Melissa Marr is the author of the Young Adult series, Wicked Lovely, with the fifth and final book, Darkest Mercy, due out February 22, 2011. She also has her first adult book, Graveminder, due out in June.
On Thursday, October 21st, she came and spoke at Tuckahoe Area Library for our big event for Teen Read Week. She was real, honest, approachable and funny. The audience in turn was respectful and kept the questions coming. She talked about her childhood, relationships, mistakes she had made, inspiration for her stories, and advice for inspiring authors. She was open about her past, experiences and beliefs. The conversation between the audience and Melissa was easy and entertaining.
One of the best points she made was that every story starts by answering one of two questions. 1) “How did we get here?” or 2) “Where do we go next?” Every story needs conflict, that is the basis of life, so start with asking yourself how you can really screw this up and then figure out what happens next.
Her advice to aspiring writers was brutal and great. If the only thing that is preventing you from writing is a lack of time, her question back at you is this. “How many hours a week do you spend watching TV?” Turn off the TV and use that time to write. If you always have with you a way to take pictures and a way to take notes you will always be prepared when inspiration strikes. Eliminate your excuses.