Melissa Walker

Thursday, April 24th, 2014 Melissa Walker

MissMatch_LR%5B1%5D.jpg Today I have three questions for Wendy Toliver, author of the just-released Miss Match! The story is about Sasha Finnegan, who has a knack for setting people up. At 16, she turns her talent into a business, molding high school crushes into true love–until it turns out her crush wants to be set up with her sister!
I love romantic comedy novels, and Miss Match sounds like a lot of fun. I also noticed way back when that Little Willow pointed out that the cover showed a girl in a normal size (albeit a cartoon girl) and that struck me too! So I asked Wendy some questions about image, and she told me that she’s very pretty… in the dark. Read on.
author%20002.jpgYou chose to make a not-stick-thin narrator (and that shows on the
cover, which is really cool), and you say she’s not drop-dead gorgeous
either. Why that conscious choice?

“I was a teenager once (hold the laughter) and I know how important image is at that age. I wanted to tell a story where the heroine is not model-thin-and-beautiful, but has so many other things about her that are admirable and lovable. I wanted to create a character who doesn’t get by on looks alone, but learns to find her inner beauty.”
How did you feel about your appearance and weight when you were a teenager? Did your perception change as you got older?
“My weight has always been pretty low, for my 5’9″ height, but I had issues with other things, like my color (VERY white) and my skin (acne-prone). In fact, one of my most painful memories was sitting in a friend’s basement watching movies with a group of kids, and a guy said, ‘You’re pretty in the dark.’ Of course, now that I’m an adult, my husband loves to say that just to be funny. But at the time, it really hurt. (And by the way, back then, Oxy and Clearasil were the only acne meds, and I had a bad reaction to Benzol Peroxide.) Now, I’m 35 and I started working out 4 days a week (in addition to chasing my 3 sons around the house) and though I weigh 5-10 pounds more than I did before I had kids, I like the way I feel and I am lucky to have a husband and family that makes me feel good about myself. I try to pass that on to my kids, so they have a healthy self-image.”
If you had to cast an actress today as your narrator, could you?
miranda-cosgrove.jpg “I think Miranda Cosgrove (iCarly) has the perfect face for Sasha Finnegan, but she’d have to gain some weight because she’s so thin. America Ferrera comes to mind as a ‘real girl,’ and though she’s too old to portray Sasha, here’s a cute story. My father-in-law was watching the Golden Globes or some sort of awards ceremony where America was on the red carpet looking amazing. ‘Is that Ugly Betty’ he asked. We said yes. ‘Hmm. She’s pretty!’ :)”
Yes! I love this photo of America and Betty that shows how much Hollywood makeup and hair and styling can do–and also how much America (and every girl who stays true to who she is) shines from within. Thanks, Wendy!

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  1. yabooknerd says:

    I think it’s great to have a normal girl heroine. I noticed it when I first saw the cover and it made me smile.

  2. Great interview, Wendy and Melissa! And I love the cover. :)

  3. Great interview Wendy and Melissa. Wendy I can totally relate to your experience. I was at a Young Adult party when a friend looked seriously at me and said that if I lost five kilo’s he’d really like to date me. Well blow me down. I told him that I’d date him when he found the other half of his brain. Boys are just clueless.

  4. Marie says:

    Omg! ‘You’re pretty in the dark.’
    How horrible is that?!
    Cute cover!!

  5. Holly Cupala says:

    What a great cover story – I love that she is normal and every bit worthy of being a heroine. And you even mentioned the stunning America Ferrera. I’m proud to have her as an example of being beautiful inside and out.

  6. Thao says:

    I like the cover too. Congrats to Wendy. And god America is so gorgeous in real life!

  7. Ann says:

    Make up can do such a great deal on someone…

  8. Claire says:

    I can’t wait to read this one! It looks super-cute, and I love how the girl is realistic, too. Yay, Wendy! (:

  9. Best wishes with Miss Match, Wendy! :)
    In elementary school, when LIFE GOES ON was a big TV hit, a classmate told me, “You look like Becca . . . ’til she got pretty.”
    I have a million of ‘em, all true – and, thanks to the thick skin I developed and maintained (with HUGE thanks to my mom and sister for raising me properly), it all rolls right off. Lots of things that would have terrified or humiliated other people, I just shrugged off or dealt with and moved on.

  10. Hey Melissa, thanks for having me! And thanks to everyone who left such wonderful, insightful, and inspiring comments.
    All best,

  11. nuskin.8 says:

    Sweet page, I haven’t noticed till now in my browsing! Keep up the good work!

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