Witches, spells, sparkles, lots of laughs and romance with Mindy Klasky and her bewitching heroine, Jane Madison.
Hi Mindy, welcome to Veronika Asks! Please introduce yourself…
Thank you, Veronika! It’s a pleasure to be here! I am the author of eight published novels. I started out writing traditional fantasy (SEASON OF SACRIFICE and five volumes of the Glasswrights Series), but now I’m writing contemporary paranormal romance (with a humorous flair.) When I’m not writing, I work as a librarian for a national law firm – I manage seven libraries in fourteen cities. I’m also a wife and mother to two very needy cats.
If you could describe yourself with three words…
Quirky, optimistic, and hungry. (Maybe I shouldn’t be answering these questions at the end of a long work day 🙂 )
I usually ask the Astrology question, but I don’t know your sign. Are you interested in Astrology? What is your sign? Do you match your sign description?
I am a Libra. While I’m intrigued by some astrology, I’ve never studied it in depth. I find that I am – in many ways – a typical Libra, according to the various horoscopes and other sources I’ve consulted. I am happiest when my world is in balance, when things are fair to all concerned, and when justice – either literal or figurative – prevails.
Tell us about the Jane Madison series…
Jane’s story starts in GIRL’S GUIDE TO WITCHCRAFT. Jane is a librarian at a collection in Georgetown (Washington, D.C.) When her employer is forced to make salary cuts, Jane is offered the opportunity to move into a cottage on the library grounds. Much to her surprise, she discovers a secret stash of books in the basement, along with a statue of a black cat, which turns out to be a magical familiar. Before Jane knows what’s happened, she’s a witch, and she’s forced to juggle romance, work, and magic.
“Sorcery and the Single Girl”, the second book in the Jane Madison series, will be out in September. What will Jane have to deal with in this episode?
In SORCERY, Jane is recruited by the Washington Coven, a powerful collection of witches. She has to decide just how much membership in the Coven means to her – and whether she’s willing to leave behind friends and family to make the magical connections she craves.
Why did you choose to write about witchcraft? Some people say that the topic has already been fully explored…
There are lots of books about witches, but not many of them that approach the topic with my brand of humor. I wanted to write a story about a woman who is capable, competent, and floundering in an environment wholly new to her. Witchcraft gave me the opportunity to explore all of those notions.
Will there be a third Jane Madison novel?
There will be – in fact, I’m writing it now! MAGIC AND THE MODERN GIRL will be in bookstores in October 2008.
You were a librarian – and so is Jane, your heroine. Do Jane Madison and you have a lot in common?
Jane has a topsy-turvy dating life, as did I. (I am grateful to say that my single days are behind me – I found my husband about a year after I had sworn off dating altogether.) Jane also has a best friend, with whom she shares all the complicated decisions of her life. I remain extremely close to a handful of girlfriends – the sorts of people I can call at any hour of the day or night, just to has through those problems that keep me tossing and turning in the wee hours of the morning.
There is also the “Glasswright Series”, a fantasy series. What is it about?
The Glasswrights Series is about Rani Trader, an apprentice in her country’s stained glass makers’ guild. Rani witnesses a murder, and she’s accused of being the killer, so she is forced to go undercover in her society’s strict castes, to unveil the true assassin.
How do you write? How do you beat the dreaded writer’s block?
I used to write for an hour every morning, after working out, but before showering and getting ready for work. Now, I find that publicity and promotion activities fill my morning writing time; I generally get my writing done on weekends (in three- or four-hours blocks) or by taking a week-long vacation from my day-job. During a nine-day Writing Marathon, I can complete approximately 35,000 words (about one third of a novel).
I have a home office on the ground floor of my three-story townhouse. I sit at a desk that I bought at IKEA about 15 years ago; it looks like leftover hardware from the space shuttle, but it has the best ergonomics of any computer desk I’ve ever used. I use a five-year-old Dell desktop computer, running Windows XP, and I write using WordPerfect 10. I keep an Excel spreadsheet to track my story outline. (When I’m traveling, all bets are off – I write on a hotel bed, on a couch, on a chaise lounge, wherever I can find a surface to balance the laptop I’m using — which might be my own, might be a friend’s, might be a loaner.)
So far – knock wood – I’ve never had writers’ block. I sit and write whenever I’m able to make the time.
How do you picture your readers or “Who do you write for”?
Publishers will say that my readers are young women, between the ages of 15 and 40. I consistently find, though, that a wide variety of people read my books. I write for people who are interested in taking journeys, in exploring alternative realities to the one in which we live.
What do you think about eBooks? Would you consider writing one?
I don’t personally care for reading eBooks; I spend approximately 11 hours a day in front of a computer now, and I don’t care to devote more time to pixels on a screen. GIRL’S GUIDE TO WITCHCRAFT and SORCERY AND THE SINGLE GIRL are both available as eBooks, so that readers who prefer the technology can enjoy them.
Which books would you advise for a perfect beach read? Have some favorite authors to feature?
In the realm of contemporary romantic comedy, I’ve fallen in love with the books of Laura Caldwell. I’ve also been reading a lot of young adult fiction recently, and I’ve been particularly taken with the science fiction trilogy UGLIES, PRETTIES, and SPECIALS, by Scott Westerfeld.
And now the famous Nothing-To-Do-With-Books question: you’ve just found $100 in your pocket, how will you use the money?
I’d probably end up in a bookstore, sipping an overpriced cafe au lait and browsing the mystery, science fiction, or non-fiction titles to find the perfect additions to my toppling-over to-be-read pile.
Would you like to add something, Mindy?
Thanks for the chance to answer these great questions!
“Tea or Coffee?”
Saturday evening. Going out or reading a book? Reading a book.
Holidays. Beach or Mountains ? Mountains.
Sleepy Town or Crazy Megalopolis? Crazy Megalopolis.
Picking a DVD. Comedy or Drama? Drama.
Shy or Easy-going ? Easy-going, but need alone time.
Serious or Funny ? Serious, but can crack a joke.
Love to Travel or Hate to Move? Business travel against my will, pleasure travel not often enough
Sporty Girl or Couch Potato? Not.
Leader or Follower? More often leader than not.
TV show: House
Movie : At the moment, ALL ABOUT EVE
Book: At the moment, Sherman Alexie’s, THE ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART-TIME INDIAN
City: Washington, D.C.
Food: Ice cream (coffee with a fudge ribbon – no nuts!)
Music: Ocean waves on a deserted beach
Favourite place to write: Any place quiet enough to concentrate
Quote or motto: Thou Mayest (“timshel”), from Steinbeck’s THE GRAPES OF WRATH
Thank you, Mindy!
Visit Mindy’s website: http://www.mindyklasky.com