Welcome to Ohio Author Appreciation in April! Each day in April one Ohio Author will be showcased on the blog through guest posts, interviews, giveaway, and other fun! The first author I have for you is one of the first authors I ever met. She’s a wonderful author with a great sense of humor. Her books Not a Drop To Drink and In A Handful of Dust are post apocalyptic novels in which water is scarce. Her newest book A Madness So Discreet will be released later this year.
Please welcome Mindy McGinnis!
1. Your books are always pretty dark, why is that? The most honest answer is that I have a lot of darkness inside of me. This is the healthiest way I can think of to get it out. Writing is very therapeutic for me in that way. It allows me a vent so that I can be a happier version of me day to day.
2. What are your favorite kind of characters to write and why? (Villains, heroes, anti heroes, regular joes?) The ones that want to be written. Some characters don’t want to let you in, and some are so happy to share themselves you have to hush them sometimes. In DRINK, Lynn was very reticent, hard to break into. Stebbs (my favorite) on the other hand just Would. Not. Shut. Up.
3. What is your process like? Do you outline? Listen to music? Snack? Have a special ritual or spot? I write in bed, lying down. Sometimes I’ll have white noise so that I can filter out my environment more easily. I write linearly, from beginning to end, with zero plotting or planning. Things happen in my books that I’m not expecting, and that’s marvelous.
4. What kind of books did you read when you were younger? Anything, really. I enjoy reading across genres, but I definitely leaned towards fantasy and adventure. I liked reading about things that stretched the imagination.
5. How do you think those books hold up against the books being published today? Very well. Some of them, like Madeleine L’Engle, you can read as an adult and garner an entirely new and different meaning than you did as a child.
6. Have there been any attempts to turn your books into movies or TV series? How would you feel if one actually happened? Yes! NOT A DROP TO DRINK has been optioned for film by Fickle Fish Film, owned by TWILIGHT author Stephanie Meyer. I’m confident they’re going to do a good job executing a film adaptation that is true to the book.
7. Tell me about A Madness So Discreet. It’s a Gothic historical thriller set in an insane asylum, specifically the Athens Lunatic Asylum (closed now), which is located on the Ohio University campus. My main character, Grace, has an inconvenient pregnancy, which in 1890 could land you in an asylum long enough for you to delivery your baby in secrecy and then be chucked back out into society without anyone knowing. Because of abuse at home, Grace has no interest in following that pattern so she colludes with a doctor who supposedly gives her a lobotomy so that she won’t be wanted back in her society home. She’s then whisked into his life as a criminal psychologist (we call it criminal profiling today) where she is his supposedly lobotomized assistant at crime scenes. The two of them end up on the trail of a serial killer. At the same time Grace is in contact with her little sister at home, and worries that the abuse she suffered is about to be transferred to her. It’s a dark, dark book… but I think my fans expect that by now.
8. What was it like writing a book in such a short amount of time? I wrote the majority of MADNESS in about three weeks, which I don’t really advise anyone doing for their own sanity. At the same time it was a blessing in disguise because it is such a dark world and just coughing it up so quickly meant I didn’t have to stay there long.
9. Do you think you’d ever want to do it again or do you like to have a longer writing period? Hard to say. In a lot of ways I think MADNESS is the best thing I’ve written, and that might be endemic of immersing myself completely in it with zero distractions.
10. What is your next project? I’m working on a contemporary rape-revenge, vigilante justice story that will be released in 2016.
Thank you to Mindy for coming on the blog! She has generously donated a signed paperback of her book Not a Drop to Drink to the month long giveaway. Click here