An Interview with Mandy Gardner, author of, The Last Diaspora series.
- Tell us a little about yourself. How long have you been writing, and where or what gets you inspired to tell stories?
Well, probably first and foremost, I’m a cat person :) Six years ago I moved from Canada to Mexico and brought three kitties with me - Froggy, Minnie Mew and Homer. Living in the Caribbean is the best choice I ever made! Life is slow and relaxed, I got married and have awesome friends from all over the world. I work as a content writer and editor, something I’ve been doing more or less since the age of 20, when I lived in the UK.
I became a writer because all I ever wanted to do as a kid was read. Nobody’s paying me for that, though. So writing was the natural progression.
- How long have you been working on Book 1: Letters to Earth, from The Last Diaspora series?
I started writing Letters to Earth about four years ago. I would write big chunks, then get lost, then revise over and over. It was tough. For some reason, reading a lot doesn’t actually teach you how to put together a novel.
- Do you think The Last Diaspora series would eventually make a good TV show or film series?
Yes! Let’s put it on the Space Channel :D
- Why did you choose Endless Ink PH to publish with?
You guys had already offered me work as an editor and even short-story writer! I thought you would understand and appreciate my book, so I submitted it. I was right!
- You have also written for as well as edited a lot of the Earth’s Final Chapter series, also published by Endless Ink. How is working on a collaborative series different from working on your own series?
It’s very different! I had to read all the existing work and use the same style and tone. First-person is not something I’ve done before and it took me some getting used to. At the same time, the stories of the other writers gave me all kinds of ideas and pre-written side stories to work off of. Ideas-wise, it was an ideal situation.
With my own work, it sounds much closer to the kinds of sci-fi I’ve always read. Robert Heinlein, Orson Scott Card. At least that’s what I hope? LOL
- What are some hobbies or passions you have outside of writing?
I foster orphaned kittens for the local Humane Society and help find them homes when they are big enough. I also love cooking and baking, though the second one is a bit harder now that I’m a vegan. I’ve been vegetarian for most of the last decade so the switch wasn’t too difficult, but there isn’t much to eat in local restaurants for me. We just travelled to Canada for three weeks and I couldn’t stop eating all the vegan options in Toronto, Oakville and even A&W!
- What is something you want readers to know about you?
Umm. I’m sensitive. Be nice to me :D Or at least be nice to animals.
- Social media allows fans to connect with authors easier, what is the platform you use the most and why?
I use Facebook the most, but I try to keep my Friends list pared down as much as possible, to people I truly know. I’d love more Twitter friends though!
- Being an author isn’t easy. What do you find to be the most difficult part about the process?
Understanding what to do next! I can write several chapters that I love, or start at the ending, and then be at a complete loss as to how to move on from there. It makes me stop for months at a time. I wish I worked more efficiently.
- Is there anyone who has helped you along the way that you would like to give a shout-out to or thank for helping you get to this point. Family, friend, or someone else?
Of course! My mom, for always helping proofread and edit my work. And for not panicking about my life choices :D
- When a reader picks up your books what should they expect from your stories?
Some classic, old-school planetary exploration!
- Book 1: Letters to Earth, of The Last Diaspora series has a lot of depth, what is something you wanted readers to come away with after reading it?
I guess I want readers to feel more in touch with the incredible diversity of humanity, and understand it as a natural part of existence. I want them to imagine all the strange possibilities for the future and feel happy and excited by them.