In my quest to find my blogging voice, I interviewed Melissa Walker
. Melissa is the author of several novels for young adults including the Violet
series and, most recently, Small Town Sinners
. She is also a new mom which makes me especially grateful that she was willing and able to answer my questions.
You may recall
that Melissa was my example of someone who covers a wide range of topics in her blog, but does so with a consistent tone and style that I really admire. When you read her blog, you get to know her as a writer, a fashion journalist, and a person. Here she talks about how she came up with her style and approach.
MFB: When and why did you get started blogging?
MW: I started blogging in 2007 before my first book, Violet on the Runway, came out. I think the wisdom was that every author needed a blog, but I had no idea what to say... I floundered for a while.
MFB: You provide a showcase for fellow authors with your Cover Stories in which new and established writers share the story behind their covers. Where did the idea for this feature come from?
MW: Alea, who blogs at Pop Culture Junkie, asked me about my own covers, and when I told the story, I realized how much fun it was to explore. I wanted to ask other authors how much input they had and what they thought about their covers.
MFB: You also have regular features such as Win It Wednesday and Photo Friday? Do you find having set days like this helps to keep you focused and/or gives you structure?
MW: Yes, I like having that structure to keep me updating without rambling (mostly). It's freeform, but with enough structure to keep me on track.
MFB: What I admire about your blog is that you cover a range of topics while maintaining a consistent tone and style. Though your audience is large, it seems like you are writing for a group of friends, which gives it a very inclusive vibe. Was this a conscious choice or did it happen more organically?
MW: It's pretty organic because the idea of being myself was always there--I figured readers would find me or not, so I might as well be authentic and enjoy the conversation!
MFB: I am very timid about sharing private information, yet you are very open and giving. You’ve shared your gorgeous wedding photos, stories of your cats, and even a post-delivery picture (looking fabulous I might add). Are there ever things that you consider off limits in terms of your blogging?
MW: Yes, I actually keep quite a bit private and I choose what to share pretty carefully. I'm wary of sharing too many pics of June, for example. I feel like that's her choice. And I only share pics of family members who've said it's okay ahead of time. I'm glad I seem really open--I want to be open--but I do think about what I present. The cats don't mind though--they're fair game!
MFB: Do you have any advice for beginning bloggers?
MW: Really I'd just say be yourself. You'll find your people if you do it that way. No one wants to pretend to be someone else, it's too much work. Imagine you're writing for friends, and soon you will be doing just that!
Thank you, Melissa!
I have to say it makes me feel better to hear that Melissa floundered for a while. It gives me hope!