The concept? Bad girl teen starlet Theodora Twist needs an image makeover. So her handlers return her to her hometown and she moves into the life of everygirl Emily Fine. Hilarity and--but of course!--a reality show ensue!
TT sounds like a guilty pleasure without the guilt. I can't wait to read it--and now that it's in oh-so-carryable paperback, I'm sure I will!
But first, Melissa and I had an e-chat. . .
Elizabeth: You walk into a bookstore and make a beeline to. . .
a) chick lit
b) YA lit
e) a big stack of gossip mags and a cappuccino
f) the ________ (please fill in) section
. .. . and why?
Melissa: Chick lit/women’s fiction first. Then young adult, then essay collections. I am a collector of essay collections!
Elizabeth: Tell me about your childhood, part 1: When you were a teenager, what young adult novel a) saved b) changed c) okay, made a big wallop on your life?
Melissa: The Cat Ate My Gymsuit made me so happy I read it ten times in one year. It was the first book I read that made me realize I could write in my own voice, spill my actual (and not so nice all the time) thoughts right onto the page.
Elizabeth: Tell me about your childhood, part 2: Where did you grow up and what kind of role does that setting play in the books you write?
Melissa: I grew up as a kid in boroughs of New York City (the Bronx and Queens) and as a teenager in northern New Jersey (ie. a mall). My kid life and a my teenaged life were so drastically different that they both intermingle to inform my writing.
Elizabeth: You write both YA and Chick lit. What do you do to shift gears when you move from one genre to the other?
Melissa: To shift from chick lit to YA, I rent one of my favorite teen movies: How To Deal, which is based on two of Sarah Dessen’s novels (she is my favorite young adult author). I also buy some teen magazines and do some informal research interviews of local teens. Lots of eavesdropping too.
Elizabeth: I heart Sarah Dessen as well! What do you love about Theodora Twist, the character?
Melissa: She’s a diva, but has a good heart. We all know divas without a good heart. ;-)
Elizabeth: Finally, which Chick with Sticks are you? If you haven't read my book, please refer to this handy quiz.
Melissa: I'm Amanda!