I'm so excited to welcome debut author Robin Mellom. Robin's debut novel Ditched is fun and will keep you guessing until the last page. Robin will be here in April for the Houston Teen Book Festival. Please help me welcome Robin!
What can readers expect from Ditched?In DITCHED, a 16-year-old girl finds herself lying in a ditch the morning after her prom with no memory of the last twelve hours, which includes a disappearing prom date and a punk Tinkerbell tattoo. She must piece together—stain-by-stain on her thrift store dress—exactly how she ended up dateless…with only the help of some opinionated ladies at the 7-Eleven.
Justina finds friends and help in the most unlikely of places. Who are some of your favorite characters and how did they come to you?I loved writing Gilda and Donna, the two ladies in the 7-Eleven. They aren’t based on anyone in real life but I loved playing around with two characters who were completely opposite but were still friends for some strange reason. I also adored writing Serenity and Bliss. They were loosely based on these two girls I knew a long time ago who were fiercely loyal but would kick your ass if you looked at them sideways.
While not every girl dreams of going to prom, I think we all have a fear of being ditched. How did you decide on prom night as the central theme?It’s the one BIG event of high school and the “nugget” that inspired this story (a dress malfunction I had) occurred at a dance so I decided prom would be the perfect place for a night of disastrous events to comically unfold.
There is talk of reputations and we are all guilty of jumping to conclusions about people. Do you think your characters are more critical of themselves or of others?Great question. At first, I think they are all very critical of each other. And Justina assumes that they are all being critical of her since that’s what she’s doing of them so she tends to assume to worst of everyone which gets her into some bad situations. Wow, re-reading that gives me a migraine. Poor Justina.
In Ditched someone gets a “punk tinkerbell” tattoo. If you had a crazy night what tattoo would you be afraid to wake up with?
There are a number of stories and characters in Ditched. Did you ever find it difficult to pull it all together?I will say I learned a lot about “pulling all the threads together” in this process. My editor was extremely helpful with this. He taught me that you can’t put something out there unless you plan to resolve it. So I either deleted threads or I resolved them! And it made the writing process so satisfying.
As a debut author what has been your favorite part of the road to publication?There have been times that I’ve read reviews of my book from people who are literally strangers (I don’t know them!) and they have read my book…and they “get” my book. They “get” what I was trying to do. Their reviews brought me to tears. It makes it all worth it. It’s my favorite part.
Ditched is now out in the world. What’s next?I have a middle grade series coming out in June called THE CLASSROOM (The Epic Documentary of a Not-Yet Epic Kid) and then some time in the near future there will be a follow-up to DITCHED, it’s a companion novel starring Serenity—the poor girl goes to jail and it’s called BUSTED.
I want to thank Robin for taking time to do this interview and come back later this week for my 5 star review of Ditched!