Friday, August 23, 2013

Authors Are Rock Stars Tour Stop Featuring Author Robin Mellom

I am so excited to be a part of this tour! Some of my favorite authors are being featured and I am so excited about that!
One of those author is Robin Mellom and I am here to tell you why Robin is truly a rock star!

Robin is the author of DITCHED. I had so much fun reading DITCHED. I laughed, I cried, I aww'ed, I laughed some more. It truly reminded me of all the great John Hughes movies I watched growing up. There was never a dull moment and the characters were believable, real and they just shinned. It truly was one of the best and funniest books I read last year and I can not even tell you how much I am looking forward to her newest release BUSTED

To see my full review of DITCHED please go HERE

About the Author:

I grew up in the suburbs of Atlanta in a town called Roswell. The one people always get confused about and ask, "Oh, the place with all those secret alien sightings?!" No, no that's Roswell, New Mexico. My Roswell is known for its Chick-fil-A and traffic. 

My mother was the vice-principal at my elementary school, which meant kids were skeptical of me. I seemed nice, but was I secretly taking notes and reporting their foul language to my mother every afternoon in her nicely furnished office? (She had matching wingback chairs. Matching!) But I never was the type to tattle, so fortunately having a mother for vice-principal was a win-win because I got to have some friends and a bottled coke from the teacher's lounge every day at 3 p.m. Perks!

In fact, the only reason why I look so perky in this yearbook photo of me from first grade is because of excessive soda intake. Coke, of course. Because back when I was growing up in the south, even if you were drinking a Sprite or a Dr. Pepper or a Fanta--if it fizzed-- you still called it Coke. (And see the sunshine t-shirt I'm wearing? The other reason why I was perky. How could that shirt not make you happy? I want that shirt back.)

Another upside to being the daughter of the school's VP was that I got to be friends with lots of the teachers. Every afternoon I got to write all over their chalkboards, raid their top drawer for extra snacks (they let me, I promise!) and then eavesdrop on all their teacher gossip while they thought I was drawing on their boards and eating their snacks. (Nah, they didn't let me eavesdrop, that was just me being bad.) But it turned out to be for good because I think it was all that eavesdropping that led me to writing stories.

I was the girl who would take ten sheets of lined paper, fold them in half, then staple along the side to make a "spine" for my book. I'd draw a picture for my cover then number my chapters. I'd sit by the Mimosa tree in my back yard, drink sweet tea (in the south we drink our tea very sweet, like liquid dessert) and I would write stories. I didn't share them with anyone.

I knew from a very young age that I loved writing. My dream was to be a writer. And after spending so much of my personal afternoon time around teachers (no offense, they're fabulous people) I knew the LAST thing I ever wanted to be was a teacher.

So what did I do? I became a teacher. It was inevitable. My destiny. Fate. All that. It was also a job, one that paid... sort of. I say that because I taught seventh grade in New Mexico for a couple of years and wasn't paid much more than a waitress at Ryan's Steakhouse. No, it wasn't in Roswell, New Mexico but this story was starting to feel like it was coming full circle there for a moment, right?!

Fortunately, my fate had led me to a job I adored. Middle schoolers are the coolest people on the planet. And no one is physically forcing me to say that! I absolutely love them. And my favorite subject to teach was creative writing. I'd assign them a story idea, then sit at the front table and write right along with them. There were moments during creative writing time when the air was literally magical. It wasn't like I was a teacher in charge of 33 twelve-year olds. We were just people throwing all our energy into the words on our paper, doing our best and then sharing it with each other. It was the first time in my life I started sharing my stories. It felt AMAZING. (And I got paid to do that! Almost enough to get a ribeye at Ryan's!!)

When my son was born, I stayed at home with him and that was when I started writing for me. That first book was pretty cruddy because, let's face it, writing while sleep-deprived makes for lots of crud. But I was learning, and after a year I had enough written to join a local writer's group and start getting serious. That group taught me so much about writing and publishing — I felt like I'd gotten a master's degree just from sitting at their kitchen tables every other week and listening to their suggestions. 

I didn't sell that first book. Or my second. Or my third. Years later, the book that finally sold and made me an "author" was my sixth book. It took tons of perseverance and perhaps a little case of the crazies to finally make it happen. 

Fortunately, I feel like my cumulation of experiences--being the daughter of a vice-principal, becoming a teacher, teaching creative writing to middle schoolers--is what led me to this writing career. Becoming a teacher was my fate, but becoming a writer was my dream. I'm grateful to have experienced both. 

Now I write full time and live on the central coast of California with my husband and son. In this state, we call a Coke a Coke and a Sprite a Sprite. We have amazing avocados. 

But the tea just isn't as sweet. Darn it.


Guest Post:

MGO: Where did you get your inspiration from for your stories? If you’d like to include a sneak peek at your new book and/or give a tease about what you are working on right now that would be great.

Robin: I wrote DITCHED when my agent came to me and asked me to write a funny novel for teen girls. I’d been so focused on writing funny middle grade that I hadn’t even considered writing something humorous for young adults. But my agent had faith in me, so I didn’t really have a choice…I HAD to write it. And I’m so glad I did.

This novel came out of me quicker than any I had written in the past. I decided I had nothing to lose, so I made it as fun and weird as I could. It was a BLAST to write.

The details of this rompy prom story weren’t based on my own experiences. My prom night was rather lovely and pretty much uneventful. (Though we did go to a party at The Hampton Inn, so that made it into the story.) To get some good nuggets for the book, I asked pretty much everyone I know what their prom night was like.

The limo scene was inspired by my chiropractor. The Two Mikes who drive a derby car came from my hairstylist. And Fritz, the tattoo artist, is actually my husband’s friend from college.

So I guess you could say this novel was a big group effort.

My next teen novel, BUSTED, is about a girl who takes a night job to get over a breakup. She runs errands for an eccentric couple in Los Angeles. After a misunderstanding lands her in jail, she has one fateful night to clear her name, help a rising movie starlet avoid the paparazzi and find Adam, the coworker who is quickly stealing her heart.

My inspiration for BUSTED came from two things: 1.) an extremely weird Craigslist ad I came across, and 2.) an article in the New York Times about this guy who runs “paparazzi tours” and lets people follow him around while he’s shooting candid shots of celebrities. I jammed those two ideas together and BAM! I came up with BUSTED. This book has been crazy amounts of fun to write.

I have a couple of other projects lined up…I recently finished book 3 in my middle grade series, THE CLASSROOM, and I also sold a picture book series. (More details on that soon!)

But most importantly, just this week I started writing my third teen novel. I can’t share what the topic is yet, but I promise…it will be weird, crazy fun.


MGO: Thank you so much Robin for being here today and sharing with us more about you and your upcoming work. I can not wait to read BUSTED!!

Also a huge thank you to the hosts of the Rock Star Tour for putting on such a huge and fabulous event. It has been so much fun!!


  1. Ahhh! I still need to read Ditched! I've heard awesome things about it and I need to make time for it. Busted sounds awesome too, definitely adding that to the list. And paparazzi tours? Really? I'm not sure I'd want to follow one around and harass celebrities, though I can see some good stories coming out of the experience! Thanks for sharing your inspiration Robin!

  2. I've heard really great things about Ditched! It's interesting that Robin's agent was the one to first suggest it. It sounds like it all worked out! I'll have to keep an eye out for Busted too. Thanks for the brilliant post! :)

  3. Thanks Jenny and Sam! I can't wait to read Busted, I know it will be hilarious and full of chaos!

  4. What a fun post and such a cute perky picture. Who knew every soda in the south was Coke? I need to read Ditched and Busted sounds fun! I am on the lookout for more funny books these days! Happy Weekend, Ali.

  5. Great interview! Thanks so much for being a tour host!


  6. I loved the guest post, and would have been sitting under the tree with her but I would have been reading..LOL Thanks for sharing this and I added Ditched to my wishlist!

  7. Thank you everyone for stopping by!!

  8. Ditched was a super cute and fun prom disaster night! It also had a best friends romance! So so she thought until she thought he ditched her but loved the way everything worked out. Glad the authors prom night wasn't so disastrous!