Another lovely author from the anthology, Words to Music, and a sweetheart, too! She’s not only a great writer, but she is crafty. She’s hand-made jewelry and knitted mittens for Thing 1 and 2 for the last two Christmases, and the headband she made Thing 1 this past year became contentious in this house–I wanted it, too! I’ll post links below, as usual, so you can check out her skillz. (You know, as soon as I typed that, it just felt wrong.)
Oh, right. This is an interview! So, let me introduce Kira.
How often do you use music in your other writing? What style/form of music? Is it different with each writing project, or do you use the same/similar music for everything?
I tend to use music to shut out other distractions – When I know what I’m doing and I’m in the zone, the music just provides a wall. Sometimes I pick a playlist, sometimes I don’t.
I have an interesting list of artists for my YA book “The Angel’s Crown” – Faith No More, Cait Agus Sean, Clannad, Pet Shop Boys, Rob Dougan, Coldcut, Jan Hammer, Adiemus, Enya – and it’ll get longer as I get further into the book!
Where else do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration almost anywhere. A lot of the time though, if I’m stuck I’ll ask Daniel, my Fiancé for his input. He can quite often jump me over an obstacle…
The inspiration for my latest short story WIP for the Bridport Prize came from my cat, Gizmo, one of Sir Terry Pratchett’s books, “The Unadultarated Cat” and a Robert Heinlein character.
When you first got your song, did the story hit you right away or was it more of a simmer? (i.e., what was your process)
After I’d researched the song, I came up with an odd story; a rambling piece about an immortal wanderer who saved some native people on a planet far, far away… sadly, while the concept was good, the film “Avatar” had arrived on the scene and dealt with the concept in a far better way, so I pulled the story and shelved it for later re-writing.
The second story I submitted was a shorter piece of SF that explored the concept of where sentience comes from and the challenge to authority it creates. I slipstreamed it with a touch of fantasy and “I, Dragon” was born.
Were you familiar with the song you received for Words to Music? Did this impact the story at all?
I’d never heard of the song or the artist in my life! I had to Google the lyrics and find an MP3 track to listen to. It impacted the story because I didn’t really click immediately with the song and it put me off a little.
If you crave silence instead, why does music bother you?
I only need silence when I am concentrating. If I am writing something that needs me to have to think about what I am doing, then music and ANY other noise… can get in the way. That includes the partner, TV and children!
If you listen to music while you write, what is it about the piece that inspires you (i.e., lyrics, rhythm, style, genre)?
I tend to pick a song according to the mood of the place, scene or Character it’s for.
For example – the first scene of “The Angel’s Crown” is the crown being stolen. So the track that goes with it is “The Perfect Crime” by Faith No More. The song that goes with Arkingham / Arking Down is “New Grange” by Clannad and the song that goes with Aderyn Archington is “Autumn Leaves” by Coldcut.
What song is your anthology story based on? Do you like the song? If so, why? And what about that song speaks to you?
The Song I was given was The Authority Song by John Mellencamp. I reserve judgement about it – mostly because it wasn’t the lyrics or the tune that inspired me. It was the concept of rejecting / opposing authority it brought to mind that inspired the stories.
Mandy Ward has the pleasure of being a chocolate addicted, dragon loving, cat slave. She has had various horror and fantasy stories published and won the inaugural Dungeon Duel on the House of Horror E-Zine. Other writing achievements include setting up and running the writer’s Webzine “Welcome to Wherever…”
As she writes in many different Genres, Mandy writes under two different Pennames:
- Children’s / Young Adult / Fantasy – Kira Morgana
- Horror / Dark Fantasy – A.E. Churchyard”
But as she thinks that the Fantasy / YA work is the way to go with her writing, she has adopted “Kira Morgana” as her main Penname. It is under this name that she is writing the YA series “The Secret of Arking Down”.
Mandy doesn’t just write though. Outside of the PC she is a qualified Design Technology Teacher and a fledgling Jewellery Designer with two children and a long suffering Fiancé, not to mention the craziest cats ever.
You can find more information about Kira at her website.
Do you have any questions you wish I’d asked?