Author Melissa Carter is owner of The Wholistic Package. Melissa offers positive and empowering services to promote physical, emotional and spiritual wholeness as well as personal and professional wellness and growth. Services include Reiki, writing, mentoring/motivational speaking and inspirational apparel. Melissa works full time in marketing, is involved with several women’s networking groups and was recently named a “Woman of Distinction,” by “Women of Distinction” magazine as well as “Ms. New York, 2016,” by Woman of Achievement organization.
Bonnie Ferrante: Well, Melissa. With all that going on in your life, it’s amazing that you found time to write a picture book. Its theme certainly fits you. Your book, Little Lucky Ladybug, shows children that they are all unique and beautiful. Why did you choose to focus on this message?
Melissa Carter: I feel as though this is an extremely important message for young children and really all people. I feel that if you instill this message in children at a young age, it may carry with them throughout their lives. It’s not only to instill the message that we are all unique and to accept ourselves for who we are, but to accept other people for who they are as well.
Ferrante: Why did you use a ladybug instead of a child as a protagonist?
Carter: I love ladybugs because they represent luck and they exude a “light,” that makes people happy, especially children! Ladybugs are cheerful characters and I believe are a great representation of the message of my book.
Ferrante: Your book doesn’t just have a story. There’s more to it.
Carter: The book also includes activity pages because I wanted the book to be interactive for kids, to not only encourage literacy, but to offer additional learning tools as well.
Ferrante: Little Lucky Ladybug has received some wonderful recognition.
Carter: Yes, the book was recently listed on Pacer’s website. They are a national anti-bullying organization. It was also recently given away as “book of the week,” on Macaroni Kid’s national Facebook page.
Ferrante: How do you think parents can ensure that their children’s self-esteem remains strong into adulthood?
Carter: I believe parents can ensure their children’s self-esteem remains strong, by always encouraging them to be themselves, believe in themselves and follow their dreams. I’m fortunate to have had the support from my family and continue to have their support.
Ferrante: You have just recently started writing children’s books, having previously been a poet. Do you feel your experience as a poet has helped you writing picture books? How?
Carter: I absolutely love poetry and my writing reflects that. My book consists of rhymes and I feel like that adds to the story. I worked with an amazing illustrator, but the illustration ideas were actually my ideas. I cannot draw, but could visualize what I wanted the illustrations to look like, and I provided the illustration ideas to my illustrator and she did an amazing job, bringing them to life.
Ferrante: That would be Jeanne A. Benas.
What did you learn, while writing this book, that you did not expect?
Carter: I have always known that I have a passion for writing and that I love helping others. I learned that this book, would be the opportunity to collaborate these two things. Not only would this book be an inspiration for others to expand on their writing talents, but it would have a message of literacy, positive self-image, and anti-bullying.
Ferrante: In your opinion, what is the best piece of music ever written?
Carter: I love this question because my mom is a musician. I have always loved and continue to love music. My mom plays piano by ear, and I was always fascinated when she would play, “Flight of the Bumblebee.” I think the composition is very interesting and entertaining. A lot of my writing inspiration comes from musical lyrics. My favorite musician is Sarah McLachlan. I was always a fan of her musical poetry. I’m working on other books, however I’m also looking into lyric writing as well. Stay tuned!
Ferrante: If you could hear a speech from the leading figure in any field, who would you choose to hear?
Carter: I would love to hear a speech from Oprah regarding her journey from journalism to her current status. I’m not fascinated by her financial status, but I’m fascinated by the platform that she built and how many lives have been inspired through her involvement in the world. My own journey began in the communications field and my goal is to expand my own platform, to inspire, encourage and empower others as well. I would love to hear about her journey and her “a-ha moments,” as she refers to them.
Ferrante: If the daytime high temperature had to be exactly the same every day of the year, what would you want the temperature to be?
Carter: 78F and sunny, with no humidity (I have naturally curly hair!) I was born during a sunrise in June. I live in upstate NY and do appreciate all seasons, however if I could enjoy the sunshine and warmth, year-round, that would be great. Summer is my season! I also love being outside, whether it’s working out, kayaking, enjoying a summer breeze and I love writing at my lake house, overlooking the water. There’s a peace and calm in that and it is very relaxing, but sparks my creative thoughts as well.
Ferrante: That sounds wonderful.
Your book certainly has value, Melissa. Thank you for participating in my Three Random Questions Interview series.
Other links for Melissa Carter.
Little Lucky Ladybug will be reviewed on this blog November 11, 2016.
Note: the three random questions are from “Chat Pack – Fun Questions to Spark Conversations”.