Today I have the pleasure of interviewing my editor, Stevie Mikayne, who is also the author of Jellicle Girl. (Is my grammar and punctuation okay? Ack!) Jellicle Girl releases tomorrow, August 15, from Evolved Publishing. Please welcome Stevie!
Who are you and why are you here?
My name is Stevie Mikayne and I’m here because I was kind of curious about the Trashy blog. Also because my publicist Emlyn Chand dragged me out of my writing cave and told me it was time to get over my tendency toward agoraphobia. Also, I’m your editor, so I figured I’d better scope out this part of your life!
Plug your book(s) in three sentences or less:
Jellicle Girl is a modern literary fiction novel. It’s about a young woman, Beth Sarandon, who is trying to come to grips with a series of losses in her life: a difficult mother-daughter relationship, a more-than-best-friend who’s M.I.A., and the invasion on her independence when she’s forced into therapy with the indomitable Nancy Sullivan. Releases August 15 from Evolved Publishing!
What genre(s) do you write in? Why did you choose it?
I mostly write modernized literary fiction. Lit-Fic is what I always read growing up, but contemporary literature is much more accessible, so I ‘straddle’ the two (did you like that? I thought you might). At the core of me is still an eager little English student looking for metaphors…but growing up, I always wanted real-life characters to relate to—ones with dynamic personalities and strong language. The side wanting swearing and action usually yells louder, so most of my characters are colourful.
I write a lot for an LGBT audience because I feel like there really aren’t enough out there. I once went into our national bookstore and asked for a book with a lesbian protagonist. The employee was vaguely horrified and lowered her voice while pointing in the general vicinity of the erotica section (at the time I didn’t know I would find your books there, Amelia, otherwise I might have checked it out!). A Seahorse Year by Stacey D’Erasmo wasn’t popular yet. But that’s exactly what I was looking for—a mainstream book with alternative characters. And that’s what I try to write.
Do you use a pen name? Why/why not? How did you choose it?
I do use a pen name. Not because I want to keep my identity secret, but more because I want to be able to turn the “Stevie Mikayne” brand off, and be myself. Writing is a major part of my life, but it isn’t my whole life. I have other things that are important to me, and I like to be myself at home and with my friends.
If you really want a *deep* answer, I think Stevie Mikayne is also my way of carving out my own identity. My parents are multiply divorced and remarried, and I grew up with a last name that actually didn’t belong to anyone in my family. It was the name my mother’s second husband took when he immigrated to Canada. He adopted me after my dad left, but then he and my mother later divorced. My mum didn’t want to take her third husband’s last name and stick me and my sister with the name her second husband had chosen from the phone book (seriously), so in this bizarre gesture of solidarity, all three of us have kept it. So ridiculous. But funny.
Most writers are ‘different’ from the rest of the world in some way. What makes you different/odd/weird?
You mean, besides the naming fiasco? Well, I definitely ‘walk the line.’ I’ve had a lot of life experiences, and I find that too much time alone tends to push me over that precarious mental edge into *memory*. Sometimes it’s hard to get back. That’s why I do a lot of things to keep me grounded. I always work outside the home at least a few days a week, and do things that involve others. I’m also obsessed with baby elephants. I think everyone knows that by now. If they don’t, they obviously haven’t been following my tweets. I promise to find a new interest soon! Gourmet cooking is looking good…
Where do you get your ideas? What motivates you?
I think a lot while driving, and in the shower. I always hear things on the news that I think would work well in a story, but I rarely end up using those things. Sometimes I get the best ideas from other people’s casual conversations. As far as motivation, I seem to have an internal drive that’s constantly engaged. Something about ‘hope springing eternal. I find now, belonging to our Evolved team, that I’m motivated by the energy of the people around me. I’m not afraid of success or failure like I was before—only of selling out to the rat race, and losing my chance to live my best life. I think that’s probably what gets my ass in gear the most—the fear of a ‘day job.’
What do you like on your pizza?
Pineapple, mushrooms and bacon. And half the regular amount of cheese, please.
What is your favorite guilty pleasure?
*Smiles and winks.* As if! …Oh, it doesn’t have to be that? Okay…well…hmm…chocolate fudge crackle ice cream by President’s Choice (Canadian brand). With strawberries.
What do you wear to bed?
Frankly, I think people are probably more interested in hearing what YOU wear to bed. I live in an igloo, remember? So I wear flannel PJs to bed year round. :o)
What is your ideal vacation?
Somewhere the rest of the world hasn’t found yet. Preferably with an ancient library left over from a literary civilization. And a HUGE collection of tea…with knit blankets and window seats carved into old stone structures. Or a tour of old asylums. No tropical beaches with umbrella drinks for me, thank you.
What’s the weirdest search term that led to your blog?
Umm…what’s a blog?
And now for some either/or questions: Bath or shower?
The bathtub is so nice, but takes soooo long to fill up. So, *sigh* shower.
Mayo or Miracle Whip?
Neither. Ever. Blech.
Cat person or dog person?
A Great Dane person.
Chocolate or vanilla?
The book or the movie?
Are you seriously posing that question to an author?
Floss or brush?
You mean I had a CHOICE all this time? Damned dentist is constantly putting things in my mouth.
Phone call or email?
Bonus question: What is the airspeed velocity of a coconut-laden swallow?
Well, since I’ve never been to Africa, I can only comment on the European variety of swallow…