Today we’re delighted to bring you an exclusive interview with Ditched author, Robin Mellom. We’re thrilled to be featuring her fun debut novel all this week — and we had even more fun asking Robin all about prom night hijinks and what’s next for her!
Proms are like other BIG life events—weddings, births—where things never go as planned. (Don’t even get me started on New Years Eve plans.) But it’s like a metaphor for life…not matter how much we plan, things play out the way they do and we have to just roll with it. Flowers don’t pin on right or dresses get stained or heels break, but it just comes down to having a good time and enjoying the moment!
I hope your prom night was less disastrous than Justina’s …but was there any real-life inspiration for DITCHED? How did the idea come about?
My own prom was quite lovely and uneventful compared to Justina’s. Most of the crazy stories in the book came from my hairstylist. Over the years, I’ve sat in her chair for an obscene number of hours listening to her—she never realized how closely I was listening, even with all that foil on my head!
But the inspiration for the story came from an experience I had when I was set up on a date for a fraternity formal when I was 19. The normally quiet shy guy ended up doing way too many vodka shots and he turned into a MUCH different person. He spent the evening running around unzipping all the girls’ dresses, including mine, and I spent most of my evening in the bathroom fixing dresses and cursing his name. Eventually his fraternity brothers tackled him and escorted him out. Such a classy night! But I took that dress malfunction incident and decided to write it out as a prom story that went even further. You know … MUCH further.
Aw, thank you. I adore Gilda and Donna too. They are purely fictional—not based on anyone in real life—but I secretly hope two women exactly like them are hanging out in a 7-Eleven right now! I wanted to write two women who were good friends but were completely opposite in their approach to the world and then have Justina try to find some truth in both of their views.
Ultimate Prom Playlist: what songs would be a must-have for you if you were to go to prom right now?
I’m sorta going through a phase where I just play Rihanna’s “We Found Love” on repeat, so …
Ultimate Prom Preparation: what books and movies would you recommend to readers hankering for more prom-tastic stories after reading DITCHED?
Prom-related movie: MUST watch Pretty in Pink
Book: Will Work for Prom Dress by Aimee Ferris is adorable
You’ve got another book coming out later this year, THE CLASSROOM, this one a middle grade. Tell us about about it!
It’s a mockumentary of middle school life. A documentary crew shows up to chronicle the life of seventh grader (and epic worrier) Trevor Jones along with his classmates. The book is illustrated with items “found” by the documentary crew like school report cards, notebook drawings, sketches on desktops, brochures, etc. (The book was insanely fun to write.)
And now the traditional Novel Novice Flash Questions:
If they made a Robin Mellom candle, what would it smell like?
Chocolate or vanilla?
Your personal theme song?
“One Love” (Bob Marley)
You’re on a deserted island and have to read one book for the rest of your life. What is it?
Wow. (If you were asked the hardest question ever, what would it be? This one!) Let’s see…I’ll answer this one seriously. I’d have to say The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck (the first book that ACTUALLY changed my life)
Favorite book as a child?
Black Beauty (I even took it with me into the theater when the movie came out and looked up passages in the dim light as they happened on screen.)
I can recite every line from the movie The Jerk. “He hates these cans!!”
That is probably the best secret talent ever. “The new phone books are here! The new phone books are here!”
Thanks again to Robin for answering all our questions!