*Special* Interview with Six Weeks to Yehidah Author Melissa Studdard" />

*Special* Interview with Six Weeks to Yehidah Author Melissa Studdard

In addition to my review on Six Weeks to Yehidah and giveway, I also have been cordially been granted an interview with its author Melissa Studdard. I normally like to have a couple weeks to read the book and write interview questions before actually conducting the interview, but because I decided to help Tourz de Codex out, I am doing all of this on very short notice. Those who read my blog regularly I’m sure have noticed that I haven’t been posting as often as I was last month because I haven’t been feeling well (more about that lately). But I made a commitment and wanted to make sure I still did my best, so without further ado I’d like to welcome Ms. Melissa Studdard who has stopped by to discusses her middle grade children’s novel Six Weeks to Yehi

Jaclyn: So to get started, it is often said that if you can write down a short story you can write anything. How true do you think this is, and what have you written anything that either proves or disproves this POV (point of view)?

Melissa: This is a very sophisticated question. I know authors who say they can only write short fiction, but I, personally, enjoy writing across the genres, and I believe that experience writing stories can create a skill set that enhances ability in other genres. So, while I cannot say that every person who writes a short story will master all other forms, I can say that the short story form could be thought of as a fertile hub that employs myriad techniques transferable to the other genres.

Jaclyn: I can see how that makes sense. I did well with most of the writing I had to do in high school and college, but did not like writing poetry, that type of writing just wasn’t my thing. Do you think you could try to describe your book in just one sentence?

Melissa: Six Weeks to Yehidah is a magical, mythical, mystical journey that will change how you see the world.

Jaclyn: *nods* I’ve always liked the use of alliteration and they are one of my favorite literary devices. So how do you research for a book before you begin the writing process?

Melissa: Because I write about things I’m interested in, the research happens naturally through the course of living. In Six Weeks to Yehidah, for instance, there’s a lot of Native American imagery and symbolism which were already in my mind from the traveling and reading I’ve been doing for several years. I also Google all sorts of things right in the middle of the writing process. That’s always fun!

Jaclyn: It’s Google incredible? Just the wealth of information always at our fingertips, I think is amazingly powerful. I realized when I was a child that assignments that I was most interested in were the ones I did the best on. ;-) For those who are not yet familiar with your book, could you please tell us something about your book?

Melissa: Here’s a fun fact: The poem in the first chapter was written by my daughter on a table cloth at a restaurant. In the states there’s a chain called Macaroni Grill, where children can draw on paper table cloths with crayons at mealtime. One night, when my daughter, Rosalind, was about 8 or 9, we’d just ordered dessert, and I looked down to see that instead of drawing during dinner, she’d written a poem. I loved it so much that I took the table cloth home, knowing that I would use the poem somehow, someday. When I created Six Weeks to Yehidah a few years later, I just knew that the protagonist, Annalise, had to recite Rosalind’s poem, so I weaved it in!

Jaclyn: What a fantastic way to incorporate your daughter Rosalind into the book and truly make her a part of Annalise. What is the best part of writing for you?

Melissa: The best part to me is the discovery. Every time I write, I learn about myself, others, and the world. It’s exhilarating.

Jaclyn: That is really amazing. I believe that there are always things to be discovered, learned, and there will always be something else to find out about. Switching gears from about your as a writer to you as a reader, Who is your favorite author? Favorite book?

Melissa: I have a few favorites that I could pick, but right now I’d have to say Gabriel García Márquez is my favorite author, and One Hundred Years of Solitude is my favorite book by him. Every sentence he writes simultaneously breaks my heart and exalts me to wonder. His imagination is unparalleled, and his understanding of the human condition is genius. He is a complete original

Jaclyn: I have to say I am not very familiar Gabriel García Márquez or his novel One Hundred Years of Solitude though I have heard of it. If y-ou could invite any 5 people from any point in time over for dinner who would you invite and what would you serve?

Melissa: Jesus, Buddha, Leonardo DaVinci, Rabindranath Tagore, Hildegard Von Bingen. I would make it a potluck. Aside from their other countless merits, these are some of the most amazing geniuses of all time. Certainly they must have a few great recipes and be quite adept at preparing them! For my part, I would make this wonderful homemade chai tea that the My Yehidah illustrator, Cheryl Kelley, taught me how to make, and homemade bread.

Jaclyn: That sounds like a very interesting dinner party that I’d love to be a ’fly on the wall during’. ;-) When you are not writing, what is it that you like to do to relax?

Melissa: I meditate every day, and I exercise most days. I like to do yoga and kickboxing, and I like to go for walks and ride my bike. I also love spending time with family and friends.

Jaclyn: Sounds like fun. I tried kickboxing a couple times in high school and liked it. I also like to ride my bike and spend time with my family and friends. I used to take dance class(as) several times a week and loved it very much. Did you always have in mind to be a writer or did it just happen?

Melissa: You know how when you’re a kid you think your teachers live at the school (or at least you don’t picture them anywhere else), and if you run into one at the grocery store or a movie, it blows your mind? I had compartmentalized authors in much the same way. They were people who lived in the land of character and plot. Most of the ones I read were dead and had been so for a long time. So, it never even occurred to me that I could be a writer until I started to meet living writers. Thank God, they demythologized authorship for me, and I picked up the pen myself. Now, I can’t imagine my life any other way!

Jaclyn: hehe, funny how children’s minds thing? I had a sort of similar pictured of authors as well until a children’s author moved in next door to me! Also my elementary school would have spring reading festival where the entire school would read one book and then the author would come read to us, answer questions, and sell his/her books. Before we finish is there something special you want to share with us?

Melissa: I’m completely floored by the positive response to Six Weeks to Yehidah. It has won awards, hit bestseller lists, been named on “Best of the Year” lists. It has been a delight and an honor to receive these accolades, and I am so thankful for each and every reader.

A big thank you to Ms. Melissa Studdard for stopping by (and at such short notice too) to answer some of my questions. If you haven’t already please make sure to read my review on Six Weeks to Yehidah and there is a giveaway directly after the review. The giveaway is live until Jan. 6th at 11:59pm EST! Both Six Weeks to Yehidah and My Yehidah by Melissa Studdard (the journal is illustrated by Cheryl Kelley) are available now.

~Jaclyn~

*Disclaimer: I received this from Tourz de Codex as part of their book tour. Please see my disclaimer policy for more information.

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*Special* Interview with Six Weeks to Yehidah Author Melissa Studdard”

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