Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Interview with author Mindy Haig

Mindy Haig

Good morning and welcome to Vision and Verse.  I love your work.  You have a gentle way of writing about  some heavy subjects.  I thoroughly enjoyed "The Messenger" and I am presently reading "The Wishing Place".  I love trains, by the way.  Tell us a little about yourself.

My name is:  Mindy Haig  I am originally from Saddle Brook, New Jersey.  After college I moved to Delray Beach, Florida, and married my husband of nearly 22 years, then a job change sent us to Austin Texas where we have lived since 1994.
The Photo above is me with my lovely daughter, Delaney at the Roman Baths in Bath, England.  Delaney is a Graphic Arts student and has done the cover art for The Messenger and Glory, also the composite art for Cybilla, my short story in Fusion: a collection of short stories by the Breakwater Harbor Books Authors.

What have you written?
My first self-published book was The Wishing Place.  I drafted this story while on a weekend getaway to Chicago with my husband.  We were on the train from the airport to where we were meeting a dear friend at the Brown Line Irving Street Platform and as I was watching the people exiting the train the story just began to unfold in my head.  Luckily, I had my trusty notebook!  It's a story about a little girl named Valerie who's granny told her a secret before she passed away.  That secret was The Wishing Place, where you can do anything, it will give you anything you ask for and sometimes you can even see the future.  As Valerie's life spirals out of control, she asks The Wishing Place to show her something special, something really important.  She's grasping for some sort of hope.  But instead of a vision, The Wishing Place brings Nickolas to her dream and the journey begins.  Valerie has to decide if he is real or just an imaginary friend, and as that friendship grows into love, what she is willing to do to find him in the 'awake' world.  The story is told from both Valerie's and Nick's points of view.  The train is an important element in the story because for me, as the writer, the story started there.  I am very thankful to the CTA for allowing me to use their image for my cover!  They were very kind, easy to work with and vey supportive.

My other 2 books are a related story.
I have always been a great lover of Mythology, all mythology, Egyptian, Norse, Greek, Mayan, I just love it!  One thing all great Myths have is a character who is discord.  There can't be good without evil, right?  But it's more that just Mythology, even religion and history, current affairs there is always a character who is discord.  I got to thinking, what if it was always the same person?  What if one immortal being had been banished from Heaven and left to wander this Earth until the judgment day?  Obviously, he would always be striving to find a way to make that day happen.

I did a lot of reading and research, and the Angel Sammael fit my premise quite nicely.  He is often mistaken for the devil, but he's not.  He's and angel that is made differently, given a will of his own and the ability to question.  He has all the virtues of the angels except the ability to love, and is also given vices.  So he is both good and evil.  He hates his Father and longs to return to him at the same time.  His inability to follow blindly like the other angels causes him to be cast out, and so he sets out to destroy what his Father has made both out of spite and out of desire to go home.
He started with Eden, and it is the bitter rivalry between Sammael and Adam that is the heart of Glory.

I wrote the story that became The Messenger after Glory was completed, when I began working on Forsaken, the sequel to Glory.  It was supposed to be a flashback used in the book, but in developing the story, it really became too involved to just be a flashback, it would have lost too much of the emotional nature of the time if it were scaled back enough to be a flashback.  So I decided to leave it whole and publish it as a prequel to Glory.  It takes place in Georgia during the Civil Rights Movement, when a Reverend was preaching a message this angel had heard before.  It's a story about relationships and loss and how circumstances change not only our views, but who we are.
The Messenger will be free for as long as Amazon will allow it!  You can find it here:

And here is the ling to Glory:

I hope to have Forsaken out in the spring of 2014!

Please come back then and bring us the cover of Forsaken.

Okay, I will.  I also did a short story called Cybilla for the Fusion Anthology.  Cybilla is about a musician who has set out upon his quest to claim his muse from the immortal world.  This one has a lot to do with Roman Mythology!  It's a story about knowing your heart, and knowing what it is you are willing to give up to have that one thing you desire.

Fusion is free on Smashwords, and will be free on Amazon at some point, but is currently just $0.99. There are a lot of great upcoming authors in this book!  Truly something for everyone, and free is a great way to let readers take a look!

What is your favorite genre to write? 
This is a really tough question!  I write things that I would like to read!  I would say they are all love stories at their hearts, but I like to add the notion of things being meant to be in some way.  I like stories that make me think, 'wow, that could happen!'  or 'what if that was real?'  I like when the ending makes the reader gasp and say, 'I did not see that coming!' even when they are getting the ending they wanted all along!

The Messenger and Glory are tagged as Christian fiction, Romance, but really, other than the fact that they are based on this Angel, they aren't about religion, they're about love and mercy, about being damaged and still having the capacity for good.  The main thing I hear about Glory is that as much as you want to hate him, you wind up grudgingly liking, even pitying Sammael because he is like us.

Favorite food.
I am not a vegetarian, but I love vegetables!  All vegetables!  Roasted root veggies, stuffed mushrooms, (anything with mushrooms really!) Broccoil soufflĂ©...
Unfortunately, My daughter does not eat anything green, but my son will try anything!

Where would you like to visit?
We already went to the #1 place on my list which was Greece!  I loved it, it was fantastic!  I stood at the Parthenon and cried!
This summer we spent 3 days in London then toured England and Wales which was absolutely incredible!  London is an amazing city, I wish we could have stayed longer!

I would love to tour Italy, and I think the next place we will have a grand adventure will be Germany and Austria.  I love to travel and we wanted to give our children some experiences in the world outside our community!

Favorite musical artist. Do you listen to music when you write?  What?
I was a DJ when I was in college.  It was a small campus radio station, but it was a great experience!  I listen to all kinds of music, the funny thing about this question is that all of my books seem to have a song attached to them.  It's not necessarily a song that is in the book, but sometimes it is.  The very first book I wrote (called Kiss Her in The Moonlight, not published) had a whole soundtrack!  It was a story about a girl who was named after a song, and through her rough childhood, loved the voice of the man who sang her name.  At age 21 she was faced with the opportunity to go back in time to when he wrote the song and spend 3 days in 1974 with him before he became famous.  It's sort of a Cinderella story, would 3 days be enough for him to find her again in the present?  Would the glass slipper still fit?  Could there be happily ever after 22 years later?

The Wishing Place has a song that is very much part of the core of the story, but the actual title is never mentioned.

Hidden in the Pages which will be released this fall has the dreamy old 78 rpm version of the Platters singing Heaven on Earth, though Twilight Time played in my mind just as often!

What makes you laugh?
Mainly my kids!  I have awesome kids!
I love watching cartoons too!

How old were you when you started writing?
I had some poetry published in a school publication in High School.  I have always wanted to write a book, but real life got in the way for a long time.  I decided to give a go in 2008-2009 and I haven't stopped, though I haven't published some of those early ones!

Where do you get your inspiration?  What do you do when you get a writer's block?
I think for me these 2 questions have the same answer:  Music!  I listen to music more than I ever watch television, and it is stimulating!  Sometimes it is the lyrics, but sometimes it is just the tone of the music, the beat, it just gives a certain feeling.  Wen I can't quite find the words I am looking for, I go to music to find the feeling.

Who is your favorite author?
I love Christopher Moore, his books make me laugh.

Best book you ever read.
The Last Days of Summer by Stephen Kluger.
My favorite book of all time is The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, I have probably read it twenty times!

Who is the one person who has influenced your personal life the most and why?
I would have to say my maternal grandfather.  His name was Tom Crowley.  He was brilliant and funny.  He was a charmer for sure, and surely had touched the Blarney Stone at some point, because he could talk!  We had a falling out when I was about to go off to college, he didn't like my decision.  But the thing I loved most about him was that he never forgot what he said to me and when I graduated, he apologized for his words.  He probably gave me the will to stick with it even though it was hard because I am stubborn and I was not going to let what he said be true.  But his acknowledgment was as important as that diploma.  That was my success.

If you could sit down and have a conversation with ONE person, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why?
Just one?  I think the writer in me would like to talk to Edgar Allen Poe.  He wrote everything from broken heart romance to comedy to horror.  Such scope for one artist!  While I love the Tell Tale Heart, I think his most hilarious piece is Never Bet the Devil Your Head.  I cannot even think about it without giggling.  I would love to know what went on in his mind that he could write a story like Eleanor and something as funny as Never Bet.  He is actually the writer I loosely based Quentin Gallagher on in Cybilla, my short story.

What advice would you give someone who aspired to be a writer?
 By all means, Write!  If you love to do it, it is a fantastic way to keep your mind active and your imagination busily working!  If you want to make a living at it, you have to get out in the world.  Talk to everyone!  Meet people, be interested in people, even the ones you don't necessarily take to can be inspiring in some way.  (Particularly if you write books that require victims!)  Write things you know or are interested in, it gives the work much greater depth.  And do your homework.  If you are writing about a journalist in 1996, know what topics were in the news in 1996.  Even if you are writing a sci-fi fantasy that does not have any ties to earth or whatnot, if you are building a laser, or flying a space ship, you ought to know what is actually involved, know the terminology or the reader will know you skimped.

My Next Release will be Hidden In The Pages coming in November of 2013!

When his mother unexpectedly died just before Christmas, Jantzen Burke’s world began to crumble.  His father hid away to avoid his grief and the cold grandfather he never knew came to stay.  Lonely and afraid, he looked to his grandfather for comfort, but instead of sympathy he was given an old journal with a mystical power - the power to find the writer’s perfect match.

A decade later, Jantzen’s life is in status-quo.  His time is spent running the company his father signed over, finishing his education and maintaing an empty house.  His only companion is the stranger who writes back to him in the journal, the person he’s promised his heart even though he’s never seen her face.

But one day an accidental meeting changes all he thought life had planned for him.  Suddenly comfort wasn’t enough.  A decision had to be made.  Would he break the promise he made and take a chance on love or was his fate tied to his words in the journal?

 Do you have any links to share with us today, Mindy?

Mindy Haig Author:
Twitter:  @mindyh101

The Messenger Links:

Glory Links:

The Wishing Place Links:

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