Melinda began her writing career on a rainy day when she was six. Her mother, tired of hearing how bored Melinda was, told her to write a story about Yogi Bear and friends. She even gave Melinda a typewriter to use. It was so much fun, Melinda just kept writing. Now it’s one of her favorite things to do. Melinda lives in South Carolina not far from two pirate hangouts. She enjoys reading, acting, and visiting schools to talk to kids about writing. For more info, check out her website.
Let the conversation begin!
What initially drew you to writing?
I’ve been writing for fun since my mom bribed me to write a story with her typewriter when I was six. I’ve always enjoyed it and got serious about it right after graduating from Furman University.
What was your favorite book to write?
Hard to say, but I really loved writing HOW I BECAME A PIRATE and PIRATES DON’T CHANGE DIAPERS. They were just so much fun. I also had a great time with THE 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS IN SOUTH CAROLINA because it allowed me to use all my favorite SC stuff.
Who is your favorite author?
You want me to pick one! CS Lewis, Madelaine L’Engle, Maurice Sendak, Elizabeth Peters, Suzanne Collins, I could go on for days.
Where do you get your ideas?
I get my ideas from things all around me and from my own imagination. WHEN PAPA SNORES was written because my husband and I used to tease each other about who snores louder. HICCUP SNICKUP was based on a rhyme my grandmother taught me. HOW I BECAME A PIRATE was born out of my fascination with pirates as a child. I used to bury my mother’s earrings and draw treasure maps. When I became a writer, a friend who worked in a bookstore mentioned that there weren’t many books about pirates for children. That started the ball rolling. My kids started me on PIRATES DON’T CHANGE DIAPERS by showing me pirate peek-a-boo.
What advice would you give young writers?
Write and read as often as possible and be persistent. Nobody gets published the first time around. I have enough rejection notes to wallpaper my bathroom.