Tuesday, December 23, 2008

BREAKING NEWS: Girlfriend Visiting

As if the dating scene and all it entails isn't scary enough, the hilarious Melissa Clark has concocted a scenario that may be enough to make you stay home by yourself with a some Chardonnay and a few caramel turtles.

In her debut novel SWIMMING UPSTREAM, SLOWLY--well, let her tell you:

MELISSA: After too many vodka tonics at her best friend's baby shower, twenty-seven-year-old Sasha finds herself having a ladies' room epiphany. How quickly life can change, she thinks to herself: one minute she's writing a master's thesis about a TV comedy show for kids–and the next, the program actually gets optioned with her as the star.

But Sasha’s awe at the twists of fate proves to be premature. The real shock comes the next day, when her routine visit to the ob-gyn reveals that she’s pregnant—even though she hasn't slept with anyone in more than two years.To her unbelieving ears comes the doctor’s diagnosis: Sasha’s body has unwittingly hosted a cellular hitchhiker, a medical anomaly known as “lazy sperm.”
HANK: Yup, that kind of swimming upstream.

(Oh, FYI : Melissa is the creator and executive producer of the award-winning television series, 'Braceface', and has written for shows on the Disney Channel, Cartoon Network and Fox. )

And she agreed to reveal "The Latest..."

HANK: You and I get into an elevator on the first floor. We're both going to 22! Oh, I say, you're the famous author. What's your new book about? You say:
MELISSA: "Don't worry that you're stuck in the elevator with a crazy lady, but "Swimming Upstream, Slowly" is about a woman who hasn't had sex in 2 years and finds out one day that she's pregnant. After seeing a specialist she learns she is pregnant from a lazy sperm. She must now trace her love life to figure out who the father is.

HANK: Do you remember the moment you had the idea for the book? How and when did that happen?
MELISSA: I was having lunch with a friend and overate. I lifted my shirt to expose my bloated belly and the friend said, half joking, "Are you sure you're not pregnant?" and I said, "Yeah, right, from a lazy sperm." I went home that night and started outlining it for a movie. I decided, eventually, to write it as a novel instead.

HANK: Your main character--is she you?
MELISSA: She's got some of me in her, sure.

HANK:. So--movie time. Tell us who you envision playing your main character? The love interest? A bad guy?And you can be in the movie too--what part would you play? And why?
MELISSA: I play this game all the time. I could see Jennifer Garner, Natalie Portman, Drew Barrymore...y'know, depending on who is available. There are a lot of guy roles for this movie. Anyone named Ryan might be good in a guy part. I'd love to see Emile Hirsch in a romantic comedy role.

HANK: Do you read other people books while you're in the writing process? How does that affect you?
MELISSA: I never read more than when I'm writing. I devour books. For Swimming, I read lots of autobiographies for some reason. I figure since I'm creating a life story of sorts, it's fun to read others' life stories.
HANK: What's the very best line of the very best review you've gotten? So far, of course.
MELISSA: When people tell me they read my book in one day or in one sitting I am very flattered. I worked very hard to make it zippy and compelling.

HANK:. What was your favorite book as a child? Do you still love it?
MELISSA: The fav books changed as I did. When I was a tiny tot I loved "C.D.B." by William Steig, then the Madeleine books, then, of course, Judy Blume.

HANK: What's your secret indulgence? A certain food? A particular movie? What would you buy on a day of shopping?
MELISSA: I always laugh to the point of tears in the Diane Keaton/Jack Nicholson movie "Something's Gotta Give". That movie triggers something for me. If it's on cable I'll say to myself, "I'm just going to watch 5 minutes" and then 2 hours later I'm laughing and crying and loving it for the 5th, 6th, 7th time.

HANK:. What's one thing no one knows about you?
MELISSA: Newer friends and people I meet and even my students have no idea that I was paralyzed with shyness until my early 30's. I am now very outgoing for some reason.

HANK:. Do you remember when you typed "The End?" What happened next?
MELISSA: An internal victory dance. And then edits a few months later.

HANK: What's next for you?
MELISSA: I JUST completed a draft of a new novel, "Imperfect". It is another medical anomaly type of story, but very different than "Swimming..." This one is more of a coming-of-age story. I sent it to my agent last week and am now on pins and needles waiting for her response.

More about Melissa? Check her website

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