Thursday, February 12, 2009

Valentine's Day interview and giveaway with Mindy Klasky!

It's almost Valentine's Day, so I thought that I'd give you all something sweet today! And sweet it is-- we've got author Mindy Klasky here to chat! And she's generously offered to give away a copy of her latest book, MAGIC AND THE MODERN GIRL. By now, you should know the drill: to enter, just leave a comment below!


Now, on to the good stuff:

1. Tell us about your most recent novel in 25 words or less.

In MAGIC AND THE MODERN GIRL, librarian-witch Jane Madison works a desperate spell to regain lost powers, turning her magical and personal lives upside down.

(Whew! That was harder than I thought it would be! And yes, "librarian-witch" IS one word. Why do you ask? And before I go any further, thank you, Brenda, for giving me the chance to chat here!)


2. What are you working on right now?

I'm hard at work on WHEN GOOD WISHES GO BAD, the second volume in the As You Wish series, about a wish-granting genie who always manages to complicate the lives of the people he's supposed to help. (The first volume in this new series, HOW NOT TO MAKE A WISH, will be in stores in October 2009.) I've drawn on my experience as a stage manager to tell these stories, which all take place in the emotion-charged world of small theater companies. GOOD WISHES involves guerilla gardening, true love, embezzlement, failed Valentines dreams, and the Peace Corps.


3. What is your favorite part of writing? Least favorite?

I love editing sections of my work that I've already written. I write a novel chapter by chapter, drafting about 5000 words at a time. When I finish my first draft, I read through it, making substantial changes (the skeleton stays the same, but the structure of every single sentence is twisted, tweaked, and turned on its head.) I love that stage -- playing with my own words. I often read bits out loud, looking for the rhythms of real speech, searching for the flow of true thought. (After the major edit of each chapter, I do another one or two read-throughs, for stylistic consistence, grammar, and spelling, but it's the first edit that I love most.)

My least favorite part of writing is creating first drafts. I find a million ways to distract myself before I settle in to write -- I answer interview questions (ahem!), I play online Boggle, I file my fingernails.... Once I get a hundred words on the screen, I can move forward without hesitation, but that first blank screen throws me every time.


4. How do you usually begin your stories -- with a character or with a plot?

I generally begin my stories with a character. I get to know her personality traits, the quirks that make her unique. Those traits often depend on the standard rules of her society, so I expand my knowledge of the story from character to world-building. (World-building, a staple of fantasy fiction, also applies to other genres. In MAGIC AND THE MODERN GIRL, for example, I create a realistic library with believable patron, um, challenges, to better illustrate my main character. Part of my goal as a writer is to make readers understand how actual libraries work.) Only after I know the general surroundings do I figure out the specific plot twists that will display that character best, that will lay out the structure of my world and all of its complications.

I outline my novels while I write, taking advantage of the software program Scrivener, to create files for each chapter. Generally, I stick with my character sketches and world-building close to 100% as I write, but my plot slips and slides, as I discover new ways to heighten the tension of the story (read: As I throw previously unplanned complications across my characters' paths!)

5. Do a quick character study on yourself: don't forget to add in the fun stuff, like favorite foods and things you love/hate!

I am a happily married (I met my husband on Match.com) full-time writer (after careers as a lawyer and a librarian) who is currently owned by two cats. While, as a kid, I wished that I had long, straight, blonde hair, I've learned to be satisfied with my shoulder- length dark brown waves. My eyes are an unremarkable brown, noteworthy only for the fact that I am legally blind (but my vision is corrected to 20/20 by contact lenses.)

I'm far more likely to be wearing jeans than a dress. While I might have remembered to put on a bit of blush and a dash of mascara this morning, I definitely forgot to add lipstick. On weekends, I sometimes stay in pajamas all day (adding slippers and a scarf in the winter -- I'm almost always cold.)

I am in love with most forms of cheese and nearly any hearty bread.
Not coincidentally, I am almost always counting points with Weight Watchers. (I can count to some shockingly high numbers...) I prefer dark chocolate to milk and tea to coffee. If tapioca were the only dessert on earth, I'd never eat dessert again. Mustard is the condiment of the devil.

My to-be-read pile is constantly threatening to collapse on top of me. Lately, I've been reading a lot of romance (I'm a judge for the Romance Writers of America RITA contest), and I'm learning about graphic novels. I wish that I had more time to keep up with mysteries and with literary fiction and with creative non-fiction, and, and, and....

I'm sure that I'm forgetting major character traits, but they'll reveal themselves as I continue to write the story of my life!

Brenda - thanks again for the chance to answer some questions! I'll keep an eye on comments and answer any more questions that people ask. (And I look forward to sending a signed copy of MAGIC AND THE MODERN GIRL to the one person that Brenda chooses, from everyone who posts in comments.) Happy Valentines Day!


Want to win a free copy of Mindy's book? Just leave a comment below and you're entered! Want extra entries? That can be arranged.... Blog about it for another entry. Become of follower of this blog for another entry, too.

The winner will be announced on February 26th.

62 comments:

Kaye said...

Hi, Brenda you have the most fun people on your blog. Now a librarian-witch sounds most interesting. Please enter me in the drawing. I am already a follower and am putting your contest in my contest links, posthaste, mind you. Is that one word or two? Anyway, am doing it now! Thanks.

florida982002[at]yahoo dot com

bridget3420 said...

Count me in for this giveaway. The book sounds wonderful:)

bridget3420(at)yahoo(dot)com

bridget3420 said...

I'm a follower.

bridget3420(at)yahoo(dot)com

Maria said...

I want this book!!! Count me in.

Maria
Www.BearMountainBooks.com

Matt said...

Good interview. I've been following Mindy's blog and its good to see more of her!

Erika Lynn said...

I loved Girls Guide to Witchcraft but havent read the other two books yet so I am really excited about this giveaway. Great interview, thanks!
sports[dot]erikalynn[at]gmail[dot]com

Erika Lynn said...

I follow in google reader

sports[dot]erikalynn[at]gmail[dot]com

Erika Lynn said...

I blogged about it here
http://kissmybook.blogspot.com/2009/02/contest-roundup.html

Elizabeth said...

Great interview! I've read the first two in the series, and I look forward to the third. :)

Sarah said...

I've read this entire series, and they rock! I am anxious to see more adventure with Jane :) And I just finished Jack with a Twist, also wonderful! Please write another Brooke-book!

Majgie said...

I love this series and I love Mindy Klasky - I have read everything she has published so far and can't wait to read more! Great interview!

jenmoon4[at]charter.net

Laura said...

Everybody needs a good Klasky book to liven up their winter blues. And I have just the spot on my shelf for it! :D

donnas said...

Great interview. I love the idea of your new series it sounds great. Of course I was a theatre major so it appeals on more than one level. I have had your books on my wishlist forever and would love the chance to win this won and start reading.

bacchus76 at myself dot com

donnas said...

I follow in Google Reader.

Margay said...

Mindy, I absolutely love the title of your new book, Magic and the Modern Girl. And the 25-word description was just enough to make me want to read it even more! A librarian who practices witch craft - what an interesting combo! I'm also intrigued by the premise for your Wish series, so I will be on the lookout for it.

Margay

Margay1122 (at) aol (dot) com

Kristi said...

This sounds like a really cute book! Please enter me for the giveaway.

kherbrand(at)comcast(dot)net

Meljprincess said...

I would love to win this book!!!! I've read the first two books in the JANE MADISON SERIES and I enjoyed them immensely! Mindy, I've been trying to win a copy on your site for months. Perseverance is my middle name. *g*
LOL! I'm owned by a kitty too. He's my familiar.
Looking forward to your 'As You Wish' series. Nice to "see" you!

Mel K.
Meljprincess AT aol DOT com

Mitzy said...

oo this looks good! Sign me up =)

MJ said...

Please count me in!

Janel said...

A librarian that's a witch. I bet she can find some interesting ways to punish people who lose their books!

Please enter me in the giveaway.

jgbeads AT gmail DOT com

Lindsey Hodder said...

I've been meaning to get my hands on a Mindy book for a while now. Count me as entered!

kingdom_of_lindsey(at)hotmail(dot)com

Keri said...

Thanks Brenda & Mindy!! I recently purchased Sorcery & the Single Girl and loved it!! I even reread the Girl's Guide to Witchcraft before reading the 2nd book. After rereading #1, I discovered some things that I had missed the first time I read the book.

Mindy is not alone in the counting of WW points. I've recently restarted counting again too in order to regain my goal.

Keri said...

Oops! I forgot, please enter me into the contest

nhertel85 said...

Sounds like a great book! I'm a follower:)

nhertel85 AT yahoo DOT com

the epic rat said...

I've never heard of these books, and I wish that I had! They all sounds very cute and bewitching :) I've always dreamed of being a librarian, but a librarian-witch? Heaven!

Please sign me up! I am following and posted this contest on my sidebar marked The Grapevine on my blog.

Thanks!

cecilia | cecpham(at)gmail.com

S. Krishna said...

I really enjoyed the first two books in the series and definitely want to read this one! I follow your blog in Google Reader (if that counts!)

Wrighty - said...

I've heard such good things about this book! It sounds like fun. Please include me too.
- I'm already a follower and have you on my blog roll.
- I'm adding this contest to my blog.

You always offer great interviews and books. Thanks for another terrific contest!

www.wrightysreads.blogspot.com
5wrights1[at]verizon[dot]net

mindy said...

wonderful interview and thanks for the giveaway

eyeslikesugar said...

This sounds like an interesting book, and I loved the interview. Please enter me. :) Thank you so much for offering this giveaway! eyeslikesugar [at] gmail [dot] com

okibi-insanity said...

I am ashame for not knowing about this book series. It sound awesome. Hmm, I like the concept of a librarian witch. I guess a little magic would help her catalog all those books. :D

Sue
okibi_insanity[at]yahoo[dot]com

okibi-insanity said...

I am follower of your blog.

Sue
okibi_insanity[at]yahoo[dot]com

okibi-insanity said...

I blogged about this contest at my LJ: http://okibi-insanity.livejournal.com/4564.html#cutid1

Sue
okibi_insanity[at]yahoo[dot]com

Valorie said...

I would love a chance to win. I love the title.

And dark chocolate... yum.

Valorie
morbidromantic@gmail.com

Valorie said...

Blogged about the contest:
http://morbid-romantic.net/2009/02/10/book-giveaways-0209-0215

Valorie
morbidromantic@gmail.com

DEY said...

This book sounds great, thanks for the giveaway!

Charlene said...

This book sounds like fun :)

Lady Roxi said...

Love to have this.

Thanks,

darkfyre1(at)gmail(dot)com

Bingo said...

Hello, Brenda. I would love to enter this giveaway. I loved your interview that I saw on Ijustfinished.com (It was there, I believe?) and still trying to get a hold of SCOT ON THE ROCKS to read and review. I am now a follower and will list your blog on mine at http://bookinwithbingo.blogspot.com I hope you come by and check it out sometime! I love to have writers on board! Thank you!

Carolsue said...

I have read a couple of Mindy Klasky's books and loved them! So much fun!
digicat{AT}sbcglobal{DOT}net

Sheri S. said...

This one looks like fun - I'd love to be entered. Thanks!

Sheri S. said...

Oh and I also subscribe to your blog!

Kristine Michelle said...

I love these kinds of books--fun, quick reads! My favorite genre!
allmycrazycats AT aol.com

Blodeuedd said...

Those books sounds so fun :D Enter me

techyone said...

The book sounds great. I'd love to read it.

silverhartgirl said...

I would love to read this

Mindy Klasky said...

Everyone - it's been a pleasure to see so much enthusiasm about my books! Your comments brightened the entire long weekend for me. As soon as Queen Brenda chooses a winner, I'll send out a copy of MAGIC. In the meantime, you can participate in my monthly contest (prize is a free copy of MAGIC) over on my website - www.mindyklasky.com.

Thanks so much for stopping by, and I hope all of you had lovely Valentines' Days!

Tisa said...

I would love to read this - please count me in! ~ :) Thanks!

sounders68 [at] gmail.com

deltay said...

This sounds splendid - count me in please!

lucidconspiracy[at]gmail[dot]com

malleycc said...

The book sounds great. I would love to win. Thanks

Debdesk said...

Sounds great, please include me in your drawing.
Thanks
Debbie
debdesk9@verizon.net

Cheryl F. (The Lucky Ladybug) said...

I'd love to read this :) *Thanks* for the giveaway!
blog[at]theluckyladybug[dot]org

Cheryl F. (The Lucky Ladybug) said...

I blogged about the giveaway :
http://theluckyladybug.org/2009/02/24/225-magic-and-the-modern-girl-giveaway/
blog[at]theluckyladybug[dot]org

Cheryl F. (The Lucky Ladybug) said...

I'm following you on Blogger :)
blog[at]theluckyladybug[dot]org

blackroze37yahoo.com said...

please enter me

Bunny B said...

This book sounds fun! I wanna win!
bunnybx at gmail . com

Bunny B said...

Blogged: http://bunnymoney9.blogspot.com/2009/02/giveaways_21.html
bunnybx at gmail . com

Bunny B said...

Follower!
bunnybx at gmail . com

Paradox said...

Enter me please!

paradoxrevealed (at) aim (dot) com

Lucy said...

Please enter my name in your drawing. The books sounds very interesting.

Sena said...

So very cool! Count me in please!
sena.sagani[at]gmail[dot]com

Sena said...

I have you linked at http://senalovescandy.blogspot.com/2009/02/sweeeeeeettt.html
sena.sagani[at]gmail[dot]com

Sena said...

And I also follow your blog:)
sena.sagani[at]gmail[dot]com