Monday, April 9, 2012

Black Opal Books: Guest Post - Traffic Jam by Melissa Groeling

Melissa Groeling graduated from Bloomsburg University with a degree in English. She lives, reads and writes in the Philadelphia region and wherever else life happens to send her. She is a hardcore New York Giants fan and loves chocolate. Traffic Jam is her first young adult novel. It will be released by Black Opal Books in Spring 2012.

twitter: @stringbean10
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Hello, hello BK Walker! Thanks for having me on your blog! It’s so awesome to be here and even doubly awesome to have this kind of support system. Ever since I started taking my writing seriously, I’ve always thought that the journey would be like every-man-for-himself. But all of this blogging and networking has proven me dead wrong! It’s times like these when I’m glad to be wrong---every other time, I’ll argue ‘til I’m blue in the face. *wink*

Traffic Jam.

This is a young adult novel that I banged out while I was unemployed. It’s amazing how much free time you have on your hands when you don’t have to work 8-10 hours a day. But my main characters, Val and Sam Delton, have been lounging around in my head for quite some time, even before I lost my job. They were so bored and in typical teenaged fashion, were constantly picking at the inner walls of my cranium, trying to get out and do something! Alas, I had no idea what to do with them until one night while I was watching the news, a story came on about the horrors of human trafficking and I swear, it was like someone just dumped a bucket of ice water over my head. I immediately set to work, researching and studying everything I could about this dark underbelly that exists even in this country. A lot of the stuff that I read was stomach-churning and I just felt so bad for anyone who ever got caught up in this kind of darkness. It’s bleak, dangerous and violent---I can only hope that I conveyed this well in Traffic Jam. That was probably the hardest part about writing this story---putting into words something that I’ve never experienced (and thank God for that).

The easiest part was defining the tumultuous relationship between Val and her older sister, Sam. I read once that siblings are the only people on the face of the planet who can anger you to the point of you losing your mind. Having grown up with two older sisters and a younger brother, I can very much attest to that. They have this superhuman ability to cut you to ribbons while bringing down hell on anybody else outside the family who does the same thing. It’s a roller-coaster ride for sure.

So when Traffic Jam sees the light of day at the end of May 2012, I hope you all will give it a shot! Happy reading!


Her train of thought stopped abruptly as she passed her sister’s room. The door was open but there was no sign of her. Curiously, Val peered inside, the shopping bags on the floor by the bed catching her eye. She frowned then her eyebrows rose when she saw the hot pink iPod on the night table.
Where in the world did she get an iPod?
Before Val could stop herself, she stepped inside the room. She ignored the flash of danger zone in the back of her mind as she picked up the small device. Then she looked down into the closest shopping bag and saw something black and leathery.
She bit back a scream as she whirled around.

Wonderful post Melissa! Thank you so much for stopping in and sharing your book with us and I am looking forward to it's release :).


Bev Irwin / Kendra James said...

Hi Melissa.
I really like the excerpt, and want to read more.

Elle Wright said...

Hey Melissa! Great post. So excited about Traffic Jam!

Debbie Christiana said...

Hey Melissa - JETS fan here!!! Anyway that was a good excerpt, left us wanting more. Good luck with Traffic Jam, it sounds intriguing.


Liv Rancourt said...

Cool cover, Melissa! Good luck with the release.

Empi said...

Looking forward to your release, Melissa. Great excerpt! Too short though :-D

Melissa Groeling said...

Thanks everyone! :) Much appreciated even though one of you is a JETS fan lol :) It's okay though--it's still NY!