1) Hi, Melissa! Thank you for stopping by Courtney's Book Nook for a stop on Tour De
Codex. So how do you sum up your book as short as possible?
Thanks for having me, Courtney! Six Weeks to Yehidah is the tale of a spunky young
girl on a metaphysical journey. As she travels from one adventure to another through
magical, mystical lands, she learns ancient wisdom traditions and gains deeper and
deeper insight into herself and her world. Eventually she must make the most important
decision she's ever faced -- whether or not to return to the self she has always known.
Probably the most essential thing I should share with you and your readers is that
Annalise's story is everyone's story. It is the journey of life.
2) Where were you when you finished Six Weeks to Yehidah? What was going through
your mind when you finished?
You know how you can get completely immersed in reading a book, and then, when you
finish it, you're overcome by a mixture of emotions? You're relieved at the resolution,
you're reacting to the outcome, you're happy that you got to the end, you're sad that
it's over, you're going to miss the characters, and you're not quite sure what to do with
yourself outside of the world of the novel. It's like that when you finish writing a book too.
I was elated, sad, relieved, disappointed, proud -- all of it. I write on a laptop, so I was
outside on the patio, and I think the whole neighborhood must have known I finished
because I called my mom from my cell and kept saying over and over, "I finished my
novel. I can't believe it. I finished my novel." I was quite loud, I'm sure.
3) What was your favorite thing about Six Weeks to Yehidah?
Wow. Excellent question. That's like asking, "What is your favorite thing about your
child?" The temptation is to say, "Everything." If I really had to pick just one thing, I'd
have to say it's the message. SWTY is about love, tolerance, acceptance of ourselves
and others, and finding purpose in life.
The writer Toni Morrison once said, "If there's a book you really want to read, but it
hasn't been written yet, then you must write it." And that is what I did with Six Weeks to
Yehidah. I wrote the book I wish I’d had available to me as a kid.
4) The Holidays are coming up. What is your favorite thing to do during the holiday?
I love to be with family and take time off from work to simply relax. I can’t remember
the last time I had one whole day off. It’s been years. This Christmas, I’m claiming the
entire day for leisure. I’m not even going to work for one hour. It will be all kinds of
gingerbread, mistletoe, tinsel-topped magic for me.
5) So tell us about your cover. What is your favorite thing about it?
Mark Knox, of KnoxworX Multimedia, designed the cover, and I just love it. People,
undoubtedly, now associate the story of Yehidah with the image of the girl peering down
from the clouds onto the labyrinth of her life. My favorite thing about the cover is the
mood it conveys: Mystery permeates the very air, yet the cover hints at discovery too.
6) Who is your favorite author that is alive?
You don’t beat around the bush, do you? I love it. I’d have to say Gabriel García
Márquez. His words dance like the feet of thousands of tiny, mischievous fairies across
my heart and soul. Every sentence he writes simultaneously breaks my heart and
exalts me to wonder. His imagination is unparalleled. His understanding of the human
condition is genius. He is a complete original.
7) What is one thing you would change about Six Weeks to Yehidah?
Reading my published copy, I found a couple of sentences I’d like to restructure. But I
have to say that my publisher put me through a rigorous editing process, involving many
great editors and writers who all read the book several times, and I can’t even count
how many times I read the book before publishing it, so I have to assume that no one
else will notice what I thought I noticed.
8) Do you ever cry in a super sad book? What is one book you have cried like a baby
Oh yes—I cry at the sad parts. The one that always gets me is Charlotte’s Web. I love
that book, and I cry every time. Of course, I am a vegetarian now.
9) So do you have a most obsessed fan yet? If not I am sure we can find you that one
perfect stalker -I meant- fan.. :)
I don’t have any fans who would qualify as obsessed, thank heavens, but I get some
amazing letters. People say the funniest things. One guy wrote that after checking Six
Weeks to Yehidah out from the library, he was giving up cigarettes to save the money to
buy the book for his daughter. Now that is a positive impact I never expected my book
to have – to get someone to quit smoking. But I’m glad!
10) So when you get a bad review, does it hurt your feelings?
I haven’t had any bad professional reviews yet, but there were a couple of people on
Goodreads who didn’t care for it and rated it a 2. At first it hurt my feelings, but then I
read the reviews and saw the things they misinterpreted, and I realized they just didn’t
understand the book. Then I looked up some great books that I love to read and saw all
of their bad rankings, and I realized that all authors get these reviews, and I just need to
brace myself for more. I can handle it. I wouldn’t have put the book out there if I couldn’t
be receptive to honest feedback.
I really did enjoy Six Weeks to Yehdiah although I admit I expected something different. I am not for sure what that was but I was hoping for something different . So the author made up for what I was expecting. This book made an impact on me like it did others. It was well written by Melissa,especially for a debut author.
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