Imagine you are sitting at a bookstore listening to your favourite author talk about her soon-to-be published book and her current WIP. You are among many people, surprisingly more men than you'd thought, all gazing at her intently and then a bizarrely fitting (but very inappropriate) song breaks the quiet of the room....
Believe it or not, I’m walking on air.
I never thought I could feel so free.
Flying away on a wing and a prayer.
Who could it be?
Believe it or not it’s just me.
...And believe it or not, it was my stupid phone. I seem destined to draw attention to myself at book events but never for positive reasons :P
Despite the red blush that crept quickly over my face, Melina made some quick comment about my great choice in music and moved on. She's THAT nice.
Like I have said many times before, I read Looking for Alibrandi when I was 11 years old and immediately fell in love. My original copy looks like it's been left outside for a month as it's been read and lugged around so much. Saving Francesca came out when I hit my twenties and then came the delightfully intense Jellicoe Road four years later and Finnikin of the Rock last year (2010 in the US). I wave my Melina pom-poms proudly but I have never met her...until yesterday.
When I started this blog back in January, my aim was to eventually interview Melina and that wish came true a few months in. I then shamelessly upgraded to wanting to hug her...if she'd let me. Yesterday I got my wish - turns out MM's a hugger!
Meeting Melina was fantastic, I had her all to myself for a hour but it wasn't an interview and so I will keep the specifics of the conversation to myself. Though I will say that I had a brilliant time talking about subjects like West Wing addiction, YA awards, both being English teachers (she was one until 3 years ago), great YA blog reviews and Australian YA in general.
At the bookstore appearance she read a part of her short story called 12 Minutes that details the further adventures of Tom Mackee and Tara Finke from Saving Francesca. Her next novel is called The Piper's Son (March 2010, Penguin Aust.) and the short story is encompassed within it - that's right, it's a sequel! Melina also briefly discussed her work on Froi's story (companion to Finnikin of the Rock) and the progress on the Jellicoe Road script (yep, there might be a movie). It was all kinds of exciting. (Sidenote - Watch the blog because I am going to get my hands on the anthology that contains Melina's 12 Minutes and have a competition!)
Melina is returning to fair Adelaide next month and I'll get to talk to her again. She's enthusiastically recommended Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver to read so I am ripping into that one pronto. We also chatted about the greatness of Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins), how much she enjoyed Just Listen (Sarah Dessen) and that Bloodflower (Christine Hinwood) made her cry.
Stick a fork in me, I'm done!
PS Do you know the song? Your awesomeness rides on your answer!