Lacey Anne Byer is a perennial good girl and lifelong member of the House of Enlightenment, the Evangelical church in her small town. With her driver's license in hand and the chance to try out for a lead role in Hell House, her church's annual haunted house of sin, Lacey's junior year is looking promising. But when a cute new stranger comes to town, something begins to stir inside her. Ty Davis doesn't know the sweet, shy Lacey Anne Byer everyone else does. With Ty, Lacey could reinvent herself. As her feelings for Ty make Lacey test her boundaries, events surrounding Hell House make her question her religion.
Melissa Walker has crafted the perfect balance of engrossing, thought-provoking topics and relatable, likable characters. Set against the backdrop of extreme religion, Small Town Sinners is foremost a universal story of first love and finding yourself, and it will stay with readers long after the last page.
Melissa has visited us many times before and we are always glad to have her back at YA Fresh! So Melissa, please tell us about your latest novel Small Town Sinners and what we can expect from your characters.
Melissa: Small Town Sinners, out July 19th from Bloomsbury, is the story of Lacey Anne Byers, a small town girl who is excited to star in Hell House, her church's annual haunted house of sin, until a childhood friend reappears and makes her question her faith. The story involves a very evangelical community dealing with the gray areas of life and "sin."
Sounds great! What's up next? Do you have another project in the works? If so, please tell us about it.
Melissa: My next book is called UNBREAK MY HEART--it's a love story, and it'll be out from Bloomsbury in summer 2012! I can't say more!
Good luck with Small Town Sinners, Melissa!! Would you like to close with a writing tip?
Melissa: Sure! So that I don't get bogged down in "perfecting" a first draft, I only allow myself to review the previous day's 1000 words before I start on the new stuff. So I can't go back any further than what I wrote yesterday; that way, I don't get stuck "fixing" things and I can move forward with the story. Works for me!
And Melissa was also reviewed in the New York Times!! So excited for her!! Check out the review here.
Melissa has worked as ELLEgirl Features Editor and Seventeen Prom Editor. She is the author of the Violet on the Runway series as well as Lovestruck Summer. Melissa manages I Heart Daily, an e-newsletter and blogs for ReaderGirlz, an online community for teens. www.melissacwalker.com