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May 8, 2012

Author Interview: Melissa Studdard



Hi my lovely followers! Welcome to Journey with Books! Today I'm doing an interview with Ms. Melissa Studdard! She's a very nice author. She wrote the book Six Weeks to Yedidah. And now, we're going to learn so much more about her and about her book! Get your career as an author started with the  Guide to Career Education.


Image of Melissa Studdard 



Author Bio:


Melissa Studdard is a professor, a book reviewer at-large for The National Poetry Review, a contributing editor for both Tiferet Journal and The Criterion, and the host of the radio interview program Tiferet Talk. As well, she is a member of many literary organizations, including the National Book Critics Circle and the Society of Childrens Book Writers and Illustrators. She is the author of the bestselling novel Six Weeks to Yehidah.

She loves anything related to writing and reading, whether it's sitting alone with a book and a cup of hot tea, or attending a large poetry reading or literary festival. She also loves travelling, meditating, going for walks, bicycling, practicing yoga, and spending time with family.

She currently resides in Texas with her wonderful daughter and their four sweet but mischievous cats.


Interview:
  • Tell us something about yourself. Something that would make your name stay with us.

I’m a little cat crazy, so if you want my name to stay with you, instead of thinking “Melissa Studdard,” you could think of me as “Melissa Studdard, Nurturer of Cats, Scooper of Litter, Comber of Feline Fur, Exterminator of Fleas, Extraordinaire.” I think I would like that whole title to be my proper name. Next time you address me, could you please call me that?

  • What made you decide to write a book?

    I actually wrote this book for my daughter. She and I have enjoyed reading together so much  over the years that I wanted to tell her my own story. As well, there were certain wisdom traditions that I wanted to share with children in general, and narrative seemed the perfect way to do it.                                   

  • What is your first ever read? The one that made you fall in love with books?

When I was in kindergarten, my teacher read to our class every day from Charlotte’s Web. It was my favorite part of the day, and I couldn’t wait to get crisscross applesauce on my little mat on the floor and hear what would happen next. Now that I think about it, that book may have been responsible for more than turning me into a lifelong reader. It may also have led to my vegetarianism.

  • What is the hardest part of being an author?

Writer’s block! Without question. I don’t get it often, but when I do, it feels like someone turned off the sun. When you love something as much as most writers love writing, life without it feels dark, empty, and unbearable. To me, being abandoned by the muse feels like being abandoned by a loved one.

  • What are the perks of being an author?

There are so many. The biggest perk for me is getting to make stuff up and still be considered sane. I also love doing research, which can involve talking to interesting people, travelling, and reading fascinating articles and books.

  • Where did you get the inspiration to give life to your characters?

They just sprang out of nowhere. It was incredible. I had an assignment from a writer’s group to write a fairy tale short story, and after I’d gotten the required length, I just kept going and going, and it was because of these crazy, delightful characters. Over time, I began to see that some of them were composites of people I know, but their cores, their vital essences, are pulled straight from the imagination. To some degree, where they came from is a mystery to me.
Fun Questions:


  •  When the word 'Hunk' is uttered, who is the first person that comes into your mind?

My boyfriend. Not only is he in perfect shape, he’s also the kindest person I know, and he is brilliant and talented to boot. With him around, I don’t even notice or think about anyone else.

  • If you're going to heaven, who is that ONE person you'd want to be with?

I would have to have two: my boyfriend, which would just be an extension of what it’s already like to be with him, and my daughter, because she and I are best friends, and we do everything together.

  •  If you're going to hell, who is that ONE person that you would drag with you?

Hmmm. It would have to be someone who would end up there anyway. Hypothetically (because he’s already dead) I’d have to say Oscar Wilde. I’m not quite sure why he deserves to go to hell other than that he would be bored in heaven and cause trouble and end up banished to hell anyway, so he might as well start there. He’s got a wickedly clever sense of humor, so we could entertain each other and make up poems and plays and stories about how awful hell was.
 
Now, tell us something about your book.

Six Weeks to Yehidah is the tale of a spunky young girl named Annalise, who travels from one adventure to another, learning ancient wisdom traditions and gaining deeper and deeper insight into herself and her world. Eventually she must make the most important decision she's ever faced -- whether or not to return to the self she has always known. I’d also like to let the book speak for itself, so here are the first two paragraphs: The thing you would notice most was the rain, how the rain fell and fell and never seemed to stop. The sky was constantly swollen with it, then birthing it, swollen, then birthing again, and the hills, like greedy babies, suckled up all that rain. They shone and glistened green as the backs of frogs on bright green lily pads.
Annalise was ten then, old enough that she’d begun thinking about grown up things, like picking her own clothes out for school, yet young enough, still, to indulge in fanciful imaginings of enchanted trees and talking hills. Her best friends were the clouds that canopied her village and the verdant hills that hosted her most precious and outrageous dreams. 
And for the last question:

  • What is next for you as an author?


I’ve just started a new novel with an incredibly complicated plot, complex characters, and layers of psychological depth. It will probably take me a while to write this one, and I’m having a great time in the process! Right now, it’s got the working title, India, which is the main character’s name. While I’m writing India, I’ll release a collection of interviews I conducted for the radio program Tiferet Talk, and I will probably also complete a collection of poems. I love working on more than one thing at a time because when I get stuck on one there is always something else to focus on. Thank you for asking!
Six Weeks to Yehidah
Paperback: 170 pages
Publisher: All Things That Matter Press (August 2, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0984651705
ISBN-13: 978-0984651702

Book Blurb:

"The thing you would notice most was the rain, how the rain fell and fell and never seemed to stop. The sky was constantly swollen with it, then birthing it, swollen, then birthing again, and the hills, like greedy babies, suckled up all that rain. They shone and glistened green as the backs of frogs on bright green lily pads.


Annalise was ten then, old enough that she’d begun thinking about grown up things, like picking her own clothes out for school, yet young enough, still, to indulge in fanciful imaginings of enchanted trees and talking hills. Her best friends were the clouds that canopied her village and the verdant hills that hosted her most precious and outrageous dreams."


As spunky young Annalise travels from one adventure to another, she learns ancient wisdom traditions and gains deeper and deeper insight into herself and her world. Eventually she must make the most important decision she's ever faced -- whether or not to return to the self she has always known.



Where to Buy:

1 comment:

  1. What a delightful and amazing interview Melissa! And thank you so much for the sweet and flattering mention. I love you! You're a gift for having written Six Weeks to Yehidah. I'm so excited about your upcoming new works as well. Keep the writing coming!

    Scott Lutz

    ReplyDelete

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