Monday, April 29, 2013

Interview with Melody Grubb

Melody, Welcome to Homeschool Authors. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hello, my name is Melody Grubb.  I'm 23 and live with my family in north Texas, where we own some acreage and I raise meat rabbits and teach music.  We also travel playing as a family bluegrass-gospel band, sharing the Gospel and playing for churches, nursing homes, festivals, etc.  I love traveling, though at times it's not always fun being packed in a van with seven other people! :-)  When not traveling, I enjoy reading (especially history and espionage), journaling, being outside, dancing, playing piano and violin, and helping at the local crisis pregnancy center.

What is the funniest thing that happened to you in your homeschool years?
This story is partly funny because of my novice attempts at being a farm girl, but it was scary to me at the time!  When I was 14 we moved onto some land farther out in the country of north Texas.  I was excited about getting some dairy goats, a new dog to guard them, and more chickens for eggs.  One night I went to put the young hens we had been raising, back into their hen house for the night.  As I gently ushered the chickens into the house, I noticed that they were reluctant to go near the door.  As I got closer I saw what they were afraid of-- a large snake was coiled up and was at that moment enjoying a chicken for dinner!  My first thought was that I would be next.  With a shriek I ran to the house, calling out in my alarm.  When I got to the door there was no telling what the family thought I had seen.  As I stumbled into the house, I breathlessly exclaimed, "there's a snake out there!"  My brave dad and brothers went out and killed the offensive creature, and when they got back in they related to me some important information.  It was a chicken snake... perfectly harmless!  (I still loath snakes, though.)

What is your favorite historical fiction book/author and why?
John Buchan wrote some WWI espionage novels in the 1930's, and I've enjoyed reading them more than once (except for a little offensive language.)  I learned a lot about the war in Europe and was very inspired by his writing.

What caused you to start writing stories?
When my two sisters and I were younger, we would draw cartoon-like picture-stories for amusement.  My older sister and I didn't do so well on the drawing part (our younger sister is a born artist), but we continued to write stories (without the pictures) to impress each other.  Later I read all the Sherlock Holmes stories, and then got hooked on Baroness Orczy's Scarlet Pimpernel series.  I've always had an impatience for drawing-room, slow-moving stories (although we all read the Jane Austen novels with gusto) so adventure is usually the genre I end up writing in.

What inspired The Land of Calais?
If you read the answer above, you probably guessed. :-)  I wrote The Land of Calais while reading the Orczy novels, penning it in a few weeks in the heat of inspiration (...which hasn't happened since).  I wanted to put a more direct Christian theme through it, in which the Scarlet Pimpernel is more of a tool in the hand of God and the main character learns by trial and error to trust God and those He uses.    

What is it about?
The story centers around Jeanne, a young French aristocrat who is rescued from revolutionary France by the Scarlet Pimpernel and is promised that her family will soon follow her.  However, she soon finds reason to distrust the Scarlet Pimpernel (by the clever intervention of the old enemy, Chauvelin, who is well-known from the Orczy novels) and sets out to find her family herself back in turbulent France.

Who will enjoy the story?
Scarlet Pimpernel fans will enjoy reading this "new" story of the loveable legend, but any reader who enjoys historical fiction or just plain adventure will also enjoy The Land of Calais!

Where can people get it?
The Land of Calais is available for purchase from Literary Maidens Publishing, our website.

If you could travel back in time to spend a day, where and when would you go?
I would travel to WWI France in the underground.  The French people who made up the resistance were brave people and it would be exciting (and sobering) to see first-hand how they helped win their country back from the Germans.

Do you plan to write more books?
Yes.  I've taken a long break from writing books to pursue other projects, but I journal regularly and have recently started to write again in a novel I started a few years ago (yes, it is an adventure story!).

When do you find the time to write since you are on the road so much with your family's band?
Being on the road usually gives me inspiration, and more time to write than I would have at home since I don't have as many responsibilities on the road.  This month, however, I've had a desire to start writing stories again... especially since visiting Revolutionary-War battlefields and reading some true spy stories!

Do you have any final thoughts?
Jesus spoke many times in parables because, I believe, He knew how much we enjoy a good story and retain a lesson better that way.  So I wish to write some good stories with morals that will encourage and challenge the body, as I hope The Land of Calais does.  Also, check out our website at where you can browse our books and read excerpts of them on Lulu.  For more information on booking our family band, visit  God bless!

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