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Author Interview – Mandy Eve-Barnett

December 14, 2018
mandyevebarnett


Yep it’s me today due to an author having to postpone her interview. I thought I should try my own interview to see how it felt!

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  1. Does writing energize or exhaust you?

It certainly energizes me, once I am into a story it embraces me in such a way I forget the world around me. My characters carry me along showing me what comes next.

  1. What is your writing Kryptonite?

Knowing which story to write…with so many ideas bouncing around my head it is difficult to pick one and stick to it. If an idea comes to me during another project I have to jot down notes, a paragraph or two to enable me to go back to the current WIP.

Rumble

  1. Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?

To date I have not felt the need to be anonymous. I love to share my stories regardless of which genre I am writing.

  1. What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

I count myself lucky to have many author friends, whether virtual or local. My writing mentor is Linda Pedley, without her encouragement and support I would not be writing or indeed published. My writing group friends are very important to me as their feedback and fellowship are worth its weight in gold.

Rython Amazon

  1. Do you want each book to stand alone, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

I write in multiple genres and go where the story takes me so mainly each book is a stand alone, however I was asked by readers of my fantasy novella, The Rython Kingdom to write a sequel and have written the first draft as part of NaNoWriMo this year.

  1. What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

Most certainly getting my books published with Dream Write Publishing. I was an integral part of the process and my vision for each book has been created.

Ockleberries

  1. What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?

I was lucky to have parents who encouraged reading from a young age and allowed my imagination to flourish through the portals of magic – books.

  1. What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?

I may sound like an old record with this one – Ferney by James Long – is the ultimate reincarnation novel for me. I re-read it on a regular basis.

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  1. As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?

I have an affinity with tigers – solitary when they want but will protect their young with their life.

  1. How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

Goodness, let’s see a novella sequel, a steampunk novel, a western romance, a suspense/thriller and a possible short story collection.

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  1. What does literary success look like to you?

To have readers respond to me after reading one of my novels to say they enjoyed the story. Of course I would like one made into a movie but knowing my words are out in the world forever gives me a kick.

  1. What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

It depends on the genre, for example for my thriller I had to research how a body could dry up. While for my western romance I had to delve into barrel racing. Both of these took some time during the writing of each book.

Clickety Click

  1. How many hours a day/week do you write?

This depends on how many events, writers and board meetings I have as well as if there is a deadline but I try to write for several hours each week. My constant writing is creating three blog posts per week.

  1. How do you select the names of your characters?

I look at the genre, geographical location and era of the narrative and the characteristics of the particular personality.

  1. Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?  If you write more than one, how do you balance them?

The stories pick the genre, I follow the narrative and the genre becomes clear the deeper we go into the characters personalities.

Creature Hunt

  1. How long have you been writing?

I began writing later in life so only around eight years. I have been making up for lost time ever since!

  1. What inspires you?  

A sentence heard or read, a picture, a writing prompt, a vista or an article on a fascinating subject. Inspiration comes from many avenues and I grasp them with both hands.

  1. How do you find or make time to write?

I am quite structured in regard to my writing blog as I need to post three times a week so will write all three most commonly on Sundays. When it comes to fiction I tend to go in bursts so will hide myself away at my writing desk and let the words flow. If an idea hits me I will write until I feel I have the narrative captured.

  1. What projects are you working on at the present?

I participated in NaNoWriMo this year and my plan was to write two novellas, however although one concluded nicely the other has grown beyond novella length already so will be a novel. Both of these will require editing and revision during 2019, which means my other two novels will get pushed back.

  1. What do your plans for future projects include?

As above I have two NaNoWriMo projects to conclude but also have two other novels on the backburner. I am also considering a short story collection at come point.

  1. Share a link to your author website.

www.mandyevebarnett.com

Collaborations:

 

No Hope of Being a Recluse Today…

December 25, 2013
mandyevebarnett


Recluse – definition: a person who lives in seclusion or apart from society, often for religious mediation

Man Writing WEB

The sentence that came with the word of the day was:  The writer was a recluse all his life and never socialized.

I will have to dispute that. As writers we require social interaction to enable us to create believable and intriguing plots and fully rounded characters. People watching is one of my favorite pastimes and I’m sure many writers are the same. Observing gestures, and listening to speech and accents is actually research for our narratives. The following article reinforces my view.

Image from: http://storytime-vikth.blogspot.ca/2012/01/solitary-writer.html

Without my writing groups support, advice and encouragement I would not be the writer I am today. http://wfscsherwoodpark.com/

Of course when I am actually writing I do prefer to be alone but that is not always possible. To achieve the illusion of a recluse, I put in the headphones, turn on the music and ‘disappear’ into the realm of my narrative.

Today is a celebration and time for family so this post is short and sweet.

holly

Whatever your belief, enjoy the love of your family and friends today.

t-Books

A Gregarious Nature Comes in Handy…

October 1, 2013
mandyevebarnett


Gregarious – definition: seeking and enjoying the company of others ; sociable

Culture brush

My weekend was spent in the company of a few members of my writing group at Culture Days in Sherwood Park. This event is in conjunction with Alberta Culture Days- http://culture.alberta.ca/culturedays/. All types of artisan’s attend to show visitors their craft and sell their unique wares. Everyone has to have a gregarious nature to make these events successful.

Sadly, arts and culture seems to be low on the list when it comes to the general public. We are constantly trying to find new ways to entice visitors to these events. Do we blame technology for the lack of interest in crafts and hobbies that require hands on participation?

Have you attended similar events? What was your experience like? Do you have any tips on how to garner public interest?

We have found if there is free food at any event it is successful…do we make batches of cookies to hand out every time? Is that really practical?

 

 

 

 

WFSC Culture

Culture Days Sept 2013 (2)My group, The Writers Foundation of Strathcona County, hosted an interactive writing workshop with the theme write your story. With pads of paper, pens and our Writing Prompt Journey book   http://www.dreamwritepublishing.ca/retail/books/writing-prompt-journey-road-your-creativity and Your Life Time of Stories http://www.dreamwritepublishing.ca/retail/books/your-lifetime-stories workbook on hand to help the process we encouraged visitors to participate.

Dream Write Culture

The other table I was present at (yes, I multitask!)  was Dream Write Publishing, where I handed out coloring sheets for my Rumble competition. I received a few enthusiastic  entries there and then. Rumble sat at the end of the table for friendly cuddles.

With a vast display of books ranging from children’s books to poetry, there was something for everyone. If you could not visit feel free to visit the web site and order from there.

http://www.dreamwritepublishing.ca/

Abashed at First…

August 27, 2013
mandyevebarnett


Abashed – definition: ashamed or embarrassed

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Does this describe your experience when you first shared your words? I have a clear memory of reading my very first piece to my writers circle just over four years ago. My hands were clammy and shaking and I was the color of beetroot, as a flush of nervousness took over. Prior to reading this piece I had attended a couple of meetings and just listened to everyone else. The more I thought about reading the more anxious I became but knew I would not grow as a writer if I kept my writing a secret.

To that end I used an online writing prompt – write a five minute piece using – fire, clock, certainty. This was the result.

Fire light flickered on the walls and ceiling as Joan sat with a glass of her favorite red wine. Watching the flames lick the logs and send little sprays of ash and sparks upward, she tried to calm her mind. It was a certainty that Thomas would be angry with her once he knew of her accident. The clock ticked as its hands made their gradual path towards 9 o’clock and the inevitable argument.

Joan had tried to cover up the dented fender with a casually placed cloth but Thomas would immediately know something was wrong as she had parked in his place in the garage. Such a creature of habit, her husband he had rules and very particular likes and dislikes. His routine had to be strictly adhered to or there was hell to pay. She knew he would go over the top with his recriminations and probably ban her from driving for months.
The clock struck nine and she heard the garage door open as Thomas drove up to it. Straining her ears she heard his car drive forward and then shriek to a halt. His place was taken up by her car now he would be mad. A slam of the driver’s door told her he was walking through to the kitchen and she could feel his presence enter the lounge.
She squeezed the trigger slowly as the instructor had told her and Thomas’ face flew apart. No more shouting, no more rules, no more living in fear. Watching Thomas’ foot twitch as the life left him gave her a rare feeling of joy. No more tormentor.
 
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Once I had struggled through reading it, I kept my head down waiting for a response – I’m glad to say everyone was shocked by the ending but also congratulated me on a great piece. From that moment on I was catapulted into the writing life.
 
Care to share an embarrassing moment with us? It can be writing related or not. Did the outcome have a positive affect?
 
If we are to promote ourselves and our words, reading them to an audience is something we all have to face at one point or another. Being able to practice with friends makes the transition slightly easier, I feel.
 
What was your first public reading like?

Embracing My Writing Circle…

June 16, 2013
mandyevebarnett


Espouse – definition: to make one’s own : adopt or embrace, as a cause

Within my writing circle, it is no secret I am obsessed with writing. Coming to this art later in life has opened up an opportunity not only to experience a wonderful way to express my creativity but also to form new friendships. Part of my bio on the web site states: I count myself blessed to have found this group and I intend to stay until my bones turn to dust! My writing journey has taken me, in a very short time, on a path I never thought possible.

Writeres Foundation of Strathcona CountyThe Writers Foundation of Strathcona County is a marvel in its own right. Here is a brief description:

The WFSC is limited only by the level of its volunteer commitment: as we grow so will opportunities for our groups, our members, and the community. We continue to hone our craft, encourage new members, promote cultural and creative diversity – we have many avenues yet to explore. The following list includes some of our group accomplishments and events we promote annually:

  • WFSC partners with the Strathcona County Library to co-host the popular Words in the Park Book Fair and Sale held in the late fall in the Centre in the Park
  • WFSC participates and encourages writing interaction at the annual Arts Expo (February) and Alberta Culture Days (September) hosted by the Arts & Culture Council of Strathcona County
  • WFSC published its first anthology compilation of member work in 2010 – Writing Prompt Journey ~ The Road to Your Creativity offers a selection of writing prompts to encourage writers
  • WFSC published From a Solitary Drop – The History of the Strathcona County Writers Circle (2001 – 2011) in celebration of the Writers Circle 10 year success
  • WFSC was asked to manage and publish the popular Never Been Better page that appears in the Sherwood Park News the first Friday of each month – the two page spread celebrates 4 years in 2013 and it’s all because of the popularity of the page and use by its target audience ~ our vibrant 55+ community
  • WFSC participated in the inaugural summer for Arts in the Plaza – an outside venue for artists of all mediums to share and interact with community members

Over the years, the WFSC developed partnerships with other community organizations and respects the place we hold within our community. The Strathcona County Library, the Arts and Culture Council of Strathcona County, the Strathcona County Museum & Archives, and Strathcona County Recreation Parks and Culture all support and promote a vibrant arts & culture community… a community of which we are proud to be a part.

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In short, I have embraced the foundation and its mandate as well as its members, whether they are local or virtual. Each member brings a new aspect to the group and I have found a ‘home’.

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