Skinny Dip with Melanie Heuiser Hill

9_30RamonaWhat’s the first book you remem­ber read­ing?

Ramona the Pest. My ele­men­tary school was vis­it­ed by RIF (Read­ing is Fun­da­men­tal) twice a year — the best days of the year. You had to be in sec­ond grade to peruse the tables of nov­els that were set up in the entry-way to our school. It was enor­mous­ly excit­ing — so many to choose from! I picked that slim Ramona vol­ume from all the oth­er books piled high on the table and I read it “hid­den” in my lap dur­ing math class that after­noon. I can’t imag­ine I fooled my teacher, Mrs. Perkins, but she had com­mend­ed me on my choice ear­li­er, so per­haps she didn’t mind…even at the expense of math.

What do you wish you could tell your 10-year old self?

That some­day I would actu­al­ly love being tall. I was 5’10” at the age of ten and it was rough. I’m six feet tall now and real­ly enjoy being tall — but it took a long time to get here. I sup­pose my 10-year old self would have just rolled her eyes — what an adul­tish thing to say to a kid! But it’s true and I wish I could’ve believed it then.

What 3 children’s book authors or illus­tra­tors or edi­tors would you like to invite to din­ner?  

Only three?! Well, I’d have to have a series of din­ners, I guess. Here are two in that series: If I could invite three who are no longer liv­ing, I’d invite L.M. Mont­gomery, Arthur Ran­some, and E. L. Konigs­burg. If I had to lim­it myself to the liv­ing (rea­son­able, I sup­pose) I’d invite Vir­ginia Euw­er Wolff, Kevin Henkes, and Deb­o­rah Wiles. Now to plan my addi­tion­al din­ners….

Where’s your favorite place to read?

This week it’s my new bright red Adiron­dack chair in the gar­den. SO com­fort­able, big wide arms for a glass of iced tea and a pile of books, and beau­ty all around. It is bliss.

9_30SwallowsWhat book do you tell every­one to read?

For the last ten years I tell every­one about Arthur Ransome’s Swal­lows and Ama­zons series — most­ly because Amer­i­can read­ers have almost nev­er read it and it has been A For­ma­tive Series for my kids. It’s a series of tremen­dous adven­tures with quo­tid­i­an details — some­how a mag­ic com­bi­na­tion. Sev­er­al of the books fea­ture the Walk­er kids — four dear sib­lings who are afford­ed a tremen­dous amount of free­dom on their sum­mer hol­i­days and know just how to use it. In oth­er books in the series there are fright­ful pirates and né’er-do-wells. We have read them almost exclu­sive­ly on vaca­tions — a big nov­el each trip, me grow­ing hoarse read­ing by lantern in the tent, on pic­nic blan­kets, and in hotel rooms. The audio­books done by Gabriel Woolf are tremen­dous and hours and hours of time in the car have been filled with these books.

6 Responses to Skinny Dip with Melanie Heuiser Hill

  1. Terri Evans October 2, 2015 at 1:05 pm #

    Con­grat­u­la­tions, Melanie, on the upcom­ing pub­li­ca­tion of your new book! Awe­some!

    • Melanie October 6, 2015 at 7:19 am #

      THANK YOU, Ter­ri!

  2. Beth Braun October 3, 2015 at 7:14 am #

    Love it, Melanie! And since I am look­ing for a new audio­book at this very moment, I’m going to find Swal­lows and Ama­zons… (And Ter­ri, find me on FB!!)

    • Melanie October 6, 2015 at 7:21 am #

      Beth – the Gabriel Woolf record­ings are superb. Hard to get a hold of. I had to con­tact him – he will deal with “nice Amer­i­cans” across the pond. 😉

  3. David LaRochelle October 3, 2015 at 7:47 pm #

    I’ve added Swal­lows and Ama­zons to my “to read” list. I had a chance to meet E. L. Konigs­burg at the first LA SCBWI con­fer­ence I ever attend­ed; what a bril­liant woman and very gra­cious to me, a gush­ing fan. And I agree, being tall IS nice.

    • Melanie October 6, 2015 at 7:23 am #

      David – I think you’ll love Swal­lows and Ama­zons. I sup­posed it’s not for every­one, but I sus­pect you’ll enjoy them immense­ly. And you met E. L. Konigs­burg!!! What a thrill! We must dis­cuss this sometime…perhaps at a Tall Authors meet­ing? 😉

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