Friday, March 11, 2011

I Need Friends Friday: Melanie Jacobson

(Every Friday I interview a different person and share that interview with you. Perhaps they will be a fellow author. Perhaps one of my neighbors. Maybe the bagger at the grocery store. A member of my family. A follower of this blog. Maybe it will be you! Hey, it could happen.)

Today's INFF guest is the fantabulous Melanie Jacobson. I am super excited to have Melanie here today because, quite frankly, she's hilarious--and, as an added bonus, she's hilarious in that witty, sometimes sassy way that I particularly enjoy. She has a brand new book out this month, a romantic comedy, entitled "The List." Go check out her website and blog and a first-chapter excerpt and then come back and thank me for the invaluable tip.

Let's get to know Melanie!
SME: Welcome to INFF!

Melanie: Thanks, glad to be here!

SME: There is a longstanding tradition here at INFF to open an interview by discussing food. I support this tradition. Heck, I started this tradition. So.. do you have a favorite flavor of cake?

Melanie: I can't lie. I'm not a huge cake fun. It's so often dry. However, the spectacular exception to this is carrot cake. I love, adore, and would marry carrot cake. Except my husband is awesome, so I'll just love and adore carrot cake.

SME: My husband would also swear his life-long allegiance to carrot cake. Luckily I am far cuter than some sorry slice of cake.
So if you're not a cake person, what do you have on your birthday?

Melanie: Oh, Cold Stone ice cream cake. And actually, my birthday is Christmas Eve, so I have ice cream cake PLUS whatever eight thousand Christmas treats are lying around. I like to spend my birthday being fat. Actually, I like to spend all of December that way.

SME: See, and I don't limit myself to December. I believe in being thicker than I should be all year long!

Melanie: Well, I try to rein it in. I have a great December and then a really depressing January. Then in February, I pull out some exercise videos.
My husband today said, "Your pants are too big." I kissed him.

SME: I once asked my husband if he thought my wedding dress would still fit me. He said, "It's probably too big for you now."

Melanie: And that's how you know you married a keeper.

SME: When I first read that, I thought it said, "you married a leper." I thought, "What does that mean?"

Melanie: That means you're super biblical. Somehow.

SME: Apparently.
Speaking of books (wow, that was a really lame transition), you have a new one out!!! Tell us about it!

Melanie: It's called The List, and I have to say in the interest of full disclosure, that if it improves your mind at all, I've failed utterly. However, if it makes you laugh and pass a great Friday night, we're more on the right track.
It's about a girl with a list of 25 things to do before she gets married . . .
And then, a boy comes along. They do that, sometimes.
There is much surfing and flirting and sassiness.

SME: I think that is the new subtitle of my autobiography: "There was much surfing and flirting and sassiness."
Although there would probably need to be an asterisk and a footnote explaining that I have never surfed in my entire life.

Melanie: Me, either. But my husband does and so do a ton of my friends. I got to ask lots and lots of questions about surfing and while away many hours watching the surfers in Huntington Beach from the pier.

SME: Tough gig, Melanie.

Melanie: It's the life of an artist. Or someone smart enough to write about beaches and surfing.

SME: On the day this interview posts, I will be on my way to Portland, OR in the name of research. This research will involve eating Italian food and wandering around a 60,000+ square foot bookstore. I'll try to endure it somehow.

Melanie: Powell's? That's on my personal bucket list.

SME: Yes! Powells!

Melanie: I'm officially jealous.

SME: I'm jealous of myself!
So do you have something new you're working on?

Melanie: I'm actually in revisions on my fourth manuscript. Love it. The manuscript. Hate revisions.

SME: Do you have a teaser for us on that manuscript, or is it top secret?

Melanie: Well, let's start with book #2.

SME: Sounds good to me.

Melanie: That comes out in the fall and it's about a girl whose roommate sets her up with an online dating profile without telling her. But before Jessie can kill her roommate Sandy, a cute guy emails her. And then hilarity ensues.

SME: I love hilarity!

Melanie: I believe in it whole-heartedly. It's like a personal article of faith. "I believe the whole world is improved by hilarity."

SME: I have another book coming out this fall, as well. We should throw ourselves a party!

Melanie: Yay! Which one is it? Persephone?

SME: It is Seeking Persephone!!!

Melanie: Yay again! I read it when it was up for the Whitney and loved it. That's great news.

SME: Speaking of which, both your books should be eligible for a 2011 Whitney, right?

Melanie: I think so. I hope they're Whitney-worthy. Now that would be a kick in the pants. Except it wouldn't hurt. So I guess it would be something besides a kick in the pants.

SME: We'll have to work on that metaphor.
So, another traditional question: What's your favorite continent?

Melanie: North America. Europe is a close second. Or a very distant one, if we're being literal and geographical. But um, America rocks, and all that. Specifically, I like the United States part of America.

SME: I too am a fan of the United States part of America. We are very patriotic, you and I.

Melanie: Well, my eyes are blue, I'm very, very pale, and uh . . . my blood is red. I'm SUPER patriotic.

SME: You know, I actually heard the distant strains of "America, the Beautiful" when you said that. Wow.

Melanie: Right? I even vote.

SME: And at our house we have instituted a dictatorship just so our children can grow up to appreciate living in a free country.

Melanie: It's the only way, really. That's just good parenting.

SME: So... you wanna play a game?

Melanie: Always. They call me the "Mad Game Player of the OC." They totally don't. It would be weird if they did.

SME: But they could.

Melanie: They could. And I probably wouldn't punch "them."

SME: But would you punch "me"?

Melanie: No. I mean no disrespect by this, but it would require a deep knee bend to do that, and I'm lazy.

SME: Oh. I know. This is one of the many advantages of being teeny tiny.

Melanie: Maybe I could kick you?

SME: The kicking... not such an advantage.

Melanie: Well, I just won't kick you. How's that?

SME: Perfect. Especially since games are so much more fun than kicking.

Melanie: All right. I'm game. For the game.

SME: We are going to play one of my favorites: "Rapid Fire Q&A." I will ask you a series of questions and you give me the first answer you think of -- no explanations allowed!

Melanie: Danger, Will Robinson, Danger! Maybe I'll need Steven Tyler's new American Idol anti-swear shield but I'll do my best.

SME: Perhaps I should put this interview on a 5-second delay.

Melanie: I'll just put my brain on a 5-second delay. We'll be okay.

SME: Alright. Here we go... Favorite literary genre?

Melanie: Contemporary American fiction. Or chick lit. Or YA. Uh . . .

SME: A Saturday-morning cartoon from your childhood?

Melanie: Thundercats? Ooooh! SMURFS! Yes!

SME: The last restaurant you ate at?

Melanie: An international tapas place in Santa Monica called Naresh's.

SME: An international destination you want to visit before you die?

Melanie: Africa.

SME: A country you can trace your ancestry back to?

Melanie: Ireland. Oh, and France. Big time. My family is Cajun. Sorry. Explaining.

SME: A favorite teacher?

Melanie: Mrs. Herring, 11th grade American Lit. A great old broad.

SME: Favorite color?

Melanie: Blue, today. Sometimes green.

SME: What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?

Melanie: An African or European swallow?

SME: YES!!!! We are now officially Bestest Friends!!!

Melanie: Whoo hoo!

SME: That brings us to the portrait portion of the interview!

*draws a portrait*

Melanie: It's all about the shoes! Deadly high heels. Lethal! Four inches! Please? Or else flip flops. We wear a lot of those around here, too.

SME: I went with ballet flats. I hope that's okay. (But there are flipflops on the cover of the book you're holding)

Melanie: Now I have to go buy my very first ballet flats so it will be a true portrait. My husband will not be happy. I, however, am thrilled. Field trip to the mall, kids!
LOVE the book in the pic. Great portrait.

SME: Awesome. Any time you "need" to buy a new pair of shoes, let me know what you're looking for, I'll draw a portrait with you wearing them and then you'll have no choice but to go get them.

Melanie: Ahahahaha! Finally, a way around my limited shoe budget!

SME: I'm here for you.

Melanie: This made it totally worth doing the interview. Who knew it would end in more shoes?

SME: We have now reached the final question of the interview: Top 5 reasons this is the best blog interview you've ever done. Ready. Go.

Melanie: Well, for sure 1) I get to buy more shoes now.
2) Your husband indirectly validated my love for carrot cake.
3) I discovered a new layer of my own patriotism.
4) We talked Monty Python. Love that.
5) Being on INFF because I have an actual book out has long been a dream of mine. (How long have you been doing INFF? That's how long the dream has been.) *Sniff.

SME: I have been at it for just over 18 months now. Not too shabby.

Melanie: You need to throw you blog a toddler party! Or no, that's in kid years. 18 months in blog years is like, Happy 21st! Or something.

SME: Thanks for joining us at INFF. I'll think of you as I peruse the aisles at Powells!

Melanie: Yay! Thanks for having me for the interview.

SME:*cue exit music* Well, this has been "I Need Friends" Friday. Come back next week when I will make another friend!!

If you'd like to be interviewed for "I Need Friends" Friday, shoot me off an email: friends at sarahmeden dot com!
I am looking for anyone and everyone, whether or not you think you are interesting. You'll get a fantastic stick figure portrait of yourself, a little promotion (if you're looking for that sort of thing) and the opportunity to tell your friends and family that you've been interviewed by SME, er... by ME!


Mary Gray said...

I didn't know it was possible for two people to be so witty at once. "There was much surfing and flirting and sassiness." I love what you both said about this line.

Maggie said...

That was quite the event! You two together in real life might be dangerous!

Angie said...

Thanks for the smiles, ladies.

LisAway said...

Um, clever much, ladies?

Highly entertaining. Highly.

This is great publicity for The List because the banter (and specifically the IMing) was a great favorite of mine and here we see how well Melanie does it.

SME, do any of your historical romances contain instant messaging? If not, they should. You're a natural.

Tracy Loewer said...

This was a super fun interview!

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

Great interview ladies. You two are dangerous. :)

Krista said...

Very fun! You brightened my sick day!

Kimberly said...

My face hurts from grinning as I read this.

Awe. Some.


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