Thursday, January 12, 2012

DITCHED: A LOVE STORY, by Robin Mellom

I'm really excited to feature DITCHED: A LOVE STORY, by Robin Mellom that debuted this week!

Synopsis, from Goodreads: High school senior Justina Griffith was never the girl who dreamed of going to prom. Designer dresses and strappy heels? Not her thing. So she never expected her best friend, Ian Clark, to ask her.
Ian, who always passed her the baseball bat handle first.
Ian, who knew exactly when she needed red licorice.
Ian, who promised her the most amazing night at prom.
And then ditched her.
Now, as the sun rises over her small town, and with only the help of some opinionated ladies at the 7-Eleven, Justina must piece together — stain by stain on her thrift-store dress — exactly how she ended up dateless. A three-legged Chihuahua was involved. Along with a demolition derby-ready Cadillac. And there was that incident at the tattoo parlor. Plus the flying leap from Brian Sontag's moving car...
But to get the whole story, Justina will have to face the boy who ditched her. And discover if losing out at prom can ultimately lead to true love.
Filled with humor, charm, and romance, Ditched: A Love Story by debut novelist Robin Mellom will have readers dreaming of love on their own prom nights.

I can't wait to read this book! I really admire authors who can effectively infuse humor into their fiction.

Robin was also kind enough to answer some questions I had:

I read on your website that you used to be a teacher, and I love the creative ideas you used to get your students jazzed about writing stories. How did your own enthusiasm for writing originally develop? 

I was the daughter of a teacher, so I spent all my afternoons hanging out after school with other teachers. I'd erase their boards and they'd all gather and tell each other stories, which were usually very funny or totally heartfelt. Teachers are amazing storytellers, so I think spending EVERY afternoon of my childhood listening to them is what led me to want to write stories for children.

I love that you've inserted humor into your new book, DITCHED. Where did the idea for the story come from, and why do you think this book was successfully able to sell?

I once had my own experience with a date-gone-wrong where the guy drank more than he should have and ran around unzipping all the girls' dresses (including mine). That "dress malfunction" was the nugget that led to DITCHED. Except I decided to make it a prom and make the zipper dress incident just the beginning of when everything goes all terribly wrong...

I think the book sold because it maintains the fun, rompy feel all the way through, and yet there is a moment of tenderness where the emotions are laid out. A combination of humor and tenderness is what my editor always wants to see, and I hope readers are looking for that too.

I saw that THE CLASSROOM is your next release, and this book looks like it's geared toward a much different audience! What are some of your favorite genres to write in, and why?

I will always write humorous stories because I rarely know how to be serious. It's like an issue for me. So I'm sticking to the goofy and writing for the middle grade and teen audience.

And finally, I have to say, I love the design elements on your website. What recommendations do you have for aspiring writers who want to build a web presence?

Thank you! I almost went nuts trying to figure out how to design the website since I write for different age groups and genders. How do you appeal to 16-year-old girls AND ten-year-old boys at the same time? Ha! Not super easy. So we decided to combine chalkboard drawings and photography. Luckily my husband is a photographer so he photographed all the icons at the top of the page. (Those green shoes are my actual shoes I wear pretty much every day.)

For aspiring writers, I would definitely start a blog. That's what I had for many years and it worked wonderfully. They are amazing now because through Wordpress and Blogger you can create "pages" where you can have your bio, info on your work, etc., and its essentially like having a complete website for free. Plus blogging is a great creative outlet and you meet other writers and readers.

Thanks for having me, Karen! And thanks for letting me interview you, Robin!

DITCHED is available now, so be sure to get out there and get yourself a copy, like I just did!

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