Monday, January 28, 2019

Interview With Melinda Grace!

Today I'm pleased to present an interview with Melinda Grace! Ms. Grace is the author of the YA book, Meet Me in Outer Space, which releases March 19th.

The bold font are the questions I asked, the regular font are her answers, and the bold italic font are my comments about her answers.

1. Would you please describe your debut book, MEET ME IN OUTER SPACE, in seven words?
When finding yourself means realizing your strength.

2. What was the inspiration for your debut book?
A lot of different things went into the inspiration for MEET ME IN OUTER SPACE, my own personal experience being the primary influence. The secondary was music and the third was a realization that what I was writing was bigger than me. It seemed to be a situation in which all the pieces to a puzzle that had been floating around in my head came together at the same time.

The first piece was the idea to create a character with a Central Auditory Processing Disorder, which came while writing a scene for a different book. I started to consider whether that character could have CAPD, but ultimately decided that character already had enough going on. So, even though I chose to nix it for that character, I couldn’t let the idea go…which means I spent a lot of time thinking about where/how I could take this idea and make it into its own book.

The second piece came during my 45-minute commute home from work one day, when Stellar by Incubus came up on my playlist. This has always been a favorite song of mine and as I listened to it I thought “in what situation might someone tell another person to ‘meet me in outer space’,” which then opened the door to all the things I mishear because of my CAPD. So, I thought, “this is probably something I would mishear someone say.” I went home that day and wrote the scene in which Edie believes Hudson asks her to meet him in outer space.

The last piece was a happy accident of sorts, as Edie’s story started to evolve I realized how little my target audience may or may not know about CAPD or, in a much broader sense, what it’s like to have a disability in college. When it comes to the adjustment from educational law at the primary-secondary level (elementary/high school) to the Disabilities Act in the real world, things aren’t exactly equivalent. I wanted to convey something real in a way that people completely unaware could still connect with.

3. Random Question! What's your favorite Disney movie?
This is impossible to answer, so I’ll go with my first favorite Disney movie and the Disney movie that inspired a tattoo... Alice In Wonderland and Spirited Away, which some may argue isn’t fully a Disney movie, but it is. Don’t @ me. LOL =) =)

4. What's one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?
Perseverance is key. There’s nothing easy about publishing and you have to stick with it.

Definitely good advice! :)

5. What are some books you're looking forward to reading in 2019? And if you've already read some '19 books, do you want to mention them?
I’m really looking forward to THE MERMAID’S VOICE RETURNS IN THIS ONE by Amanda Lovelace. I adore her writing.

I’ve been lucky enough to sneak a few peaks at my fellow Swoon Read authors’ books, so I’ll plug BEWARE THE NIGHt by Jessika Feck, ALL IF FAIR by Dee Garretson, MATCH ME IF YOU CAN by Tiana Smith, THE BIRDS, THE BEES, AND YOU AND ME by Olivia Hinebaugh, and A SOLDIER AND A LIAR by Caitlin Lochner.

My 2019 TBR list just keeps getting longer! :)

Thank you to Ms. Grace for letting me interview her, and for participating in this event! :)

Author bio: Melinda Grace wrote her first piece of fiction in middle school, but didn’t write a complete story until an introduction to creative writing course at SUNY Oswego, where she earned a BA in human development. She went on to earn a MS Ed in counseling and currently works as a school counselor. When she’s not guiding the youth of America, she’s planning her next vacation to Disney World, laminating anything she can get her hands on, and binge watching on Netflix. Meet Me in Outer Space is her debut novel.

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