Monday, December 15, 2008


My guest today on the Girlfriend's Cyber Circuit Lit Blog tour is Melissa Clark, author of Swimming Upstream, Slowly, published by Broadway Books. The novel is about Sasha Salter, who wakes up one day to find she is pregnant. The only problem is that she hasn't had sex in over two years. The doctor's diagnosis is that Sasha's body has been harboring a 'lazy sperm'. Sasha must now open up the Pandora's box of her past loves to figure out which of her exes is the father—and what the future holds in store.

Melissa Clark 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. She received a master's degree from the writing program at U.C. Davis, and currently lives in Los Angeles. Swimming Upstream, Slowly is her first novel.

Melissa was kind enough to answer some questions about her book and writing career...

What was the inspiration behind the writing of Swimming Upstream, Slowly?

"Swimming Upstream, Slowly" was born because 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.

What are you reading now?

I just started Bright, Shiny Morning by James Frey (author of the infamous A Million Little Pieces) because a friend said he read it in a 24 hour period and I was just so curious as to what grabbed his attention. So far it's pretty good, but I don't think I'll finish it in 24 hours!

Could you please tell us a little about your writing background?

My dad is a writer, so I was always playing on his typewriter and writing on legal steno pads. I wrote short stories from the time that I could write. I studied writing and literature in both college and graduate school. In my 20's to mid-30's I worked as a writer in television. I created a kid's show called Braceface which ran for 5 seasons. I loved that experience, but really wanted to write a novel, so I quit my own show and set out to write Swimming Upstream, Slowly. It was the best risk I've ever taken!

What do you like to do when you're not writing?

I'm now teaching at Otis College, so when I'm not writing I'm preparing lectures, grading, meeting with students, etc. When I'm not doing that I'm thinking about or cooking food. And when I'm not doing that, I'm either in a yoga class or jogging around my neighborhood.

What and where is your favorite restaurant and why is it your favorite?

I love this question because I love food! The answer changes often, but my instinct tells me to write Cora's Coffee Shop in Santa Monica. All fresh food from the farmer's market. The food on the menu is delicious but their specials are always the best.

Find out more at Melissa's Web site:

Melissa, we wish you continued success in your writing career!

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