MY INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR ROBIN D. MAHLE!
What’s your name and what genre would you consider your books to be?
Robin D Mahle. I consider my books to be Young Adult Dieselpunk Science Fantasy, but that’s a mouthful. 😊
Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)?
My story follows Clark and Adelaide, two young adults in a 1920s-40s, island-based world. They are thrown together when Adelaide gets quite literally stuck with a powerful amulet that Clark needs and several groups are willing to kill for. While there is a romantic aspect, the story is about family, society, and adventure as much as it is Clark and Adelaide.
The idea all started with a love of comic books and anime. I thought about the complex worlds in anime, character concepts like the Ninja Turtles and Nightwing, how stories like theirs could be told through a different lens. I took those thoughts and combined them with my love of YA books, F Scott Fitzgerald, and snarky relationships, and the story just started to tell itself.
How did you get interested in writing this particular genre (historical novels, mysteries, sci-fi, children’s books, etc.)?
I’ve always loved sci-fi and fantasy both. As I got older and busier, I discovered a love for Young Adult and New Adult literature. I realized the to-the-point writing style was the way I wanted to tell my story.
What kind of research did you do for this book?
What kind of research didn’t I do for this book? Everything from typical explosions and atomic bombs to the invention of air conditioning, fashion through the first half of the 20th century, history of photography and electricity, phones, security cameras and wire taps. I had a background of familiarity with the deaf and hard-of-hearing, but I still had to look deeper into specifics for one of my characters.
Can you tell me about your Series?
There will be four books total. Though the story will continue to be told primarily through Clark and Addie’s POVs, we will delve deeper into the supporting characters and their backstories as well.
Do you have a favorite book out of this series?
As much as the first book, The Fractured Empire, holds a special place in my heart for being the first novel I ever completed, the second book, The Tempest Sea, is actually my favorite.
Was it always meant to become a series?
Yes, though originally it was three books instead of four.
What’s a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?
I have a day job, but my schedule for that is 1-2 hour shifts throughout the day, worked from home. I work around that schedule when my kiddos are gone, and when they are home, I wait until they are in bed to write. I like to curl up with my blanket, my laptop, and beverage of choice on the couch to write.
I try to write one chapter a day until the rough draft is complete. After that, I am a little more particular about when I edit since forcing edits never works out well for me.
Do you have a new book in the making and if so, what’s the name of your upcoming book?
I just finished the first draft of The Tempest Sea. After that, The Forgotten World will be my next project.
How important are character names to you in your books? Is there a special meaning to any of the names?
The names are important, but not necessarily for their meaning. With some, I try to get across a culture. Others are more personally important.
Where do your ideas come from?
Is there a genre that you’ve been wanting to experiment with?
Several. I love space operas, time travel, and mermaid/pirate books. While there’s a bit of the latter in my current series, I have considered delving deeper into that genre. I also love the Victorian era, but that might go in line with my time travel.
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
Consistency. Staying in line with the story, world, and character personas takes work when my mind is already wandering into other concepts.
What do you think of book trailers? Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book?
I think they’re fun! I don’t have plans for one at this time, though.
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
I finished my second novel in a month, after the first took me five years. That was pretty exciting.
What’s the best thing about being an author?
Watching other people connect to my story and my characters, find solace or laughter in them. Seeing the characters evolve is a close second.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Hopefully writing full time.
Have you always liked to write?
Yes, for as long as I can remember it was my favorite part of school.
What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Just write. It wont be perfect the first or second or tenth time, but you can’t edit a blank page.
If you didn’t like writing books, or weren’t any good at it, what would you like to do for a living?
Be a school librarian or English teacher. Fostering a love of books in children who think they don’t like to read or aren’t any good at it is on of the best feelings in the world.
Do you read reviews of your book(s)? Do you respond to them, good or bad? How do you deal with the bad?
I’m so new that I haven’t gotten any bad reviews yet, though I’m sure they’re coming. In my book’s beta stages, I got some very blunt feedback that was hard to erad, but ultimately helpful. I do read the reviews because the feedback is important, and even the complimentary reviews often contain constructive criticism. I would never respond to a review, good or bad, unless it were a situation where I was tagged on social media and it was all in good spirits.
What is your least favourite part of the writing / publishing process?
Marketing. I would prefer to spend my time writing and have someone else go forth and advertise.
What are you working on now?
I’m on round two of The Tempest Sea edits.
Can you give us a few tasty morsels from your work-in-progress?
I’ll give a small excerpt from the first chapter: It was bad enough I was filthy and barefoot, my dress in tatters from snagging on the rough planks of my cell. Though, to be fair, the barefoot part was my own doing. I had thrown both of my shoes at Judas the first time he had come to guard my cell.
Where did your love of books come from?
My family read all the time. After my parents were finished reading to my sisters and me, I would beg my older sisters to read to me some more. By the time I could finally read to myself, I was already obsessed with books.
Do you have any favorite authors or favorite books?
I have so many favorite books, I wouldn’t even know where to start. Ella Enchanted and The Little Prince were my first loves, though.
Of all the characters you have created, which is your favourite and why?
My favorite character is Locke. He doesn’t have a huge role, but I have immense respect for his honorable nature.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
It depends on what I’m writing. I adore writing romance scenes, friend banter, and family moments. I have to force myself to write world building and scenery, and insert relevant plot points for later.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
I’m highly distractable.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
Definitely original. I have tropes like anyone else, but my story is what I want it to be, and I just have to hope the readers love it as much as I do.
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
I have been fortunate to receive incredibly useful and kind advice from Frost Kay, Jennifer Nielson, and Kelly St. Clare.
What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?
Hmmm, no one ever asks me what my least favorite animal is. It’s a toss up between sharks and birds.
Where can your fans find you and follow??
I’m everywhere. Twitter @Robin_D_Mahle, Instagram: robinmahleauthor, Facebook and Goodreads: Robin D. Mahle
Thank you for taking your time to do this interview ❤️