SPOTLIGHT AUTHOR: Mindy MacKay
Where are you from? What is your occupation outside of writing?
I operate out of
and I'm a full-time student. In my spare time, I enjoy playing the piano and researching nerdy topics, watching old musicals and pwning at air hockey--the Canadian in me just doesn’t want to leave. Texas
Would you describe yourself as an introvert or an extrovert?
Extrovert. Definitely. There's nothing I love more than a good party.
Do you have any pets?
I have one dog. She's a Pomeranian and her name's Kiera, same as my protagonist from Peacebreakers.
What are your favorite books to read?
I read a lot of transgressive fiction, along with old, nerdy books like A Tale of Two Cities and Upton Sinclair's The Jungle. Anything with a ton of pathos and a unique world perspective. Lately I've also started getting into more mysteries.
Where is the most unique place you have traveled?
Aside from your successes in the writing industry, what in your life has given you the greatest sense of accomplishment?
Probably the time I volunteered in the emergency room one summer. It's a great feeling to be right there helping patients where it matters, and the look of appreciation in their eyes is just wonderful. It's definitely something I want to do again.
How many books have you written and how many of those are published?
I'm currently the author of Fallen from Disgrace, a contemporary romantic suspense, and the first two installments of the Puppetmasters series, Peacebreakers and Soulgame. The next two installments of that (Bulletproof and Checkmate) are complete and pending publication.
Do you have one particular genre that all your books fall under (i.e. suspense, romance, etc.) or do you write in many different genres?
Everything I write has to have an element of suspense. I love a good romance plot, especially with some hurt/comfort thrown in, but I can't focus on where the story is going without a few car chases to keep me interested.
How much character and plot detailing do you plan out before you begin writing a novel, or are you a “pantser” (fly by the seat of your pants) ?
I'm a copious outliner. I often have to rewrite my outline of the next 3 to 5 chapters I've yet to write before I dive into a new chapter. On top of that, I go through dialogue sketches and multiple drafts…I envy the pantsers who can just pull this stuff out of the ether.
Prior to becoming a published author, how many rejections did you receive? How did you handle the rejections?
A lot. I still have a folder in my email inbox where I keep all my old rejections. Most of the ones I got were form rejections, so I didn't "handle" them at all, but for the few kind souls who took the time to read through my ms, I took their words to heart while doing revisions. Occasionally if I thought their suggestions were really good, I'd send them a little thank-you-and-maybe-I'll-resub-later note. But I suppose my attitude about rejections is owed in part to the fact that I've never gotten a particularly nasty one.
Last semester, though, for a psychology project, we had to create a mini-poster that reflected our personality and life experiences. For mine, I printed out some of my old rejections on colored paper, shredded them, glued the pieces onto the poster, and used the collage as a background as a statement of my ability to put obstacles to creative use.
How and when do you write? Do you keep yourself on a schedule or do you work while the muse is with you?
For first drafts, I have to be on paper. I know it's impractical, but I have to write it all down, then type. I've tried working on a schedule, but I've long since found out that I can't produce anything good when the mood's not right. Despite my meticulous outlining, my writing schedule is very random and sporadic.
If you have a new release coming out, tell us about it.
My novella, The Placebo Effect, is scheduled to appear in the Rogue
Press April Fools anthology in 2012. In the story, Jessamyn Hamill, a chronically depressed woodworker, falls in love with her psychiatrist, but as their relationship deepens, she discovers his practice may be tied to a psychiatric cult dedicated to pushing the limits of sanity and reality… Phoenix
If you could step into the world of anyone else’s novel or meet with any character, which/who would you choose?
I would meet Bella Swan and fight her. And let her win. For the same reason the space-monkeys had to do this in Fight Club. I've always, ALWAYS wondered how that series would have turned out if halfway through, Bella discovered she had an inner badass.
If you could give one piece of advice to writers trying to get published, what would that advice be?
Never give up! About twenty percent of the battle is talent. The rest is perseverance.
What's up next for you and your writing?
Aside from the edits I have to do, I'm sort of deciding on which new project I want to take up, if any. Right now it's between a dystopian war story with a romance between a dictator and a runaway, and a contemporary suspense about an unscrupulous vampire economist and a one-legged chess grandmaster turned private investigator. They both sound a whole lot less ridiculous in the outlines.
Anything else you'd like to share with my blog readers?
I'd just like to say, thanks for having me! And a big shoutout to my mom and dad, my suber-helpful betas Sarah and Nikki, all my other dedicated readers, and Suckerpunch, whose music I've been listening to while editing as of late. Love ya, chickadees!
Where can we read more about you and your work?
My body of work can be found at my blog ( theylikemehere.blogspot.com ) or my website (mindymackay.com) I post regular updates on Twitter (@MindyMacKay) and Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Mindy-MacKay/127228420656362 ) as well.
Thanks for stopping by and sharing your work with us. Best wishes on all your endeavors!