Friday, March 25, 2011


(Click here and post a comment for a chance to win a copy of The List. Last day! Winner chosen tomorrow.)

Annie at Regarding Annie (a consistently funny and well-written blog, btw) tricked me into answering some random and assorted questions with her powers she borrowed from her super agent husband. If you want to read another (short) silly interview, head on over and take a gander.

I went out for a little GNO last night and I feel the strong urge to declare the following publicly and emphatically:

Dear Everyone, 

I am NOT Ashley Barrett.



P.S. YES, I'm totally sure. I made her up. That's how I know she's not me.

Now that close friends are finishing the book, I'm hearing the following things constantly:

1. I stayed up really late to finish it. Thanks a lot. (You're welcome.)
2. I really need to make that grilled sandwich. (Yes, you do. It's as good as it sounds.)

3. Ashley sounds just like you.

Well, yes. She does. She sounds just like me. But she is the main character least like me of the four I've written. Trust me. I know Ashley and I know me. I'm telling you the truth. I really am an expert on this particular subject.

It's kind of funny, to be honest. I'm having to cope with the author reality of people trying to find pieces of me in my book. It's unnerving and slightly uncomfortable but totally fair. However, Ashley STILL isn't me.

For those of you who have or will read The List, let me give you what a video gamer would call an Easter Egg. Kind of. I'm going to post Ashley's list that started herwhole mess and tell you what she has in common with me and what has nothing to do with me.

Ashley's List of 25 Things to Do Before She Gets Married

  1. Climb a mountain (ZERO interest in doing this. None. Never done it, never will. Unless it will bring world peace, but I'd need that in writing.)
  2. See a show on Broadway (Me, and a lot of people. Love it. On my personal bucket list. Did it. Doing it again this summer.)
  3. Sing karaoke (Her fear of doing this something I totally share.)
  4. Read all the standard works (I did this as a teenager. This is just something I could see someone putting on a list of this kind.)
  5. Get a master’s degree (Maybe someday. I'm indifferent. This is an Ashley thing.)
  6. Study abroad (It would have been fun, but it's not a huge regret. This is an Ashley thing.)
  7. Serve a mission (An Ashley thing, and a lot of people.)
  8. Learn to make sushi (I HATE sushi.)
  9. Own a pair of Laboutins (Couldn't give a . . . fig. I think $700 shoes are stupid. And no, i don't care if that just offended you.)
  10. Complete a triathlon (Absolutely not me, but it's a lot of other people. File under the climb a mountain thing. No way.)
  11. Snowboard on a black diamond trail (Nope. I had try snowboarding on my personal list and I did it. But this had more to do with something I thought someone from Utah might want to take a stab at.)
  12. Read a Russian classic (On my list. Struggled through a third of The Brothers Karamazov a couple of years ago and decided that I'll just have to die with this undone.)
  13. Learn to surf (Nope. It's fun to watch. Part of me thinks it would be fun but part of me instinctively understands that I won't even get close enough to getting it right to enjoy it in the least. Also, I'm a bad swimmer.)
  14. Visit Europe (Definitely on my list, and a lot of people's, and it's done.)
  15. Do a humanitarian project (Yep. This one I have in common with her, too. I totally want to serve a humanitarian mission with Kenny when we retire. And by we, I mean he.)
  16. Get a sports car (Nope. I rock a minivan and I like it.)
  17. Have a summer fling (Uh . . . no. I never put that on my list. NEVER.)
  18. Take a cruise (Yep. Did that. I think most people would want to do that.)
  19. Skydive (HECK, NO! NO to this more than mountain climbing and triathlon running combined. NO.)
  20. Learn a foreign language (Maybe. I guess I'd like to learn. Not a big deal but it would be fun.)
  21. Publish a poem (Nope. Maybe when I was 18. Yeah, that's actually more the case. This is one of the things 18-year-old Ashley and 18-year-old Melanie have in common.)
  22. Learn to play guitar (Not really. I'd like to magically know how to do this, but I don't really want to, you know, learn.)
  23. Be a movie extra (Yeah, I've thought about it. I'll never get around to it, but the idea is fun.)
  24. Try internet dating (Um, duh.)
  25. Learn to tango (Yeah, me. It looks fun.)

    So while there's definitely some overlap between me and Ashley, most of these things are items I would bet a lot of people have on their "bucket lists". So let me restate for the record, and I have a feeling this won't be the last time I do, Ashley Barrett is NOT me. She's cool. But she's not me.

    There you have it. You can go read in peace now.


Kimberly said...

I haven't read the book yet (please have it in the Storymakers Bookstore, to which I make my yearly pilgrimage to stock up on all things fabulous), but reading The List with your side notes cracked me up.

My current main character is who I WISH I had been as a teen...which is something else altogether, I think.

Kristina P. said...

That's funny about the Loboutins. I would definitely peg you for someone who would spend that kind of money on shoes, considering what a shoe whore you are!

Andrew & Sarah Clawson said...

No to Sky Diving!? THAT is on my bucket list for sure! I just want to lose some weight before I do that. My consience is thinking, if I weighed less, I would "float" back to earth. Wishful thinking, but it's a do or die on my list!

Melinda said...

Ha! I think its funny that people think she's you, I'm sure its hard not to write a character that sounds at least a LITTLE like yourself, since you have your own writing voice. Its just like when Sue did the Hopeless Romantic blog, I thought right away it was her because of the style. But anyway, I hope people get past asking you that soon, because it would totally bug me! haha

By the way, is Ashley based off you?! Kidding, kidding! :)

Susan said...

I think this is funny. After my friends read Slaying Goliath two of them pulled me aside (individually) and asked me if I'd been raped like my character. I was shocked these two people in particular thought I'd have some skeleton in the closet like that. Simply because when tragedy hits, I talk about it. And they were two of my tightest friends.

I think there's a little of us in all our stories. There has to be since we wrote them. But mostly it's imagination.

I rock a minivan too, and I wouldn't trade it for a sports car, ever.

Barbaloot said...

I want to read your/Ashley's list---but I'm saving it for when I can read it WITH the book. If I don't win that giveaway tomorrow, I'm headed to my closest Deseret Book to get started:)

LisAway said...

Guilty as charged. I KNOW you're not her, but I also know why you can write her so well. Yes, you are a good writer, but you are also funny like she is, smart like she is, fashion concious like she is and a good cook, too.

But I know that's all overlap and not part of a whole match.

wendy said...

That's quite a list Ashley has put together there......she sounds much more adventursome/athletic then Me.
No sky diving for this girl......Not. Ever. Triathalon...does that mean, ride in a car, have someone pedal me on their bike, or ride an ATV........??
It would be fun to "invent" an imaginary person. I think I'd be putting a lot of "who I wish I could have been, or had experienced" into that character, KNOWING full well, It is not what I could have done.

you must be so proud of this accomplishment

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

Whatever. You're totally the same person.

Kidding. But the good parts of her are very similar to the good parts of you (that I've seen.)

becca said...

Love that. People always think the author is the character for at least a minute - and be grateful that Ashley is likeable. I'm just saying.

My family are always trying to find themselves in my books. My brother regularly asks, "Is that supposed to be me?" to which I answer, "No. The postman is just a postman."

L.T. Elliot said...

Whether or not you had anything in common with Ashley, she stood on her own as a very real character. The dialogue kicked trash and the story kept me glued to the page. I loved it. LOVED it. You hear that internet? Yes I loved it! And I don't say that out loud, Melanie. I skirt on the issue of support and niceness and reservation even when I do love something. So, right there? Broke some rules but the honest truth is that I frickin' loved this book.

Kazzy said...

I still want to read it! Gotta get through my current 2 and then I will.

No sushi, huh? And you call yourself a SoCal girl? :)

DeNae said...

Re: You and Ashley Barrett. Yes, you are. It says so on my blog, so it has to be true.

Karen Peterson said...

I see a few similarities, but you are definitely not Ashley. But you're both cool and I'd totally be friends with both of you.