Hello. I’m Melinda Salisbury. This is me. And my debut novel, which is why I have a website.
To fill up this awkward first-post space, I’m going to go down the time-honoured route of giving you ten fun facts about me. These are all true.
1. The first time I ever flew in a plane was to do a charity skydive. I was strapped to a man and we threw ourselves out of a plane 12,000ft up in the sky. The second we hit the ground I begged to go back up. He said no, I’d have to pay £350 if I wanted to do it again. I didn’t have £350. I went home.
2. I once played a zombie extra in a film called Cockneys vs. Zombies. It was brilliant, my name is in the credits and everything. Here I am just after having my makeup done and completing Zombie School. How much do you fancy me? Loads, I bet.
3. In 2013, I ticked off three of my four Big Life Goals.
- Seeing Jurassic Park in 3D at a cinema
- Finding an agent to represent my writing and getting a publishing deal
- Seeing the Northern Lights in Reykjavik.
Though I didn’t achieve my fourth, I still believe there is time for Aidan Turner to fall in love with me and make me his bride.
4. I have seen Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel eleven times at the cinema. Across six cities and in five different countries. I really like that film.
5.I have been known to do some urban exploring. I can’t see a shadowed alley without wanting to walk down it, I can’t pass a door in a wall without testing whether it opens. I am endlessly curious about things. My two favourite places I’ve explored are Patarei prison in Tallinn, and an abandoned water tank in the south UK. Patarei prison was eerie as anything. And the water tank was amazing because I went with friends and we took a lot of really great photos down there.
6. I used to be a ghost hunter. I had a couple of weird experiences when I was younger, and always retained an interest in them. At uni, I was studying music technology, and I started to learn about Infrasonics, which are frequencies that occur below 20 hz, so are outside the human range of hearing. But they sometimes have physical effects on humans, and are often the real reason people think they’re being haunted. To learn more about this, I joined a local paranormal society and went on investigations with them. We went to Cannock Chase, Woodchester Mansions, Nottingham Jail, and stayed overnight in them, looking for ghosts. I never saw any. But according to the medium who was part of the group, I was very popular with centurions, for some reason.
7. Chris Packham was my very first crush. I loved him before I even knew what love was. I just knew that whatever he said was the best thing ever and I’d get very angry if my family spoke while he was on telly speaking or – worse – if we were late getting home from school and it looked like I might miss The Really Wild Show.
8. At Junior School I had an Animal Club. I was the only member. I spent all my lunch and breaktimes learning the Latin names for British wildlife and learning how to identify their tracks and stools. Once I made cakes at home and got special permission to sell them at breaktime to save the animals and birds at risk because of an oil spill in Scotland. I raised £5. My actual childhood ambition was to be arrested for breaking into research labs and releasing all the animals in there.
9. When I was eleven, I “borrowed” my sister’s copy of Deenie. When I read about her rubbing her special place until it felt good I was very confused by what she meant. I eventually surmised she must have meant her belly button, as there was surely nothing else going on down there that was interesting. Subsequently I had a few goes at rubbing my own bellybutton and was disappointed when I didn’t manage to achieve the ‘special feeling’ Deenie got.
Fifteen years later when I re-read it, it clicked.
10) I used to work in a theatre, and obviously met some actors there. I went on a a few dates with one actor who was at least 20 years older than me; one of which was the first time a date had taken me to a restaurant, and it felt impossibly decadent. I was also asked out by another actor, when he heard me singing along to Jeff Buckley at the bar. He asked me if I’d consider going with him to see Jeff Buckley next time he toured. I had to tell the actor Jeff had died back in 1997. He stopped coming into the bar after that.