Interview: Author A. L. Mabry
Author: A.L. Mabry
Titles: Soul Purge, Vivamus, A Wish You Take (WIPs)
Genre: Fantasy, Dystopia, LBGT
Origin: My mother’s womb
A.L. Mabry is the Executive Editor of Our Write Side and our very own Sassy Scorpio Scribe. She is an author, freelancer, and editor who enjoys writing in all genres and forms, even grocery lists. She is an artist and Wiccan who has an obsessive love of vampires, kilts, and blue butterflies. She is passionate about many topics and her posts are often laced with the snarky sense of humor one acquires from raising five teenagers, all at once.
When she is not writing, advocating, or creating handmade items for her Etsy shop, she can be found exploring creeks, mountains, and rivers, playing board games, videos games, and working on various projects with her loving husband, Shawn, and their children. She maintains her shreds of sanity with yoga, tea, and cats.
You can find a full listing of her works on her Amazon author page. She is also known around here as The Sassy Scorpio Scribe, while raising special needs awareness with Bipolar Tuesday, the editor of Raising Voices (our teen scene), and the creator of the chilling Coldly Calculating writing prompt series.
Interviewed by Stephanie Ayers
- How long have you been writing?
I had my first book “published” in second grade. I can still remember that absolute thrill of seeing MY book with a checkout card in the back of it and the names of kids who had read it.
- What kind(s) of writing do you do?
What I don’t do would be a shorter list! I write fiction, sometimes its dark, and sometimes its flowery. I write nonfic/memoir and some stories based loosely on my traumatic childhood. I write pieces meant to educate, support, and advocate for issues that are close to my heart, namely childhood mental illness.
- Why did you choose that particular field or genre?
I have an incessant need to WRITE. I have stories to tell and words crowding up my head. I choose to write what is important to me, whether it is fiction or not.
- What inspires you?
The world. There is no limit to inspiration all around us if we take the time to notice it. I am inspired by struggles and triumphs, by people and places. I see inspiration in the art of others and the natural art that occurs right outside my window.
- Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing, etc. come from?
There is a delicate combination that resulted in my love of words. My mom is a natural storyteller and avid reader. She had me reading fluidly before I started kindergarten. I was reading Stephen King by 5th grade. Abused throughout my childhood, I used reading as a way to escape my reality. I think writing just came naturally.
- How do you find or make time to write?
By ignoring my children and freeloading off of my husband, naturally.
- Do you write more by logic or intuition, or some combination of the two? Summarize your writing process.
I start with intuition, I feel a story spark and I spill it onto the page. And then, when the words slow down, I go back through and begin to make notes, create backstories, fact check, and research. I end up with a notebook full of information. Out of that notebook, maybe 25% ends up in the book.
- How did you get to be where you are in your life today?
By refusing to let the darkness swallow me whole, no matter how tempting it was. I fought for and maintained a positive outlook even when I had zero reason to. I stood up for myself (eventually) and I took CONTROL of my own life. I spent 90 percent of my life being abused but I never let it alter who I was inside. And then, by some miracle, I met a man who saw everything in me that I wanted to see. And he has given me the support I needed to pursue my passions.
- What projects are you working on at the moment?
I am currently working on expanding and developing Our Write Side, an online publication that I am Executive Editor for. I am also working on several novels. My main WIP is Soul Purge, an epic fantasy trilogy that will change the way you view “bloodsuckers.” In addition to that, I haveI Vivamus, a dystopian fantasy revolving around the concept of using cloned children as a type of family insurance. Immortal Mine explores the role reversal of a supernatural fantasy where the vampires are slaves to the humans. And finally, A Wish You Take follows the bittersweet path of a young man who suffers a series of losses while finding himself and true love. I also have a bunch of shorter stories but if I give it all to you here, you may not stalk me properly.
- What process did you go through to get your work published?
I have submitted to publishers seeking short stories for anthologies and collections, and I have explored digital self publishing using blogs and Wattpad. As for as the real deal, that will be this year. That is my highest priority.
- What is the hardest part of writing for you?
Staying focused on one thing at a time. Seriously, my brain is constantly going in a million directions, and I tend to chase and explore every single thought. Squirrel!
- What do you enjoy most about writing? Share your favorite work.
I enjoy getting lost in the words. Just like reading, writing is a form of escapism. It is nice to forget reality for brief periods of time and explore wherever my imagination leads. A favorite work of my own? I have a piece called I Am Water that I am particularly fond of.
- What is the biggest thing people THINK they know about your subject/genre, that isn’t true?
“Writing fantasy is easy. You just make stuff up.” No. Well, yes, but not exactly. You make stuff up, but you have to make it BELIEVABLE. That is the craft of the art.
- What is the most important thing that people DON’T know about your subject/genre, that they should?
I am still learning every day. I don’t think I know enough yet to say what others don’t know.
- For those interested in exploring the subject/theme of your work, where should they start?
Open any book. If there are words, I live there.
- What are some ways in which you promote your writing? Do you find that these add or detract from your writing time?
I promote using the basics, Facebook and Twitter, mostly. I think I might be doing it wrong. Maybe I should start Vaguebooking and posting debatable pictures to Twitter. Is this dress black/blue or gold/white? Read my book to find out! Anything that detracts from writing, detracts from writing, that is an inescapable truth.
- Who are some of your favorite authors? What impact have they had on your writing?
All time favorite, Stephen King. I love his ability to take the ordinary and make it terrifying. Nicholas Sparks has a gift for touching the reader’s heart. Laurell K. Hamilton took supernatural erotica to all new places for me. I really love so many, it is hard to choose. I do have a soft spot for classic writers. Jane Austen. Poe. George Orwell. And of course, I LOVE Stephanie Ayers.
- What makes your writing stand out from the crowd?
I like to think outside of the box. I tend to take well known themes and turn them upside down. I think in time, readers will come to expect this from me.
- What are you currently reading?
I am currently reading Splintered by A.G. Howard. (Have you seen the covers? GORGEOUS!)
- What do you think is the future of reading/writing?
I don’t believe that print is dying. Yes, digital publishing is great. It is accessible and well known. However, book lovers, hard core bibliophiles, LOVE the smell and feel of REAL books and the sense of belonging that comes over them when stepping inside a bookstore or library.
Don’t forget to check out her weekly columns and writing prompt right here on Our Write Side: Raising Voices, Coldly Calculating, The Sassy Scorpio Scribes, and Miscellany Musings.