Sunday, 13 March 2011

Romantic Suspense with Mindy Mackay!

Hi Mindy & welcome to my site!

I see that you are published with Rogue Phoenix Press - can you tell us a little bit about them as a publisher? And also Noble Romance who I hear endless good things about. Great to have you here, let's get started...

1) What is your writing routine?

While I'm incredibly structured in the way I outline, I'm incredibly unstructured in the way I go about actually writing. My schedule is hectic, so I write in those few stolen minutes I might otherwise use to stare emptily into space. As a result, I don't get nearly enough space-staring into my day, but it's a small price to pay.

2) Which author/s inspire you to write?

A lot of older, classical authors serve as an inspiration for me--Dickens, Wilde, Steinbeck, Ballard…those guys. I'm a huge old-literature nerd, but I'm also inspired by some contemporary authors, like Palahniuk and Westerfeld.

3) Which is your favorite romance subgenre to read? To write?

Suspense is my answer to both those questions. I need the fast pace to keep me engaged.

4) How do you deal with criticism/rejection?

Criticism - embrace it. Some critique is good and some is garbage, but you'll never know until you mull it over and give it some thought, right?

Rejection - most of the time, I ignore it, because most of the time, it's a form letter. Once in a while I get a rejection that gives me genuinely good advice from someone who's read the MS though. I have those saved in a folder. There are about five.

5) What do you expect from an editor?

An eagerness and willingness to work with me to produce the best possible product while refraining from ripping out the creative backbone of my original work.

6) Tell me about your latest release

Well. My most recent release is Soulgame, the second installment in a scifi/thriller series. The short version: in book 1, my protagonist screwed up. In book 2, she begins to undertake the task of making things right. As per usual in my work, strategy war and mindgames ensue.

7) Tease us with a blurb or short excerpt

Here's an excerpt from near the beginning:

Isabella laid maps on the table and spent a quarter hour going over her plans to invade the American north. Once she’d finished, she dismissed her followers, except for one. "Cham, you stay." She held Chamika back as the others all left, draping an arm around her minion’s shoulders and flashing her a frightening blue grin. "So, how’s life, Cham? How are you holding up?"

"Um…just fine, I suppose," Chamika said nervously. In truth, she was slightly addled by the events of the war, but she never brought that out into the open. Vance’s near death had shaken her, but she had no right to complain. It could have been worse. She could have lost a lover, like Kiera.

"I like your new look," said Isabella. Chamika had added bright orange streaks in her hair in addition to her usual green and had started to wear more appropriate clothing in the workplace once in a while. "Can’t say I’m crazy about Kiera’s, though. Tell me, how is she? Is she alright after what happened?"

"She seems okay," said Chamika. "I mean, she doesn’t mope or act depressed, she hardly ever talks about Jack…but sometimes…"

"Sometimes what?"

"Sometimes she has…episodes. Spaces out, talks to herself. Nothing too serious," Chamika hesitantly admitted.

"Nothing too serious," Isabella repeated, her olive eyes contemplative.

"Well, if that’s all you wanted…"

"Wait." Isabella’s icy hand caught around Chamika’s wrist as she turned to leave. "I thought you should have a look at this." She handed Chamika the folder she’d been holding, which was stamped on the front with tiny black letters:




It was the duration of Chamika’s sister’s jail sentence laid out on paper. Chamika flipped through the first few pages, biting her lip. "Why’d you give me this?" she asked.

"Not to make you cry. God, please don’t cry, Cham. I had a really important point in digging these files out of Fleischer," said Isabella.

"What is it?"

"More went on in there than correctional torture and the development of zombies. Remember when humans invented the H-bomb? This could be even bigger." Isabella betrayed herself to a mischievous smile.

"What do you--?"

A blood-curdling shriek interrupted Chamika. She and Isabella rushed into the hall, where they found Kiera pinned against the wall by Chantale, who was throttling her.

"You can fool Isabella, but you can’t fool me!" she growled as she slammed Kiera’s head into the wall.

"Chantale! What did I just tell you?" Isabella pried Chantale off of her second and threw her to the opposite side of the hallway. Chantale hit the ground with a grunt. "Friends…comrades…how much torture do you think Chantale’s infraction warrants, eh?"

Much to Isabella’s disappointment and Chantale’s relief, Isabella’s cell phone started to ring before anyone could suggest a punishment. She pulled out the phone and answered it, her frown deepening as she received news from an employee at the capital. "What do you mean?" she said.

"What is it, Madame?" asked Chamika.

"No, I’m not going to handle this personally! Do you think I have all the time in the bloody world?" Isabella snapped into the phone. "Have them contain the situation, send reinforcements if you must, and send me all video footage."

"What’s up?" asked Chamika after the Queen had hung up.

Isabella seethed. "A riot’s broken out at Gottschalk."

8) Which is your favorite character in the book? Why?

It changes every time I give one of these interviews, honestly. Currently, my favorite is my villainess, Veronika. This book provides a deeper look into who she was and establishes her as a human being, maybe even a redeemable one. Most of my readers disagree with me about this--they find her despicable, and with good cause--but up to the second book, she hasn't done anything objectively uncalled for, I don't think. As for why I like her: I wrote a lot of myself into her, and I don't think I'm the only one that can look at some of her actions and say, "I would if I could".

9) What are you working on right now?

It's a psychologically twisted novelette tentatively entitled Phenomenal Liar. It's about the frontman of a band, the lies he tells to his worldwide audience, the tricks people have played on him, the reality that may exist without his knowledge, and his romantic pursuit of a quirky, enigmatic vagabond.

10) Your biggest piece of advice to aspiring novelists?

Don't let your genre, your market, your press, or your heat level define you.

11) Where can readers find you?

My website:

My blog:

Twitter: @MindyMacKay


Great to have you here, Mindy - I am so enjoying meeting and hosting other suspense authors as part of the tour. Mindy is waiting to answer your questions and comments!

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