Monday, June 20, 2022

Yay For Middle Grade Books! Interview With Melissa Roske!

Hi, everyone! Today I'm happy to present an interview with Melissa Roske, who has a story in the MG anthology Coming Of Age, which is out now! She is also the author of Kat Greene Comes Clean.

Would you please tell us a little about the anthology, Coming of Age, and your story in it?

Coming of Age is a collection of 13 Bar- and Bat Mitzvah tales geared toward a middle-grade audience. As one reviewer aptly said, the book is “like a Bat Mitzvah buffet; a little something for everyone.” My contribution, “Grandma Merle’s Last Wish,” is about a nonreligious Jewish girl, Bella, whose grandmother wants her to have a Bat Mitzvah—it’s her “dying wish.” The problem is, Bella considers herself “barely Jewish” and is uncertain whether she can fulfill her grandma’s request.

Did you always want to be a MG author?

An author, yes—but not necessarily of middle grade. My first novel, Good Girls Don’t Go Commando, was written for adults. I like to call it my “starter” novel  because it wasn’t very good. The title was better than the book! Luckily, it was never published so I saved myself a ton of embarrassment and bad reviews. My next attempt, Kat Greene Comes Clean (Charlesbridge in 2017), wasn’t originally intended as a middle-grade novel—I thought I was writing YA—but Kat spoke to me and said, “Look… you’re writing MG, okay? Run with it!” So, I ran.

Random Question! What’s your favorite time of year?

Autumn. The air has a crisp, clean quality to it—even in New York City, where I live—and the leafy trees in Central Park are showing off their vibrant colors. The leaves are technically dying, of course, but I find autumn to be a life-affirming season. 

If you're able to talk about it, what are you currently working on?

I’m revising a middle-grade novel about an all-girls football team at an all-girls school, as well as playing with ideas for a new project. I have a bunch of concepts scribbled in my notebook, but I haven’t been able to land on The One that makes me go: “Oh, that’s it!” You’ve got to LOVE an idea before starting a new novel, because you’ll be dedicating hours (and hours!) of time and effort.

What are some of your favorite MG books you've read recently? And what are some that you're looking forward to reading?

I just finished Linda Williams Jackson’s latest MG novel, The Lucky Ones, and it blew me away. It was gorgeously written, and the characters leaped off the page. I’m currently reading Jackson’s debut novel, Midnight Without a Moon, and its sequel, A Sky Full of Stars, is next. I’m also looking forward to Kellye Crocker’s MG debut, Dad’s Girlfriend and Other Anxieties. It’s out on 9/1 from Albert Whitman & Co.

Thank you to Melissa Roske for participating in this event! :)

Author BioMelissa Roske is a writer of middle-grade fiction. Before spending her days with imaginary people, she interviewed real ones as a journalist in Europe. In London she landed a job as an advice columnist for Just Seventeen magazine, where she answered hundreds of letters from readers each week. Upon returning to her native New York, Melissa contributed to several books and magazines, selected jokes for Reader’s Digest (just the funny ones), and received certification as a life coach from NYU. In addition to her debut novel Kat Greene Comes Clean (Charlesbridge), Melissa’s short story “Grandma Merle’s Last Wish” appears in the Jewish middle-grade anthology, Coming of Age: 13 B’Nai Mitzvah Stories (Albert Whitman & Company). An active blogger for the popular MG website, From the Mixed-Up Files of Middle-grade AuthorsMelissa lives in Manhattan with her husband, daughter, and the occasional dust bunny. Learn more about Melissa on her Website and follow her on  Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram

Here are a few links:

1 comment:

  1. Great interview with Melissa. I had a Bat Mitzvah and may enjoy this anthology. Thanks for the other book recommendations too, Melissa.


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