Friday, 10 May 2013

Interview with Canadian Indie Author MANDY WHITE

The last couple of books I read were by fellow Canadian Indie Author, Mandy White.  Her horror/thriller novels have Canadian characters in Canadian places, well Vancouver Island.  They are not for the faint at heart.  One has a face being torn appart by spikes on a pair of boots and another has body parts being cut off and fed to the same victim.  They make you think though, and there is a lesson within them if you are willing to get there to the end.

I had the chance to ask Mandy some questions and get to know the author behind the books.

Tim Horton’s or Robin’s?  And don’t tell me you’re a Starbucks lady.

- Tim Horton’s without a doubt. I love to roll up the rim to win.

When I interview someone I really hate asking the typical writer questions, but I have to.  Away from your books tell me a little about yourself…do you have a day job, hobbies, play sports etc.

- I live on Vancouver Island next to a lake, surrounded by wilderness. I spend a lot of time outdoors. I’ll take bears and cougars over the wildlife you meet in the city any day. I write full time and work with my husband helping out with the driving at his delivery job a couple of nights a week.

You write in the horror genre.  What pulls you to that genre?  A famous horror author often gets asked if something is wrong with him…what’s wrong with you?

- What’s wrong with me? Hmm…where to start… I’ve always had a fascination with the macabre and have been an avid horror fan every since I can remember so I guess I enjoy writing the sort of story I enjoy reading. I have lived a pretty colorful life and also have my share of neuroses; things I try to use as story fodder whenever possible.

Tell us about your latest novel THE FEEDER.

- The Feeder is about a sort of Dexter-style vigilante who goes a little berzerk after the murder of a beloved twin sister. It is gruesome, bloody and shocking – definitely not for the squeamish. The story structure is a bit unconventional in that it reaches somewhat of a climax in the middle rather than at the end. Details about the main character’s identity are kept intentionally vague for reasons that are revealed at that point. I expect that this story might not work with all readers, but I’m used to that. I tend to lean toward the love-it-or-hate-it type stories.

What do you do to market your books?

- I don’t do a whole lot in the way of marketing. I find that the more books I publish, the more I sell. I make announcements from time to time via social media but I don’t overdo it. I use Facebook to network with other writers, not to sell them my work but to learn and their input has been invaluable in helping me develop as a writer.

When I wrote my book I had people looking at me twice after reading about the violence my killer inflicts.  I’ve read some of the comments in reviews on your books and you’ve had people talk about the violence and the language being too much.  I know why I do it and what I would say to the critics, but why do you take it so far?

- I do it because I can. I cater to readers like myself – the type of readers who have read it all, seen it all and are daring someone to shock them. I want to go places that haven’t been gone yet and am always looking for a way to go a little more over the top than the previous time.

For me, being a Canadian Indie author in what seems like an American world is not an easy one to get noticed.  Have you had challenges with this?  If so, how have you been able to get around them?

- I’ve done my best to blend in with American writers and try to write in a style that appeals to American readers. I fully embrace US-style spelling in all of my work because it appeals to that extremely wide audience. The funny thing is, my first novel, Avenging Annabelle gained a lot of popularity in the UK last year in spite of my attempts to Americanize a story that is extremely Canadian in nature.

What are your goals as far as writing go?  Where do you want your writing to take you?

- I want to write until the day I die. It’s the only thing I’ve ever truly wanted to do. I’m not terribly concerned about making a bazillion dollars or getting on the NYT bestseller list. (although that would be nice) If people enjoy my stories and I can earn a living at it, I will be very content.

Are there any authors that you look up to or would like to meet?

- Of course, Stephen King would top that list. I grew up reading his books. It was probably his work more than any other that inspired my imagination to start going where it has.

Mandy White's novels, anthologies, and non-fiction

Now for some fun rapid fire questions.  Just say the first answer that comes to mind.

Favorite movies?

- Pet Sematary (Stephen King) or Orgazmo (Trey Parker/Matt Stone)

Favorite book as a kid?

- A Wrinkle in Time

Favorite book now?

- How to do Everything by Red Green

What do you like to do when no one is looking?

- Sing, making up dirty lyrics to popular songs.

Favorite movie made from a book?

- Pet Sematary

Favorite Canadian TV show?

- Red Green (Of course!) Corner Gas deserves mention, though.

If you could sit at a poker table with any 3 people past or present who would they be?

- George Carlin, Frank Zappa and Trey Parker. Just a hunch, but I bet it would be strip poker!



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