Aggie and Mickey hang out…
Hi Mickey!!! Want to answer some questions for Hearts On Fire? Too bad. You can’t say no! (LOL) Here goes:
When you were just a wee lass what did you like to read? What did you like to write?
I would never say no to Hearts on Fire! I love you guys too much.
As for me, I was one of those kids who wanted to read every book in the library. Harriet the Spy. Gone with the Wind. Little Women. I couldn’t get enough. I wrote little stories, too, and my fifth grade teacher (Mrs. Quirk) told me I was a writer. I didn’t believe her until I was much older.
Did you always want to be a writer? If not what was your first aspiration? (being a beach bunny doesn’t count, by the way)
How did you know I always wanted a tan? I’m from Irish stock which means red hair and freckles, so the beach plan was, sadly, out. I started writing nonfiction in college, and published my first textbook fresh out of grad school. I found I loved writing–the quiet, the researching, the creative drive to delve deep and unearth. I never wanted to be a writer, I just became one. Now I can’t not be a writer.
Who were the writers that influenced you the most? Who were, or are, your favorites?
I have so many favorite authors. I love Tom Wolfe, J.D. Salinger, and Haruki Murakami, just for starters. Kate Braverman and Joy Williams are also fantastic. I get influenced every day by new (and old) favorites. Right now I’m reading a book by Rebecca Lee—she’s awesome.
Professional Grievers was such a unique novella. What prompted you to write it?
My family was joking about my morbid brother getting a job at a funeral home. The funeral director had told him he had the perfect personality. This cracked us up. My husband came up with the term “professional griever,” and I went from there.
Was it hard writing from a male perspective (sad sack Seymour’s)?
I love writing from the male perspective. Some of my best friends are men. Ha. Seriously, I’m sort of a tomboyish girl, and I live with men (husband, 18 year old son), so it’s easy for me. But some men don’t like first person stories written by a woman in a male voice. One of my favorite writers is Kate Christensen and her hilarious book The Epicure’s Lament is told from the male point of view and it’s terrific. There are many others. Of course, I am a woman thinking women writers can accurately give voice to the male’s inner thoughts. So that is a female opinion. Not sure if men would agree. But who cares?
If you were paid like a gajillion dollars to fake mourn over the death of a hated famous person would you do it and who would it be?
I’d do it, sure. I’d just think about how much I wanted the money and I’d weep like a professional. And I’m not picky, I’d be willing to appear at just about anyone’s funeral. You know, a number of readers have said they want to work for me if I start a professional grieving business. And I read a newspaper article about one in England. It’s a pretty good idea
I love the title Me Go Mango. It’s fun to say and rolls off the tongue. How did you come up with it? And was it easy to write? It seems like you had fun writing it. Even more so than Professional Grievers and Geekus Interruptus. Correct me if I am wrong.
I have no idea how I came up with that title. Just popped into my head. I did have fun writing it. I had just spent a weekend in Brattleboro, Vermont, with several college friends and we had some trauma and drama, as well as decades spent apart to catch up on. It was crazy and fun. Although not nearly as much fun as the gals seem to have in Me Go Mango—whoa! Still, my real-life mini reunion inspired me to create some fictional characters and put them in the same place. See what they would do. Boy, they went a lot more wild than we did!
Do you have a weird writing ritual? Like picking your nose before you start a new chapter? Or writing with only on flip flop on? Please share.
No rituals. Get up, meditate. Read, drink coffee. Write. That’s it. (If my nose itches, well, you know…)
What is your least favorite genre of fiction? Your favorite?
I don’t like graphic books or graphic violence. Or super gruesome horror. I like subtle violence and horror. (Ridiculous, I know, but you asked.) I love good writing in any genre. A good book excites me, gets me in a good mood. My family likes me in a good mood. So we can all avoid violence and horror.
What do you think of the phenomena of ‘fanfiction?’ Would you ever write it?
Not a fan. But I never say never. In fact, I wouldn’t put it past me.
Do you think the romance genre is the least respected? And why?
I do think romance fiction is not respected the way it should be. There are some awesome writers in the arena producing really great books. These days, romance has more sex (I mean, WAY more sex) and more diversity, and this is creating some terrific stories and talk-worthy books. Romance is probably disrespected because it used to oppress women: virgin meets dashing superior and falls for him, denying sexual urges (and self) with marriage as only route to happiness. Ugh. But this is not the case anymore, the old formula has been thrown out the window. And blockbusters like Fifty Shades are changing public opinion.
Of all your books, which is your favorite? Who is your favorite character?
Mom doesn’t pick favorites. But Geekus Interruptus is such a cute, funny little book…
What is upcoming from you, Mickey? What is your latest hot release?
Geekus Interruptus is being re-released by the wonderful Bottom Drawer Publications on September 15th. The original publisher closed up suddenly and without warning. My book had only been out for a few months, and then it was gone. Off Amazon, off other retail sites, poof. Fortunately, I had been working with Bottom Drawer on some other projects and they agreed to take on Geekus, which is a crazy little farce about a woman who’s genius husband grows distant. She suspects he has a lover, and sets out to find out using geeky spyware and a lot of creative spunk. I love that gal. She’s wacked and her heart is big and warm.
What genre would you like to try writing in that you never wrote about before?
I’ve got a novel in press with Bottom Drawer Publications that is a coming of age story. It also has romantic and paranormal elements. And general wackiness. I think you’ll like it. It’s funny, kooky, and deep.
BONUS QUESTION: Who makes better lovers : Geek boys or Hippie dudes? And who smells better? (HAHAHAHAHAHA)
You may need to train your geek boy, but he is smart and will remember everything you teach him. He might not bathe enough since he stays up for forty hours straight, working on his computer, but you can show him how to clean up enough to please you. That’s the thing about geeks: they get it if you tell them what to do.
Hippie man is a natural lover (not a fighter, not a war monger), so get ready for the love ride of your life. But bathing does not always appeal to him. So, go skinny dipping. Every day, if you must.
This is my professional advice.
Give us readers and reviewers some fun facts about yourself, or some helpful advice about writing for the novices out there. Or anything else that this interviewer may have neglected to ask that you would like the reading world to know.
My advice to new writers is: write every day and just keep at it. Join a group and make friends with fellow writers. Have fun with it, and let your secret self go wild on the page. If your work needs work, rewrite it. Then rewrite it again. The difference between successful writers and the rest of us is: the successful ones keep at it.
When you have something good to publish, send it out. Every time it gets rejected, don’t take it personally. Just send it out to someone else. I could fill a coffin with my rejection slips. Talk about professional grieving!
Thanks Mickey for taking the time to spill your guts out and answer my questions, some of which were utterly silly. Or pointless.
But fun. And funny!! Thanks for an enjoyable morning.
Leave a comment for Mickey before 9/23 for a random chance to win Geekus Interruptus!