Here we go with the first of my interviews with some of the lovely Breakwater Harbor Books folks.
First up is Mindy Haig, author of The Wishing Place, and quite a few other titles!
Let’s see how she tackled my random questioning!
When did you decide that writing was the thing for you?
I wrote some poetry pieces back in High School that were published in our school Literary Magazine. And though I always thought I would write a book, it wasn’t until 2009 that I actually found myself in a position to give it a fair chance. It took me a year to write my first book, Kiss Her in the Moonlight. After that I immediately drafted two others: Midnight Radio (not published) and Glory, and I had a pitch ready for The Wishing Place.
Once the ideas were flowing, I just couldn’t stop.
Out of all your characters, which one do you relate to the most?
I would have to say the character I poured the most of myself into is Lea from Kiss Her in The Moonlight. I think the first book a writer completes is based very deeply on his/her own experiences and feelings, likes and dislikes, so while I am not Lea, there are definitely things about myself that I made part of her; most notably my love of music, and that feeling that she just didn’t quite fit in the place or time she was born into.
Other than that, I would say Jantzen Burke from Hidden in the Pages is the character I can relate to the most because he definitely spends a lot of his time inside his mind. He’s the person who takes care of everything and everyone except himself, but pours his heart out in poems in a magic journal.
Do you have a strict writing regime?
No! I have a job and a family. My two teenagers are both athletes. My whole world revolves around my ability to be flexible! I carry my iPad (greatest invention ever) everywhere. I write down ideas and have entire dialogue conversations sitting in my car waiting to pick up one or the other of the kids. My laptop is on the kitchen counter, and it would not be unexpected to see me writing while watching dinner cook in the oven.
Sounds a little like how I write!
Do you listen to music when writing? If so, what kind and why?
Yes, I listen to music. Sometimes it is music that specifically relates to the book. When I wrote Kiss Her in the Moonlight, the book had a whole soundtrack because I had to be sure the music fit the time-frame of the book. When I wrote Midnight Radio (not released) I was doing a lot of yoga at the time and the yoga class itself sort of became associated with the story. The Instructor actually burned me a disc with the music she taught to on it.
Most of my books have a specific song that inspired me. The Wishing Place has a song that Nick calls the bedtime song, but it is really a song by Donny and Marie Osmond. Nights on Broadway was named for the Bee Gee’s song, but the song that really got me into the story was Love Look What You’ve Done To Me by Boz Skaggs, and one of the short stories in my recent collection Under A Million Stars is based off a disco song. So, I am sort of all over the place as far as what I listen to. You should see my Pandora stations!
I think an eclectic taste in music is most useful for a writer!
What novelty item would you like to see spawned from your novels?
I would love to see someone do a fan fiction based on The Wishing Place/The White Room. One of my readers gave her daughter the book – she was in middle school at the time and she did her final grade project for her language arts class on my book! It included a visual presentation as well, and she got an A on her project. I was so excited, I mean I was really ridiculously happy that she chose my book and she got such a good grade on such a little known book.
A resurgence of Rock ‘em Sock ‘em Robots would also be great!
What motivates you to put pen to paper (or fingers to keys)?
There are at least a million characters in my head. I can always find something to write about. The thing I love most, what really motivates me is the research. When I wrote Glory, I researched every flashback, the history, the religion, the myth, even down to what newspaper stories were happening and what shows were playing on Broadway. I learn new things with every book. It keeps me sharp and young to some extent.
My daughter, Delaney, is a graphic arts student as well as a budding writer herself. She does all of my covers and the process gives us so much to talk about, so that is an added perk.
If you could get everyone in the world to read one book, which book would it be and why?
I would say The Hitchhiker’s Guide to The Galaxy, but I am fairly certain that everyone in the world has read that book.
If I could get everyone in the world to read one of my books, it would definitely be Glory. It’s such an interesting thought. If you look back through all of history, religion and myth, there is always a character who is discord, trouble. I had this idea that what if it was the same guy. What if it was one being cast out of his home and made to walk the human world until the judgment day opened the gates and allowed him back home. What would he do? What would he be like? How far would he be willing to go to get back to his home? Glory takes place in 1996, but the main character has flashbacks to his many lifetimes of being drawn to places of turmoil hoping to encourage the end of the world.
I totally agree about Hitchhiker’s. It’s a work of genius.
The best thing about being a writer is…
I live a thousand lives. The best thing about being a writer is that moment when the whole story comes together, especially in a story like Glory or The White Room where you get to the climax and even as the writer, you’re holding your breath waiting to see how it is going to play out. And when you get that review from a reader that says ‘I did not see that coming’ or ‘the ending blew me away’ that is the ultimate reward of being a writer. When I see the reviews and I get to know that I have given that reader something they really enjoyed, that’s what it’s all about for me.
The worst thing is …
Promoting. No doubt about it.
I so agree!
What next from Mindy Haig?
I have 8 books drafted, I hope to get Forsaken, the sequel to Glory, out this summer. I am working on something new that is tentatively titled The Postcard, that I hope to release in 2015 and I will be submitting a short story that is a spin off from Hidden in the Pages to the Breakwater Harbor Books Gateway Anthology due out this summer.
Thanks so much, Mindy.
Dear friends, do check out her wonderful works and support a hardworking writer!
Here follows Mindy’s bio:
I am a graduate of Rutgers University in New Brunswick New Jersey. I was born and raised in New Jersey so I am very much a city slicker. I moved to Florida to marry my sweetheart after college and marveled at how little there was to do and how much one had to drive to do it! But due to a job change and an abrupt move, we settled in Austin, Texas where the mottos is ‘Keep Austin Weird’ and I try my best to uphold it!
I am the mother of 2 great kids and though writing has always been a pursuit I was interested in, being a Mommy got in the way for quite a few years. I decided I would give it a fair shake in 2009 and I haven’t been able to quit since. I have 4 completed novels and I have 4 additional started novels plus 2 sequels all in various stages of gestation. I have a hard time stopping my ideas and when a seemingly great idea hits me – typically just as I am attempting to fall asleep – I am compelled to start an outline.
My 2 great talents are:
1. My remarkable ability to remember names – which has served me well.
2. My ability to remember lyrics from every song I ever heard in the 70’s and 80’s – which has not helped me in the slightest.
I have a quirky sense of humor and sometimes TV commercials crack me up.
I like the notion of things being ‘meant to be’ or somehow touched by the unexplainable. I also like the effect music has on one’s state of mind and the memories a song can recall.
Here are her links: