Author Q&A #2
I am a huge fan of E. Mellyberry’s books – My Lea and I Won’t Break and also all the books that she will publish in the future. I am super excited to read more of her beautiful yet heart wrenching style of writing.
The author and I, you can say that we are soul sisters (her words, not mine) because we have established a friendship through social media. And I really have to say that I am extremely grateful and thankful to have a friend like her. We just simply connect with each other. If I have to be honest, its usually me annoying her and her time.
Let us not get carried away and head on to the main thing, the Q&A…
-How did you come up with the idea of Lea and Andrew’s story?
I’ve always wanted to write a darker version of a fairy tale. When a certain scene that involved a broken hero and an angelic heroine came to mind, I immediately knew this was it. I turned the classic fairy tale upside down and presented the readers with a broken one. Lea and Andrew’s story was born.
-Who is your favorite character in My Lea and I Won’t Break?
Have to be Andrew. He’s such a challenging character to write because he’s a bit of everything: a monster, a Prince Charming, a villain, a hero, a lover, and a destroyer. He’s arrogant, he’s loyal. He’s strong, he’s vulnerable. He has all the attributes that make him human.
The only thing that’s constant about Andrew is his anger. Playing with his anger and regret was scary for me because they were so deep, they could’ve easily driven me mad. Writing I Won’t Break wasn’t easy. I had to pause every now and then to distance myself from Andrew’s personality pull.
I also love how Andrew grows as the story progresses, how he’s able to see himself from the other people’s point of view. As a writer, I grow with him too.
-Who has inspired you to write and continue writing?
No one in particular actually. I’ve been fascinated with reading and writing since I was a little kid. I can’t imagine myself not doing these two things.
However, if someone asked who’s inspired me to finally be brave enough to publish My Lea, the answer was Colleen Hoover. Her success story as an indie author has touched a lot of aspiring writers back then and I was one of them. Stories about her writing journey, from nothing to where she’s now, never fail to captivate me. They’re all inspiring, genuine, and real. I adore her because of that. I do hope her experiences continue to inspire people everywhere.
-At what age did you decide to become an author and started writing?
I have my first book published in 2011. That was the official moment I became a published author. But my writing has started way, way back. My teacher enrolled me in a writing competition when I was in grade 5, which I won, and I’ve been addicted to writing ever since.
-What intrigues you the most to write angsty love stories?
This has something to do with my reading preference. My friends call me a masochist reader because I love, love, looove highly emo stories (aka the ones that will leave me in a pile of mess) if you know what I mean.
I welcome the feels, the tears, the joy, the anger and the frustration the book has to offer. A little frustration is good as long as the characters don’t frustrate me (ha ha). The more a book plays with my mind and emotion, the better.
Since I love angsty read, it’s only natural that I write one too J. If you don’t dig angst, don’t worry. I also write funny. Well, I think they’re funny. I need to organize a poll on that to be sure.
-If you had to choose a real life person, whether that person was an actor/singer or anyone else as Lea and Andrew, who would you choose?
I’d love to have Kristin Kreuk play Lea. She’s the perfect choice.
When I visited Bangkok a few years back, I watched a local TV series in my hotel room. That was when I met my dream Andrew: a tall, handsome, delish Thailand’s actor. I didn’t know his name though, sadly, but he was perfect for Andrew. You have to believe me.
-Out of all the diversity backgrounds in the books, which place is your favorite?
San Francisco. This city is magical and beyond artistic. Nusa Dua Beach comes a close second.
-What is your favorite genre to read if you’re not writing?
YA Fantasy. My personal library carries more than 70% of this genre alone. I admire the heck out of fellow fantasy authors because it’s a very challenging genre to write.
-What was your favorite childhood book/series?
Enid Blyton’s Famous Five and Adventure series. And Harry Potter of course because who doesn’t, right?
-What are some of your favorite books that you have read this year?
Phew, thank goodness you only ask for this year. If it was all time favorite, I would’ve turned this interview into an essay.
These are my best eight this year:
– Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven King (Gah! The epic-ness of this saga)
– Gary Schmidt’s Okay For Now (Give me a non-alpha boy who is witty and smart, I’m swooned)
– Erin Watt’s Paper Princess (Hot, hot angst. Did I say hot?)
– Cynthia Hand’s The Last Time We Say Goodbye (My heart barely survived the destruction)
– Susan Dennard’s Truthwitch (Two couples: one swoony, the other one mysterious. Yummy!)
– Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life (I created a special folder for this book. It’s called “The Book That Broke Me and Left Me Angry”)
– Andrew Smith’s Winger (I was happily laughing when I read it. Then when I thought nothing could go wrong, it slapped me dead cold. I can’t even!)
– R.K. Ryals’ The Best I Could (This book has redefined the meaning of heartbreaking for me)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Melly has been writing stories for as long as she can remember, but not until 2011 did she publish her works. She writes children’s books under the name mellyberry, and novels under e. mellyberry. She used to work in school and is very passionate about education.
Melly was born in Indonesia and grew up in a multi-language environment. When she talked, she could accidentally string words from different languages into one sentence. When she does that, simply reminds her to speak properly.
Her ideal vacation always involves a beach; usually it’s the Nusa Dua beach, Bali. She spent a few years in USA to complete her Master degree. It was during that time she’d fallen madly in love with San Francisco and the Bay Area.
Here are her Informational links;