Tuesday, September 21, 2010

An Electrifying Interview with Author Mahalia Levey

Mahalia's Hot Upcoming Release
From Liquid Silver Books

You've already been treated to a sizzling teaser...my last post about Author Mahalia Levey included an excerpt from the upcoming Liquid Silver Books release, Demonic Persuasion, and a mini-interview with the author herself!  It was really a treat getting to know Ms. Levey.  Today, I'm thrilled to publish our interview in full.  Mahalia Levey, welcome to Indigo Skye: Ink and Art!

Indigo Skye: Ink and Art

An Exclusive Interview with Author Mahalia Levey

Indigo Skye: Ink and Art
Welcomes Author Mahalia Levey
 Being smart and sassy with a great sense of humor comes easily for Author Mahalia Levey. An avid reader, she found herself enchanted with disappearing completely into the worlds authors created. One day she vowed to herself she'd be one of them. Then family life came, and college right after. Swayed from her childhood course of action, it took many years for her to get back to that place she held dear as a child. Now she is running full steam ahead to keep up with the many ideas flowing freely. She plans on taking her work to higher levels and expanding her genres. Her main focus is giving her readers variety. Levey's works in progress include paranormal, fantasy and mainstream romance. Taking characters and watching them grow past what she’s imagined is her true passion.

Q: When did you first begin to dream of a career as a writer?

A: I never dreamed of having a career as a writer. I used to play around as a teen, but I was more of a reader. Around five years ago, I began writing for leisure on a forum. I was approached by an editor at Phaze a little over a year ago to try my hand at publishing, to challenge myself. So here I am, still challenging myself to improve and grow in my craft.

Q: What was the biggest challenge that stood in your way when you were first getting your career off the ground? How did you handle it?

A: I came in totally blind to the publishing side of writing. I didn't know the basic rules or layout for stories. As a plot builder and world builder, I just built. So upon entering the world of publishing, I had to take a huge step backward and take some much needed classes. Basic self editing and crash revisions topped the list. My weakness was mechanics. I handled it by joining groups and forums, paying for short classes on line geared toward my needs, and finding strong critique partners who weren't afraid to rip my manuscripts to shreds.

Q: What’s the best professional advice you’ve ever received? The worst?

A: Education is never wasted is one of my mottos, so the best advice I got was to get my heinie into some great classes and learn. I don't think I've had a worst advice situation. I've heard different views on photo copy rights pertaining to different countries and what trademark infringement is, and other things. Making sure to read the bylaws of countries and understanding legalities for songs, and such when doing trailers is imperative.

"Education is never wasted..."

Q: I understand you’re a mother with three little ones at home. How do you juggle the demands of balancing a family and a writing career?

A: My little ones are now three arguing teens. I juggle sports activities, a fiance and writing constantly. We have designated family nights where no electronic devices are allowed by everyone in the house and split time making supper and sharing our days.

Q: What are your best practices for creating characters that jump off the page?

A: I don't have a practice. I have a thought of a character and normally their personality will jump off right away. I concentrate on their positive and negative traits and make sure there's a balance to bring both the worst and best out in them.

Q: Any tips on writing snappy dialogue that never disappoints?

A: I've heard I have great dialogue but dialogue is the hardest to me. I'd say keep it short and tuned into the character’s personality.

Q: In your newest release from Phaze, Embrace the Moment, your main characters are very well-drawn, with personalities that really pop and a conflict that’s sure to hook readers after the first page. Are they based on people you know, or past experiences?

A: They're not based on anyone I know. I was listening to Avenged Sevenfold, my favorite band, and playing “Seize The Day”- my favorite song. This inspired me to do a Coast Guard Series, using the inspiration of this song as part of the integral substance of my story.

Q: Was there a lot of research involved in writing Embrace the Moment? What else did you do to pave the way for this newest release?

A: I was in the Navy, which is close to being in the Coast Guard. I did some basic research and just began writing.

"Character development can be tricky, because no matter how much you research, sometimes they surprise you in the middle of the story. I've learned to let them write themselves."

I don't spend time plotting the entire story. I create a beginning, a sort of soft middle, and a few ideas for endings, keeping the post it notes handy to register changes in the thought process. I created promo excerpts and posted everywhere. I order swag from Vista Print constantly and give it away. I entered contests from review sites like Romance Junkies and Talking TwoLips.

Q: I think the central conflict in the book, Embrace the Moment, speaks to many women’s experiences. It’s often a struggle for women to be all things to all people- to be the perfect boss, the perfect lover- the Super-woman who can do it all, and make it look easy. How does your career intersect (or interfere) with your primary relationships? How does this differ from your characters’ experiences?

A: It really has no affect at all. My family respects my writing, and the friends I have encourage it. Even the members really into the church lifestyle give me praise, and don’t judge or discourage me from pursuing this newfound passion. I've been quite lucky in having unassuming friends in my life. As for the difference in character experiences, it depends on the story line and how much of my own personal experiences I put into it.

"My character, Lark, is not a part of me, which is funny. She's strong and dominant, while in real life I'm quirky, relaxed, and comfortable with who I am."

Q: Who are some of your favorite authors?

A: Sherrilyn Kenyon, Kate Douglas, Lori Foster, Andrew Grey, Sandy Sullivan, Debra Glass, Marie Harte, Johanna Lindsey and the writers of the old classics.

Q: What’s your favorite book to read in the tub?

A: I don't take baths. I shower so no reading for me, lol. OCD about sitting in a tub of filth. When I was little I'd take a bath and then directly after take a shower.

Q. What's your favorite guilty pleasure?

A: Vanilla Zingers are my downfall.

Q: If you were stranded on a desert island with only three books to read, which three would make the cut?

A: Archeron, Namesake, and a book on Survival techniques.

Q: How about a sexy writing prompt for our readers? I’d love to publish one of your writing prompts to get their pens moving!

A: Here’s a Story-Starter, from my pen to yours. Write a story in which the main character is invisible. Here’s where I went with this idea…

Taekar lay there, unknowing I was beside him. The power I felt knowing my touch wouldn't wake him, but would give me ample time to caress the contours of his large cock, and brush my fingers up his ripped abs, laying a lingering touch on his pierced nipples, raking my fangs over his many tattoos and breathing in his response into my body. Such a sweet gift is being invisible, able to reappear on a whim without any of the disadvantages of those stuck between realms.

Q: Any famous last words of encouragement, inspiration and advice to share with all those budding writers out there?

A: While you're learning, don't get overwhelmed, make time to read, and don't lose the joy of writing when frustrated. Learn to take a step back or a day off to balance yourself.

Where to find Mahalia Levey on the web…






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