Wednesday, November 4, 2015

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: Melody Fitzpatrick

Melody Fitzpatrick is the author of the Hannah Smart series and Angel was able to read book 1 of the series titled Operation Josh Taylor.

Interview Conducted by:

 Is there going to be another book to    Operation Josh Taylor? If so, how many will be in the series?

Dundurn Press has signed me to write three books in the Hannah Smart series. 

At the end of book one, Operation Josh Taylor, I realize I left readers hanging.  What would become of Hannah Smart?  I wanted to know as much as everyone else!  I knew one thing for sure; Hannah was ready for a new predicament, a problem that would challenge her mind, body and soul.  Because I’ve recently rediscovered a love of skiing, I thought it might be fun to throw Hannah into a skiing adventure. Of course, she is horrified by the entire idea … at least at first.  This book is aptly named Hannah Smart, On a Slippery Slope. It will be out in early February 2016.

Book three, Hannah Smart, In Over Her Head, should be out well in time for Christmas 2016. It’s an exciting adventure where Hannah meets her biggest challenge yet—searching for sunken treasure on a reality TV show. The fact that she would rather be anywhere on Earth but on a boat, won’t be her biggest problem … Like always, she’s got a target on her back, and this time it’s from the most devious and crafty villain of them all.

Did you ever make your children pay for something they really wanted?

Yes. When my daughter was in junior high she was given a basic cell phone.  At first she was ecstatic, but soon enough she wanted a better model. Just like Hannah’s mom in Operation Josh Taylor, I put my foot down.  I told her that if getting a new phone was important enough, she’d have to figure out a way to pay for it on her own. Unfortunately, like Hannah, she didn’t have a lot of babysitting opportunities. So, in place of birthday presents, she asked her grandparents to contribute money to her iPhone-fund. She added this to the money she had already saved but still didn’t have enough. Erin decided to clean up her old playhouse, take some photos and post an ad on kijiji.  Happily, it sold it right away. Finally, she had enough to buy a secondhand iPhone. 

She set a goal and saw it through to the end, just like Hannah!  I was proud of her.

When my thirteen-year-old son wanted a new, cooler ski helmet, I told him the same … if it’s important enough, you’ll find a way.  And guess what — he did! 

How many books have you written? I would love to review them for you!

I have written two books (mentioned above) and I’m in the process of writing my third. I would love for you to review them!

When did you start wanting to become an author?

It might sound a little crazy, but one morning (when my children were very small), I woke up with this strange and powerful feeling … I just knew I had to write. I thought it was weird at the time, but I went with it— I started with a cookbook (because I love to cook) then moved into picture books, and finally settled into middle grade fiction … my favourite!

Where do you write (I.e. park, office, couch, etc.)?

Good question!  I write everywhere, even in my car!  Right now, I’m writing this from my couch.

What is your biggest goal in life?

I’d really love to see a Hannah Smart in her own movie or a TV show.  I’d also love to write a series with a boy as the main character.

What is your favorite thing about writing?

When something I’ve written makes me laugh, or cry or feel something special, it’s like magic.  What I love most though, are those moments when a child tells me they’ve loved what I’ve written and can’t wait to read more.  That’s a pretty wonderful feeling, for sure.

If you have a celebrity crush, who is it?

I don’t really have any celebrity crushes at the moment, except for maybe Steve Carell, who is super-funny, but when I was little, I loved the Bay City Rollers, and Donny Osmond. Boy, does that ever make me feel old! Ha, ha!

What is your favorite book? Author?

My all time favorite book, which still makes me cry every time I read it, is Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White. I’ve read it many, many times. I also enjoy reading books from Laurence Hill, Jeannette Walls, and Ami McKay, and when I want a good laugh, I read Sophie Kinsella.

What are your thoughts about our blog?

I think your blog is awesome and that you are undoubtedly an inspiration to lots of young people!  Keep up the great work!

What is your favorite genre to read? To write?

I love reading historical fiction best, but enjoy funny stories as well.

As far as writing goes, I want to entertain and inspire kids so middle grade fiction is my genre of choice.  My goal is to create fun, yet flawed, relatable characters. I want kids to see how Hannah falls down, yet always manages to pick herself back up. I want them to see that messing up makes us human. It’s what helps us to learn and grow and become better people. I also hope to empower young readers to confidently set goals of their own. Kids can do amazing things! I mean, come on … look at you!

What is your favourite color?

My favourite colour— every shade of pink!  As for why, who knows; I’ve just always loved pink.

Thank you so much Ms. Fitzpatrick for your lovely interview!