Mel Rosenberg has written dozens of illustrated children's books which are all available for free as e-books at www.ourboox.com, a self-publishing website and community which he co-founded two years ago. He recently had two book exhibitions, at the Holon Institute of Technology and at the Dimona municipality. He is also a professor of microbiology and a jazz singer and musician.
When did you decide to become a writer?
I started writing for children in my early twenties. I quickly realized that it could not turn into a lucrative profession, so I chose an academic career and wrote in my spare time.
So, what have you written?
I have written oodles of illustrated picture books for young children, including "Bacteria Galore by Sunday at Four", "The Football and the Tree", "Why I love yogurt", "The Smell Dragon", "Gloomeris the Serious Laughing Hyena Meets Dr. Cluck" and many more. I have also written satirical books, how-to books and over a hundred scientific articles, chapters, research books and patents.
What are you working on at the moment?
I have several stories in the oven right now, one about smiling.
How much research do you do?
After spending several decades doing scientific research, I don't do any research on my stories. It's a refreshing change.
Where do your ideas come from?
In recent years I have been giving lectures and courses on writing for children. While I am teaching, ideas often pop up into my head. Together with Dr. Alon Amit, we came up with a system called 48create which generates all kinds of ideas for new stories. This is also very helpful. Sometimes ideas come from people and events or something that I have read recently.
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
I want to be a famous children's book writer while I'm still alive. Since I'm 64 years old, I have to work much harder than the youngsters.
Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
I wish that I could call on the muses anytime I wish. It doesn't happen like that. When a good idea pops into my head, I cogitate until it gels and then work away at it furiously. Then I leave it for a few weeks and come back to it. This process is repeated until I'm comfortable with the text and the story.
How do you market your books?
My books are all free online. We've given thousands of hard cover books away to children locally and abroad. I make my money as a scientist and inventor so I can afford to be generous with the books.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Write because you love to write, you have to write, you're itching to write. Don't write to make money, to teach morals, to leave a mark. Just write.