#Wednesdays are for Writers: 15 Questions with Meredith Mast – Author of the Children’s Book: Willow Rose Learns Honesty (Storybook Virtues)

SOOP asked our Dear Author Meredith Mast 15 Questions, to know more about her writing journey and the correlation of her passion for writing and dancing.

Question 1. Where are you from?
Meredith’s Answer:

I was born in Bermuda and spent most of my childhood in Miami, FL. I moved to Houston, Texas, at the age of 16 to dance with the Houston Ballet. I met my husband in Austin, Texas, and we moved to Wisconsin (where he was raised).

Question 2. Tell us a little about your self ‘ie your education Family life etc’.
Meredith’s Answer:

I danced with the Houston Ballet from age 17 to age 22. I then decided to pursue a college education and moved to Austin. I earned my Bachelor of Liberal Arts (Psychology)  from the University of Texas at Austin. There I met my husband, Jeff. We lived briefly in California and then moved to Wisconsin when we decided to marry. We have four boys (ages range from 11-17) and we live out in the country north of Madison, WI.

Question 3. Tell us your latest news?
Meredith’s Answer:

My latest news is that I published my first book, Willow Rose Learns Honesty, with SOOP in 2018. I have been spreading the news of my book by reading at elementary schools and dancing the story within my ballet school, Storybook Ballet.

Question 4. When and why did you begin writing?
Meredith’s Answer:

My mother and I decided to collaborate and create a series of children’s books that could, initially, be danced within my ballet school. Each story would not only lend itself to movement, but the story would incorporate a message or a virtue.

Question 5. When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Meredith’s Answer:

I first considered myself a writer when Willow Rose was published!

Question 6. What inspired you to write your first book?
Meredith’s Answer:

At my ballet school, we read fairytales within our classes for 3-6 year olds. My mother and I decided to write our OWN stories- stories that incorporated a virtue such as honesty, patience, kindness, etc- but that also tied in imagination and movement. The stories would be colorful, concise, and have a clear message. We feel that with dancing, telling the story, and acting out the virtue- our students will gain a better understanding of the virtue.

Question 7. Do you have a specific writing style?
Meredith’s Answer:

We have written our books with children in mind (ages 2-7).

Question 8. How did you come up with the title?
Meredith’s Answer:

We came up with the title as our main character is a rose bush, and we thought Willow Rose had a nice sound to it. The main message of the story is how Willow learns the importance of being honest- and we wanted that to be conveyed in the title.

Question 9. Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp?
Meredith’s Answer:

We hope that children will grasp the importance of telling the truth.

Question 10. How much of the book is realistic?
Meredith’s Answer:
It is a children’s fairytale…it is imaginative and creative!
Question 11. Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Meredith’s Answer:

No- it is not based on someone I know or an experience I had. We are just hoping to teach the children about being honest.

Question 12. Do you see writing as a career?
Meredith’s Answer:

My mother has always dabbled in writing and has always enjoyed the writing process. I have enjoyed writing here and there but did not initially envision it as a career.

Question 13. Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Meredith’s Answer:

Our interest in writing these books originated from my ballet classes and my hope of teaching our students not only about ballet, but about virtues as well.

Question 14. Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Meredith’s Answer: 

It was challenging to keep the writing simple and the word choice simple such that it would appeal to a young child.

Question 15. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Meredith’s Answer:

We have learned that writing a book is the easy part! The hard part is getting the book published and then marketing the book!

Willow Rose Learns Honesty is available on
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