Before I get started with the interview i would like to thank Kathryn Mattingly for taking the time out from writing to do this with me,she is a amazing author and i'm so glad i know her.
My debut novel Benjamin was released through Winter Goose Publishing this past May and is a New Century Quarterly Finalist. It is about a woman whose son (Benjamin) has some very special gifts, and how she is willing to do whatever necessary to protect him from having those gifts exploited. It’s a testament to women: strong, resourceful, selfless and never expecting anything in return for their often extraordinary sacrifices made in the best interest of a child. Add an impossible love triangle complicated by the Catholic Church, and there you have it, a story involving all the different types of love that drive us to do what we do, for better or for worse.
I have a short story collection coming out this January called Fractured Hearts, and another novel “Journey” one year from now. Prior to Benjamin I had a lot of short stories published in different anthologies and five of them have been recognized for excellence or received awards, including one from Writer’s Digest Magazine, which is my proudest short story feat. I teach creative writing at the University of Phoenix and have my own manuscript editing service called penpublishpromote. Visit Amazon's Kathryn Mattingly Page and website: edgy words unleashed@ pen publish promote
What is the hardest thing about writing?
Getting into the zone, which might take a lot of fooling around on the Internet first- especially on FB and for me, with email.
Have you ever had writers block - if so what got you through it?
I have never had writer’s block so to speak. I have panicked at times wondering if there is another book in me and then I will write down numerous clever plot ideas, stick them in a folder, and feel better.
Do you read much or at all?
No writer should ever admit it if they do not read. You cannot be excellent at something you do not part-take in. No exceptions. Ever. I have always read prolifically. Lately, my reading is much more streamlined and mainly in my own genre- literary suspense.
Who are your favorite authors?
Recently I have admired the work of Elle Newmark, who wrote “The Sandalwood Tree.” The book is beautifully written and one that I took note of for having emotionally moving scenes and for creating particular moods I wished to study for use in my own writing. I also greatly admired the work Chris Cleave did in “Little Bee” and Tatiana de Rosnay in Sarah’s Key. ASA Harrison is also a wonderful writer and made the Silent Wife, for me, more fun to read for the writing rather than the plot.
Do you read your book reviews?
Always. It is part of the process- absorbing what others think of your work so that you can process it with everything else about your craft, and hopefully it will make you a better writer for your audience in the end.
If you were asked for advise from an aspiring writer what would you tell them?
My first mentor, Elizabeth Engstrom, who wrote “Lizzy Borden” among many other books, told me once that “Persistence is the Key” and that advise, by the way, is golden for anybody trying to succeed in the world of words.
How does it feel to have your work published?
It feels fantastic! It validates you as a person when you receive fan mail and reviews from people who can connect to and enjoy what you have written.
Do you still like writing as much as you did when you first started?
If anything, I love it more. You enjoy writing on a whole new level as you become experienced with the craft and begin to appreciate finessing the finer elements.
Where is your favorite place to write if you have one?
My personal space is important to me, so wherever we live I need a cozy well-lit den with a large window to the outside world and all my favorite things surrounding me – books, favorite framed photos of family and other memorabilia from places I have traveled or events I have attended.
If you weren’t writing what else would you be doing?
I’d be an artist painting in oils and acrylics, drawing with charcoal and pastels.
What is your comfort food?
The one thing I will crave in the winter is something no restaurant could begin to recreate correctly and that is chicken and dumplings with mashed potatoes and peas, my favorite childhood meal.
Do you use a Pen name or real name?
Although I am not crazy about my name and could think up some great pen names I am not working this hard to give some fictitious person the credit.
Do you listen to music when you write?
Yes, contemporary piano music.
What is the funniest thing that happened at a signing?
I forgot someone’s name whom I should have known but I’d been signing so many books….
What is the scariest thing that happened at a signing?
Actually, the funniest thing was also the scariest- being mortified I might have to actually ask my friend their name, but fortunately I finally thought of it while they were standing there talking to me.
10 Quick Questions
Chocolate - White / Dark / Milk –
Milk chocolate and specifically with salted caramel and macadamia nuts
Pets - Dog / Cat / Bird / Fish –
Cat, Sophia and she is a short haired gray tabby
Hair - Long / Short-
Long is much less work for me because my hair is thick and curly
Getaway - Mountains / Beach-
Beach, preferably Maui
Holidays - Easter / Xmas / Halloween-
Christmas with all my children is my favorite
Movies - Horror / Comedy / Romance-
Never horror or violence, unless it is something extremely well done for plot and dialogue like Sixth Sense or Braveheart, but I love all other movies - especially artsy thought-provoking dramas
Wine - Red / White –
I never met a good wine I didn’t like and it all has to do with the food pairing, but my go-to comfort drink for relaxing is red wine
Season - Summer / Winter –
Summer, fall, spring…. and winter is my least favorite
Meal - Fast Food / Home-Cooked –
I am a foodie who also loves great cuisine around town, which never includes America’s definition of ‘fast food’
Favorite Ice cream –
Butter pecan, preferably paired with something still warm from the oven or scooped onto a crunchy waffle cone.