Q: How did you think up Melonhead?
I based Melonhead on my brother, Michael, and my five Melonheaded nephews. Like them, Melonhead is full of interesting, if not well thought out, ideas. (His motto is: “Why take the sidewalk when the roof is available?”) Unlike my brother and nephews, Melonhead has a nervous mom who, as his dad says, “doesn’t understand the ways of boys.” Of course, Melonhead doesn’t understand the ways of ladies.
Q: Is it hard to write like you are a boy when you are actually a grown woman?
It was hard at first. Now I can hear Melonhead’s voice in my head. Sometimes he won’t leave.
Q: How do you think up disasters for Melonhead?
I start out with a small idea and think of ways to make it worse.
Q: Do your characters come from real people?
Many do. Lucy Rose’s grandparents, Madam and Pop, are a lot like my mom and dad. My dad is not a fan of worksheets and homework. Pop is the same way. Madam and my mom both write advice columns. Madam and Pop’s wacky Victorian house is like the one in which I grew up, but I gave Madam and Pop extra porches and a dumbwaiter that still works. Melonhead’s best friend, the real Sam Alswang, is a young and daring friend of mine. His baby sister, Julia, is also real, she’s not a baby anymore but she is still a kid. Also, the good teachers are named after the best teachers I know. The crummy ones are fiction.
Q: Did any of the disasters actually happen to you?
Our runaway hamster inspired the great guinea pig escape and rescue. I upgraded his species because guinea pigs are funnier. Also, I added the dumbwaiter adventure.
Q: Is it good to be a Melonhead?
It’s great. Melonhead is smart, an original thinker, has a good heart, is funny and has an exciting life. He is happy with himself. And why wouldn’t he be?
Melonhead and the Later Gator Plan
Melonhead and his pal Sam think that anyone who is 11 needs an allowance, but neither of their parents agree. And that's too bad because due to a mistake that happened when the boys were making a batch of Destructionator, they now have to raise some money. That's when a Brain flash of Brilliance popped into their heads, and they came up with the We-Fix-It Company.
From one fix-it adventure to the next, Melonhead and Sam will have readers laughing out loud as they keep busy with their company, while still finding time to have fun with their friends!
KATY KELLY © 2017 All rights reserved
Cover Illustrations by Gillian Johnson