I am beyond excited to read Melissa’s new book, SMALL TOWN SINNERS! And so glad she stopped by to chat.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Small Town Sinners is the story of Lacey Anne, daughter of the pastor and perennial good girl, who is eligible for a lead role in the season’s Hell House production—a role she’s been coveting for years. But when Ty moves to town as casting begins, a new perspective is added to Lacey Anne’s world and she starts to see her tight-knit, Evangelical community in a different light. With the help of her two best friends Starla Joy and Dean, and her potential first love Ty, Lacey Anne begins exploring her own thoughts and feelings about her religion, her community, and her place within both. While this novel deals with provocative issues like religion, teen pregnancy and underage drinking, it is not an “issue” book; the topics are masterfully interwoven into this story of friendship and family.
Early readers agree:
“Small Town Sinners shines a light on the fascinating world of the teenage Hell House. Sit back and let Melissa Walker be your guide. She writes without a shred of judgment and plenty of heart.” —Dana Reinhardt, author of A Brief Chapter of My Impossible Life
“Walker is sympathetic and respectful of her characters’ faith, while putting on display the shocking extremist scare tactics that make Hell Houses, well, hellish.” —Donna Freitas, author of This Gorgeous Game and The Possibilities of Sainthood.
“A non-judgmental, nuanced, fascinating look at the teenage religious right… Walker writes an outstanding contemporary novel with a cast of characters who, far from being portrayed as hateful zealots, are relatable for readers of all faiths. The extremism of Hell House is tempered by the perfectly understandable attitudes and intentions of Lacey Anne, who struggles with what it means to grow up, to question and to think for herself.” –
“Both tender and provocative… Walker creates an astutely balanced portrait of a conservative congregation’s in-your-face response to perennial issues of domestic abuse, teen pregnancy, and suicide, as well as of those who struggle to fit the prescribed Christian mold.” –
“This secular story about religious people could easily devolve into camp mockery, but because Walker takes her character’s crisis of faith seriously and sensitively, readers will, too.
KRISTINA: In my book, THE ESPRESSOLOGIST, Jane, a coffee barista, matchmakes people based on their favorite coffee drinks. What’s your favorite coffee drink? (If you don’t like coffee, tell me what your favorite drink in general is. But I am sorry, you’ll never find love. Kidding!)
MELISSA: Iced coffee, even in winter. Light and sweet, please! I like it to taste like coffee ice cream.
KRISTINA: How do you come up with the names of your characters?
MELISSA: Sometimes they just come to me, but if they don't, I like to walk through cemeteries and look at names. Quirky, I know, but it's really fun!
KRISTINA: Are you on twitter? Where can we follow you?
MELISSA: I am! I'm twitter.com/melissacwalker. Warning: I tweet a lot during March Madness (Go Heels!) and I tend to obsessively tweet about TV I love (the latest being "Friday Night Lights"--so sad it's over!).
KRISTINA: What are you working on now?
MELISSA: My next book, Unbreak My Heart, will be out in 2012 from Bloomsbury. It's a story about lost friendships, betrayal and summer love (I'm vague, I know! I haven't talked about it much in detail yet!).
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
MELISSA WALKER: Melissa has worked as ELLEgirl Features Editor and Seventeen Prom Editor. She is the author of the Violet on the Runway series as well as Lovestruck Summer. Melissa manages I Heart Daily, an e-newsletter and blogs for ReaderGirlz, an online community for teens. www.melissacwalker.com