Here is the interview that Mrs.May gave to ABD Post

 

ABD Post: Hello, Mrs. May, we were supposed to meet today to talk about your first book. But I see that there are 3 different versions of the same book. I’d like to start our conversation by asking why your book has 3 different versions.

May: If you’d like, I can introduce myself first.

ABD Post:  Of course, please go ahead.

May: I graduated from the theater department with a specialization in playwriting. Just like how people become doctors or engineers and have a title, it’s the same for me.

Melis May ABD Post Roportaj

ABD Post:  I don’t think I’ve ever met a graduate in playwriting before.

May: Ah yes, they used to say there’s no school for writing, that being untrained is like being a muse. Writing is a mathematical job, and just like everything else, there can be schools for theater and writing.

ABD Post:  You’re right, yes, let’s get back to the first question. Why are there 3 versions of the same book?

May: First of all, I’m Turkish, but I live in America. And I’m targeting American readers as my audience. The book I wrote is a children’s theater play. We have 3 different versions of the book for 3 different types of readers.

ABD Post:  I’d like to interject here. Is your play called “The Lost City of Atlantis – Tell Me a Tale”?

Yes, we’re listening.

May: Have you ever read a theater script? Like Shakespeare’s Hamlet…

ABD Post:  I have.

May: Okay, that’s not our point. Our point is that no theater script is illustrated. But we made an illustrated book.

ABD Post:  Why is that?

May: Because American readers, if there are no illustrations, don’t show much interest in children’s books.

ABD Post:  So, if you don’t support the content with visuals, you can’t sell it, is that it?

 May: We can sell it, but we’ll sell less. We want to sell a lot. That’s why we also added a section of brain-teaser questions at the end of the book. Our goal is to encourage children to research this topic and to embed the play in their hearts…

ABD Post:  You’re right; that’s a very valid perspective. So, what is the second version for?

May: I mentioned earlier that I’m trained in this field, not self-taught. The second book can be seen as a tribute to my profession. It’s a theater play book as it should be, with character sketches, cast and crew credits for actors and the creative team, and much more. We prepared this book more for those who are professionally interested in or want to get involved in this field.

ABD Post:  I’m sorry, I didn’t quite understand. Is it for school theater groups, for example, who want to stage the play?

May: Yes, exactly.

 ABD Post:  The first book is for children, the second book is for professionals, and what about the third book? Now I’m very curious about that.

May: Our third book is a coloring and activity book that features all the characters and the world of Atlantis from the same story. With this book, we’re targeting younger readers.

ABD Post:  Ah, yes, what is the target age group for your books?

May: We have to specify an age for sales channels when we release our books. However, it’s more accurate to say it’s for ages 7 to 77. Anyone aged 7 and above can be our readers. But the coloring and activity book is for ages 3 and above. We aimed it at younger siblings who can’t read yet. One can read the book while the other colors it.

ABD Post:  Can you give us some information about the content of the book? For example, why does the play take place in the Lost City of Atlantis?

May: Certainly, actually, the answer to this question is a bit interesting. Have you ever thought about how many different topics you might have watched movies about in your life?

ABD Post:  I haven’t really thought about it. But now I am thinking. I’ve probably watched movies on about 150-200 different topics.

May: Unfortunately, that’s not the correct answer. There are only 36 topics in the world, and you’ve probably watched movies on at most 36 different topics.

ABD Post:  Really? That’s incredible. So, what’s the connection between this and your book being set in Atlantis?

May: I also chose one of these 36 topics when I was writing. I moved the setting of the play to a fantastical atmosphere just to make it more interesting.

ABD Post:  When you explain it like this, all the movies I’ve watched seem very simple to me now.

May: You’re right, but in our line of work, making the simple things is actually difficult. For example, how does this guy act, he looks just like the neighbor next door. The actor you watched and thought, “I can do that too,” is a natural actor. Well, go ahead and try it if you can.

ABD Post:  Oh, that’s very ambitious. What you’re saying applies to playwriting, then?

May: Of course, we’re talking about an art form that’s been around for 2500 years. If it were easy, everyone would be a playwright. Anyone can be a writer.

ABD Post:  It happens already.

May: But not everyone can be a playwright. For example, the play takes place in two different locations, Earth and Atlantis. We use a simultaneous staging technique. In addition to the main plot, there’s also a side plot that accompanies the story. And most importantly, some of the actors in the play are puppets.

ABD Post:  Really? That’s amazing, like the Muppet Show, Sesame Street, right?

May: Those are usually hand and human puppets, yes, we have those too. But I used different puppetry techniques for professional actors. However, school theaters or readers can buy all the costumes for our characters from Halloween costumes sold in stores. This way, children can become human puppets and turn into the play’s heroes.

ABD Post:  How do you mean? Do your costumes have them for sale?

May: Costume sales are not related to us; we currently have our own publishing house that only publishes our own books, called Mimesis Publishing. The reason all the costumes exist is because of the unlimited buying power of the American people.

ABD Post:  Yes, you can have everything here, you’re right. For example, I’m looking at the characters now. Mermaid, Octopus, Crab, Sea King, yes, the costumes for these characters are available everywhere. What is the exact subject of the book, though? It’s set in Atlantis, but the characters are quite interesting, like a cartoon.

May: Ah yes, hopefully, one day an animated film will be made from this series. As for our topic, two different children, one living on Earth and the other in Atlantis, meet in a fairy tale and the adventure begins.

ABD Post: Ah, so this is a children’s play series, right?

 May: Yes, this is a 13-book series. The book you are looking at, “The Lost City of Atlantis – Tell Me a Tale,” is the first book in the series. The French edition of the same book will be available in all French-speaking countries after January 2024. We plan to publish the second book in the series in December 2023.

 ABD Post: That’s fantastic news. You and your readers must be excited.

 May: Yes, my team and I are very excited. The second book will also be for the same age group. From the third book onwards, we will gradually increase our target age towards the teenage group.

 ABD Post: If I remember correctly, you mentioned the target age group is 7 and above.

 May: Yes, that’s correct, but the subject matter is evolving. Expectations from the book are increasing, and a readership is forming. If you stay static, you ignore the fact that readers are growing older. Our starting level is 7 years, but it will increase with each book.

 ABD Post: That’s a very nice idea, indeed. It means the topics will shift to what interests them.

 May: Yes, exactly what we want to do.

 ABD Post: Something came to mind. You mentioned that you’re writing for American readers. Is this series of plays oriented towards American life?

 May: No, we can’t exactly say that. Our theme is universal, and any child from anywhere in the world can read this book and feel the same things. People and lives may be different, but emotions are universal.

 ABD Post: They say, “The color of tears is the same everywhere,” right?

 May: Yes, that’s true.

 ABD Post: Lastly, is there anything you’d like to add for our readers? Like your website address, for example.

 May: Oh yes, that would be great. Because on our website, there are links for purchasing the book if they want to own it, and it directs them to sales channels. Our website address is: www.melismay.com

 ABD Post: I’d like to ask one more question. Is the book currently only available on Amazon?

 May: No, currently, the book is available in Kindle and Paperback versions on Amazon, and in Paperback version at Barnes & Noble. You will soon encounter it on different platforms as well. Because our team is currently working worldwide and across various platforms to bring our books to readers.

 ABD Post: Mrs Sagay, it’s been a wonderful conversation. I wish you many readers. I look forward to meeting you again in your new book.

 May: Thank you very much; it was a pleasure for me as well. I wish you success in your work.