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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Guest Star: Melissa Clark

Please welcome my special guest on the blog today, Melissa Clark, author of Swimming Upstream, Slowly.


After too many vodka tonics at her best friend's baby shower, twenty-seven-year-old Sasha finds herself having a ladies' room epiphany. How quickly life can change, she thinks to herself: one minute she's writing a master's thesis about a TV comedy show for kids–and the next, the program actually gets optioned with her as the star. But Sasha’s awe at the twists of fate proves to be premature. The real shock comes the next day, when her routine visit to the ob-gyn reveals that she’s pregnant—even though she hasn't slept with anyone in more than two years.

To her unbelieving ears comes the doctor’s diagnosis: Sasha’s body has unwittingly hosted a cellular hitchhiker, a medical anomaly known as “lazy sperm.” And now that this plodding genetic contribution has finally fulfilled its destiny, it will be up to Sasha to summon the courage to revisit her past loves even as her future slowly takes shape inside her. Which of her exes will be the father and how will he take the astounding news? And what will the end of the mystery mean to Sasha? The answers are revealed in this wonderfully inventive debut about the bonds that linger between people even after they part ways, and how the future can change in the twitch of a tail.

This book sounds fantastic and I'm excited to feature my interview with Melissa here. Check it out!

How do you come up with the names for your characters?

They seem to find me. I can't remember how I came up with "Sasha", but her last name is "Salter" and that is the last name of the friend who suggested I write my crazy idea as a book rather than a movie.

What's your favorite part about the publishing process?

I loved traveling to conferences and speaking on panels and doing readings. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this part. This, of course, comes second to the actual act of writing the book in the first place.

When you got that first phone call announcing your had sold a novel, how did you react? How did you celebrate?

I have a crazy publishing story...probably too long to include here, but I knew from a third party that the editor was going to call and make me an offer before she did, so when she called I had to pretend I knew NOTHING. It was the best and only acting job of my life. I can't remember what happened when I hung up. Probably a lot of screaming and an embarrassing victory dance.

If your book were to be made into a movie, who could you see playing the lead role?

Jennifer Garner, Natalie Portman, Drew Barrymore... depending on who is free.

What was your inspiration behind your latest novel?

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 the idea for a movie. I decided, eventually, to write it as a novel instead.

For more information about Melissa's hilarious novel, please visit her website: or her book's website:

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Blog Description

Jessica Brody, author of the forthcoming novel, The Fidelity Files, explores the thorny topic of infidelity in modern-day society