Her Story

Call yourself a fan? Well, no, probably not. More than likely, you’re just a nice reader who’s idly web surfing while you try to outbid someone on eBay for a fantastic pair of shoes. But while you wait, why not take the quiz below? You just might find the answers to such infrequently asked questions as: Where does Melanie get her ideas from? Or: What’s the best way to get published? At the very least, you’re guaranteed to leave with conclusive proof that, when faced with a multiple choice quiz, the best strategy is always to choose Answer C. Promise.

The above photo of Melanie is:
A. An exact representation of how she looks when she wakes up every morning.
B. A cheap attempt to increase the hits on her website as her husband will probably keep checking back to see if it’s really her.
C. A forlorn, shallow and vain memorial to her former appearance. She now has two young children so most days she resembles an unhygienic environmental activist who has been living up a tree.

When attempting to purchase one of Melanie’s novels at a bookshop, the correct pronunciation of her surname is:

A. Lah-Broodee

B. Larbrooey

C. Labroy

D. LaBroogenHaagen-Daaz – oh stuff it, I’ll take the new Jane Green book.

The similarities between Melanie and the fictional Isabelle Beckett, heroine of Love Struck and The Babymoon are:

A. Purely professional. They both moved from Melbourne to Sydney during their twenties to work at an art auction house and they later moved back to Melbourne to work as ‘gallerinas’ at a commercial art gallery.

B. Approximately pages 1 – 360 of Love Struck and pages 1 – 394 of The Babymoon.

C. There are none. It’s impossible for any real human being to be as neurotic, self-obsessed and disaster-prone as Melanie. Er, Isabelle.

Mark the following statements True or False:

A. Melanie has an Arts degree from Melbourne University, with a minor in Classics and Honours in Art History. Upon leaving university she was shocked and dismayed to realise that an extensive understanding of the hostile relationship between Sparta and Athens during the 5th century BC, combined with a deep knowledge of European medieval art, would not lead her to an actual job in 21st century Australia.

B. Prior to becoming a full-time writer, Melanie worked in the art world in both Sydney and Melbourne. She loved working with beautiful works of art but was extremely bad at sucking up to wealthy clients and enquiring after the health of their favourite polo ponies.

C. Melanie lives in Melbourne with her husband, two sons and a large cardboard cut-out of Josh from The West Wing.

D. Given the choice between eating fruit salad or having no dessert, Melanie would rather not have any dessert at all.

The reason you won’t find Melanie on Twitter or Facebook is:

A. She is of the opinion that while most people on Twitter would like to believe they’re Stephen Fry, in reality their Tweets more closely resemble those of Shaquille O’Neal. E.g. “Even the aliens no me, da ones real far, i speak to em like ibadablaa, Jigamagla, bockeraaa.”

B. She’s terrified of new technology. If anyone knows where she can get her 1983 Walkman repaired, she would be grateful.

C. She still has no idea whether LOL stands for Laugh Out Loud or Lots Of Love.

D. She has two young children and the thought of tweeting variations of “Just mashed pumpkin for lunch!” and “OMG, is it just me or is Anthony the Blue Wiggle HOT??!!!” for the next 982 days straight depresses her.

Melanie gets the ideas for her books from:

A. Marian Keyes.

B. The heart-warming true stories of her friends and family which she then mercilessly rips off in order to get a cheap laugh.

C. Little voices in her head that are great at coming up with storylines but also have an annoying habit of breaking into Barry Manilow songs. “Her name was Lola! She was a showgirl…”

Melanie’s favourite books are:

A. Oh the Places You’ll Go by Dr Seuss, A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry and Moon Tiger by Penelope Lively.

B. Anything by Georgette Heyer and P.G. Wodehouse.

C. The Anger of Aubergines by Bulbul Sharma, Highlights in the History of Concrete by C.C. Stanley and People Who Don’t Know They’re Dead: How They Attach Themselves to Unsuspecting Bystanders and What To Do About It by Gary Leon Hill.

Melanie’s hobbies include:

A. Gourmet cooking, restoring antique furniture and spending charming weekends at Tuscan-inspired country retreats with a close-knit group of stylish friends, all of whom used to be part-time models.

B. Trying to identify the origins of the various stains on her clothing and wondering if she can get away with wearing the outfit one more time before washing it.

C. Writing quizzes about herself in the third person.

Melanie’s top tip for becoming a published author is:

A. Write. It’s astonishing how many people who say they’d like to be authors don’t actually ever sit down and write anything.

B. Look, are you quite sure you really want to be an author? Writers rarely leave the house and there is absolutely no fame or glamour attached. For further insights into the unattractive moodiness of writers, their insanitary tendency to wear the same cardigan-and-tracksuit-pants combination eight days in a row and their irrevocable bitterness towards anyone who filches from their chocolate stash, please feel free to email Melanie’s husband.

C. Read. The more you read the better writer you’ll be.

D. Win Masterchef.

If Melanie ruled the world she would:

A. Bring back the death penalty for anyone caught using emoticons. : (

B. Force Barack Obama, Puss-in-Boots from the Shrek movies and Kylie Minogue to be her friends.

C. Not let anyone point out that Puss-in-Boots is an animated character.

D. Speed up the path to world peace by barring beauty pageant contestants from dominating the debate.


1. A. Of course. Oh allright then, B & C.

2. C. It rhymes with La-Troy. Now that’s all cleared up you won’t embarass yourself when you ask for Melanie’s

next book which is about the Eyjafjallajökull volcano.

3. Not telling.

4. All true, especially the last statement. Healthy desserts make her angry.

5. All of the above.

6. None of the above. Real answer is Ian McEwan.

7. A & B. But if anyone has a copy of The Anger of Aubergines can they please tell her how it ends.

8. A. Obviously. Because isn’t that how real people live?

9. E. As boring as it sounds: Work really hard and when your manuscript is finished try to secure either a genie in a bottle or a literary agent, as both are excellent at making dreams come true.

10. D. Is Melanie the only person who worries about this?

11. Are you sure you’re paying attention and taking this seriously? Now go check if you’ve won those shoes on eBay.