Friday, August 23, 2013

Weekly Adventure Interview! with Mindy McGinnis, author of :Not a Drop to Drink"

Mindy McGinnis


I met Mindy McGinnis on a wonderful online writing group, and she has been kind enough to allow me an interview. An assistant YA librarian who lives in Ohio, who cans her own food. She graduated from Otterbein University magna cum laude with a BA in English Literature and Religion. An in just under a month, her debut novel, "Not a Drop to Drink" will hit the shelves. 


What is your genre of choice, and why? 

I write YA because I'm also a YA librarian in a public school. I'd been writing for adults an getting nowhere for years when one day I realized if I wrote YA I'd be immersed in the market and surrounded by my target audience 40 hours a week. Honestly it's embarrassing I didn't figure that out sooner.



How many books have you published? (self or otherwise)

My debut novel, NOT A DROP TO DRINK, will be published by Katherine Tegen / Harper Collins September 24, 2013. I'm also slated to have YA releases from the same house in 2014, '15, and '16. I have short stories in the seasonal anthologies from Elephant's Bookshelf Press - SPRING FEVERS, THE FALL, and SUMMER'S DOUBLE EDGE.


Tell me about your current project.

I'm doing research - and a lot of it - for a project that I hope becomes my 2015 release.


Where can I buy copies of your work? 

NOT A DROP TO DRINK is available for pre-order through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, or any retailer of your choice. If you prefer to support independent booksellers, let your local bookseller know you're interested in my book and I'm sure they can order for you.


What are you reading right now?

THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS by Rae Carson. It's ridiculously awesome.


What keeps you going on those days when writing gets hard? (e.g., a favorite quote or a personal motto)

Honestly, it isn't pretty, but I always say to myself - "Okay Mindy, make some shit happen."



What advice can you give other aspiring writers out there?

Learn how to take criticism. Don't be defensive about your work, even though it's an understandable knee-jerk reaction. Get great crit partners that you trust and consider their opinions.


What cautions do you have?

Don't be too proud. Don't think you know everything.


Do you work on more than one project at a time?

Nope. I'm monogamous. 


Do you have a process? (e.g., outlining, character creation, location)

Oddly, no I have just about zero process. I pretty much pants everything and I write linearly. 


Where do your ideas come from? What inspires you?

Ideas for books can come from a dream, a song, something random I see on the street. Or it can just randomly pop in my head. I don't question inspiration when it volunteers itself.


If you could do it all over, is there anything you would change about finding an agent and finally publishing?

I would seek help from compatriots sooner. I was foolish and thought that I could only learn from people *above* me on the publishing ladder when I first got into the game.


What has been your toughest criticism? What has been your greatest compliment?

I haven't really had any harsh reviews yet, but I know that there are people who won't like my book. It's literary, and some people are going to want it to be a straight-out fun ride. And it's not. Also, I'm mean to my characters. But... you'll see.

Actually my favorite compliment came from a guy at a gym who rushed over to help me lift something and then said, "Oh, never mind, you're stronger than you look." Or wait, did you mean writing compliment?


Who is your greatest influence(s)

I can't say for sure. I read so widely that if I started to try to figure that out you'd end up with an index for this interview.


Who are your favorite people to follow on Twitter & why? (e.g., authors, non-authors)

I like to follow other YA authors so that I can help promote them and their titles to my own audience. 

Do you have any other passions besides writing?

I'm a softball player. I love sports in general, but baseball and its relatives are my heart.

When did you know you wanted to write?

I distinctly remember telling the lady who came to administer our career testing in 8th grade that I was going to be a writer. Then my profile came back and it said I'd make a great cop.

Do you have a day job?

Yep. I'm clocking 40 hours a week as a librarian :)

Final question, why do you write?

I write because the people and voices in my head aren't going to stop simply because I stop writing them down. I think it's more of a question of - why not?

You can follow Mindy on Twitter - @MindyMcginnis, and be sure to check out her Facebook Page, and most of all - her wonderful blog: Writer, Writer, Pants on Fire!

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