What Would You Do? by Melanie Cannon is an uplifting and and inspirational picture book for the big kid in all of us!
Title: What Would You Do?
Author: Melanie Cannon
Genre: Uplifting Poetry/ Graphic Novel/ Picture Book for Grown Ups
Length: 33 Pages
Available in paperback from Amazon and on Kindle!
Synopsis from Goodreads
Have you ever been asked what you/d do if you knew you couldn’t fail? Are you still wondering what you want to be when you grow up- even if you’re closer to collecting social security than to high school graduation? This book is for you! It explores that common question in a wise and whimsical manner that will inspire and motivate you to find and follow your dreams!
My Review of What Would You Do?
I stumbled across the work of Melanie Cannon on Twitter . As soon as I saw the bright and happy cover for What Would You Do? I just had to download it and read it right away. Even as an adult, i still find picture books to be delightful and I find the concept of a picture book for grown ups to be just brilliant.
Cannon writes in a style that reminds me of one of my favorite poets from my childhood, Dr. Seuss. The entire book is told in rhyme and the words fit perfectly with the illustrations.
The artwork is bright and colorful. Each illustration is full of life and each picture perfectly illuminates the text. I started my morning reading this book and it put a smile on my face for the rest of the day.
What Would You Do? includes a powerful message that is important for everyone to hear: This world needs you in it. You have value and you have worth. Although this is a secular book for adults, it is one that children could enjoy alongside their parents. It might also be a fun and creative little book to use with a youth group.
I have some very close friends who suffer from anxiety and depression. I think that a copy of this book would a perfect gift to make them smile. I recommend this book to anyone who could use a little lighthearted and uplifting inspiration in our lives!
My Interview with Melanie Cannon
Rev. Rebecca: I really enjoyed your book! From the moment I saw it on Twitter, I knew that I had to purchase it. I downloaded it to my Kindle app and read it right away. It put a smile on my face for the rest of the day. A picture book for adults is such a clever idea. What inspired you to write a picture book for adults?
Melanie Cannon: I was looking for a format to share my whimsical poems that are inspired by Dr. Seuss. Most poets publish volumes containing several poems. But I still frequently read Dr. Seuss’ books, particularly “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” and I thought my work was suited to be shared in the same illustrated format, just aimed primarily at adults.
Rebecca: I really enjoy your artistic style. It is so vivid and full of life. Can you speak a little bit about your artistic process? What techniques or technology do you use in order to draw your pictures? What other artists inspire you?
Melanie: Sadly, I cannot take credit for the illustrations in my book. I self-published through Balboa Press, and one of their illustrators drew the pictures. I agree that they are vivid and full of life! I was able to describe the images I wanted for each block of text, and honestly, I couldn’t have asked for better artwork to accompany my words.
Rebecca: How long did it take to write a picture book for adults? What came first- the pictures or the words? Could you share a little bit about your writing process?
The words came first, and then someone at Balboa drew the pictures to go with them, with direction from me. I’ve written several other poems in this general style, and usually one pair of rhyming lines comes to me, and the rest of the poem grows from there. They honestly only take me about as much time as is required for my hand to write the words on the page. I know this is cliché, but it’s almost like they’re being dictated from somewhere else inside my brain, and I just take them down.
Rebecca: I love that your book is written in verse. What made you decide to present your story in rhyme?
Melanie: That’s just how it came to me. I do think this could be in large part to how much Dr. Seuss inspires me. I’ve been writing rhyming poetry for as long as I can remember.
Rebecca: What do you like to read when you feel as if you need some inspiration? Are you a fan of any other picture books for adults that you would like to recommend?
Melanie: Most of the adult picture books I know of are more from the humor genre, often parodies of children’s books that were popular when I was little. Go the F*ck to Sleep! is one, of course. I do find that one funny even if I don’t have children so can’t entirely relate to the frustration of a kid who won’t go to sleep. Are You My Boyfriend? is another that’s relatable for anyone navigating the modern world of dating.
For inspiration, I usually turn to Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy, also known as SARK. Her book Succulent Wild Woman is one of my all-time favorites. I first discovered her thanks to her “How to Be an Artist” poster which was hanging in the art department at my university. It was a particular thrill to have her endorse my book!
Rebecca: Are you working on any other projects at the moment? Do you plan on writing another book in the future? Will it be a picture book, or something else entirely?
Melanie: I have several more poems in the vein of What Would You Do? that would work well as picture books. I am honestly waiting to see what the sales are going to be like for my first one, though, because it’s a considerable investment to pay someone to do illustrations. That’s not a complaint – artists deserve to be compensated for their work. But like most people, I can’t afford to engage in creative endeavors that end up in a large financial net loss.
I have written a novel that I do hope to publish, whether traditionally or self-publishing. THE DARK SIDE OF GRACE is the story of Grace Kelly Quinn, a public defender who is appointed to represent Allen Davis, a man who has confessed to molesting his children. When Davis recants his confession, Grace is tasked with mounting a defense for a man she believes to be a monster. The case dredges up her own past trauma, and the conflict between her obligations as a lawyer and wanting to keep Davis behind bars takes a devastating toll on Grace’s relationship with her best friend (or maybe more) Ronan, her health, and even her sanity. When it looks like she is going to get Davis acquitted, she makes a desperate choice to save his children – and herself. Along the way, she discovers that she has to confront her own past if she’s going to have any hope for a future.
This is obviously a very different “feel” than What Would You Do? My inspirations for this book, and its sequel THE REALIZATION OF GRACE which is well under way, are John Grisham and the Lisbeth Salander/Millenium series by Stieg Larsson and now David Lagercrantz. My cat is actually named Lisbeth Salander. (I’m attaching a picture of her as well, just for fun.)
Website: Melanie’s Website
Facebook: Melanie Canonnon Author