I am happy to have Mandy Eve-Barnett as my guest today. Thank you, Mandy, for joining me here on my website.
Mandy, can you tell us about yourself and your background? What do you currently do outside of writing?
Prior to immigrating to Canada I lived in England, where I ran my own company for over 20 years. Although I have always been creative and experimented in everything from paint to clay to textiles, it was not until a chance visit to a local writing group in Canada that I ‘discovered’ a passion for the written word. My ‘day’ job is in a credit department, so there is no creativity in that! However, I make up for ‘lost’ time when I am off work and can delve into my imagination. I escape to the library, the mountains or anywhere I can selfishly immerse myself into my imaginary worlds.
What books have you written, and what are their genres? What audience are they aimed at?
I have written in several genres due to my following the story’s direction rather than manipulating it to a particular genre. As a free flow writer I let my ideas run riot so nothing is lost in the moment. Obviously, later on there is editing and revision but the initial creation is pure fun.
I was interviewed when I launched Rumble’s First Scare here:
View my online interview with Bill Roberts
Arts Talk Online – 7th December 2011.
Go to 8.23 on time bar.
Ockleberries to the Rescue is for independent readers with a love for animals and magic. The narrative follows the adventures of two woodland sprites aiding their forest animal friends. The sprites, Tansy and Crispin, live in an old oak tree deep in the forest.
Set in medieval England, The Rython Kingdom novella is actually two stories in one–the tale of a travelling troubadour summoned to the King’s court and the tale he tells, which has a secret hidden within it that could destroy the kingdom.
My third children’s book, Clickety Click, is in the final stages of publishing and will be launched in Fall 2016 at Words in the Park in Sherwood Park, Alberta. It is a YA adventure.
I have collaborated with two other writers to produce a memoir workbook, Your Lifetime of Stories, and an anthology of writing prompts, Writing Prompt Journey.
What prompted you to write what you did? Where do you get your writing inspiration? What message(s) do you want readers to take away?
My writing is the result of a youthful love of anything mystical or magical and a lifelong love of the natural world. I hope to encourage childish delight in my stories whether in children or adults. Stories are for escapism and that’s why I write them. Inspiration comes from everywhere, such as prompts, but also a snippet of a conversation, an observed interaction, or the natural world and its stupendous glory.
I hope readers enjoy the magical elements of my stories but also understand that the underlying ‘moral’ is that we should love each other no matter our age, race or creed.
Do you write short stories, articles, or have a blog? Where can we find them?
Prompts are a particular love of mine, as they inspire my imagination to go in different directions, and while some remain as short stories, others have expanded into books. This has resulted in my having a large file of short stories and the occasional poem – my plan is to find a way of incorporating them into a book at some stage. Some of these short pieces can be found here.
I also have a freelance business, so I write articles for business clients for newsletters, promotions and website content. Here is the link.
My blog is at www.mandyevebarnett.com. Here I encourage other writers to engage in conversations and share their experiences and thereby build a writing community. Every year I create a blog schedule covering a set number of topics and post regularly to that plan. For example, the second half of 2016 has Monday’s ‘open topic’ so anything goes, Wednesday’s reincarnation and Saturday’s writing prompt contest. I find three posts a week is the optimum number to engage readers, although one year I posted every single day – it was intense!
What do you find the hardest about writing? The easiest?
The hardest part is finding enough time to actually write – full time work, home and family tend to get in the way far too much. The second hardest is the editing and revising of a manuscript; the story flowed through my fingers and now I have to restrict and manipulate it.
By far the easiest part of writing for me is letting the idea develop and form through my mind, fingertips and onto the page. This is when I am happiest.
What’s next for you after Clickety Click?
I have four manuscripts I am working on through this year and next. One is a speculative fiction, Life in Slake Patch. It has been edited and revised so many times, but at the beginning of this year I found new direction for the story and it is three quarters complete now. The second manuscript I will work on this year is The Twesome Loop, a romance with a reincarnation twist. It has two time periods and is next in line for revisions.
Next year I will revisit a thriller/suspense, The Giving Thief, and a western romance, Willow Tree Tears. The latter I am determined to have accepted by Harlequin, just so I can say I did it!
What special thing about yourself would you like to share with readers?
I am passionate about creativity in all its forms and strive to encourage young and old to find a creative form of expression. As secretary of my writing group, Writers Foundation of Strathcona County, and Vice President of the Arts and Culture Council of Strathcona Council, I literally put my efforts into practice. I also assist with writing circles in local seniors homes. The stories and memories shared are amazing.
How can we follow or contact you?
Read First Lines to Hook Your Reader … for some writing tips and a taste of Mandy Eve-Barnett’s books.
Where can readers buy your books?
All of my books can be purchased through my publisher, Dream Write Publishing.
Awards / Recognition
Recipient of the ‘Pride of Strathcona County Award’ 2011 — Secretary of the Writers Foundation of Strathcona County.
Added Oct. 2, 2016
Its eyes widened as it grew closer and closer to her face. Alice was paralyzed with fear, clutching her bed covers with white knuckled fingers. The creature’s mauve skin glistened with slime and drops fell onto its spindly pointed claws. Alice opened and closed her mouth willing her voice to sound in the dark bedroom. The claws clicked together as the monster’s jaw opened. Click. Click. Clickety-click.
What future awaits Alice? Are her guardians who they seem? Will the monster reveal itself? These questions and more are answered as Alice realizes a secret kept for generations.