Featured Interview With Melissa Volker
Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
I grew up in upstate New York but fled to the acting world in Manhattan like my feet were on fire when I was seventeen. That lasted through several years at NYU and a decade living the romantic, ironic, devastating, fabulous life of a starving artist. Then I decided a more sane life would be kind of awesome, so left it all and moved to Boston. I now live in Western MA with my family and two cats where we psuedo-homestead, homeschool our teenage son and I chase after the voices in my head who tell me they have things to share with the world. Oh, and I’m an enthusiast photographer, too! Somewhere in there I sleep, but not well and not much!
At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
I am the daughter of playwright/author/director father and poet mother — so you do the math! Books and plays go hand-in-hand and writing became a natural extension of acting (and a good replacement for all that creative energy when I left that world!). I wrote as a young adult — a novel (it was terrible), then another when I fell in love with Anne Rice and all her terribly dramatic and self-loathing vampires, but my first novel, “Delilah of Sunhats and Swans” came about much later, after journals of short stories, little snippets, a collection of short-shorts spawned by my crazy depressing and sometimes inspiring life in NYC. Those actually became a published collection (Still, Life: a collection of echoes) after my first novel.
Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
My first love is literary fiction. Words are music to me and the rhythm, cadence, and tone of the words themselves are as important to creating the mood, sense, and feel of the story as the overall narrative and the plot itself. So I’ve always been drawn to lyrical, poetic writers such as Anne Lamott, Ann Patchett, W.P. Kinsella, Harlen Ellison…I could go on forever! The shorts stories I write are really vignettes and I found my love of that by reading Raymond Carver’s “Where I’m Calling From”. He’s a master at capturing the essence of a moment, snatching it out of the air and distilling it down to its purest truths — he taught me to delve deep and show the hardest and the most beautiful moments.
Tell us a little about your latest book?
My most recent book is a departure from my first love of literary fiction. While I approach it the same way, I waded into YA genre fiction with a supernatural/soft sci-fi novel called “Anabelle, Lost” and a magical realism novella that explores the experience of social/general anxiety called “HIDDEN: an impossible story”. Both came surprisingly quickly to me considering the genre is out of my wheelhouse. So it was scary and fun and intimidating. But I also discovered how much I LOVE writing for that age range. Mid to older teens are going through so much, and to talk to them after they’ve read something that inspired them, moved them, jazzed them — wow — it’s a high, and I love talking with them.
Just prior to that, though, I answered the call from fans of my debut literary novel, “Delilah of Sunhats and Swans” who told me they had never read a book that moved them so and when was I going to write something else like it, by publishing a novella called, “a life undone”, which is an exploration of the sensitive soul of a creative, trying to find her way in a world that is often harsh and unforgiving. It’s told through both narrative, journal entries by the main character, poems written by her, and in the end becomes an epistolary novel (there’s a word! I love that word and it in case you aren’t familiar with it, it means ” a novel told via correspondence letters”).
Connect with the Author on their Websites and Social media profiles