Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

My Book News & Advocate for the Writing Community ©

Author Interview – Danielle Metcalfe-Chenai

August 20, 2019
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AuthorInterview

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What inspired your latest book?

Alis the Aviator was initially inspired by my son. Andre was two years old and a very wiggly, spirited kid who loved airplanes – but couldn’t sit through long books. I’d just published my second popular aviation history for adults, and had so many fun facts swirling around in my head. I sat on the back porch of my house one day when he was napping and most of the first draft poured out onto the page in the bouncy, rhyming style I love from growing up with Dr. Seuss.

How did you come up with the title?

Alis is based on the real-life Dr. Alis Kennedy, likely the first Indigenous woman in Canada to get her private and commercial pilot’s licenses. I found out about Dr. Alis after I’d completed the ABCs of the book, and then was able to layer in her inspirational story in the bio. Dr. Alis has flown planes, but also is a veteran with a doctorate in psychology, who now dedicates her life to amazing volunteer causes around the world.           

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Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp?

I hope that little kids – especially girls – read the book and feel like aviation is a dream they can pursue. The illustrator, Kalpna Patel, did such an amazing job getting the people in her cut-paper art to reflect the incredible diversity we have in Canada and the US. The number of girls and people of colour in aviation is tiny, unfortunately – and I recently learned that only about 1% of all picture books feature Indigenous characters. I hope kids of all backgrounds see themselves reflected in this book!

How much of the book is realistic?

This book is 100% fact-based. It’s a nonfiction picture book that incorporates my years of aviation history research, but presents it in a colourful and quirky way to hopefully capture the imaginations of tykes and their grownups.

Do you have plans for your next book? Is it a sequel or a stand alone?

I have a few manuscripts in the works. The one I see following on from Alis the Aviator is a picture book biography of the pioneering Gwich’in pilot, Freddie Carmichael. We’ve known each other for ten years and it was incredible spending a week with him in Inuvik this past March working on the book. I can’t wait to share his story with the world!

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Do you favor one type of genre?

I write across genres and audiences, which can be tricky from a branding perspective! So far I’ve published nonfiction for adults and kids, but I’ve got two novels in the works (a WW2 book and an upmarket contemporary novel). I’ve also been researching and writing a book about the Charles Camsell Indian Hospital that is part memoir and part history.

Do you plan your stories, or are you a seat of the pants style writer?

I’m a plantser – half and half. It really depends on the project. With my picture books, it’s like writing poetry or songs. I do a ton of research and thinking and then the first draft pours out of me in one or two sittings (with multiple rewrites and tweaks). With my adult popular histories it was easier to plan out ahead of time because I had most of the research done and they were chronological. But even then there were surprises! My novels and creative nonfiction are somewhere in the middle because they are largely based on research and real-life events.

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What is your best marketing tip?

It’s also my best writing and life tip! Make friends. Join communities. Be a good literary citizen. Remember that high tides raise all ships. 

Do you find social media a great tool or a hindrance?

A little of column A and a little of column B. Or a lot of each, actually. Social media has been a great way to connect with people around the world – especially as I move around so much. I learn so much through those channels as well. At the same time, it can have a toxic quality to it full of judgment, comparison and shaming. I find if I think about it too much it can have a silencing effect, because I worry too much about what other people will think of me. And, like the news, it can be devastating and overwhelming, so I have to be careful how much I take in.

What do you enjoy most about writing?

It’s hard to pick just one! While it’s true that sometimes it can make me cry with how challenging it can be, with how exposed I feel, there are those times when I’m in the flow and it’s like all is well. I’m in alignment. My words come out and I feel that maybe I will be understood and seen.

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What age did you start writing stories/poems?

My parents saved the clippings from when I was a kid – so there’s (often embarrassing) proof that I was scribbling little stories and poems from a young age. I created a little zine in my neighbourhood with friends when I was in elementary school and then was co-editor of a school newspaper in middle school. I think I published my first letter to the editor in the Ottawa Citizen in Grade 8 – then I was totally hooked on bylines!

Has your genre changed or stayed the same?

I have jumped all over the place – poetry, fiction, nonfiction, kidlit and freelance writing for magazines and newspapers. They all feed into each other in interesting ways, I’ve noticed, and taught me different lessons. Freelancing was excellent discipline for hitting deadlines and pitching ideas, and not taking edits personally.

Do you belong to a writing group? If so which one?

I belong to several writing organizations: the Writers Union of Canada, Creative Nonfiction Collective, and the Society for Children’s Writers and Illustrators. I was a member of the Writers Guild of Alberta for five years and it was excellent – I still miss it! I’ve created two critique groups since moving to Houston. One is online-only and focuses mostly on creative nonfiction. Members span from Canada to California to Texas. The other one is in-person here in Houston. I realized it’s not natural for me to write in a cave all the time!

Do you see writing as a career?

Actually, I see it as more of a compulsion. A job you can quit. This is forever. My son (who is now 7 years old) asked me the other day, “Mama, will you ever stop writing?” And I told him, “As long as the stories and ideas keep coming, I’ll keep writing.”

Where can readers find you on social media and do you have a blog?

If readers would like to connect with me, they can find me at my website (www.daniellemc.com), and on social media: @Danielle_Author on Twitter, @dmchenail on Instagram, and Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail on Facebook. I also have a blog dedicated to my Camsell Hospital research, www.ghostsofcamsell.ca.

 

Author Interview – Marlo Lanz

June 4, 2019
mandyevebarnett


AuthorInterview

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What inspired your latest novel?

I had an idea for a scene and it grew from there.                                                                           

How did you come up with the title?

It’s the name of one of the rock bands in the book.                                                                       

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Don’t judge a book by its’ cover. 

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How much of the book is realistic?

It’s completely fictional. 

Are your characters based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

The main male character is loosely based on the singer in the band Theory of a Deadman. 

Where can readers find you on social media and do you have a blog?

Instagram = marlo_lanz

Facebook = http://www.facebook.com/marlolanz.author

www.marlolanz.com

Do you have plans or ideas for your next book? Is it a sequel or a stand alone?

I’m just editing my second book. It features Piper, one of the secondary characters in Raincheck but can be read as a stand alone.

Of the characters you have created or envisioned, which is your favorite & why?

Laina is my favorite. She’s the best friend and is funny, fiery and not afraid to speak her mind.

Do you favor one type of genre or do you dabble in more than one?

So far I’ve only writing romance. I would like to branch out eventually.

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Do you plan your stories, or are you a seat of the pants style writer?

I’m a total pantser! I ended up rewriting half of Raincheck and am doing the same for my new novel. Something to be said for planning but I like to see where the story takes me.

What is your best marketing tip?

Good question. I would say network with other authors, bloggers and reviewers. Word of mouth goes a long way and is free.

Do you find social media a great tool or a hindrance?

I like social media for connecting with other authors, bloggers, reviewers and readers but find that it can be time consuming. I think the trick is to set a time limit for how long you spend on social media each week.

OPTIONAL QUESTIONS 

What do you enjoy most about writing?

The ability to create something amazing from absolutely nothing.

What genre are you currently reading?

Paranormal romance.

Who is your best supporter/mentor/encourager?

My friend and fellow author Laura M. Baird. I met her through our shared publisher and we’ve become fast friends and cheerleaders for each other.

Do you belong to a writing group? If so which one?

I belong to CaRWA, the Calgary chapter of Romance Writers Association and to RWA.

If you could meet one favorite author, who would it be and why?

Margaret Atwood. I love her stories and the way she crafts them. I discovered her when I was in University and love her ever since. Plus she’s a fellow Canadian.

If you could live anywhere in the world – where would it be?

Either in the mountains in British Columbia or on a beach somewhere.

Do you see writing as a career?

That would be lovely, but I’m not expecting it.

Bio:

Marlo is a Canadian girl, fond of the rolling prairies and majestic mountains close to her city home. And, of course, hockey, maple syrup and saying ‘eh.’ Working in healthcare for over a decade, Marlo believes that laughter is the best medicine and tries to put it to good use in her writing and at work.

 

 

I’m Interviewed Here Today:

January 7, 2014
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Find me over at Reading recommendations today:

http://readingrecommendations.wordpress.com/2014/01/07/mandy-eve-barnett/

READING RECOMMENDATIONS

Authors and their books – Great reading suggestions!

Mandy Eve-Barnett

 

Culture Days Sept 2013 (2)Mandy Eve-Barnett

What is your latest release and what genre is it? The Rython Kingdom – adult fantasy

Quick description: Set in medieval England a travelling troubdour is the unwitting pawn in an vengeful witch’s plan to escape her confinement and kill the king.

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Brief biography:
A Canadian resident, Mandy Eve-Barnett has a wealth of experiences to draw from for her writing. She has lived in South Africa, England and Canada and the uniqueness of each continent left its essence within her. An avid reader her whole life, it wasn’t until she joined a local writing group, the Writers Foundation of Strathcona County, that the writing ‘bug’ gripped her. Now Mandy writes with an all-encompassing passion and is deeply involved with the foundation and its members. Writing in various genres, Mandy has been published in anthologies, on numerous web sites and in the local newspaper as well as regularly blogging about her writing journey. She has successfully completed three National Novel Writing Month challenges in 2009, 2010 and 2012 with the subsequent volume of work resulting in three novels. September 2011 saw the launch of her first children’s book, Rumble’s First Scare, and August 2012 her adult fantasy e-book, The Rython Kingdom was released on Smashwords, Amazon.ca & Amazon.co.uk., and is now available through Create Space as a print version. Currently, she is editing a magical/fantasy children’s book, Ockleberries to the Rescue and has completed a collaboration for a ‘how to’ write your memoir workbook, Your Lifetime of Stories.

Links to buy Mandy’s book:
Smashwords eBook
Amazon eBook Canada
Amazon eBook UK
Amazon eBook and print US

Mandy’s promo links:
Website
Facebook
Twitter

What are you working on now?
My 2013 NaNoWriMo novel, Willow Tree Tears, which is a cowgirl romance & a children’s chapter book, Ockleberries to the Rescue.

Mandy’s reading recommendation:
I love all Stephen King’s novels and his non-fiction, On Writing, as well as The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton.

Too Much Ruminating…

June 2, 2013
mandyevebarnett


Ruminate – definition: 1) to chew the cud, as a cow does 2) to think over and over again : ponder

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Is it counter productive to ruminate over a story idea? Are we in danger of over thinking the story, it’s plot and characters? Out lines are one thing but can we lose the essence of the creative process by pre-planning too much detail?

As you all know I write by the seat of my pants and let my muse have free rein. The idea grows naturally with my characters telling me their story. Once the tale is completed then I go back to edit and revise. This way, I feel I have not lost anything and can be pulled along with my protagonist.

We all have a process unique to our creativity. Recently, I attended an interview with Alistair MacLeod, a Canadian author of short stories. His technique of editing line by line would cancel out my creative process immediately but it is the way he has worked for decades. I can’t fathom how he can retain his idea, if each line has to be perfect before he continues.

These comments show different perspectives:

Ann Beattie

Because I don’t work with an outline, writing a story is like crossing a stream, now I’m on this rock, now I’m on this rock, now I’m on this rock.”

Susan Howe

“I often think of the space of a page as a stage, with words, letters, syllable characters moving across.”

Here are some more: http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2012/11/20/daily-routines-writers/

Just had to add: http://azevedosreviews.wordpress.com/2013/05/30/stephen-kings-20-quotes-on-writing/

What is your process like? 

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