After a short break Writer Wednesday is back and this week I’m talking to the lovely Mandy Magro.
Mandy’s latest release Flame Tree Hill is receiving rave reviews. Here’s a peek:
Kirsty Mitchell is ready to come home. After a tragic accident that left her scarred, she fled overseas. Now, three years later, she’s finally returning to Flame Tree Hill, her beloved family farm. But at twenty-five Kirsty isn’t prepared for the terrifying new challenge ahead: breast cancer. Kirsty’s never been a quitter and that’s not about to change. But can her budding romance with local vet Aden bear the strain? As she battles with chemotherapy and as her past threatens to overwhelm her, Kirsty realises you can never take anything – or anyone – for granted. Drawing strength from her family and the beauty of Far North Queensland, Kirsty finally understands what she must do.
“A lyrical and heart-warming testament to the power of love – and forgiveness.”
Sounds like we need the tissues on hand!
Thanks for being my gurest on Flying Pony, Mandy.
1.What activities (other than writing) get your creative juices flowing?
There are many activities I enjoy, outside of my writing, but the things I get the most pleasure from and which get my creativeness flowing are rodeos and country music. Also, just being out in the paddock with the horses is inspiring, and relaxing. I adore spending time with such magnificent creatures. And I can’t go past cooking either, which people who have read my books will have noticed I always seem to have a fair bit of cooking going on in them. I love shopping for food, cooking food and eating food!
2. What sort of writing routine do you have – disciplined or undisciplined, regular or erratic, focused or easily distracted?
My writing time is “whenever I can.” I don’t set exact times on exact days as that wouldn’t work in with my everyday responsibilities, and would just end up irritating me because I couldn’t stick to the schedule. I like to put the least amount of pressure I can on myself when it comes to my writing, which is why I enjoy it so very much!
3.Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and if so what do you do about it?
I haven’t suffered from writers block, but I do find when there is a lot happening in my life I can’t focus enough to write. It is these times that I allow myself some time out so that when I hit the keyboard again I am ready and raring to get on with it. I can also get some very “lightening bolt” ideas when I’m having time out too, which is wonderful!
4. Which aspects of the writing life do you most love?
I absolutely adore the fact I can work in my PJ’s all day long, there’s not many jobs that allow you to do that! It’s also very exciting to be able to create stories that can touch people’s hearts in so many different ways, and I love hearing from my readers and connecting with them through social media. I’ve made some very special mates along my writer’s journey. J
5. Which aspects do least love (or detest!)?
I would have to say the editing…it can be a very emotionally charged time. J
6. What books and writers have most influenced your own writing?
Certainly the rural romance genre has been the biggest influence on my writing. Rachael Treasure’s novel, Jillaroo, is what inspired me to put pen to paper. I still remember lying in bed reading, which is where most of my reading is done, and running my hand over the cover of Jillaroo thinking “I wish I could be a published author one day”
7. Can you describe for us your writing process, from getting the original idea to completed manuscript?
I’m a panster when it comes to writing, so I don’t really have an actual process, as such. I normally come up with a title for the novel firstly, and then the characters follow on from there, evolving into whatever they want to be along the course of the storyline. Of course I have the basic outline of the story and the black moment in my head, but generally that changes along the way, as the characters become three dimensional on the page. Sometimes I feel as thought they are narrating the story to me, and I’m just the typist! From here, the manuscript is then put through the usual editing process, and this is where I normally have a slight meltdown as I take on-board all my editor’s notes.
8. Describe your path to publication.
I’m very passionate about the country way of life and love reading novels by rural authors. I’ve had amazing experiences in the outback and met some memorable Aussie characters along the way. From being a camp cook at Tobermorey station, helping behind the chutes at rodeos, to being a fruit farmer, all these aspects of my life came together and helped me to write my very first novel which was of course threaded with a beautiful love story.
My journey into the publishing world was fantastic. I had a finished manuscript after six months of solid writing and within three months I had a two-book contract with Penguin. I’m so happy to have been signed by Penguin, they’ve been so supportive and have believed in me every step of the way. They gave me the opportunity to step through the publishing door and I will be forever grateful. I am now with Harlequin Australia. They’re a very encouraging bunch and I feel extremely blessed to be welcomed into such a wonderful close-knit team.
9. What advice would you give to writers who are working towards publication?
Don’t ever give up on your dream of writing. Remember, if you don’t risk anything, you risk even more. Breathe your writing, live it, love it. Write as much and as often as you can, even if it feels like you are babbling at the time. It will put your creative ideas in motion. This in turn will drive you to write more, to feel the passion of your unique craft. Be true, write about things that you have experienced and really mean something to you as this will be what appeals to your readers. Reach out to other authors, most of them will be happy to answer any questions you have. Surf the net; it will connect you with people who will support you, especially for those of us in remote areas. Read read read! Other writer’s works will inspire you. Never give up, be brave, be driven, be fearless, believe in yourself-you can do it!
Thanks for having me, Pamela. It’s been fun chatting with you.
Keep smiling and dreaming,
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