfictioncafe.blogspot.com--too many to name really!
Who do you find yourself being compared to or are often put together with in reading lists or book clubs?
I'm doing a reading this fall with Rachel Maude, the author of Poseur. It's fun because both of our books are fashion-related. Because Sarah Dessen gave me my first blurb, and because we have the same hometown (Chapel Hill, NC) I sometimes get to be associated slightly with her, which is AWESOME.
What writers do you wish would be in your “clique”? (It doesn’t have to be in your genre….doesn’t even have to be living! For example, I’d pick Alice Hoffman, Jodi Picoult, Sarah Dessen, Oscar Wilde, Stephenie Meyer, Meg Cabot, Stephen King and Joan Didion).
In addition to the amazing people I mentioned above (so my dream posse is already huge!), I'm definitely choosing Margaret Mitchell (Gone with the Wind) and Eudora Welty (genius and such amazing dark humor). To balance out a group with opinionated southern women, I think Shakespeare would be a laugh.
What was your “initiation” to writing?
I wrote and edited for teen and women's magazines, so that was where I first got the byline bug. I loved seeing my words in print. I always dreamed of expanding to books one day, so it's the realization of an ideal career path for me.
What was your best/worst memory of high school?
Worst: There were days when I felt invisible, and those always hurt the most somehow.
Best: By junior year, I had a very solid group of friends, and I still love them all today. My best moments were with them, even though we were boring and usually spent Saturday night watching SNL at someone's house instead of partying with the cool kids.
Finally, what can you tell me about your book? Give me a quick run-down about why I’d want to pick it for my own book club.
Violet in Private is the third book in the Violet trilogy, and it ties together a lot of the issues that Violet has been dealing with as a real girl who gets scouted to become a model in NYC and then faces pressures to stay thin and enter the party lifestyle of the fashion world. For book clubs, there's a lot to talk about--especially with teenage members who are fans of America's Next Top Model and Project Runway. In fact, a list of discussion topics is up on readergirlz.com this month, so I encourage people to visit there!
Thanks for having me, Megan!
More info about Melissa Walker and the Violet Series:
VIOLET IN PRIVATE
by Melissa Walker
Praise for Melissa Walker:
“It’s a hard sell, asking readers to muster sympathy for the congenitally gorgeous whose job it is to wear designer clothes and walk. In ‘ ,’ Melissa Walker pulls it off.”
—Holly Brubach, The New York Times
Is there life off the runway?
VIOLET IN PRIVATE (Berkley Jam Trade Paperback; August 5, 2008; $9.99) is the third novel in the series by former magazine editor Melissa Walker about Violet— the wallflower who blooms into an international modeling star—until she realizes there may be more to life than the runway…
Everyone knows her as Violet Greenfield, the supposedly cultured and worldly nineteen-year-old with sky-high confidence because she’s done fashion weeks internationally. But the truth is, modeling has done little for Violet’s self-esteem. And now that she’s finally headed to college, she’s terrified that she’ll turn back into that girl who blended into the walls all throughout high school…
Violet’s friends in fashion are only a two-hour train ride away in New York City, and they all think she’s crazy to stop modeling. But her best friend Roger hopes she’ll go back to being the girl next door. Of course, things have been weird between them ever since they kissed—and now he’s got a girlfriend. So the question is: if she’s not “Violet on the Runway” anymore, who exactly is she?
Melissa Walker has created a character that teens as well as adults can embrace and relate to. Readers have followed Violet through her highest highs and lowest lows in the modeling industry, and are eager to see how she fares as a regular teenager in college. This wonderful series is a fresh take on the real voice of one girl in the designer spotlight.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
As a former editor at ELLEgirl and Seventeen magazines, Melissa Walker knows first-hand the ins and outs of the fashion world. She hails from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and currently resides in Brooklyn, New York. Visit her at melissacwalker.com, or at myspace.com/melissacwalker.
Melissa is available for interview, and can talk extensively about the fashion world from the insider's view of a fashion magazine editor. And as a Young Adult writer who converses regularly with her teenage fans, she also would enjoy giving her take on the effects models and fashion have on teenage girls.
Praise for the VIOLET series:
“Part Cinderella, part girl next door, VIOLET ON THE RUNWAY is a story for any girl who ever wondered what it would be like to have her wildest dream come true.”
--New York Times bestselling author Sarah Dessen
“Violet is a hero for all of us wallflowers out there. A fun, fashion-filled, fast-paced read!”
--Carolyn Mackler, award-winning author of Guyaholic
“On the runway or off, Violet shines.”
--Ally Carter, bestselling author of I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You
“Violet is wonderfully witty and sweetly sensitive. She’s not your typical top model; she’s more like your best friend—only prettier.”
--Kirsten Kemp, author of Breakfast at Bloomingdale’s
"Violet on the Runway is a novel about fashion, but it's also a sensitive portrait of adolescence--simultaneously funny and painful. Walker excels at characterizing those moments that we've all experienced, from bumbling in front of the cute boy to being misunderstood by ones parents."
"This novel is a perfect read for teens who want to see what lies beneath the glossy veneer of what seems to be a picture-perfect life."
"Teens will love this fun fashion read."
"Take a peek into a model's life with this hip novel!"
"I couldn't put it down! You're kind of rooting for her to make it big, and kind of rooting for her to just go home before the biz ruins her."
"Funny, engaging, and eye-opening, Violet on the Runway is an addictive read full of all the juicy insights about the fashion industry one could hope for, as well as meaningful layers and observations about the importance of knowing one's self."
PS-Click here to check out Melissa Walker's big Violet contest, which will be running until Sept 1st! Don't wait, check it out today!!
For more information about the VIOLET series or Melissa Walker, check out the links below.
VIOLET ON THE RUNWAY,
VIOLET BY DESIGN,
VIOLET IN PRIVATE, August 2008
Thanks for stopping by, Melissa and good luck with your incredibly addictive VIOLET series! A must read for anyone who wants to know the real story behind the fashion industry from a real fashion magazine insider.