Flying in a Cage (US Only)
by: Melody J. Bremen
Release Date: March 26, 2018
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
About the Book:
A song tugs inside me,
like a string pulling on my heart.
It wants to fly free.
Ivory Strade lives in a world of song.
As she goes to school, as she eats breakfast, as she walks down the road, she creates melodies in her mind. Every sound she hears - a distant birdsong, the wind in the trees - becomes a symphony.
No one knows about her music because Ivory is not like other ten-year-olds. When people speak to her, it's difficult for her to untangle the words in her mind and she retreats into her own private world.
Without the words to explain what she hears, the music stays trapped inside her until, one day, an amazing music teacher shows her how to set her music free.
Fans of Sharon Draper's Out of My Mind and Ellie Terry's Forget Me Not will enjoy this novel-in-verse that follows a young girl who finds her place despite being different.
About the Author:
Melody J. Bremen spent most of her childhood in her imagination. She has written several novels for middle grade readers and one young adult fantasy novel, The Prince of Korin. She lives in New Jersey with her family and a faithful computer named Oswald. Visit her website at www.melodyjbremen.com to learn more.
Who is your favorite character in the book?
Miss Reeves, the teacher who is the first to tap into Ivory's potential, has a special place in my heart. She is unique because she doesn't only do what she has to do, or what she's paid to do. She goes above and beyond to do what she felt her student needed. She is what I think every teacher can be: someone with the power to impact a child's life an a very powerful way.
Which came first, the title or the novel?
Definitely the novel. The title went though a few iterations until I found the right one. Originally it was called "The Sound of Wind Chimes," then that was shortened to "Wind Chimes." That whole line of thinking was scrapped and I switched to "Can't Fly in a Cage," which came from a line in the story. That was flipped around to "Flying in a Cage." I was well into the editing process by the time I settled on the title.
Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now?
One of the things that was really difficult for me way back when I started writing (before I was anywhere near being published) was accepting criticism. I had a hard time understanding that just because everything made sense and sounded good in my head, that didn't mean it translated well for the reader. Over the years, I've become a lot better at listening to critique without taking it personally. I'm at the point where I love to hear constructive criticism so much, I get excited about it. I know it will make my story better.
What do you like most about the cover of the book?
I love how the rays of light and the floating music notes look like how I imagine the protagonist, Ivory, sees the world. It's like you're getting a glimpse into her head.
What was your favorite book in 2017?
The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill was one of the most memorable books I read in 2017. It's so magical and beautifully written. I recommend it to everyone of all ages, particularly those who enjoy fairy tales.
Which character gave you the most trouble when writing your latest book?
Ivory's mom was a hard character to get right. I needed her to be flawed without becoming a "villain". It needed to be clear that her heart was in the right place even if she made some wrong choices. I ended going back after I wrote the first draft to edit a lot of her dialogue to help keep that balance.
Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more: Drafting or Revising?
Drafting is my favorite part. I love creating characters and writing fun dialogue. Going back and fixing up all the issues? Not as much fun.
Is there an organization or cause that is close to your heart?
I really admire the efforts of SBSK, which stands for Special Books by Special Kids. They feature interviews with different people from all around the globe (mostly children, but adults as well) who have different diagnoses. They help spread awareness about different syndromes, some rare, some more common, such as dwarfism, cerebral palsy, and autism. You can see these interviews on their YouTube channel.
What’s up next for you?
I am currently working on a middle grade road trip novel called Plan B. It is the companion novel to one of my other books, Room 42. I also plan to begin working on the sequel to my young adult fantasy novel, The Prince of Korin, very soon.
What would you say is your superpower?
I don't drink coffee. I just get up and go.
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