Monday, August 29, 2011


You wouldn’t know it from this unflattering photo, but I was the prom queen. For real, y’all. And while senior prom wasn’t the best night of my entire life, it was pretty frickin’ awesome, and the memories of that evening always bring a smile to my lips.

See that cute blond boy with his arms wrapped around my waist? That’s Pete, and we were going to be 2gether4ever! The idea of parting from him after graduation had me in tears. Literally. I cried the through the whole last dance.

Why the waterworks? Because I graduated from a teeny-tiny school for military brats in Munich, Germany, in itself a fairytale-esque setting, and I was surrounded by dozens of great friends and a boy I adored. Put it all together, and that was a high school experience I didn’t want to relinquish. This wasn’t your typical town where kids could drive home from college on the weekends and reconnect. We were headed off to universities from Texas to Timbuktu, never to see each other again.

I was happy in that moment, and I wanted to "make it last forever"…just like our prom theme.

Now, don’t get me wrong—I’m not one of those schmucks who peaked in high school, and I love my life exactly as it turned out, especially my fantabulous husband. But I remember the good ‘ol days quite fondly, not to mention the heartbreak of letting go, and it’s shaped how I write romance for teens. Heck, for adults, too.

For example, if you’re reading one of my books, (which you can, in the fall of 2012), there’s a 100% happily-ever-after guarantee, and first loves last a lifetime, unrealistic as that may sound. Because I remember how intense those romantic feelings were during my teenage years, and I know that when you’re in the throes of young love, you want to make it last forever, even if it can’t.

By the way, Pete’s a musician now. Check out his band, The Thousands, here and here. J

On the porch swing, rockin' the tiara!

In addition to YA, Melissa Landers writes adult contemporary romance under the name Macy Beckett. "Macy's" debut novel is coming September of 2012 from Sourcebooks.

For more information, visit Melissa's author page.

YOUR TURN! What about you, gentle readers? Was saying "goodbye" after prom bittersweet for you, or were you happy to get the hell outta Dodge?


CareyCorp said...

You already know I was a get out of dodge girl. Melissa, I think it's hilarious, as an author you make first love last forever and I kill it dead. LOL!

Tonya Kappes said...

I went to several proms and had so much fun. It was a great time then, but definitely wouldn't go back now. My date became an actor...on tv in a sitcom now and pretty famous:)

Melissa Landers said...

@Carey: I know! That's hilarious. Now you know why I tried to talk you into a different ending for TG.

@Tonya: I wouldn't go back either, love my life exactly as it turned out, but those were great times. One day you'll have to tell me who the big date was!

Jennifer McGowan said...

Okay, Tonya, I'm totally curious on your date as well! :)

Melissa, my Senior Prom was a revelation--literally. I somehow went from bowl-cut hair, glasses and braces in Junior Year (with the prom photo to show for it) to a Senior Year prom photo in which I was... pretty. Really. I'm still shocked. My date was adorable, and while we both went on to break hearts elsewhere ;) I wouldn't trade that memory for the world.

Thanks for sharing your memories, prom queen!!


Lorie Langdon said...

Melissa - this post made me wish I went to 'a school in Germany for military brats'! What a uniquely wonderful experience!
Also love your tiara! (Can I borrow it sometime. ;D)

Amanda said...

A bunch of us boycotted our last prom, because, you know, we were sooo cool! But I'd gone when I was a sophomore & junior. I loved high school and had a bunch of fun, but was more than ready to start living my life. Thanks for the great post, Melissa!! Great way to start the morning.

Becke Davis said...

The thing is...I never said good-bye to my prom date. I married him, and we're celebrating our 40th anniversary next month!

Love your story AND the picture - I can hardly wait for your new book, too!

Melissa Landers said...

@ Jenn: I totally want so see pictures! Bring them to September's meeting. ;-)

@ Lorie: It's a deal! But the combs have broken off, so it's pretty uncomfortable now.

@Amanda: lol! You got the best of both world, then. :-)

@Becke: I LOVE that! Forty years, how amazing! Congrats in advance!

Jessica Lemmon said...

@Becke - aww! so cuuute!

@Melissa - I had the WEIRDEST high school experience. Okay, not the weirdest, but the most confusing. My fam moved when I was a sophomore, but I was attending a technical school & only caught the bus at my HS. My records when we moved transferred to my "new HS" along with my rights to participate in any of my former HS experiences like prom or sports.

With me? Okay.

SO, the technical school had a prom, as did my new alma mater (which I only attended on paper) and my bf at the time was from my hometown, already graduated and came with me to the technical school's prom.

It was a lame affair, one I didn't dislike but one I barely remember. It was too laced with bitterness at being yanked from my friends back home and the fact that my class ring now did not match my graduating high school. Darn parents! :p

Melissa Landers said...

Aw, Jessica, I hear 'ya! My dad was in the Air Force, so I had to change schools every few years. At least I didn't have to move right before senior year, like some kids. That *really* would've sucked.

Anonymous said...

Melissa, what a great blog. I love the pic of you in the tiara. Gorgeous. Thanks for sharing. :D

Melissa Landers said...

Thanks for visiting, Risa! Got a juicy prom story to share? I'd love to hear it...;-)

CareyCorp said...

OK - I'm gonna out Tonya's date...*ahem-cough-Cougartown-cough*

Melissa Landers said...


Micki Gibson said...

I love the tiara picture, but I have to admit I'm even more jealous of the porch swing than the tiara. (I have serious porch-envy (don't have one) and if it has a swing, even more so.) Anyhow, I enjoyed my prom well enough. It wasn't the ultimate highlight of my year, but it didn't suck either. Oh, and I was a "get the heck out of Dodge" girl. Goodbye boring old Jacksonville, hello Miami!

Jen J. Danna said...

I loved high school and was very sad to leave it so prom was a bitter sweet affair for me. But I got around the date issue - a group of us that were all single made a pact months before (mixed group of guys and gals) to go as a big group, with no paired up dates. We rented a limo and made a real night of it and had an absolute blast. No expectations and no pressure of a dream date and it turned into a great time and a great memory.

Thanks for the walk down memory lane... :)

Melissa Landers said...

@Micki: I used to live just outside Miami. Attended South Dade High School my freshman & sophomore years! (Hated it.) I'm sure I would've had a much different prom story to share had I graduated from SD. As for the porch swing, I may have misled you, so don't be too jealous. It's really a deck swing. ;-)

@Jen: I've done the group outing, too, and you're right--it was so much fun. Really took the pressure off.

Lea Nolan said...

Melissa, your prom sounded awesome! You got the magic we all dreamed about -- a ticking time clock, knowing you'd never see cutie blondie boy again, and Homecoming Queen! Wow, no wonder you wanted to make it last!

My senior prom...well, the nicest thing I can say is that it sucked. I went with my "boyfriend" who lived in another town and went to a different school. I say "boyfriend" because he'd recently broken up with me so we could see other people, but like a dummy I still went with him. Our proms were on the same night so we split our time between the two. With traffic and schlepping around, I missed out on the party bus with my friends and didn't get to hang out with anyone fun. And then I'm pretty sure he broke up for me for reals. Waaaa! But that's okay, because a couple months later, I got the heck out of Dodge and got to bask in the bright lights of NYC for a couple of years!

Melissa Landers said...

Aw, Lea. :-( Someone else on this blog, who shall remain nameless until she outs herself, told me her boyfriend broke up with her right before prom, too. What's wrong with these boys? If you're unhappy, you man up and wait until after graduation to lower the boom.

But yay for NYC! I'll bet you forgot about him in no time.

Jessica Love said...

I LOVE that you were prom queen! That's so awesome!

I, um, was NOT.

Melissa Landers said...

Jessica, I wasn't joking when I said the senior class was teeny-tiny. It's not like I was prom queen of some massive school, but yeah, the memory still makes me smile.

So, were you in the "get the hell outta dodge" camp?