Saturday, 28 December 2013

Melissa Groeling: Christmas For Authors

So my parents recently made the switch from Comcast to Fios. It was a huge money-saver and while the seemingly endless list of available channels is somewhat daunting, it’s enough that they shouldn’t have any problems finding something to watch. At least that’s what I figured until I decided to do a little channel-surfing myself. Now I’m not much of a TV person but I do like movies so I headed in that direction and whoa, how disappointing! Not in Fios—that part was fine but all the selections, the choices, the absolute mind-boggling what-do-I-watch running through my head came to an abrupt half when I noticed that there…was…nothing…on.

Nothing except remakes.
Then there were remakes of remakes.
King Kong.
The Incredible Hulk.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
So many of the classics redone and for what reason? To appeal to the younger generation? To give it a…what’s the word that Hollywood uses? Oh yeah.
A reboot.
I suppose that’s what they thought when they decided to remake Carrie.
*groans again*
A perfectly good movie was butchered and I take great offense to that because Carrie has always been a personal favorite. It’s not a love story. It’s not a feel-good story. It’s not a story for “young people.” It’s a story about revenge and how alone we all feel to some degree. There are probably some of us who feel as isolated as Carrie White or maybe less or maybe even more so. And you don’t even have to be in high school.
I sometimes find that whenever I’m writing most of my characters experience that isolation on some level. I’m not sure if I’m projecting or if it’s just the way we’re built---that we’re all alone in our way, forging our own path. And in this life, you kind of have to especially when you have nine hundred channels to choose from and nothing’s on!

Traffic Jam—a synopsis

Val Delton’s life is a sixteen car pile-up—one car for every year she’s been on this planet. That’s not to say that her life is horrible and full of misery. It’s just filled with too much stuff to worry about. There’s a never-ending heap of schoolwork. She’s forced to share a bedroom with her little brother. Newspaper deadlines and softball games blend together into one big blur. In order to pay the bills, her mother works ungodly long hours at a local bakery after Val’s father unexpectedly loses his job. And finally, there’s Val’s older sister, Sam.
Sam is every younger sister’s worst nightmare. She’s tall, blonde, pretty and popular and Val accepted a long time ago that tumbling into her sister’s shadow was easier than trying to avoid it. Sam and Val are totally okay with the enormous abyss that separates them. They’ve never been close and their differences make it difficult for them to find a place in each other’s lives. But that’s okay, too. It works for them.
Until it doesn’t. When Val finds high-end shopping bags and an iPod in her sister’s room, she knows that there is no way Sam can afford these things. Against her better judgment, Val becomes curious. But her curiosity turns to shock when she accidentally stumbles upon Sam’s secret and discovers a dark, dangerous world hidden behind her bright smiles and cool indifference. Nothing can prepare Val for just how far and how deep the repercussions of her sister’s secret will reach. But she’s willing to do whatever it takes to keep Sam safe from harm; even if it means going head-to-head with the very danger that threatens her life and everyone in it.

Melissa Groeling graduated from Bloomsburg University with a degree in English. She lives, reads and writes in the Philadelphia region and wherever else life happens to send her. She is a hardcore New York Giants fan and loves chocolate. Traffic Jam is her first young adult novel.

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