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melryane

Mel Ryane

Author. Instructor. My memoir, "Teaching Will What Shakespeare and 10 Kids Gave Me That Hollywood Couldn't," comes out in August

Writers' Blog Tour, Question 3

The Writers' Blog Tour is a series of four questions answered by a writer, who then invites two more writers to answer the same questions. I've been introduced to the tour by Lauren B. Davis, author of the compelling novel "The Empty Room."

 

Lauren's website 

• Lauren's answers to the Writers' Blog Tour questions

other authors on the tour (also check #writersblogtour on Twitter): 

 

I'm posting my four answers across four different sites. Enjoy!

 

• Question 1: Why do I write what I do?

• Question 2: What am I working on?

• Question 3: How does my work differ from other work in its genre?

• Question 4: How does my writing process work?

 

3. How does my work differ from other work in its genre?

 

I have been told that Teaching Will is different because it tells more than one story. I've entwined the tale of my creating an after-school Shakespeare program with my own story of being a child, discovering the theatre, becoming an actor, then facing the painful end of that career.

 

The combining of those stories came out of a recognition that I could only be empathetic to these children if I clearly recalled my own childhood. This results in a dual narrative, not a clear-cut beginning-to-end story, not a how-to manual. Then I added a poem, which I'm told never belongs in a memoir unless the author is a poet.

 

I've also done some literary knitting in my second novel, The Novel Class, which is a contemporary tale of women in Los Angeles struggling during the recent recession. These women meet in a novel class in which they're studying Faulkner's Light in August, a story set in the Great Depression. As my modern characters struggle, they search for modes of survival much like Faulkner's characters did.

 

For someone who can't knit, I find myself twisting yarns a lot.