Tell me about yourself. What got you started in writing?
Born in South Africa and raised in England, my experiences have become inspiration for my writing. I have always been creative and dappled in most crafts over my lifetime. When my family immigrated to Canada, I promised myself a creative outlet as the children were older and I had more time! I picked up leaflets at the library and the local writing circle's next meeting was the following Tuesday. I attended and was soon hooked on the craft of storytelling. I am now the secretary of the group and deeply involved in the foundation and its events (www.wfscsherwoodpark.com).
How and where do you write? Do you prefer a laptop, or do you prefer writing freehand?
I am happy to write almost anywhere with my laptop but will jot down short pieces, ideas etc. in a notebook I carry around with me all the time. I have created a writing space in the dining area of our living room and expand it a little more each year. My hope is to have a study all to myself in time.
What's your favorite part about writing?
I love creating new worlds, characters, places and immersing myself in them. An idea can come from a picture, a word or a sentence.
Your least favorite part about writing? As a free flow writer, I can write continuously for a long time but once the first draft is finished, it is the revisions, editing and continuity I find tiresome but necessary.
How do you come up with your characters?
To be honest they 'appear' in my mind and chatter away to me. Some become more insistent while others bide their time and reveal their agendas later on.
Why would readers want to get to know them?
I feel my characters are well rounded but many are unusual in their objectives and I love giving them twists.
What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing?
I use most social media sites, my author and publisher's websites and numerous events, such as book fairs, book signings and readings.
How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write?
I write whenever I get the chance whether that is early mornings when the house is quiet, in my lunch hour, evenings or with the headphones in to block everyone out at the weekend. I attend writing retreats every year too, which are marvelous for indulging myself in a large block of writing time.
What are you currently working on?
I have two manuscripts I am working on presently. One is a western romance, Willow Tree Tears. The other is a suspense/thriller called The Giving Thief.
Do you have a new book out? I launched my second children's book, Ockleberries to the Rescue in October of 2014.
Do you have a project on the back burner? Tell me about it.
I have two manuscripts that I need to get back to (but new ideas keep cropping up!) One is my first foray into writing a novel, Life in Slake Patch, a speculative fiction set in an alternative future with men and women living in separate compounds. The other is a romance with a reincarnation twist called, The Twesome Loop.
What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but does not believe he/she has enough talent?
I would advise any writer to share their words, whether to a writing group, friends or family to build their confidence and take advantage of their local writer in residence for guidance. Once they have a good foundation and knowledge of the art then they need to approach professionals to assist them. The more they 'practice' (write) the better they will become.
Thank you Mandy!
Learn more about Mandy:
See her character interview here