This is usually the time that I tell you how much I love the author that’s answering my 20 questions, or how we met, but this time I’m taking over.
I’ve throughly enjoyed reading my friends answers, because they all have done it so differently. Honestly I didn’t expect them to put so much thought into their answers, or trying to figure out the ‘right’ answer, when in fact there is not right or wrong. I intended for the author to interpret the questions however they wanted to, not for my ‘permission’ on how to answer. Therefore I did cheat on pretty much all of the questions (if there is a way to cheat on questions that don’t lead to a grade).
So thank you to all of the authors that I’ve highlighted before, not only for being good sports, witty, and insightful, but for being my friend.
The first time I remember saying that I wanted to be an author was when I was about eleven or twelve. I never imagined that people would really read my stuff, I mean at least not while I was alive. Sylvia Plath has always been a favorite of mine, hence naming my publishing company Mad Girl’s Publishing after her poem ‘Mad Girl’s Love Song’.
I am very happy to announce that I’ve publishing my first book-which will be officially released on August 24 at River Oaks Bookstore. I hope that you’ll join me to celebrate the release of ‘Everything That Counts’ from 4-6 pm.
I don’t really know what else to say-other than that writing isn’t something ‘fun’ for me-it’s a necessity due to the people that live out their lives in my head. Thankfully at least some people like to join me on the journey – thank you for that.
So without further adieu I answer the infamous 20 questions
Twenty Questions With…Melissa Algood
- Every writer has that one book that made him or her want to be a writer, what’s yours? ‘Watership Down’ by Richard Adams. I remember reading the introduction (yes I’m such a dork I read the introduction to novels) in which he said that the story of Fiver and Hazel was originally something he told his daughters as he put them to bed and they begged him to write it down. Also ‘Fool On A Hill’ by Matt Ruff-it throughly transported me and I wanted to take a ride like that as often as possible.
- How old where you when you started writing? Young, maybe 11. In middle school a tutor mentioned how detailed a piece I wrote for English was (I described a door creaking open as if a rat were being crushed in the frame). I also wrote little short stories for my first boyfriends mother (a dramatized version of a woman crossing the street was my first). In high school I pledged to write a poem a day which helped me the most overall, and I still read the poems if I want to go back in time.
- Name four authors that you’d love to have lunch with. Richard Adams, Matt Ruff, Nicola Yoon, and Courtney Summers.
- What would you eat? Probably not rabbit…I’m picturing a sleep over environment which includes pizza and sodas.
- How do you plot out your work? I usually don’t. I get a scene in my head, and I’ll play it over and over again until it is as clear as an Oscar winning film and then I write it. Although this often causes a lot of work once I’m ‘done’ with the first draft so from now on I really need to do an outline first (but I did do that for ‘The Bakery Assistant’ which I have yet to complete and I lost the outline).
- Do you write in the morning or evening? Whenever I can, but usually after I’ve had my coffee. But I have written many a scene while a color client of mine has been processing (I’m a hairstylist in ‘real’ life)
- Is there music on? This is the most important part of the writing process for me-I will spend more time on a playlist then virtually any other planning of a piece. It will get so intense that a song will forever be intertwined with a character or scene. I have posted the playlists for ‘Blood On The Potomac’ and ‘Everything That Counts’ on this blog.
- What inspired your last story? A client inspired ‘Everything That Counts’ but I’ve been working on a lot more short stories which seem to be inspired by the copious amount of true crime podcasts I listen to (My Favorite Murder, Up And Vanished, Serial, Undisclosed, True Crime Garage, Last Podcast On The Left)
- Name three books so good you wish you wrote them. ‘All The Rage’ by Country Summers and ‘Thirteen Reasons Why’ by Jay Asher because both stories are so fucking important for everyone on Earth to read especially young adults. ‘All The Rage’ is so poetically written although the content is something most people won’t read because it’s a difficult topic. Similarly Asher’s novel does shine a light on many things that American society wants to put in the dark and he does it so intelligently that you’re enraptured. ‘The Sky Is Everywhere’ by Jandy Nelson is achingly beautiful more like an epic poem, or a song, than a novel. And I wish I could create another world like George R.R. Martin, but I can’t plan ahead that well.
- What television shows, movies, or albums do you believe are written well? ‘The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’, ‘House of Cards’, and ‘Master of None’ on Netflix. I’m also the biggest fan of ‘Breaking Bad’, ‘Sons of Anarchy’ (which I binge watched while writing ‘Everything That Counts’), and ‘The Sopranos’ and my all time favs ‘Daria’ and ‘My So-Called Life’ and ‘Lost’ (which I binged while writing ‘Blood On The Potomac’). As far as films I love ‘Donnie Darko’ although I’m not really sure what happened, and anything by Wes Anderson.
- Which actor would you cast in the protagonist role of your most recent piece? I kinda like Miles Teller for Blake, but I’m not sure if he’s tall/lanky enough…maybe he’s more of a Nat Wolff. Rachel Hurd-Wood or Daisy Lewis for Sophie, Britt Robertson for Zoe.
- Which of your pieces was the hardest to write? I would say all of them, but for different reasons. ‘The Bakery Assistant’ needs more research (so if you’re a lawyer on the east coast lemme know) ‘WinterGull Lane’ because it took me to such a dark place.
- Which was the easiest? Most of my short stories are quick as lightening, which might be why I write them so much more often.
- Which of your pieces did readers ‘get’ when they told you their thoughts on it? ‘The End’ is a short story I won an award for about a young boy who grows up during the apocalypse. I didn’t get hung up on how it all went down, but what it’s like to actually live after everyone else is dead. At a book release the wife of another author told me that she loved that George still found it important to look at the artwork that still existed on the walls of the hotels in Las Vegas, because what’s the point of living if you don’t have the opportunity to enjoy art.
- What are you working on now? The novels that I mentioned before, and to write enough short stories to publish my collection called ‘Everyone Dies’.
- What story do you have to write before you die? All of them
- What’s your best fan story? When I sold an anthology to a teenage girl at a Comic Con in Houston and she shared with me her journal of poetry that she carries with her, then later that day came by to told me how much she loved my story. Or when I read my piece ‘Thomas’ at the Spider Road Press award ceremony and one of my friends told me that it was the only piece that made her cry.
- What sentence have you written that you feel encapsulates your style? ‘We trudged onto the darkened stage covered in blood and glitter.’ from the story ‘Even Aliens Watch Reality T.V.’ my man’s favorite story that I’ve ever written.
- Have you ever based characters off of real people? There are attributes that are based off real people, and I talk a lot so I listen to how people talk and infuse that into my work. So yes, but not enough to have anyone worry.
- Who’s your favorite character? I’m gonna cheat and say that I have a fav from each piece-Samantha Locke ‘Blood On The Potomac’, Blake Morgan ‘Everything That Coutns’, Claire Fisher ‘The Bakery Assistant’, and Stormy O’Dell ‘WinterGull Lane’