Saturday, April 29, 2017

0 Melanie J. Fishbane, author of MAUD: A NOVEL INSPIRED BY THE LIFE OF L.M. MONTGOMERY, on getting into Maud's skin

We are truly inspired to have Melanie J. Fishbane here today to share more about her debut novel MAUD: A NOVEL INSPIRED BY L.M. MONTGOMERY.

Melanie, what scene was really hard for you to write and why, and is that the one of which you are most proud? Or is there another scene you particularly love?

When I was first writing about Maud’s time in Prince Albert, I kept writing in scenes and dialogue, just to keep her out West. It was like she didn’t want to leave Saskatchewan. When I finally wrote the final scene at the end of Book Two (my book is divided into three books), I couldn’t stop crying. It was one of the more challenging scenes.

I had a lot of fun writing the letters between characters, particularly the ones between Maud and Nate in the Book One.


It took me about four and half years.

What's your writing ritual like? Do you listen to music? Work at home or at a coffee shop or the library, etc?

I have a few different writing rituals. If I’m writing at home, I sometimes light a beeswax candle to create a space and then I have a playlist that I listen to help me get into character. For Maud, I would also put my hair up in a bun so I could physically be in her skin.

Much of this novel was also written on the road. There’s this muscle memory from doing it, so all I have to do is open up my laptop or hold a pen and begin.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?

Be kind to yourself. I have a hard time with this, too. It is probably the most difficult thing you can do because things don’t work on your timeline. Stay as true to your character and their story, honor your process and find your people. But most of all, get your butt in the chair and write.


Maud: A Novel Inspired By the Life of L.M. Montgomery
by Melanie J. Fishbane
Maud book coverRazorbill Canada
Released 4/25/17

For the first time ever, a young novel about the teen years of L.M. Montgomery, the author who brought us ANNE OF GREEN GABLES.

Fourteen-year-old Lucy Maud Montgomery — Maud to her friends  — has a dream: to go to college and become a writer, just like her idol, Louisa May Alcott. But living with her grandparents on Prince Edward Island, she worries that this dream will never come true. Her grandfather has strong opinions about a woman's place in the world, and they do not include spending good money on college. Luckily, she has a teacher to believe in her, and good friends to support her, including Nate, the Baptist minister's stepson and the smartest boy in the class. If only he weren't a Baptist; her Presbyterian grandparents would never approve. Then again, Maud isn't sure she wants to settle down with a boy — her dreams of being a writer are much more important. 

But life changes for Maud when she goes out West to live with her father and his new wife and daughter. Her new home offers her another chance at love, as well as attending school, but tensions increase as Maud discovers her stepmother's plans for her, which threaten Maud's future  — and her happiness forever. 


Melanie J. FishbaneMelanie J. Fishbane holds an M.F.A. in Writing for Children and Young Adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts and an M.A. in History from Concordia University. With over seventeen years’ experience in children’s publishing, she lectures internationally on children’s literature and L.M. Montgomery, who she has been obsessed with since she first read Anne of Green Gables in Grade Six. A freelance writer and social media consultant, Melanie teaches English at Humber College. Melanie also loves writing essays and her first one, “My Pen Shall Heal, Not Hurt”: Writing as Therapy in L.M. Montgomery’s Rilla of Ingleside and The Blythes Are Quoted,” is included in L.M. Montgomery’s Rainbow Valleys: The Ontario Years 1911-1942. Melanie lives in Toronto with her partner and their very entertaining cat, Merlin. MAUD is her first novel. 


Have you had a chance to readMAUD: A NOVEL INSPIRED BY THE LIFE OF L.M. MONTGOMERY yet? What tricks do you use to get into your character's skin? Do you have a specific playlist for your novel? Share your thoughts about the interview in the comments!

Happy reading,

Emily, Jocelyn, Anisaa, Sam, Martina, Erin, Susan, Shelly, Kelly, Laura, and Lori Ann

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