With the release of Dear Bully on September 5th, we are celebrating it's release and message here at BNR. From Sept. 4th to Sept. 14th, we will be having authors that contributed to DB on the blog.
Today on the blog is Melissa Walker, author of Small Town Sinners:
Melissa Walker is a writer who has worked as ELLEgirl Features Editor and Seventeen Prom Editor. All in the name of journalism, she has spent 24 hours with male models and attended an elite finishing school for girls in New Zealand, among other hardships. She co-founded I Heart Daily with fellow ex-ELLEgirl Anne Ichikawa in 2009. It’s a daily newsletter about likable stuff. Melissa lives in Brooklyn and has a BA in English from Vassar College. She would tell you her SAT scores too, but, you know, the math part was hard. She loves meeting teenagers, and is game to speak at your library or school about writing, books, fashion, magazines or pop culture (but, you know, in a smart way).
Interview with Melissa
Why did you decide to go into writing books?
I always loved writing, probably since I could hold a pen. When I found out that if I got good at it someone would PAY me for it, I knew that was my dream job.
Has your experiences with Seventeen and Ellegirl influenced your stories?
Definitely--the Violet books were based on encounters with the fashion world I had while working in magazines, and Small Town Sinners comes directly from a story I wrote for ELLEgirl about Hell Houses.
Are there any genres you would like to dive into someday?
Yes! I'd love to do a middle grade novel, but I'm not sure I've got the voice down. I'm going to try!
What are some authors you admire?
There are so many but I have to say my favorites as a teen were Judy Blume, Christopher Pike and VC Andrews.
What have you learned from becoming an author?
Wow, a lot! But one big thing is that writing is a job. It's a fun job, but it's definitely still WORK at the end of the day.
Why did you decide to get involved with Dear Bully?
I loved the concept of a bunch of authors being open and honest--EVERYONE has a bully story.
Other than bullying victims, who should read this book?
Everyone. I think, if we really look at ourselves honestly, we've all been both victim and bully at some point.
How has your experience made you stronger?
Every experience is a learning moment, and my bullying experiences definitely taught me to be a better person.
How should someone reach out for help or support?
You know who you trust, whether that's a parent, one specific friend, a mentor, whoever. Reach out to the trusted person--your gut will guide you.
Give advice about bullying in three words.
Just walk away.
Where you can find Melissa:
Requirements: Must be 13 or older to enter
How to enter: Fill-out the form
*You can tweet about this giveaway for +1 entry.
The giveaway closes on Saturday, Sept. 10th, 11:59pm EST!
Thank you to Melissa for participating in our DB Spotlight! You can visit the Dear Bully website here and pre-order the book on Amazon.
Peace and Fangs,