Wednesday, 11 January 2012

VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR: Six Weeks To Yehidah by Melissa Studdard

Sorry pretty late in posting this but lets welcome Melissa Studdard who is touring for her book SIX WEEKS TO YEHIDAH and its companion book MY YEHIDAH via Tourz de Codex.

About The Author
Melissa Studdard is the author of the bestselling novel Six Weeks to Yehidah, which also won the 2011 Forward National Literature Award for Middle Grade Chapter Books. She is also a professor, a book reviewer at-large for The National Poetry Review, a contributing editor for both Tiferet Journal and The Criterion, and the host of the radio interview program Tiferet Talk. As well, she is a member of many literary organizations, including the National Book Critics Circle and the Society of Childrens Book Writers and Illustrators.

She loves anything related to writing and reading, whether it's sitting alone with a book and a cup of hot tea, or attending a large poetry reading or literary festival. She also loves travelling, meditating, going for walks, bicycling, practicing yoga, and spending time with family.

She currently resides in Texas with her wonderful daughter and their four sweet but mischievous cats.

Find Melissa here:-

Her official website


Move over, C.S. Lewis; Melissa Studdard is here! Annalise of the Verdant Hills is one of the most delightful protagonists to skip through the pages of literature since Dorothy landed in Oz. Join Annalise and her two walking, talking wondersheep as they travel to ever more outlandish places and meet outrageous and enlightening folk on their journey to discover interconnectedness in a seemingly disconnected world. Discover with them how just one person can be the start of the change we all strive for. A book for all ages, for all time: wonderful, wacky, and bursting with truth!


Bursting at the seams with joy and truth, My Yehidah leads you through one of the most important adventures you can take--the journey to the center of your very own self.

Filled with writing and drawing prompts and beautiful illustrations to color, this book is the perfect jump start for meaningful, creative exploration for people of all ages.

My Yehidah can be done alone or along the novel Six Weeks to Yehidah.


A delightful read, Annalise and her two pet sheep, Mabel and Mimi caught in a flash flood and transported to the land above the clouds find more that they ever bargained for…..there is a land beyond the clouds. From Bob, a man made of light, to Hagski, a nasty bag lady who likes to make rules, to a shaman named Tony and his wise mother Kàna. Here, too, they find that animals talk and musical instruments sprout from the ground like corn. Annalise visits islands and special gardens and a tunnel through the ocean, all the while learning lessons about herself and the nature of the universe. But at last she must decide whether she wants to stay there or return home.

The author weave an enchanting tale that I guarantee will have a great effect on all of us in one way or another.


Q. Tell us something about yourself.
I’m super active in the literary world as an editor, a reviewer, a talk show host, a professor, and, obviously, a writer. I’m also a single mom, so I’m pretty busy. But I love, love, love reading and writing, and I will always make time for them, no matter how busy I am.

Q: It is often said that if you can write a short story you can write anything. How true do you think this is, and what have you written that either proves or disproves this POV?
Very interesting question.I do know authors who say they can only write short fiction, but I, personally,enjoy writing across the genres, and I believe that experience writingstories can create a skill set that enhances ability in other genres, if the person is so inclined.

Q: How do you research for a book before you begin the writing process?
Because I write about subjects I’m interested in, the research happens naturally through the course of living. In Six Weeks to Yehidah, for instance, there’s a lot of Native American imagery and symbolism which were already in my mind from the traveling and reading I’ve been doing for several years. I also Google all sorts of things right in the middle of the writing process.

Q: What is the best part of writing for you?
The best part to me is the discovery. Every time I write, I learn about myself, others, and the world. It’s exhilarating.

Q: Did you always have in mind to be a writer, or did it just happen?
I’ve always been an avid reader. As a kid, I read massive tomes like War and Peace instead of watching television. Back then it never occurred to me that I could write books too, but over time I started to realize that there were real, living people writing books. Once I grasped that writing wasn’t just some archaic ritual performed by people who have been dead for centuries, I grabbed a pen and got started.

Q: Can you tell us a little bit about your book?
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.

Q: How would you describe SIX WEEKS TO YEHIDAH and MY YEHIDAH in a sentence? 
Through the story of Annalise in Six Weeks to Yehidah, and the prompts and activities in My Yehidah, readersare guided on a journey towards wholeness and self-discovery.

Q: How did the idea of writing SIX WEEKS TO YEHIDAH spring up in your mind?
I was in a wonderful critique and writing group in which we took turns assigning prompts each month. One woman asked us to read The Oxford Book of Modern Fairy Tales and write our own short tale. It turned out that I was so compelled by the voice and characters I’d created that I kept writing and writing until I realized I was no longer working on a short story. I was writing a novel.

Q: When you sit down and write do you know how the story will end or do you just let the pen take you? I.E., do you develop character profiles and outlines for your novels before writing them or do you let your ideas develop as you write?
I’m not a big planner as a writer. I like to create characters and throw them into situations and see what happens. I may know the ideas I want to convey, but I leave it up to the characters to drive the plot through action.

Q: In your opinion, what are the best and worst aspects of writing for a living?
The best aspect is getting to do what you love on a daily basis. Work is a huge part of where we spend our time, so if you can enjoy what you do for a living,it contributes to leading happy life. I’d say the worst part is the frustration: writer’s block, trying to place material with a publishing house or magazine, and so forth. The positives outweigh the negatives by far for me, though.

Q: How similar to its principle protagonist and the main cast are you?
The funny thing about my characters is that each one is a mix of different people I know. So, all of my characters have a little of me in them, and none of them are fully me. It’s a fascinating part of my creative process—seeing how this blending of features from different people will take shape. It’s all very organic in the moment of writing. I don’t even realize it usually. Then when I look at the finished piece, I say, “Oh, that’s where that trait came from!”

Now some simple questions and more fun^^

-Your favourite books and author?
I have a few favorites that I could pick, but right now I’d have to say Gabriel GarcíaMárquez is my favorite author, and One Hundred Years of Solitude is my favorite book by him.Every sentence he writes simultaneously breaks my heart and exalts me to wonder. His imagination is unparalleled, and his understanding of the human condition is genius. He is a complete original.

-Your favourite band/singer?
Billie Holiday. I tried to train myself to sing like her, but somehow it just didn’t work out. Maybe I’ll keep trying. J

-Twitter or Facebook?

-Favourite place in the world?
Ithaka, Greece. I can understand why Odysseus was desperate to get home. The waters surrounding the island are so gorgeous. In one patch, you’ll find a deep, cerulean blue, in another a pale aqua, and in yet another, shimmering green. The island itself is beautiful, as well, and the people are kind and down to earth. The food is also delicious and healthy.

-Last movie you watched at the cinemas?
Avatar. That was a beautifully done movie. I would love to see the magical lands of Six Weeks to Yehidah portrayed so well.

-The last book you read?
Apricots from Chernobyl by JosipNovakovich. It’s a marvelous collection of narrative essays about life in two different countries: the former Yugoslavia and America.

-Have you ever googled yourself?
Yes – I periodically do – I like to know what’s out there.

-If you weren’t a writer, what you would be?
Probably a librarian. I’ve always had a fantasy about spending my days literally surrounded by books. I like everything about books, even the way they smell.

-And last one....print or ebooks?
Print. I feel like I spend my life hunched over the computer as it is—writing and grading papers. When I read for pleasure, I just want to look away from the screen for a bit. And, as you may have gathered from my answer above, I also enjoy the sensory experience of holding a book in my hands.

Q: The covers of both books are really awesome. Did you have any input in the process?
Yes—fortunately, the cover designer wanted a great deal of input and allowed me to look the cover over step by step. I agree that he did a fantastic job.

Q: What advice would you like to give budding authors or those who want to start writing?
First of all, you should always remember that you’re the only person who can speak your truths, and you are worthy of being heard. Secondly, be patient and keep after it and write without ridiculous expectations. Sometimes your writing won’t be good, but you have to write through that to get to the good stuff. Quitting writing won’t fix anything. Don’t be wary of writing the bad stuff. Just laugh at it, think of it as practice, don’t show it to anyone if you don’t feel like it, and keep writing until the good stuff starts flowing again. Just do not stop writing. The most important thing is to keep doing it against all the odds, obstacles, doubts, and insecurities. Those who keep after it are the ones who succeed. I’ve seen it over and over again with my writer friends.


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