Interview with Melissa C. Walker + GIVEAWAY!

Posted June 4, 2012 by Asheley in Uncategorized / 20 Comments

Melissa C. Walker 
is on the blog today 
to answer a few questions for us! 

Hi Melissa! It’s so nice to meet you! I recently read Small Town Sinners and Unbreak My Heart and loved them both! Thank you for talking to me a little bit about Unbreak My Heart!

1. I recently read Small Town Sinners and Unbreak My Heart back-to-back. Such different books, and both were great. With these two very different books coming out back-to-back, can you talk just a little bit about the switch in gears it took from writing about faith and sin to writing about heartbreak, healing, and love?

Honestly, as long as I can hear the characters in my head, I can tell their stories–no matter what the themes are. If I can hear them talking, they feel real to me and hopefully to readers too. I will say that it was nice to lighten up with UNBREAK MY HEART after SMALL TOWN SINNERS, but there were dark parts of UNBREAK MY HEART too… still, the sunny scenes were refreshing!

2. Unbreak My Heart is a book that will be, I think, deeply relatable to a ton of us. Where did you come up with the idea or inspiration for Clementine’s story?

I suffered a friend breakup and it was crazily painful. I knew I’d write about it one day, somehow. Clem’s story was my way to do that.

3. Clementine made a mistake and has lost her best friend, the boy she really likes, and all of her friends. As the story starts, she is broken-hearted. How has your real-life experience as a magazine writer for young people helped you to relate to the kinds of experiences Clementine faced prior to boarding the boat…AND the kinds she faced while she was on board?

I think what helps me relate most is that I’ve been through being 16, 17, 18… I remember very clearly what that time was like and how I felt about things. Maybe writing for teenagers keeps me in touch with that, or maybe I’ll just always be that age in my head. In any case, the whole made-a-mistake thing is universal–we’ve all had friendship dramas where we’ve felt at fault. And ideally, we have people who love us around to help us get through that and be okay on the other side.

4. While reading, it was easy for me to decide that James was my favorite character, followed by Clem’s sister Olive. Who is your favorite character and why?

I love Olive. Every time I wrote a scene with her she was so crystal clear in my head. I could hear her quirks and her energy.

5. Music plays a huge role in Unbreak My Heart as Clem is quite fond of making playlists. Did you listen to music while writing the book? If you did, what is on your current writing playlist?

I did! I even made a mini-soundtrack, so here’s the current playlist:

6. There is some buzz about the interesting setting you used in this book – a small sailboat. How did you come up with that idea? If you were going to be stuck on a sailboat all summer long, where would you want to sail?

I spent a lot of time with my parents on a small sailboat, so I’m familiar with the highs and lows of that set-up. If I were sailing all summer long, I think I’d like to be off the coast of a very cool beach town, maybe off of the Outer Banks in my native NC, so I could escape my fellow boat-mates now and then.

7. Can you tell us anything about what you have planned next?

I have a letter in the DEAR TEEN ME anthology coming from Zest Books in October, and I’m working on a new book that I’m keeping mum about for now–but I’ll have info to share soon!

8. What would you say to readers to encourage them to pick up more YA Contemporary titles? 

I love big, fantastical stories a lot, but the truth is, the small moments in books–the ones where you see yourself, and your family, and how you’re living–are the most exciting to me. So that’s what I love about Contemporary stuff. I can find truths about myself there.


Thank you for stopping by Melissa!
I love that you give a nod to the Outer Banks and NC
because I’m in the far Eastern NC myself! 
You’re welcome on the blog anytime!

Bloomsbury USA has generously offered 
to one lucky winner! 
(US Only please!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck! 


About Asheley

Asheley is a Southern girl. She loves Carolina blue skies, Ben & Jerry's ice cream, and NC craft beer. She loves all things history but prefers books over everything.

You can find her somewhere in North Carolina, daydreaming about the ocean.

Find Asheley on Litsy @intothehallofbooks!


20 responses to “Interview with Melissa C. Walker + GIVEAWAY!

  1. Wonderful interview, ladies! I'm intrigued by all your talk about the characters – I want to meet Clem and James, too! 🙂 I already purchased a copy of Unbreak My Heart for my kindle (literally a minute ago, after reading your fabulous review, Asheley!), and I can't wait to dive right into it! Thank you so much for the interesting interview!!!

  2. I'm a huge fan of YA fantasy, but in the last year or so have started reading YA contemporary, and I love it for the same reason Melissa mentions – even as an adult, I can still see myself in the characters and I love seeing their growth in a realistic setting. 🙂 Great interview!

  3. I love Melissa's point about contemporary and finding the moments where you see yourself! While I read across genres, my heart belongs to contemporary YA exactly because of that.

  4. I didn't know you wrote Small Town Sinners. That awesome to know. And yeah, I know that feeling as a teen with all your friends and drama going on, since I'm a teen myself. 😀 The book sounds kinda sad, but really happy too. 😀

  5. I've never been able to sail or do much boating because I get very seasick. Nevertheless, I still wish I could. My daughter lives in Florida now and is able to do some boating. I'm going to give it a try the next time I'm there. Thanks for taking the time to answer all these questions!

  6. It's really great that she was able to use her own experience of being on a sailboat to add to the flavor of this novel. That's just awesome!! I loved her other novel and am really looking forward to reading this one. Can't wait to see what else is in store for Melissa!

  7. I have heard so many good things about this book. I don't read many contemps, but I love what she says about them on the bottom. She's so right!

  8. I love that she said she may always be a teenager in her head. I can relate! Even though I'm 31 (boo!) I still feel like I'm only 18. I wonder if I'll still feel this way when I'm 80? Anywho, I'm looking forward to reading both of Melissa's books, they look equally fantastic 🙂

  9. I love it when authors do playlists for their books, it just adds a whole different dimension to it and Melissa's is awesome! Great songs. 🙂

  10. This one sounds like a fabulous contemporary! Can't wait to read it– been hearing great things about it 😀 I absolutely love the playlist, so thank you for the amazing interview and giveaway!

  11. May

    I think it's great that you chose a real life scenario as the main focus of your book. I really enjoyed the interview! Thank you :))

  12. OMG I am so glad she stopped by I am ready excited about this book. Do you know how long this has been on my TBR list? Not only does this summary make you want to read it, its cover make me want to read it that much more 🙂

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