In the two books of hers I've read so far, online dating has played a big role -- which makes sense considering that's how Melanie met her husband. And she made me curious about it. (I married my college sweetheart as soon as he got home from his mission, so obviously no experience for me there...) Especially since my little sister has recently decided to try it out. So I figured I'd pick Melanie' brain for some good advice for her and some fun for the rest of us:
* Online dating plays a role in both NOT MY TYPE and THE LIST. You met your husband online, right? Do you care to share your love story?
I met my husband when I was looking for books. I was using an LDS networking site that was more like Facebook than a dating site, and one night I found myself looking for something new to read. So I was searching other people's book lists and his came up. I was super impressed with how well read he was, but his picture was scary. He looked like a biker rock and roll dude. (It turns out he was the lead singer in a rock band but not a biker!). Anyway, the message just said, "Nice book list. Cool profile." His had said he was looking for a girl who he could take to a downtown speakeasy for bluegrass one night and a Shakespeare play the next. I thought, "Well, I'm that girl, but I don't think he's my type." When we eventually did meet, I discovered that he very, very much was. And then we got married a few months later.
* In THE LIST, Ashley (And Pepper from NOT MY TYPE) has to weed through A LOT of crazies before she comes across one or two she can handle. How true to life is that?
Completely true to life, actually. I had some really ridiculous dates along the long and winding road to my husband. But they make for good stories!
* For those who try online dating, what's your best advice?
Be patient, and very authentic about you are. That will weed out people who aren't a good fit anyway. But also be open-minded to people with situations who don't fit your ideal. My husband gained a single mother when he wasn't really looking for one, and I gained a rock star when I wasn't really looking for a tough guy.
* I'm super-curious about what your profile said back then! Care to share?
I wish I could remember!
* Since you did meet your husband through online dating, how much of him gets sprinkled into your heroes?
Tiny little pieces of him show up here and there. Ben in Twitterpated owes his job to him. My actual husband shows up with his college band from BYU at the end of The List. (That band won BYU's Battle of the Bands, by the way.) Everything I write about surfing is from picking my husband's brain.
* Aside from those you went on with your husband (because we all know you'd pick those!), what was your best online date and why?
I only ever went out with most of my online dates once or twice. I can tell pretty quickly when something is going to work or not. Once I did get to go this super nice restaurant and try unusual food like wild boar sausage and ostrich meat, so I always remember that.
* Did any of your real life experiences get put into the books?
Just the consistently bad spellers. Totally guilty of judging that--and making fun of it in my books.
Thanks, Melanie! It was so fun to read your answers. And don't forget to check out Melanie's new book, SECOND CHANCES available at Deseret Book and on Amazon soon!