Holly Rizzuto Palker – Mentee
Melissa Marino – Mentor
Holly,why did you choose to submit to Melissa?
Melissa’s warm smile in her photo grabbed me at first. Then, as I read the first few pages of one of her Bad Behavior Series’ novels, I felt we were kindred spirits. The prose seemed like something I would’ve tried to write myself. Melissa also said she wanted women’s fiction that made her laugh and every time I read through a draft of my MS I’d find myself chuckling. So, I sent it off, crossed my fingers and hoped she’d at least giggle. I also felt connected to Melissa because she listed “She’s Come Undone” by Wally Lamb as one of her favorite books. This book had a huge impact on me as a reader and a writer. Honestly, Melissa must’ve sensed me stalking her twitter page and sending her telepathic vibes during the reading period and heeded the call.
Melissa, why did you choose Holly?
I picked Holly because MULTICULTURAL MIDLIFE CRISIS had me hooked from the first page, and kept me completely invested until the early morning hours. The voice is like nothing I’ve ever read, and once I got the full manuscript, I couldn’t put it down. A dynamic story of a women who steps outside her role as wife and mother and into the life of a British socialite. It’s the ultimate act to try and save her marriage, her family and herself. I laughed out loud as I read (and even got a bit misty eyed at times.) I kept thinking the entire time I was reading how I could help her make it even better and in the end, it never left me. I had to have it. It resonated for me, and I have the sense it will for many others as well.
Holly, summarize your book in 3 words.
zany, emotional, honest
Melissa, summarize Holly’s book(s) in 3 words.
Family. Faith. Frolic.
Holly, tell us about yourself! What makes you and your MS unique?
My lifelong writing contest fetish started in 5th grade when I secretly entered an essay I wrote about my grandma into a competition and won third place. My parents were shocked when they learned they had to drive me into New York City to collect my award. I was hooked. I’m also a drama teacher to pre-school children, a wife and a mom to three kids and a dog. I’m an essayist and I’ve had articles published in Newsday and Brain Child Magazine.
In A BRITISH AFFAIR, my main character, Risa Vita Stein, experiences midlife, marital and mommy woes complicated by ‘fish out of water’ syndrome while she’s living as an expat in London. When I moved to London, pregnant with my second child, I figured it would be the adventure of a lifetime. It was an exciting journey, but it also took me a while to learn how to adapt to living in the UK. The small differences between the cultures had a big and sometimes comical impact on my daily life. It was fun to infuse this element as an ongoing conflict for Risa with her tell-it-like-it-is attitude into my novel. It makes for some funny scenarios.
Melissa, tell us about yourself. Something we may not already know.
My love for Star Wars is proudly on display in the form of a Storm Trooper tattoo.