Melissa Williams is one of my wonderful borrowers-turned-friend. I absolutely adored Mel coming to my library. We met in the 746 section and she introduced me to such incredible craftsers like Denyse Schmidt and Brown Owls. We would also joke and laugh and swap picture book recommendations. We (the library staff) went through her second pregnancy with her and her first gorgeous, shy child. To this day, I feel so deeply honoured and touched that when Mel gave birth, she left the hospital and came straight to our library to introduce us to her 2 day old baby. We felt loved by her and in return, we loved her back. I miss our weekly library visits but I love that social media has allowed me to keep up with Mel and her life.
Can you describe yourself?
My name is Melissa Williams. I am a public servant working for a deeply unpopular Gov department (although I’m not sure there is a popular one?)
I am a bush walking daydreamer who would love to move to the country and live a self-sufficient life, if only I could give up my addiction to fast and reliable internet. My Mum said from the moment I could read I would literally read anything and everything, and 40 odd years later I am still doing exactly the same.
What is your main reading medium (books, blogs, games, news, etc) and how much time do you spend reading a week?
Comic books remain my most common reading material. I have my favourite writers that I follow from character to character, and then I have my favourite characters who I stand by despite endless changes in writers. From a practical perspective I also read a lot of craft patterns, from knitting projects to sewing instructions to highly detailed manuals on how to make D&D miniatures out of airdry clay and matchsticks.
What or who is your joyful reading (guilty or otherwise) pleasure?
I adore Tom Cox. I love his blog, his Twitter, his Instagram and his books. He writes with such passion on a variety of topics, describing a walk through the English country side in such a way that I wish I was back there in one blog entry and then affectionately narrating the lives of his four cats in another. I have all four of his cat books and I am not ashamed at all.
Do you have a favourite storyline or plot? And do you have one you will not read?
I love a dark murder mystery that ends in a deeply unsatisfying way. I am not a fan of happy endings and I will admit to being disappointed if a book ends with everyone getting what they want. I am utterly against unnecessary violence against women though (Google the concept of ‘women in refrigerators’ for an explanation of why I have an issue with it) and have stopped reading books if I come across an act that upsets me.
Why do you/don’t you use a public library?
I have used public libraries extensively throughout my life. When I was a high school student I hid in the library to escape the bullies. When I was homeless in my early 20s I spent all day in the library trying to escape my unhappy reality. In my early parenting years I took my little kids to the library as a way of escaping the four walls of my home. Are you sensing a theme here? At this point in my life I still occasionally use my public library, but I will admit that as I earn more money I derive great joy from buying books and filling up bookcases in my home (almost like my own personal library).
Do you RUI*. If so, what?
I am a non-drinker so no alcohol for me. The only thing I read under the influence of is hormones, and cry-reading is a hopeless endeavour so I try not to do it too often.
Do you have a favourite reading spot?
I love to read outdoors. My girlfriend and I like to go away for the weekend and spend entire days together in companionable silence. She sets up somewhere with her fishing rod and I pull out a book and it is just heavenly.
Never do it. I’m too much of a germaphobe.
Romance fiction of the Happily Ever After (not the love tragedy) kind – are you a Lover or a Hater and why?
I just can’t handle romance. Maybe I am too cynical, or too damaged perhaps, but I cannot enjoy everyone being happy. No disrespect to everyone out there that loves that kind of stuff though, it’s a deeply personal choice.
What would you give up reading for**?
I give up reading for lots of things. I have to be so frugal with my spare time so I carefully divide it up between my kids, my girlfriend. my craft, my friends, and sleep.
Can a romance/crime/super/etc hero be the driver of a hatchback?
Absolutely. A utilitarian car is the perfect way to slip under the radar, allowing for an unnoticed arrival or quick escape for a lover/bad guy/hero.