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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Author Interview: Mandi Slack, of "The Alias"

One of the coolest things about ANWA is that it's put me in the way of lots of really cool ladies who've had their work published! And they're all so nice they let me practice my blog-interviewing skills on them. After reading and posting the review for Mandi Slack's "The Alias," I emailed her and asked if she'd be willing to answer a few questions for a blog interview. Of course she was more than happy. Thanks, Mandi!

MeTell us about your publishing experience.
Mandi: It’s been a great experience so far. I first started The Alias when my husband returned to school. He had homework and papers to write in the evenings after our children had gone to bed and I talked too much. I distracted him, so one day I thought I’d fill my time by writing another novel. I wrote Alias his first semester and with my husband’s encouragement, I decided to send the manuscript into Cedar Fort. I’m so glad I did. It’s been a wonderful experience and I’ve had so much fun meeting such amazing people since my book’s release.

Me: Where does your inspiration come from, particularly for "The Alias"?
MandiAt the time, I had a close friend who was pursuing a divorce. She was leaving an abusive husband and I was touched by the amount of strength and courage it would take to leave behind such a marriage and build a new life for yourself and your child(ren). One reviewer said, “Having had some spousal abuse myself, the author handled the topic with a maturity I appreciated.” I’ve really tried to portray that quiet strength in this novel.

Me: What was your favorite scene to write in "The Alias"?
Mandi: I’m all about action and suspense. My favorite scene to write was the forest scene where Jacey confronts her ex-husband. My favorite line is when Jacey says, “John has a gun!” and Uncle Grant replies, “Kale’s got a bigger gun…” It sounds like something my dad would say. Uncle Grant’s character has a lot of my dad in him.
{I LOVED that quote too. I started giggling immediately!}  

Me: Have you ever "gotten back" at someone by writing them into a character?
Mandi: Haha….no! Not yet, but it has crossed my mind. I did once name a villainous character after an ex-boyfriend in high school. It wasn’t intentional. I hadn’t realized what I had done until half way through the story. I went back and changed the name.

Me: National Novel Writing Month is almost here -- Do you have any tips for would-be novelists or veterans setting out to write 50,000 words in 30 days?
Mandi: Just do it! There are a million excuses a day not to write, but if you really want to write, then do it. Prepare easy meals, easy snacks, and let the kids veg out in front of the T.V. for a couple of extra hours if that is what it takes. Also, I’m a night writer. I tend to get most of my writing in after the kids are in bed, but sometimes I have to force myself to get up early to finish if I really want to meet a deadline.

MeIf you could, which of your characters would you bring to life to spend the day with? (I'm rooting for Aunt Helen. We would definitely bake, and I'd get fat!)
Mandi: I’m with you! I’d like to visit for a day with Aunt Helen. She’s just a sweetheart all the way around and someone who anyone could really connect with. I love to bake, so that’s what we would spend our day doing too...lol.

MeIf "The Alias" was a movie, who would you cast as Jacey and Kale?
MandiTo be quite honest, I have no idea…lol. I spend most of my time reading and actors’ names usually don’t stick in my mind. I have an idea of what sort of person I’d cast if I were to sit on a panel, but I can’t think of anyone off the top of my head.

Thanks again, Mandi!

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About Me!

I've been writing since I was old enough to grasp a crayon--my grandma even has an early copy of a "book" I made her. I have a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Wyoming and will (hopefully) soon be starting a graduate program in English. When I'm not breaking up impromptu UFC fights in the living room or losing miserably to my boys at Uno, I'm ... well, writing or editing, of course! I'm married to my best friend, and we have three rambunctious but simply amazing little boys.


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