Writing has been a compulsion for as long as I can remember. I penned my first short story at the age of ten (and no, I don’t know where it is. I’m not even sure where my cell phone is at the moment.) I went on to write many stories for my own entertainment, and even submitted one or two to publishers-and received my first rejections, but it wasn’t until I was diagnosed with breast cancer that I became serious about my passion. I figured if I was going to make the effort to beat breast cancer, subjecting myself to physical disfigurement and debilitating treatments, I owed it to myself to do what it took to bring my dream of publication to fruition. Happily, I’ve succeeded in both.
I admire your courage and perseverance. What was the inspiration for your latest work of fiction?
My husband and I were driving in the mountains one night and a vehicle off in the distance must have crested a hill. Suddenly, a beam of headlights shot up into the night sky like a door of light. I know most people would think aliens (it really did look like the stuff of science fiction) but with my writer’s imagination, I thought, how fun would it be for a character to step through that door, and into another time and place? Just don’t ask me how I went from a door of light to fairies and ancient curses. The pathways of my imagination are impossible to explain.
I can relate to finding inspiration in interesting places and circumstances. Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?
People I know often ask if I’ll be putting them in one of my stories. My response: I write fiction. My characters all come from my imagination, but then again, imagination lives next door to experience in my head. I’m sure the characteristics of those around me seep into my writing from time to time.
Are you currently working on any new book projects?
I’m always working on something-remember that compulsion thing? My current WIP throws together an infamous NFL playboy and a popular female sports blogger. Another WIP is the product of nanowrimo this past November. The resulting manuscript continues to be a thorn in my side. I’m considering introducing an antagonist who did NANO for the first, and last time. She’ll never be convicted for killing off the entire cast of characters. Not guilty, by reason of insanity.
Who is your favorite contemporary author? Are you currently reading any contemporary novels?
My favorite author depends on my mood, and I’m always on the lookout for a new name to add to the list, though not necessarily a brand new title. Backlists often hold treasures I’ve yet to discover. Linda Howard rocks, and Susan Elizabeth Phillips always makes me laugh. And there is Nora, of course, to name a few. I’m also a re-reader. When I’m caught up in the editing process, as I am now, I like to end my day with an old favorite. It Had to be You, by SEP, is on my nightstand.
What’s your writing schedule like? When do you find time to write?
For the most part, I do most of my writing early in the morning when my mind is fresh. I’m an early riser and the world is quiet at 5 am. With a cup of coffee in hand, I normally settle on my patio, writing until life intrudes and reality sends me packing.
I don't think even coffee could wake me up at 5 in the morning. I'm more of a night owl. How have your friends and family received your career as an author? Are they supportive?
I have a short attention span. My family and friends just shake their heads as I rush from one new interest to another with dizzying frequency. But they also know the one interest that never fades for me is my writing, and consequently, I have my own personal cheering squad. I couldn’t ask for better support.
Support from family and friends is a wonderful thing. What’s the most challenging aspect of writing for you? ~ POV issues; using too much passive voice and not enough active voice; trouble creating active and engaging dialogue; using too many similar words in starting sentences; or something else?
Can I choose all of the above? I’ve struggled with each at one time or another. The one piece of advice I would share with would-be authors, came to me from many successful authors; Keep on writing, and continue to find ways to improve your craft. There are so many resources available online these days. And thank God for critique partners and editors.
Beneath the fairie mound of Dunhaven's Door, two dreamers meet their destiny…
After a decade of trying to outrun her debilitating dreams, Keely returns to Ireland to face the ancient ring of stones and the man haunting them. Within the stones, she embraces her fairie heritage and her mystical gifts. But can she trust the handsome Halfling who shares her dreams and holds her heart?
When Keely reappears in his life, Colin’s fairie blood threatens to gain the upper hand. Compelled to assist the lovely Halfling, he agrees to help her break the three-hundred-year-old curse on their families, but he'll do it on his terms—as a black wolf.
Together, two Halflings can stand against any power, but only love can break the bonds of bitterness. Will Colin’s arrogant plan to outwit the King of the Fairies doom Keely for eternity? Or is their love enough to break the curse?
And coming this fall, That Dating Thing:
The daughter of Wall Street’s most notorious stock swindler, dog trainer, Rylee Pierce, has perfected the art of flying beneath society’s radar. Prosecutor, Cooper Reed is a threat to her carefully hidden truths, but how is a woman supposed to resist a man capable of handling a psychotic Great Dane, while charming her out of her panties before she has the chance to blink?
Thank you for sharing. I love the cover art! Where can readers find your book online?
Purchase Link for Gift of the Realm
I'm a wife, mother, and grandmother. My husband and I were blessed with two rambunctious little boys who we managed to raise into wonderful men without any disfiguring mishaps. Dirt bikes and ESPN are the order around our house, and life at the 'Testosterone Ranch' more closely resembles one of today’s wacky reality shows, than yesterday’s Leave It To Beaver.
My love of books, specifically the romance genre, has been a lifelong affair, both as a reader and a writer. A bout with breast cancer sharpened my resolve to see my stories shared with others. As of today, I am a four-year survivor, living my dream.
Mackenzie, thank you so much for sharing with us today and stopping by for an interview. I enjoyed chatting with you and you've been very inspiring to me. Where can readers connect with you online?
Connect with Mackenzie on Facebook
Connect with Mackenzie on Twitter
Can you tell us about the contest during your blog tour?
As part of my blog tour, including my visit here with you, I am running a contest in the form of a virtual scavenger hunt. I’ll be posting a question on my website to coincide with each of my hops, then directing my followers to the blog I’m visiting that day where they will find the next clue in my interview answers. At the end of my tour, the visitor with the most right answers on my website will win a free e-copy of Gift of the Realm and a $25 Amazon gift card.
Readers, hope you take part in Mackenzie's virtual scavenger hunt. Don't forget to also comment on this blog post and you'll also be entered to win an e-copy of her book, Gift of the Realm. Thank you all for stopping by The Mustard Seed. I hope you stay to chat.