Interview with Mandy Peterson!

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Do you view writing as a kind of spiritual practice?
>Personally, I do not view my writing process as spiritual, but I do think it is therapeutic. As a writer, I get to explore bits the world and its vast experiences through my characters. For example, Vita’s story has encouraged me to take a look at science fiction topics (such as genetic manipulation and teleportation) as well as the very real basic questions of life (such as finding your place in the world). Telling the stories of these characters has made me very uneasy at times because I have to put yourself in their position and see each person as the ‘good guy’ of their own stories. It’s a stretch with some but good practice for every day life.
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Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
>I do! The lower ratings often have been resources of fantastic constructive criticism. I have been very lucky to not have anyone spew hateful remarks at me (yet!). The higher ratings usually include great points of my strengths and weaknesses as a storyteller AND offer a boost that my writer soul craves. Ultimately, if someone has spent their time reading my books, I am thankful. I know their time is valuable because I’m a reader too!
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How long on average does it take you to write a book?
>It’s looking like a year per book so far. I have a day job as a high school librarian in the United States as well as my every day roles as wife, mother, etc. So, I write when I can as best as I can. I am not sure how that translates into hours of actual work. However, Vita’s story has been all encompassing from spouting off storyline ideas, researching, writing, editing, re-editing, and working with the fabulous team of people I’m blessed to have around me.
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What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
>Rebecca Cooper-Thumann is a romance author who I was fortunate to know enough in every day life. She was the driving force behind my publishing “Before I Shatter” initially. I have yet to meet her in person, but Siobhan Davis has been a huge influence and source of encouragement. I started out reading and reviewing her books, so we developed a relationship as author/reviewer. When I became a published writer, Siobhan immediately hooked me up with online writing communities and tips and tricks for getting started.
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As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
>Oh my! This may sound a little strange, but I’ve always had a certain significance in my life of a panther. They are courageous and protective. Part of me says, “Yes, panther. For sure.” Another less impressive part of me is asking where the chocolate chip cookies are and yawning. “Sloth. It’s more like a sloth.” In truth, they are probably both correct depending on when you catch me.
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About The Author

Mandy grew up all over Nebraska and eventually settled down there with a family of her own: husband, daughter, and son.
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When she isn’t writing about herself in third person, Mandy the high school librarian can be found digging through young adult and new adult lit. An avid reader of all genres (but she secretly told me she loves sci-fi the most), you will usually see her with her nose in a book or face to her Kindle app, iced or blended coffee drink in hand. A former roller girl and roller derby referee, she can also be found watching roller derby online or dragging her family behind her to cheer on teams in person all over their great state. Recently, she developed a fascination with yarn and knits like a blind dog – enthusiastically but lacking a certain je ne sais quoi.
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Her next projects are the sequel to “Before I Shatter” and an urban fantasy novella for inclusion in April 2017’s LIFT anthology – a non-profit venture that raises money for autism research and relief. Her new book After I Break released on July 28th
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You can connect with Mandy on Goodreads, Twitter, email, and Facebook.
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Mandy Peterson’s books
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