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Writers on Writing: Melissa Walker

Today, I’m really excited to announce that Melissa Walker has joined me for my first ‘Writer’s on Writing’ blog series. I was fortunate enough to question her about writing and her writing process. Take a look!

What is your brainstorming process for a new book?

I usually get a one-sentence idea that intrigues me, like, “gawky girl becomes fashion model,” and I jot it down. Then, when I have time, I sit in front of that sentence and see if I can make it a paragraph, then a page summary of where I think that story would go. If I can get a full page summary, I’m usually ready to start a book. So then I talk to my agent and we go through a few ideas and talk about which ones we love the most.

For Lovestruck Summer, that sentence was, “Indie rock girl falls for country cowboy.” It was sunny and warm when I was writing it, and I just loved the idea of doing a summer romance!

Can you explain your typical work week day?

They’re all really different, but they usually involve: the gym, some writing on a book project, lunch, iced coffee, some writing on a magazine story, Oprah, some writing or editing for, some blogging for and, and lots of emailing.

Tell us about when you made the decision to write.

I’ve always written, since I was a little girl. It was never a decision, but as soon as I realized it could be a career, I worked hard to make it mine! That included working on my high school
yearbook, my college newspaper and then doing magazine internships and starting out in that world. Then, books came later. I never thought I’d write a full book–they’re so much longer than my 1000-word magazine stories!

What suggestions do you have for aspiring writers?

I wrote a piece for Seventeen about this. Here’s the link for it:

Tell us about what you’re working on right now and what we can expect from you in the near future.

I’m working on a new book that hopefully someone will want to publish! I can’t say much about it, but I’ll say this: It’s darker than my other books, so I might have to write another summer romance after this one!

Thank you for joining us today, Melissa! Good luck on your new book and congrats on the release of Lovestruck Summer!

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.In late 2008, she launched I Heart Daily with fellow ex-ELLEgirl Anne Ichikawa. 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. Her widely acclaimed books Violet on the Runway, Violet by Design and Violet in Private, are out now. Her fourth novel Lovestruck Summer was released yesterday! You can get it at your local bookstore or here.

6 Responses to Writers on Writing: Melissa Walker

  1. Melissa says:

    Thanks, Nisha! This was fun!

  2. nisha says:

    Thanks for joining me, Melissa!

  3. I’m so glad that people do it, but I would be totally terrible at writing. I’ve never been good at it and I’ve never enjoyed it enough to try harder. I definitely appreciate people like Melissa who love writing and are amazing at it! My copy of Lovestruck Summer is still in the mail and I’m eagerly awaiting its arrival to see Melissa’s newest work!

  4. nisha says:

    S. Colasanti’s book is sitting in my TBR pile. The minute finals are done, I’m going to grab for it! Lovestruck Summer won the battle on what got to be read first because M.W. was gracious enough to agree to an interview. 🙂 Cant wait to read S.C.’s book though!

  5. Thanks for Writers on Writing. Read this while I had my morning coffee, so it felt like a short visit with writer started my day.

  6. nisha says:

    Glad you like the column, C.Lee! I’m having a new author answer writing questions every week, so stay tuned for next wednesday, too! 🙂

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