Originally published 2016-01-16: Dedicated and Obsessed, Interview with A.L. Mabry | Spotlight Saturday
In the spotlight today, I have editor and author A.L. Mabry. You may know her from Our Write Side, a new writing community that posts prompts, writing tips, fiction, and a lot more. In this interview, we’ll talk about her upcoming fantasy trilogy, her work with teens, her passion for awareness, and even get an excerpt of a book she’s working on.
Show us your public face.
A.L. Mabry is currently working on her first fantasy trilogy while dabbling in short stories, poetry, and prompt writing. She dedicates her time to many different interests close to her heart, including mental health awareness, domestic abuse and child abuse awareness, and anti-bullying campaigns. She has an obsessive love of vampires, kilts, and blue butterflies.
When she is not writing, advocating or creating handmade items for her Etsy shop, she can be found exploring creeks, mountains, and rivers, playing board games and videos games, and working on various projects with her loving husband, Shawn, and their beautiful blended family of 5 teenagers.
Who do you write for? Who is your target audience?
On one hand, I write for myself. When it comes to fiction, every story I write is because it is there, in my head. I have to get it out to clear some of the never-ending chaos. On the other hand, I write for others. Where nonfiction is concerned, I share the words that people need to hear. Whether it is concerning special needs parenting, bullying, or the art of writing, I want my words and experience to resonate with someone when they need them.
What do you do in your role as executive editor for Our Write Side?
Oh goodness. I wear so many hats at Our Write Side! Where do I even begin?
I write several weekly columns and run several of our social media accounts for starters. I do most of the business aspects of learning, heading up the know-how of author platform building and marketing, and then I share this information with our team.
I am an idea person, so I am constantly bringing up ways to improve and expand what we do, and also looking for ways to make our venture profitable so that eventually our team will benefit from the fantastic work they do. I handle a lot of the back end by organizing review groups, creating forms and data bases, and helping to run our critique group on Facebook. I help with editing and formatting and consult on site design.
Oh, and I help our writers; whether it is coaching them on building their platforms or cheerleading them while they work, I am there.
In Bipolar Tuesdays for Our Write Side, you write about parenting a special needs child and mental illness understanding. Can you tell us more about the incarnations of Bipolar Tuesdays on other sites you write for, and about the fictional girl Juniper?
When I very first entered the blogging world I focused on special needs parenting, I had a blog once, Rage Against the Washing Machine, where I really connected with the special needs community. Eventually I wanted to expand my writing into other areas and so Bipolar Tuesdays was born and everything else grew.
Now that my daughter is older, I consult with her before posting stories that involve her. If she wants a story to be anonymous, or I receive a story from a reader, they are labeled as Juniper to protect the identities of those involved. The name The Juniper Files just came to me one day and I loved it.
Raising Voices for Our Write Side is a column dedicated to letting teenagers’ voices be heard. What inspired you to start it, and how much success have you had in getting kids to open up so far?
Raising Voices was actually inspired by my oldest son, Jiovanni. I had a series of essays he had written for school and I thought, ‘These are so insightful, it is a shame no one but an English teacher got to see them.’ I decide to give him a platform and I expanded it to include others. I have since posted work from all my children, Stephanie’s daughter, and a handful of submissions. This year we will also be including the children from Kids Are Heroes.
Can you tell us anything about the fantasy trilogy you’re writing?
Soul Burge is the first book in my Chthonian Guardian series. It is a historical, supernatural romance with Gaelic myths intertwined with my own made-up twists.
I incorporate pagan beliefs and of course lots of romance and betrayal, and it all revolves around humans and two supernatural races: a “good” race called Chthonians, who are the basis of all human legends (vampires, witches, werewolves, etc.), and an evil race called Baobhan sith, who are an old Scottish version of female vampires similar to harpies.
The Baobhan sith were created by the Chthonian King after he split with the Queen. Their reign is coming to a close, and the fate of the world hangs in the balance.
Where else can readers find your published work?
I recently pulled most of my work in order to combine them into a larger project. The bulk of my writing is on Our Write Side at this time, although I do have a story published in an anthology called Authors Against Bullying, Volume One.
What fuels your writing?
Writing, like reading, is a form of escapism. I have had a hard life up until a few years ago, and these two things are what helped me cope and kept me relatively sane. I have a very active imagination, and once an idea sparks, I have to write it out, or it will stay in my head, humming in the background incessantly.
Tell us about your writing hideout.
I love love love my “writing hideout.” I actually have a home office. With a door! Last year my husband bought me a fantastic L desk and now I have all the space I need to work. I have filled this room of my own with things I love, such as butterflies, candles, faeries, a fountain, and tons of post-its.
[Adan’s Note: Lucky! I envy you your room and desk.]
Give us a taste of what you’re working on now.
“Rashu, in retribution for your crimes, the soul of your anam cara, Emilia, is to be banished from the realm of living for a total of eight lifetimes.” The crowded ballroom exploded with irate protests, and she cast her gaze across the large room, her signature iciness returned in a blink. Queen Bethia took smug satisfaction in the sudden silence and continued with dramatic flair, “When this soul returns, it will be purged.”
A murmur of shock passed through the crowd quickly. Even the Fae understood what this would mean for the young Guardian and his love; he would share Tiago’s fate.
“This means she will have no memories of her previous lifetimes or,” she tipped his face to her own, “of you, and the anam cara bond will be severed. I will offer her a choice upon conclusion of this sentencing; she may return to the realm of the living or proceed to Transcendence. If she returns, Rashu, you are not to intervene in any way. However, should she choose not to be bound to this realm, I will honor her decision and aid her soul on its journey to Transcendence. Your failure has placed a burden on us all.”
“A banishment? That is all DeeAnn was worth? He should be put to death!” Tiago struggled to stand but the Queen’s magickal grip kept him in place.
He thrust his chin forward and his eyes flared. Queen Bethia sat and stared down from her gilded throne, one platinum eyebrow raised, and dared him to challenge her. She struggled to contain her building fury. The loss of a Guardian’s anam cara was a grave offense, this she knew, but she was bound by more than vengeance. Despite the presence of the Fae, she was being lenient, only because Rashu was more than a court favorite, he was a personal favorite and his work in this world was not yet finished.
“Tiago, there is knowledge of this world known only by myself and my Seerer. Every decision I make is done with the utmost consideration to how it will effect the greater good. You will not question me again.” She released her grip on Tiago and he fled the palace throne room, the sea of Fae and trolls alike parted to allow him passage.
Rashu turned, he absorbed the fear and denial on Emilia’s face as the Queen’s words sunk in. It was just a week ago that Queen Bethia had restored her memories. Hundred of years worth of thoughts, experiences and emotions, awarded to her upon her 18th birthday; as it was in each lifetime. For hundreds of years, Rashu had loved her and they had managed to cross paths, no matter how briefly.
He couldn’t imagine her forgetting him, or this entire magical world that very few even knew existed. She had taken everything in stride, as was her gentle way, every single time. Emilia valued her bond to Rashu, and she respected her duty to the Chthonian race. She had only three more life cycles to complete before her conversion to a Chthonian Misturas. Eight life cycles of banishment would not only permanently strip her of memories, but all of her soul’s life experience as well. She would literally be born again. If she chose to return to this world.
She held her hand out to him, her chakra de mana, all she had left to offer him, instead it disappeared and reappeared in the Queen’s hand. He was certain the queen was wrong, she would be back and her heart would never forget this love. As long as that stone existed, there was a chance. Emilia’s soft, lavender eyes turned dark and stormy even as they brimmed with tears. Rashu reached out for her as she began to faint. He guided her lithe body to the ground and sat with her, staring into those now vacant eyes. Purple eyes that would haunt him for centuries.
Where can we find you online?
You can stalk me in a variety of places!
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