Author Revealed

About Melissa Anelli

Q. What is your birthdate?

A. 12/27

Q. Previous occupations

A. Editorial Assistant at MTV Networks, Reporter at Staten Island Advance

Q. Favorite job

A. This one!

Q. High school and/or college

A. Georgetown University (COL 01) and St. Joseph by the Sea on Staten Island (1997)

Q. Name of your favorite composer or music artist?

A. Gershwin and Sondheim are my loves.

Q. Favorite movie

A. The Shawshank Redemption

Q. Favorite television show

A. Right now, "Lost"

Revealing Questions

Q. How would you describe your life in only 8 words?

A. A strange mix of unpredictable and uneventful

Q. What is your motto or maxim?

A. Never do anything out of fear.

Q. How would you describe perfect happiness?

A. Comfort in family, comfort in friends, comfort in career, and comfort in pajamas.

Q. What’s your greatest fear?

A. Burning alive

Q. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?

A. Maui

Q. Which living person do you most admire?

A. Barack Obama

Q. What are your most overused words or phrases?

A. I tend to use the word "moment" a lot; I'll go through a passage looking for it specifically and delete. I also tend to stick "And" at the beginning of a sentence; I try and get rid of those too unless it's completely necessary.

Q. What do you regret most?

A. Nothing!

Q. If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?

A. Singing. I'm awful.

Q. What is your greatest achievement?

A. Recognizing and acting on my change of heart about becoming a doctor.

Q. What’s your greatest flaw?

A. I'm too passionate sometimes.

Q. What’s your best quality?

A. I know the value of hard work.

Q. If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?

A. I'd like to be a bird. The option to fly at will sounds fantastic. The eating worms part, not so much.

Q. What trait is most noticeable about you?

A. Again, my passionate nature betrays me often.

Q. Who is your favorite fictional hero?

A. Pippi Longstocking and Harry Potter

Q. Who is your favorite fictional villain?

A. I'm not sure about "favorite," but Mrs. Coulter, Voldemort, Umbridge and Saruman (not so much Sauron) are interesting to me.

Q. If you could meet any historical character, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?

A. Is the obvious answer Shakespeare? I think he's pretty much a given. He and Jesus are gimmes. To each of them I'd say, "How?"

Q. What is your biggest pet peeve?

A. Lazy grammar and punctuation in e-mails, though I admit to falling prey to this habit often.

Q. What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?

A. Journalism and writing are my only two occupations, so if you could separate one from the other I'd say reporting.

Q. What’s your fantasy profession?

A. I have it.

Q. What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?

A. Kindness, honesty and compassion.

Q. If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?

A. Um, hi, chocolate. I'd be a very happy 600 pounds.

Q. What are your 5 favorite songs?

A. Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue," Hairspray's "You Can't Stop the Beat," Sondheim's "Finishing the Hat," and the rest are changeable depending on time of day and mood.

On Books and Writing

Q. Who are your favorite authors?

A. A non-exhaustive list in no particular order: Contemporary: J.K. Rowling, Michael Chabon, Michael Cunningham, Jennifer Weiner, Dorothy Allison, Cornelia Funke, Frank Rich, Rick Riordan, Malcolm Gladwell, Anthony Sullivan Semi-contemporary and classic: Shakespeare, Edna St. Vincent Millay, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Milton, Walter Kerr, Nancy Milford

Q. Is there a book you love to reread?

A. Gatsby. It never stops offering.

Q. Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?

A. Write.

Q. What comment do you hear most often from your readers?

A. Thankfully, that my book helped them relive their time in fandom. To get that comment is a dream come true for me.

Q. How did you come to write Harry, A History?

A. I'd spent a few years inside the Harry Potter phenomenon when the idea to chronicle it first came to me. I always thought of it as a "one day" project, until I talked about it with my soon-to-be-agent, who told me why that day should be today. Two years and a whole lot of writing later, it was in stores!

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