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  • Writer's pictureLittle Thoughts Press

Interview: Melody Serra


illustration of a person on a couch with a dog and a Christmas tree in the background

 

Melody Serra is passionate about teaching and empowering others by sharing what she has learned. She started a JavaScript class at the Boys and Girls Club of Visitacion Valley and an arts and crafts program at a children's hospital. Melody hopes to inspire youth to explore and expand their creativity through web development, writing, and art.

Melody’s artwork is part of Little Thoughts Press Issue One: Magical Winter.


 

Little Thoughts Press: You are both a writer and an artist. In what ways are these two forms of creative expression similar for you? How does your artistic expression inform your writing and vice versa?

Melody Serra: Both forms of expression ask me to pause and reflect. These forms of expression also encourage me to ask lots of questions, such as: How does something make me feel? What did that observation make me think of or reminisce on?

Being a visual artist helps me bring in sensory descriptions when I am writing, and being a writer encourages me to think about how something makes me feel when I am bringing a painting to life. Little Thoughts Press: Can you tell us a little bit about how you created your illustration that appears in Magical Winter? What is the medium? What is your process for moving from an image in your mind to a completed work of art?

Melody Serra: The illustration that appears in Magical Winter was created digitally using Procreate. How I create really depends on if I know what I want to draw or if I am free drawing. I will walk you through my process if I know what I want to draw: when I want to create something visual whether it's on paper or on a screen, I spend some time reflecting. What are the emotions and feelings I want to capture in this piece? That question then leads me to conceptually think about what kind of imagery may depict that emotion or feeling. I then may do some sketching before actually jumping into the piece itself. Little Thoughts Press: Which kid lit authors and books were your favorites growing up?

Melody Serra: Growing up I was a big fan of A.A. Milne's Winnie the Pooh series and poems. I also loved authors like Eric Carle who used visuals in powerful ways. If I had to choose one favorite book that I could read over and over again, it would have been The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister. Once I was reading chapter books I also really enjoyed the Harry Potter series and anything by Beverly Cleary. Little Thoughts Press: And what about today? Any kid lit writers you love and want to shout out?

Melody Serra: A good friend of mine named Anna Doherty who is based in Cambridge, UK is a kid lit writer and illustrator. Her books are so clever, witty, fun, and beautiful. Little Thoughts Press: What is your favorite thing about winter?

Melody Serra: I am new to New York City and my favorite thing so far about winter is the first snow of the season. There was something beautiful and magical about how the light made the snow look blue, and how families were out in Central Park with sleds. Little Thoughts Press: What advice would you give to young writers?

Melody Serra: If you have a story to share, don't be afraid to put it out in the world. I am a firm believer that your audience will find you and that the story you're telling will have an impact on them. Little Thoughts Press: Is there anything else you wish I had asked? Any upcoming projects, publications, or other news you'd like to share?

Melody Serra: I want to thank the young people I volunteer with through 826 National and Girls Write Now. They inspired me to start submitting my work and to put it out in the world. My work in Magical Winter is some of my first artwork ever published and that is such an honor.


You can find Melody and follow her work on Twitter.


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