The time it was about a stalker

Posted October 5, 2014 by Stacee in Signings / 1 Comment

I was super excited for Melissa Marr after I read Made for You. I really loved that book, so I was thrilled that she was coming to MG.  I met Michelle early for our requisite Starbucks date and we headed over to the store around 1 to buy books and claim our seats.

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Melissa got to the store early and she signed orders before getting to the podium right at 2.

She talked about always being in San Diego when she writes, that she began to feel superstitious that a book wouldn’t be good if she didn’t write in San Diego.  Wicked Lovely was optioned by Vince Vaughn in 2008 and it’s getting made into a movie. She talked about her other books and the synopsis of all of them.

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She wrote Made for You because she had a stalker in her 20s. The book was not autobiographical, the MC is not her. It was something she always wanted to write.  While grocery shopping, her son was asking questions to see if she was a sociopath because the writing was so convincing. She wrote some of the scenes in the sociopath’s POV because she wanted people to feel as creeped out as she did.

She opened it up to a Q&A right away because she wants to make sure that readers have a different experience every time they see her.

Carnival of Secrets: what’s the deal?

I wrote Carnival of Souls in 4 days. I had a lot of caffeine and my family was gone. In the middle of writing the second book, my baby boy was born and we were able to adopt him. He was addicted to several drugs and spent some time in the hospital. Right now, he’s 22 months and I get really emotional when I try to work on it.

I will definitely get it to you. I’m hoping that as he gets better, my feelings toward the sequel will be easier.

Do you plan on writing more fantasy?

I’m working on a series with Kelley Armstrong. If I were allowed to tell you that I have a new series, I would.

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Can you talk about the graphic novel?

I wrote it in the world of Wicked Lovely, it was always a graphic novel. I don’t have any plans for another one, but if I got an offer, I would do it. I loved doing it. It really showed me that a picture was worth a lot of words.

While I was in the hospital with my son, I wrote a picture book for him to describe the adoption process in a way that he’ll be able to understand.

Will there be a sequel to The Arrivals?

No. It was a one and done like Made for You. As a reader, sometimes it’s nice to not have to read 20 more books. Sometimes it feels like a series goes on strictly because there’s a captive audience.

Why do you love Eva and why should readers root for her?

Because she is in a series of circumstances that most people would faulted in. Her courage comes from her decisions, not muscles. Most people would hide under the table, and it’s not like she doesn’t have days like that. She feels like it’s all her fault since the murderer is trying to communicate with her.

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Has your stalker been caught?

He was not. I left the state 6 months after it started. I was putting myself through school by running a biker bar. I worked late hours and one night I saw someone standing near my apartment. He came up to me said that he noticed that I worked late hours and said he could come into the house to make sure it was safe. He said he was a police officer.  I declined and the next morning went to talk to the apartment manager and asked him to talk to the police officer tenant about it.  The apartment manager said there wasn’t a police officer who lived in the complex.

I would wake up to him turning the knob of my door or standing outside the window. Turns out that he stalked the woman who lived in my apartment before I did and they failed to tell me that before I moved in.  He was also stalking a couple of other women who lived in the complex.  At the time, North Carolina didn’t have stalker laws, so the police told me that once he raped or murdered me, they would be able to do something about it.

Will you talk about your writing process?

I am what friends call a chaotic writer. When the words are here, I write them. When they’re not, I go to the beach or walk my dogs, or weave. I feel like writing is like cooking.

I am fascinated by serial killers, I am face blind, I love the question why me. I have all of that in my head, so it’s like a stew. You put in the potatoes and other ingredients and let it cook. I know that if I eat it too early, the raw meat will be bad for me.

I do have tricks, like picking a song to get into someone’s head. If that’s something you’re going to do, I would suggest not picking something that plays on the radio or you’ll be on the side of the road in Scotland for 40 minutes because you heard the song and suddenly know why a certain scene isn’t working.

You have to do what works for you. The secret is that there isn’t a right way. Just because it’s not they way they taught you, doesn’t mean you can’t do it. Everyone is a writer, even if you’re not writing it down. If you come home from a movie or a party or an argument and you talk about it after it’s done, what you say will not be the same as what the other guy says or that person over there because you’re applying a singular narrative to it that no one else will.

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{She talked a bit about the movie here, but asked that there wasn’t anything posted about it. I will say that she admitted to loving the concept art and the screenplay.}

As an English teacher, are you disappointed in the English language?

Occasionally I’m critical. I believe that literature is an amazing thing and that a test won’t teach children that. Classic literature is love and action and I think maybe some teacher’s hands are tied and they can’t share it that way.

I think kids get out of school and don’t realize that they love books because they didn’t have the right books. In my poetry class, it was a lot of African American students and they weren’t excited, so the first thing I did was throw out some Tupac lyrics. By the end of the class, they loved TS Eliot.

Do you write poetry?

Not well. My first things were actually poems and if I write poetry, I use my married name. As a rule if I do something more literary, I use a different name.

Do you think you’ll ever write historical fiction?

Yes. If that movie ever gets made and and I can take a couple of years off, then yes. I have a proposal and everything. But, sometimes there’s a book that takes a bit more time, this is one of them. Right now, I don’t have that time.

The signing started then and Michelle and I were able to get up to Melissa first.  Michelle said that she had been stalking Melissa on Twitter and said her Twitter handle.  Melissa said that she didn’t mind being stalked there.  We chatted for another minute or so while she signed our books and I got a photo with her.

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Melissa is approachable and engaging and Made for You was easily one of my favorites from 2014.  If you haven’t read it yet, I can’t suggest it enough.

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One Response to “The time it was about a stalker”

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this! Made for You was my second book of Melissa’s and I loved it. It’s scary to think that she had her own stalker but I see how she put that into her craft and did it very well! As a matter of fact I totally screwed up and thought that it was the guy that it seemed like she was pointing to at the beginning and it wasn’t until half way through when she spells it out for the reader that I figured it out. I loved that! She did a great job as did you with this fabulous post! So glad you liked this. Cannot wait for more from her!

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