Monday, December 16, 2013

Giveaway and Interview with Author Lapo Melzi!!

Last week I reviewed the book Horse Sense by Lapo Melzi. This week I'm proud to give you an interview I did with him. As well as a giveaway!!

First, here's the interview!!

1. Where did the idea for Horse Sense come from?
Horse Sense is largely inspired by personal experience. A good eighty percent of what you read in the book actually happened. There are entire pages of dialogue that I put down exactly as I remembered. The teacher and main villain of the book I actually had and she DID do and say the things I describe in the book. And my classmates actually did behave as I tell in the book. Seems unreal, but most of it actually happened. What made me want to write this book was the desire to show people that you can defy bullying, that there is hope, that animals are a safe haven when the people around you are hurting you and that a great strength lies inside everyone. Ultimately this is an hopeful coming of age story and a story of a great friendship.

2.why have Jamie bond with a horse and not a dog, or a more simple animal?
Horses are very particular animals. They are oversensitive and they react to the slightest change in mood in their riders, so they are a great mirror, a great learning tool for anybody who wants to know himself better. It was very important in the story for Jamie to become aware of how the bullying made him feel and a horse was the best animal for the job. Also, as it is inspired by my own personal experiences, at that time horses were my main companions. Another reason why I chose a horse was that because again of that oversensitivity, a horse can get really frightened by a violent reaction from his rider and if he has as much character as Acorn has in the story, this can lead to a conflict so intense that his human companion has to change his ways if ever wants to get his friend back. A very important message that I hope comes through in the story, though, is that animals--any animal--is a safe haven when the humans around you are hurting you. Animals love differently than people and don't care about the way you look, if you're rich or poor and so on. They just love you for who you are and for how much love you give them. Furthermore since they don't speak, they oblige you to be more physical when communicating with them, which in turn is another positive aspect of the relationship with them.

3. Do you plan to do any more stories with Jamie and Acorn?
At the moment I haven't, but I could see some scenarios where Jamier and Acorn could tell other interesting stories. I have many other stories that scream to be told though, so I am itching to start writing them. At the moment, I need to decide whether I want to start working on Quigley, the story of a pet flying squirrel in New York that escapes from his apartment and with the help of an ex-experiment rat strives to free the squirrels of Central Park from the tyranny of a band of hawks. Or on Romeo Vs. Juliet, the story of what would happen if the two fated lovers actually survived. I mean they were married teenagers and crazy passionate Italians—a lit match over a tank of gasoline would be less dangerous. With the added fun of setting the story in an Italy where Renaissance and Present intermingle (basically what Italy is anyway, right? ;)

4. What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
I know many people have already said this, but it truly is the most important thing for a writer to do: write! Don't think about writing, don't dream about writing, don't talk about writing, don't plan to write. Sit down (or stand up as some authors do) and write. Devise a routing and stick to it every day for at least five days a week. Write the story you have in mind, then start rewriting it, because, well, we all think we just wrote a masterpiece when we finish the first draft, but it actually sucks. You basically just sketched the story, now you need to shape it, color it and frame it. Learn how you work and condition yourself through routine. That way, when you sit down every day at the same time, you will not have to think anymore, you'll just start writing. And trick yourself when you need to. Happy writing!

I'm so glad Lapo was able to answer some questions for the blog! I loved his answers and the make me like his book even more!! Want a copy for yourself? Easy! Just enter the giveaway below!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway