The Ink Splat is our monthly activity letter filled with inspiration sparking challenges and resources guaranteed to inspire your creativity. In this Ink Splat, the book and author spotlighted is Parched By Melanie Crowder along with an author interview! Submit a response to a challenge and you may have a chance to be published online! What are you waiting for?
The Challenge: Nature’s Power
This month’s challenge is straight from our author! Write a scene with a family (including a dog) on a walk in the park. Try the scene two ways—first from the point of view of one of the human family members, then from the dog’s point of view.
Submit your response HERE.
Do a little digging:
Animals, like people, are very different! There are tons of different breeds, and each one has different physical and personality traits. When you pick your dog for the prompt, do some research on the breed and try and include some of those details in your story.
Parched By Melanie Crowder
A mesmerizing debut about a girl, a boy, and a dog struggling to survive in a parched and barren land. Sarel is a girl with secrets. She knows which tree roots reach down deep to pools of precious water. But now she must learn how to keep herself and her dogs alive. Nandi is the leader of those dogs. She knows they can’t last long without water–and she knows, too, that a boy is coming; a boy with the water song inside him.
Musa is that boy. His talent for finding water got him kidnapped by brutal men, yet he’s escaped, running away across the thirsty land that nearly claims his life. And so Sarel, Musa, and the dogs come together in what might be their last hope of survival.
About the STORY:
Q: This is a very unique premise! What inspired it?
A: I always take inspiration for my stories from the world around me. Where I live, you don’t have to look very far to see the extremes of nature—we have wildfires and floods, droughts, and blizzards. The availability of clean drinking water is a serious problem for people in some regions of the world. I got to thinking about the children caught in that situation. What would they do? How would they survive? And the story unfolded from there.
Q: How did you come up with your character’s names?
A: No one has asked me this question before, and it’s a really good one! I think character names can set the tone for the whole story. Sometimes it’s the sound of the name that speaks to me, like Sarel, which has a sorrowful tone to it, fitting for a girl who is grieving her parents. Sometimes it’s a name’s meaning that really clicks. For example, Musa is another name for Moses. The symbolism there was too great for me to resist.
About the AUTHOR:
Q: Do you identify more with Sarel or Musa?
A: Oh, this is tough! I suppose I would have to choose Sarel because Parched began with her, and an image of her walking a dusty game track with a pack of ridgebacks surrounding her. She was filthy and all alone and so very sad. It was an image that stuck with me, and a story that demanded to be told.
Q: Are you a dog lover?
A: Absolutely! I can’t imagine life without a four-legged member in our family. In the summers, we foster dogs who need a safe place for a few weeks after they are rescued from the local shelter. It’s a great way to change my little corner of the world for the better.
More about Melanie Crowder!
Melanie’s next book, Audacity, releases in January. It’s a novel in verse about labor activist Clara Lemlich. According to Melanie, “She was an amazing young woman and I am so proud to be sharing her story with the world!”
Thanks again Melanie Crowder!