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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Interview with author Mandi Tucker Slack

So I just finished reading "The Alias" by Mandi Tucker Slack and it was WONDERFUL!

I met Mandi at a Cedar Fort Authors Marketing Workshop and let me just say, I'm SO glad I just happened to sit at her table. She is AMAZING! The woman is kind, funny, and so talented. I knew I had made an instant friend when I sat with her. So naturally I was VERY excited to read her book "The Alias" (which just so happens to be available to own here and here).

So first off before we get down to the interview, I have to say that I loved this book! I wouldn't have asked her if I could interview her if I didn't. It felt a lot like a murder mystery to me, which I love. It had the same kind of pacing and the last few chapters were so intense that it was actually painful to go back to work after reading it on my lunch break. I HAD to know what happened! But sadly for you guys, I won't tell you what happened. So you'll just have to read the book. Ha!

Anyway, back on track, here's a little about "The Alias" just to get you interested in how great this book is :)

Jacey Grayson is an average, young, divorced mother struggling to build a new life for her son, Blaze. But when the FBI discloses some disturbing information about her ex-husband, Jacey's life becomes anything but average. At the risk of losing her identity, her future, and her heart, Jacey and Blaze flee to Utah, hoping to hide and start over once again. But no matter how far she runs or who she pretends to be, her past is always lurking nearby, bringing old fears with it. Thrilling action and a suspenseful plot make this novel an edge-of-your-seat-read.

And without further ado, here's my interview with the lovely Mandi Tucker Slack:

1. What inspired you to write this story?
To be honest, the idea for The Alias came after visiting with a close friend who was pursuing a divorce at the time. She was leaving behind an emotionally and physically abusive husband. I was touched by the amount of strength and courage it would take to leave behind a marriage like that and build a new life for yourself and your child(ren).

2. Do you see any of yourself in Jacey?
Sometimes. I can relate to her need to be the best mother she can be and her desire to grow and change. I think any woman can relate in some ways to this character.

3. Do you pull from your real life experiences when you write? How much do they influence your writing?
Yes, I think life is the biggest influence for my stories. We all have trials and writing is often therapeutic. I can express the way I feel through words. My stories are completely fiction. I’m not married to a member of the mafia, or a serial killer. I’m not a struggling waitress or a scientific genius (all characters in my stories), but as a writer, I feel I can better connect with my characters if I’m writing about something I understand, even if I understand that only a little. In The Alias, the protagonist, Jacey, is fleeing from an abusive marriage. I’ve never been divorced, or abused, and my marriage is good, but we’ve had our share of problems and I know what it’s like to hurt, to feel afraid and to feel pain. We all feel these emotions at some point or another and I believe these feelings are an important aspect of writing.

4. I feel like this story focuses quite a bit on inner strength and self worth. Was that something you wanted to portray in Jacey? How did you focus on these attributes?
Yes, definitely. The main theme in The Alias is Jacey’s attempt to overcome years of abuse and develop a sense of who she really is. As the story progresses we see her desire to change and grow. She struggles with feelings of guilt and remorse for staying with her ex-husband so long and exposing her son to abuse, but as the story progresses we also see how she uses the lessons from her past to move forward into a more promising future.

5. What do you do to get in the writing state of mind? Is there some essential thing you need to sit down and start writing?
Each book I write has a certain mood. Right in the beginning, I always create a playlist. I pick songs and scores that match the mood of the plot. I always carry my ipod while writing.

6. If your book was made into a movie, what would the soundtrack be?
Well, I wrote the book listening to the Transformers soundtrack, believe it or not. But…I don’t think that would work for this novel.

7. What is your favorite thing about this story?
I loved Uncle Grant’s character. He was a conglomeration of my dad, both my grandfathers and my uncles. I grew up in a small town surrounded by cowboys who wore Stetsons and loved farm life. I had fun building his character.

8. Anything else you want to add?
Thanks a bunch for reading The Alias, and I appreciate the time you took to
interview me!

As you can see, Mandi is GREAT and so is her book so go pick up your copy of "The Alias" today!

Thanks Mandi!

And until next time,


Monday, November 7, 2011

Contests all over the place!

Ok... I realize that I'm the queen of misleading blog titles. When I say "all over the place" I actually mean just two contests at the moment. But there is a promise of more ways to win my book to come! Also, nothing has been solidly pinned down yet, I've got my agent working on it (though I use the term 'agent' loosely here because I'm referring to my friend Andrew Devey who is acting as my agent at the moment) but there's possibly a book launch party and book signing in our near future. Near future, here most closely meaning December 10th and 17th.

Location is TBA much like the Bluth family's fundraising cause.

Now, back to these contests I was speaking of. The first is a Goodreads contest! That's right folks, all you have to do is click "Enter To Win". How simple is that? Look! I'll even provide a link for you! The only way this could possibly be easier is if I came over to your house and clicked the button for you... which I am willing to do upon request... sort of.

Annnd the second contest is a Facebook page contest. This one is just as easy as the first! Simply 'like' The Breakup Artist's facebook page and you'll automatically be entered to win!

Simple simple simple.

Now keep in mind that both of these contests end the day before my book comes out! So get yourself clicking before December 7th or you're out of luck Sis! Until I have another contest that is. So you're more depleted in luck than anything else.

Also, check out the 'events' tab on the site. It's now actually got events on it! Sort of. It has tentative dates at least! And contests! So if you're ever sitting at home thinking "Hmm I wonder if there's some way to get a free copy of Shannen's book." Look no further than the events tab my friends!

Until Next Time,