Melanie Shankle is going to Round Top

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Melanie Shankle Round Top
Photo courtesy of Melanie Shankle.

Melanie Shankle is going to Round Top

Melanie Shankle Round Top
Photo courtesy of Melanie Shankle.

Melanie Shankle’s first book, Sparkly Green Earrings, debuted at the top of the New York Times’ best-seller list in February 2013 prompting readers to ask how they can launch a successful writing career.

“Write a free blog for eight years and you, too, can become an overnight success,” she deadpans.

Shankle, who got her start blogging as Big Mama on thebigmamablog.com in 2006, will sign copies of her books, Sparkly Green Earrings, The Antelope in the Living Room, and her most recent release Nobody’s Cuter Than You, at Junk Gypsy World Headquarters on April 1 from 1 to 3 p.m.

Attributing her success to a writing style reminiscent of “a conversation across my kitchen table,” a propensity for “being real,” and a mastery of “sarcasm as her first language,” Shankle tackled the subject of female friendships in Nobody is Cuter Than You. Like all of her writing, the book was inspired by her life.

Melanie Shankle Round Top
Photo courtesy of Melanie Shankle.

“As I wrote the blog, my best friend Gulley was a recurring character,” Shankle said. “She was my roommate at Texas A&M and has been a constant part of my life since then. She’s my person and I’m hers.”

Readers flooded Shankle’s inbox with comments such as “I wish I had a Gulley” and questions such as “How do you maintain deep and true friendships with women?”

“Unfortunately, today the world encourages us to see other women as competition instead of collaborators, cooperators and sisters,” Shankle said. “I challenge women to consider what would happen if we all lifted one another up instead of tearing each other down.”

She writes with her tongue planted firmly in her cheek showcasing the joy and hilarity found in every day moments. This has not only become her signature style, but is serving as the theme for her fourth book, which is unnamed. It’s due to the publisher on June 1.

“I’m getting a little bit stressed about it,” Shankle admitted. “I’m kind of like a kid pushing the parental envelope. I’ve already asked my agent to name my consequences if it’s not done by then.”

Despite the looming deadline, Shankle is looking forward to her stay in Round Top. It’s her first trip to the antiques show despite encouragement from her friend and designer Holly Mathis, a Brenham designer.

“Holly has been helping me decorate my house and she’s always saying, ‘You’ll find the perfect table or the perfect piece for your patio or whatever…if you’ll just come to Round Top,” Shankle said.

She also scheduled her visit to coincide with the Junk Gypsy Prom.

“I’ve always wanted to go,” she said. “I’m just looking forward to the whole experience.”