All Member Spotlights
Member Spotlights

Member Spotlight: Mélina Mangal

author Melina Mnagal and an image of her book Jayden's Secret Ingredient

Why is writing important to you and why do you think it’s an important medium for the world? Writing allows my dreaming self to linger in the daylight, to merge shadows and light into promise. I write to connect: to people, nature, and ideas. I write to inspire and ignite fires of possibility and promise in young people.

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer’s block? I listen to music—something new or different—and write whatever dances into my mind. I open up a book of poetry, and start reading aloud. I go for a walk—the longer the better—and record everything I notice.

What is your favorite time to write? Before the sun comes up is best, but I also write well in the late afternoons and before bed when I get a second wind.

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received and would like to impart to other writers? “Love the work and not the rewards. Love conceptualizing the story. Love sitting in the sun or in a bar and imagining the characters, the way they look, how they speak; listen to them inside you late at night. Love writing your story and rewriting it. Be so enthralled with your flow of written words that you hardly finish one book before you begin dreaming about writing another. The work is all that is guaranteed.” —Bebe Moore Campbell

What excites you most about being a writer in today’s age? I’m excited that the importance of stories from a wide range of voices is being recognized, and that the power of our words is reaching those who need them. Young readers who felt ignored before are being seen and heard.

Mélina Mangal’s Jayden’s Secret Ingredient, illustrated by Ken Daley, is out now with Free Spirit Publishing.