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MELINDA WORLAND ARIZONA ARTIST WRITER AND ILLUSTRATOR
AUTHOR INTERVIEW WITH MELINDA WORLAND ARIZONA ARTIST, WRITER AND ILLUSTRATOR
1. Where are you from? Tell us a little about your childhood, family, education and hobbies other than writing.
I was born and raised in Southern California. I am the youngest of 5 and the only girl. I graduated college with BA in visual communication. The instructors told me my biggest problem was I was an artist and didn't quite fit into anyones mold. when I couldn't find a portfolio I liked, I built one out of wood a wonderful thing. octagon in shape with a lid when removed the 8 panels opened like flower pettles each panel held a part of my resume. Inside were disks of samples of my work. at the bottom was a puzzle that would be left for their entertainment.
I enjoy creating art, illustrating, wood working, sewing, quilting, making afghans, baking
2. When and why did you begin writing? / What inspired you to write your first book. When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I was in elementary school and wrote a story about the littlest ballerina. I have considered myself a writer for years. I have entered many poetry competitions and had a number of poems published since the early 1980's however did not getanything of just mine published until 2009/10.
3.Do you have a specific writing style?
I like writing in rhyme for the most part. Children seem to be captivated by the sing song sounds when being read to.
4.How did you come up with your book titles?
- Cranium City was easy. the characters lived inside my head for so long. I was doodling and thought I would build them a city.
- The Land of Window Shade. behind my desk is a window shade. shadows and images come and go from there, created another place.
- Stories from Cranium City Park, Inker and Quill live in Cranium City and are constantly playing in the park
5. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Helping someone is always a good thing.
6. How much of your books are realistic?
If you lived in my house, the characters live on my walls, stuffed animals, and imagination.
7.Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Yes on both counts. I watch my grandchildren and stories unfolds. I remember my children and the stories I told them.
8. If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Dr Suess. I love his imagination.
9. What book are you reading now?
I am taking a break from reading, working on Christmas presents
10. Do you have something you are working on that you’d like to share with us?
I am working on a couple of story collections for children, about a house which is inhabited with a cat who is telling stories of a dog, a fish, a bird, some spiders, and a family of mice who live under a chair. How they interact with each other. The other one is about alligators, dragons, fish, both are in the creative ofthe art work is done, and some of the writing.
11. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No, I would just write another one to follow.
12. Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I played alone quite often as a child. I would tell stories to my dolls and stuffed animals. I loved telling stories. and once I learned to write, the stories grew...
13. Who designed the covers?
So far I have had a hand in creating the book covers.
14. What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Getting to a place where I would stop writing more stories, all my books are a collection of stories/poems. next would be sending it off to the publisher.
15. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I like writing and illustrating. It is a wonderful feeling to have your own book in your hands.
16..Do you have any advice for other writers?
Yes, Keep writing! Follow your dreams.
17. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you so much for your kind words. I hope to keep your minds open and your imaginations running strong for a long long time.
18. Do you have a special poem you would like to post here that shows your writing?
THE FORK IN THE ROAD
when I came across a fork in the road
it was accompanied by a silver toad
he croaked me a tune and told me a tale
it brought such laughter, I began to whale
he said the fork was used by the toad queens maid
to hold up a leaf and bring the queen shade
but the wind did blow and the leaf did fly
and took the fork way up in the sky
and when it landed right here in the road
people who encountered it shifted their load
took a direction other than strait
some even went through the near by gate
as I sit here pondering how this I will fix
the queen still need shade and I'm out of tricks
So I offered my services, see I was free of some time
and the leaves were so pretty different shades of lime
I found me some rocks and a pebble or two
I thought for a moment then knew what to do
I fashioned a gazebo that was fit for a queen
built the structure even made a trampoline
they were all delighted at the outcome you see
they named the structure after me!
Oh and that fork in the road is there no more
they are using it at a diving board by the shore.
october 8, 2011