YA Feature: Melissa Groeling

This weeks YA Feature is author Melissa Groeling author of Traffic Jam! Enjoy the interview and don't forget to add Traffic Jam to your goodreads TRL!

Can you tell us a little about yourself and how you got into writing?

Well, lets see. Im a slightly-crazed redhead residing in the Philadelphia region in the great state of Pennsylvania. Im a major book-nerd. Im a New York Giants fan and I have an intense relationship with dark chocolate. Honestly, Im surprised I still have all of my teeth. I started writing when I was in seventh or eighth grade but I didnt really start taking it seriously until after I graduated college. Im not even sure exactly what it was that made me start taking it seriously. All I know is that its something that Ive always loved to do. My brain is constantly spinning tales and stories, some that make it on paper and others that just sit around, collecting dust. I also know that writers are a crazy bunch. Crazy but incredibly fun.

Can you tell us a little about your novel, Traffic Jam?
Traffic Jam
Of course I can! Traffic Jam is a young adult suspense novel that centers around Val Delton, a sophomore in high school, who is as awkward and burdened as any teenager. Her family is going through some rough times and it isnt long before she realizes that her older sister, Sam, is going through something even worse. I cant tell you what that is because it’ll totally give the story away. But I will tell you that the “something” is a terrible epidemic that takes place all over the world. It’s a heavy read and it can get pretty dark. But I had so much fun writing it nonetheless. See? I told you writers were crazy.

Where did you get the idea for Traffic Jam?

Oh, ideas, ideas, ideas! For Traffic Jam, the idea was relatively instantaneous. I was on vacation with my family and there was a special on MSNBC. Now I can’t tell you what the special was about because of plot reasons. But I will tell you that as I watched it, it was like getting kicked in the head. The wheels started turning and suddenly I just knew what to write. Thank God I had a notebook with me.

What genre would you class Traffic Jam as?

I would definitely classify Traffic Jam as a young adult suspense novel. Twelve years of age might be a tad bit too young for the content involved. But thirteen and up is definitely suitable.

Why should we read Traffic Jam in one sentence?

Hmmm, lets see. It has to be a good sentence, right? Okay, how about this: You should read Traffic Jam because its a wild ride, raw and it shines light on a subject that people would rather ignore.

Time for some bookie questions:

Fave book as a child and why?

A Wrinkle in Time (Time, #1)
Oh man, definitely A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline LEngle. That book had everything in it. Weirdness, fantasy, real-life, love, evilit was a whole ball of every genre known to man. Not to mention that LEngles writing style was top-notch.

Fave 2012 read and why?

Summer of Night Okay, I mightve mentioned this book before. Ive read it three times and the third time was in 2012 so it counts, right? Summer of Night by Dan Simmons. This book is amazing. It captures the summer for kids back in the seventies, when kids were actually kids. When they could ride their bikes and play baseball and be out from dawn until dusk and not have to worry about anything happening to them. The story centers on a group of boys who rally around each other when they realize that theres something very wrong in their town; something old and evil thats plucking them off one by one. Its such a great story and the details are so acute, you can practically smell the heat from the sun thats between the pages.

An author you would reccommend to my readers?

Wow, where do I begin? Lets see, Dan Simmons, Dean Koontz, Karin Slaughter, Christopher Rice and thats just to name a few….

Favourite YA genre and why?

Definitely suspense and something related to the craziness that most young adults face these days. Its always so interesting to get other peoples (authors) views on that.

Complete this sentence.

My perfect summer day would be sitting beside the sea/lake drinking Southern Comfort on ice and eating Tortilla chips while reading something that I can truly fall into. (on a side note, I would love to be eating chocolate while sitting beside the sea or a lake but if Im outside, the chocolate will end up melting and man, what a mess that would be.)

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