Prolific doesn’t begin to
describe Melody Carlson.
Having written more than
90 books for all ages, she’s
releasing a dozen books
this year alone—and teen
girls gulp down her novels
as fast as she writes them.

Her On the Runway series dives into the world of
fashion and reality shows. Paige and Erin
Forrester are two normal teenage girls
living in LA. Sure, their mom is a
producer for a local news station, but that
only gives Paige an occasional chance to
practice her wannabe star skills in front
of the camera while Erin picks up tips
from the camera crew. When Paige turns
a boring segment about a theme park into
a fashion critique, the girls are given the
opportunity to host their own fashion
reality show.

But the stories are about much more
than designer shoes and glitzy stars.
First, the books are narrated by Erin,
who prefers comfortable secondhand
clothes to haute couture. She loves to
take in the action behind a camera and
let her sister revel in the limelight.
She’s the only Christian in her family,
and while reluctant to get into the
backstabbing world of fashion and
reality shows, she sees what God can do
with this opportunity.

Second, as Melody points out, the books
have much more meat than their Gossip
counterparts. “I love to show what I
call truth and consequences. I want to
show girls making decisions and what
happens as a result of their choices. We
see Paige making some crazy choices and
some of them are devastating not only to
her but to everyone around her. And Erin
makes some mistakes, even in her own
faith walk, but she’s trying to live a little
bit differently.”

The sisters’ differences have roots
in Melody’s own past. “In some ways
the relationship between Paige and
Erin is very similar to the relationship
I had with my sister. My sister would
have been more of the Paige and
I would have been more of the Erin. I
came to faith before she did and kind
of helped her come along and
eventually she came along! In my little
teenage mind I saw her as being kind
of shallow and superficial and making
some silly choices. Though this is a
different generation, some things
never change.”

The fourth book in the series,
Spotlight (Zondervan), takes the sisters to London as
the growing fame of their increasingly
popular show hits home. The final
two installments of the series release
in 2011.

Writing so many novels a year has
its challenges for the author. She
only writes one book at a time, and
prefers standalone novels to series.
But, she says, “I know girls love series.
They become so attached—the
characters are real people to them.”

That’s one reason
characters from
her Carter House
Girls novels pop
up in the On the
Runway books.

challenge is
coming up
with new ideas.
“A few years ago
I thought, I’m
done writing for
teens; I don’t
think I can write
anything else.
response I was getting from the teens
was, You’re not done. And then more
ideas and more books came.”

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About The Author

Melody Carlson has written more than 200 books for teens, women, and children. Before publishing, Melody traveled around the world, volunteered in teen ministry, taught preschool, raised two sons, and worked briefly in interior design and later in international adoption. "I think real-life experiences inspire the best fiction," she says. Her wide variety of books seems to prove this theory.