Our Author tells us some strange and surprising things:
Hi! Thank you for the interview questions. It took me quite some time to pick out my favorites. But once I did, I was able to condense a few, since my answers grouped them together anyway. You’ll find all of my answers in blue text underneath each question.
- Can you tell your readers something about why you chose this particular topic to write about?
- What appealed to you about it?
- Why do you think it is different and your approach is unique?
- What appealed to you about it?
- How long do you think about a topic before deciding to write about it? Do you have a set of notes or a notebook where you write down topics that appeal before making a decision as to which topic this time?
- How long does it take to research a topic before you write? And for this book?What resources do you use? In general and for the last book that you wrote?If you need specialist knowledge to write a book, how do you obtain it? For instance, do you interview people? Go to the location? Use Google Earth? Apps?
Where the Mongrels Are is my personal spin on Where the Wild Things Are x The Wizard of Oz. I chose to write it while I was feeling nostalgic about my childhood. You see, there are some things that just move you to begin, to start a project with little to no thought… And Ada’s backstory was that thing for me.
I don’t write down topics to research or give myself time to consider them. I feel moved, so I go with the flow. I adapt to the character who takes up residence in my mind, and I tell their story as they tell it to me.
The only things I do research are simple things that will often be cut from the book anyway. Such as Japan having 600 types of swallows (the bird) or the patterns in currents around small islands… I try to veer away from heavy research, because I’m like the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland. I hop into one black hole, and then I pop up all over the place, constantly reminding myself that I’m going to be late.
- Do you write at home or away from home? If at home, what does your space look like? Are you a tidy person?
- If away from home – where and why?
I write at home. I’m far too ADHD to write anywhere else, because… distractions. You can find me holed up in my corner office with a great view. The view is the laundry I’m neglecting to get For the Ghastly and Beautiful finished. And the corner office is quite literally the corner of my bedroom. My space is both tidy and chaotic, just like me. I’m an organized trainwreck of a dragon, sitting atop my horde of paperbacks and stationary. (Forgive me but ‘a’ for car; ‘e’ for envelope)
- Do you keep a timeline and character traits pinned up on your wall? On post-its?
- If not how do you remember important items about your characters like height, weight, colouring, likes and dislikes etc?
Ohhh, man, do I! Not on my walls, and certainly not on post-it notes… But I have both digital and paper series bibles for everything. Each character I’ve ever mentioned in my solo series have sections of their own that include physical, mental, and emotional details… And so much more. I’m talking zodiac and enneagram, family trees, friend connections, past addresses and jobs… I profile them until I—Okay. I’m basically stalking fictional characters. Let’s call a bowl a bowl.
- Do you people watch to find characters for your books? How do you do this?
- What is the funniest thing you have seen that you have incorporated into a book?
- Or do you add some traits from your family and friends into your characters?
- How many of the accidents – funny or otherwise, or bad experiences in your stories are based on your own experiences? Or those of your friends?
I love to watch people—in a non-stalking way. I also enjoy picking apart tics and traits from the people I know to include as bits and pieces of my characters. Often, I’ll ask them questions to see how they would respond to situations that my characters are in. This has been extremely helpful in a non-pnr story that I’m working on. But I’m not allowed to talk about that just yet…
- What music – if any – do you think inspires you to write? Is it different for each novel or the same?
My music tastes are eclectic. On my spotify account, you’ll find public playlists for every book/series that I have published. I have a dozen hidden playlists that I’m building for future books. Music is definitely a big inspiration for me. While writing, I listen to the corresponding songs… So right now, I’m listening to a playlist specifically for Ada and For the Ghastly and Beautiful. And I’ll listen to it until I’m done with the book.
The songs are usually mood setters, but aren’t exactly tied to any one scene or chapter. Some songs remind me of only one character, while others help put me in the mental state the characters are in. This means in the Where the Mongrels Are playlist, you won’t find nearly as many chaotic, fight-worthy songs as you will in The Chronicles of Sloane King or The Chronicles of a Toy Monster playlists.
- How easy is it to write a good sex scene? Or baking scene? And do you have to have experienced these things, do you think, to write about them successfully?
I hate writing sex scenes. Let’s just get that out of the way now. But I strive for them to be believable, even if I am writing paranormal and we’re breaking desks or something. The amount of times I’ve been in a position, fully clothed, to get the angles right is freaking ridiculous. It’s just… way better than the stick figure drawings that I make!
Do you have to have experience? To me? Yes and no… I can explain how to bake a cake or what it tastes like without actually making or eating it. That’s where research comes in.
But I think you’d need at least the fundamental knowledge of the feelings of sex to make it believable. I don’t know, though. Someone may come along and challenge my way of thinking.
- Is it easy to write humour?
Uhm. Maybe? I’m not intentionally funny, not often anyway. And I think everyone has a different definition of humor. I’m dry, sarcastic, and dirty, so that’s what I find funny. Recently, I read a review that said sexual innuendos were childish… and that made me snort. Some characters are just that way, you know? And when they’re so set in their own definitions of humor—no matter how vastly different from the next character—it makes writing their brand of humor as easy as breathing.
- What about ‘snark’? Is it good or bad?
I love snark. Better yet, I AM snarky.
I think it can be both good and bad, depending on when, where, and why it’s used. Ada and Sloane are snarky with some of their mates, but Sloane is that way with her antagonists as well. She uses it to bait… Ada uses snark to distract herself.
My kids use snark to make me lose my mind.
See? Good and bad, depending on the circumstances.
- Were you inspired by any folk stories? If so, which ones? And what was it about them that inspired you?
Okay. This question is tricky, but also very valid.
I highly enjoy folklore and myths of all kinds. While you won’t find many, if any, in the Mongrels world… They are deeply woven into The Chronicles world. Unintentionally at first, but the more I wrote the more I realized that I could twist tales into the characters I had. I’ve warped Greek mythology and Irish folklore, and even ideals of Death and his flaming horse into my stories. There’s plenty of little nuggets. Some people find them; others don’t.
- What, in your life, are you most proud of doing?
- Which of your books / series are you most proud of?
This hits home for me in an emotional sort of way. There are many things that I’m proud of, such as my children and their accomplishments, or my family… But finishing that first book is high on my list.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been a writer and a storyteller. Publishing was something that my dad encouraged me to do. When I lost him, I lost myself. Writing brought me back, but it wasn’t an easy journey. I started with poetry; this helped me express emotions that I didn’t understand. Then one day, Sloane slapped me in the face so hard it was a near physical feeling.
As far as something that I’ve done? I’m most proud of myself for finishing my first book. Second comes hitting the publish button. I’ll always be proud of Druid Dreams, because that book brought me back to myself.
- What is your favourite genre?
Well… Uhm… Reverse harem, obviously. Paranormal or contemporary, and in every trope I can get them. But secretly? or not so secretly… I love sci-fi non-romance.
- What would you take on a desert island to read if you could only take 3 books?
The Time Machine by HG Wells
Dracula by Bram Stoker
The Odyssey by Homer
- What have you done with the things you wrote when in school?
Mmm… I think my mom still has a few things. I might as well. But that requires me to pull down the boxes in the top of the closet, and I’m not much up for reminiscing right now.
- Do you have any pets?
- If so, what are they?
- And what are they called?
- Do they help you write? Eg our cats like to sit on my desk/computer and play with my mouse.
- What is the funniest thing they have done while you are writing?
I do have pets; an English Mastiff named Woody, an American Bully named Pink, and a black cat named Saint. They’re… somewhat helpful. Woody’s bed is near my desk, and I can always tell if I’m going to have a good writing night by how loud he’s snoring. If he sounds like a train, then I’m good to go. But if he’s quiet, then I might as well shut it down and go to sleep. Pink and Saint just hang out, being distractingly cute.
- If you could be an animal, which animal would you be? Give three reasons. You may NOT choose to be a dog or a cat.
Oh! A flamingo… or a Buffalo. I don’t know why I’d choose the latter. Maybe because they’re docile until they’re not? They look really soft too. And they have purple tongues.
But a flamingo? They’re graceful… and no matter how hard I try to stand on one leg for hours at a time, I can only handle about eight and half minutes before I fall. Also, I wonder if eating algae would make me turn pink or just make me sick. And they’re migratory, so no cold weather. That last one is the only reason I need, just saying.
- How many ‘packs’ should a hero have? Are 8 too many and what might a character lick off them? Why?
Five or seven! Hear me out… When that lower ab is just one thick muscle, it makes the perfect plate. Have the upper abs nice and cut, ridges and all… That’s fine. But I like that one wide lower ab for a multitude of reasons, ranging from caramel syrup to a salty brim for tequila shots. Just not at the same time.
Wait… I see this was for character reasons… But I stand by my answer.
AUTHOR BIO:M.F. Adele resides in the outskirts of the Rocket City in Alabama. She lives in her overactive imagination, often fueled by caffeine and no sleep. When she isn’t writing, M.F. is outdoors with her family, obsessing over spicy margaritas and cigars, or reading books by her favorite authors.
If you’re looking for M.F. Adele, you can find her on social media in her group:
M.F. Adele’s Hellacious Hybrids.
M.F. loves to interact with her readers, hear character theories, and share embarrassing stories.