Random Chitchats

Shop Talk Tuesday with Melissa Walker

I’m gonna take a break from editing to welcome Melissa Walker, who’s joining us in the beauty shop! Melissa is the author of the recently released, VIOLET ON THE RUNWAY, the story of a gawky, awkward high school senior who gets scouted to become a model and experience the fashion fast-lane in NYC.


(LOVE the cover! This should make any ANTM addict’s ears perk up!)

So welcome, Melissa! Grab some coffee, get comfy in the beautician’s chair, and let’s get down to the gossip.

When’s the last time you’ve treated yourself to a manicure?

Just before my friend Kathleen’s wedding in July. I have 8 weddings to attend this year, so manicures are a big party of my 2007 budget! Luckily, where I live in Brooklyn, there are excellent manicure/pedicure deals ($15 for both!).

What’s the most regrettable hairstyle you’ve ever had? Any mullets? Rat tails?

I missed the mullet/rat tail era, but I did wear one of those feather clips in my hair in 3rd grade. I won it at the state fair and then would NOT take it off. It stood in for the pink streak my mom wouldn’t let me get.

Oh yeah! I loved mine. And those weaved barrettes with ribbons hanging down. Okay, what hair styling product can you not live without?

I love beach hair, but New York City isn’t exactly sun’n’sand central. Bumble and Bumble’s Surf Spray is a genius product that makes me feel like I just spend the day at Fire Island—I love it!

That’s now on my shopping list! Now, the ladies from my novel always answer the “Hypothetical Questions of the Week” from their favorite tabloid. So here are a few for you:

HQ #1: TV execs are offering you a spot on a new reality show for writers. Do you say yes? If so, how would you be portrayed? (i.e. the boss, whiner, bore, paranoid-wreck, etc.?)

I say no, but only because I suspect I’d be portrayed as a bossy, Type-A, uptight (unless they fed me lots of wine… which is what my friends do to loosen me up).

HQ #2: You’re a big-time celebrity who just had a baby. If you were competing for the most bizarre celebrity baby name, what would it be?

Okay, I love the names Virginia and Carolina, so I’d probably name my girl twins that way. Not so bizarre on their own, but together… questionable. When I told my friend about loving those names, she said, “And will your third baby be ‘Dixie’”? What can I say? I’m a southern girl!

HQ #3: Paparazzi are stalking you, looking for shots of odd things authors do while writing. What do they catch you doing, hmm?

Oh, any number of things! On my “Authors—they’re just like Us!” page, you’d find these captions:
They pick at their nail polish!
They watch three episodes of The Hills in a row instead of writing!
They sing along to 80s songs while searching for inspiration!

HQ #4: If you followed the career path you chose for yourself in high school, what would you be doing for a living now?

I chose “reporter” and taped a photo of Connie Chung to my 9th grade career project folder. I got pretty close—though writing for magazines means I “report” more on lipstick than the Iraq war. Still, my high school self would be pleased!

The Lightening Round—no more than two words per answer!

Do you . . .
Outline or wing it?
Outline loosely
Talk about works-in-progress, or keep your trap shut? Shut it
Sell by proposal or completed draft? Proposal
Love to edit or cringe at the thought? Love it!
Prefer writing a new book or marketing the old? New stuff!
Write better at home or in a coffee shop? Home armchair
Read your released book or no thank you, I’ve read it enough? ENOUGH!

And finally, what’s your favorite . . .
Time to write?
Post-gym morning
Movie? Kicking and Screaming (Noah Baumbach, not Will Ferrell)
Song? This summer it’s been Umbrella (Rihanna)
Pair of shoes? Chanel flats, not that I own a pair (but I’m saving)
Guiltiest pleasure? MTV, 24/7

Thanks, Melissa, for stopping by! And I’ve also been obsessed this summer with Umbrella. Ella. Ella. It’s fun to annoy my boys by singing it. Eh. Eh. Eh. Best of luck with VIOLET ON THE RUNWAY, and have fun at those weddings!

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