Please say hello to Mandi, a prolific writer of short stories, who has a multitude of work linked all over the place! Hence today’s word – Nexus – definition 1) connection, link; a causal link 2) a connected group or series 3) center, focus.
a.Of the characters you have created or envisioned, which is your favorite & why? I did a steampunk story where the main character worked for the King and was part of the Underground (a secret movement against him). There was just something about her and her high-button boots that made me really like her. b.Do you favor one type of genre or do you dabble in more than one? Generally, I write some type of fantasy or science fiction, but I’ve been known to write just about everything. c.What do you enjoy most about writing? Being able to deal with my problems, on my own time, with my preferred outcome. Somebody makes you mad? Write them into a story and kill them. Having body issues? Write about a character with the same issue and see where that character’s life takes them. In love with somebody? Write a love story. You get the idea. d.Have you got a favorite place to write? Wherever I’m productive at the moment. It goes in waves. For a while, it was curled up in bed with my laptop, but now I can’t seem to be productive anywhere that isn’t somewhat formally set up – desk, dinner table, etc. e.Do you plan your stories, or are you a seat of the pants style writer? A little of both. I tend to write timelines – A happens, X happens, birthdays, major events, etc. I want to know the order of the important stuff, but let the journey take us there however it wants to. f.What inspires your stories? Everything. My mood, something I saw on television, dreams, photographs, offhanded comments, other people (my favorite project ever involves getting strangers to send me story prompts on postcards), whatever. Sometimes I just hit the keys of my laptop until fhjasdaqkw actually turns into real words and something happens. g.What are you currently reading? Um… I run a book review blog, so my TBR/currently reading pile is usually about ten books high. Right now I’m in the middle of Eric Wilson’s novella Amelia’s Last Secret, AJ Scudiere’s latest novel, Phoenix, Janine K Spendlove’s 2nd book in her Seasons trillogy (War of the Seasons: The Half Blood), and books about both Tolkien and Roald Dahl’s war time service. h.Do you have any odd habits or childhood stories? I have a lump on my ass from when I fell on a Lego house at the age of 11. You mean like that, or something different? Honestly, my childhood was pretty boring by Kid Standards. I learned to read at the age of four and never took my nose out of books. i.Do you have any pets? I have three cats – DC, Brynn and Alix – and two fish – Cheech and Chong, who I am proud to say have been in my house and haven’t been eaten yet. Not sure how long that will last with an open tank and three felines, but we’ll see. Alix is helping me do this interview, actually, by way of climbing up my leg, purring, and stepping on my toes. I think he’s walked half a mile around me already. Apparently, I don’t love him enough and he’s starved for attention. j.Do you belong to a writing group? If so which one? I was ML for my local region of NaNoWriMo for five years, and one of the things that I did was have a weekly write-in that went year-round. Two years after somebody else took over, it’s still going strong, and we’re up to eight core people – seven of my best friends and myself – and a few others that come and go. I call it therapy, and can’t imagine life without it. Sometimes we even get writing done. k.What age did you start writing stories/poems? Er. Somewhere I have little books that I made in elementary school (or earlier… I may have been four when I did the first one), fiddled with it in high school, but didn’t really get serious about it until I was in my 20s. l.Do you have a book published? If so what is it called & where can readers purchase it? I generally write short stories, so there are several places that I can push you towards. First of all, check Amazon (of course I’m on Amazon) for Clockwork Spells and Magical Bells – the story I have in there is one of my favorites (the prompt was magic vs machine with a steampunk twist). You can also look for anything done through Ink Monkey Mag – we’re about to release issue 5 of the magazine as well as a couple new anthologies (Blink! and 1000 Words) but You Don’t Say is already out, and it’s pretty unique because the stories in there are all in 2nd person, which you don’t see very often. (All will be out by Easter, so stick ‘em in those Easter Baskets right next to the Cadbury Eggs) You can also find me in several of Pill Hill Press’s anthologies – they do story a day fiction and horror fiction anthos and I’m also in their ePocalypse and Roboterotica anthos. If you want a freebie or two, google my name and I’ll pop up on sites like Underground New York, Daily Love, and Weird Year. m.If you could meet one favorite author who would it be and why? I’m going to cop out here and name two. One is Roald Dahl. My favorite book ever written is Matilda, and I had read it so often at one point that I could get to chapter three or four before I couldn’t recite any further. Unfortunately, he’s dead, so unless y’all have a TARDIS I can borrow, I won’t be meeting him any time soon. The other is Neil Gaiman. He’s incredible. Everything he does is successful, and my favorite episode of television ever – The Doctor’s Wife – was all his doing (Doctor Who episode 6.4). There is nothing that’s not awesome about him. n.If you could live anywhere in the world – where would it be? I’m a Sagittarius, so I’m pretty flighty, but I also need to be grounded, so I’d be pretty comfortable staying here in Nashville if I could travel somewhere once a year (and I don’t mean to a con or back home). The Isle of Man; Nunavut, Canada; Egypt; and Italy (They’re hosting the next world’s fair!) are on my list. I’d also like to do a tour of world religious sites. o.What’s your favorite movie of all time? …A couple years ago I would have said Wizard of Oz or Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory (the first one, not that crap that they did a few years ago), but there are so many movies coming out now, that I don’t think I could say. My tastes are pretty varied, so I’ve loved everything from Avengers and Thor to Amelie and Hugo. I’m a fan of 70s/80s comedies, too, so it’s not uncommon to catch me watching Uncle Buck; Planes, Trains, and Automobiles; Smokey and the Bandit; Stroker Ace… Hmmm. Maybe I should give a list of movies I don’t like? p.Where can readers find you and your blog? Blog?! I’m supposed to have a blog? Um. I have a book review blog that I run with four of my friends, and you can find that at http://bookinthebag.blogspot.com – you can find book reviews, author interviews and occationally random bonus content. Aside from that, you can find me and Ink Monkey Mag both on facebook. q.Do you have plans or ideas for your next book? I am about to hit a deadline on a utopian story for an antho, so I’ll be working on that this week and rushing to get it out. I also have a couple projects that need edits/rewrites/whatever – one is a mid-grades novel (think early chapter book) about a kid named Ashley who has to get a message that King Saliman (may he lie peaceful beneath the stone) has died to his son, who is all the way across the kingdom, and the other is a novelette/novella about a woman trying to figure out who she is after her mother dies. r.Who is your best supporter/mentor/encourager? Um. My grandmother was, but she died a few years ago (cancer is stupid – why can’t cancer get cancer and die), so it’s hard to say. I’d probably have to go with my group of aforementioned friends. It’s cool to be sitting at a table, announce some random bit of progress (chapter four, I killed a dude, 1667 words…) and have a table full of people cheer.