This morning we’ve got a special treat – the start of an ongoing series of interviews with authors across the indie world! Today I’m thrilled to shine a light on the ultra-talented spell-weaver and story-meister, A.L. Mabry, to celebrate the coronation of her upcoming short story collection, Darker Daze: The Storms Within, available starting Wednesday, March 28th.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your writing.
Hello guys, gals, and butterflies! I am Amanda (writing as A.L. Mabry) and I am from… erm… well, I was born in Kentucky, then raised in Florida, but now I live in Ohio and dream of life on the road. I still have both kidneys and not only that, I still have this damn uterus. Is there a black market demand for them because I REALLY don’t want this one…
What inspired (or lured) you into the craft?
I have always had a love of the written word. I was in the Young Author’s Guild throughout most of my school years but I became a young mom and lost touch with it. I didn’t realize I was stretching my writing muscle through my years of teaching preschool. Then when my daughter was in preschool I went searching for advice on special needs parenting and I found a community of special needs parenting blogs. I started one myself and it felt SO GOOD to write again. Then I found a fiction writing group and the rest is history.
Have short stories always been your forte?
I love the challenge of fitting character development, setting, and a shit ton of emotion into a limited amount of words. I am a non-linear scene writer so short stories are easier to piece together in the end.
What’s your writing routine (or lack thereof) like?
My routine is pretty typical I would say. First, I set up my crystal grid and set the intention for creativity. I light my incense and turn on some music. If it’s morning I need coffee, in the afternoon I need tea, and in the evening a nice glass of moscato. I have to restrict my access to social media, email and such because I am so easily distracted.
From where or whom do you draw your inspiration?
The inspiration for Darker Daze is not a fun story. I have a history of childhood abuse and survived a fifteen year long violent marriage. While I am not bitter or broken (much), I do pull inspiration from the vault of dark emotions I carry internally.
Personally, I have a love/hate relationship with writing. What’s yours like?
Writing is therapeutic for me. It’s a way for me to internalize my feelings and process them. It’s also a way for me to walk a life outside of my own.
What genres do you prefer to read/write, and why?
I honestly love all genres. Even if I don’t particularly care for a genre I can always find at least one book in it I love. I do have a soft spot for the most emotionally draining books though.
Tell us a bit more about Darker Daze. What was it like during the writing process?
Darker Daze has been such a fun project. Even though the content is dark and the inspiration is basically the fact that I have had a trainwreck of a life, I enjoyed every step of it. I plan to continue the Darker Daze series with a second volume in 2019 and more afterward. I typically publish these stories periodically throughout the year on my Patreon account, so select readers get exclusive first access.
So, I love that Darker Daze promises to “draw the reader in for a hug, then punch them in the gut.” Gut punches are my jam. But anyway: Does this mean you don’t believe in happy endings, or maybe err on the side of bittersweet in your stories?
The premise for Darker Daze isn’t to give hope. I know, that sounds bad but hear me out. When you are in the midst of something terrible you aren’t always looking for someone who has been in your shoes and gets a happy ending. There aren’t always happy endings and that is a truth that many victims and survivors know all too well. When I was certain my marriage was going to end in my death, I remember thinking my story would not be told. People want the survivors’ stories of strength more than the victims’ sob stories.
What can we humble readers expect to receive from Volume II? Will it be along the same theme as the first?
Volume II will follow the same theme as this one but I’m hoping to include longer pieces and to touch on more fictional realities. I would love to hear reader feedback; what topics would you like to see? Do you have a story you would like to share confidentially to be an inspiration?
Are there any other projects on the horizon we can look forward to?
Yes! I am working on rewrites for Soul Purge right now. Soul Purge will release in October during my Big Birthday Bonanza. This is the first book in my fantasy trilogy and it is a story I have been crafting for years.
Time for the WP&S Triple Threat: give us your coolest place, weirdest food, and best book.
The coolest place I have been, and I know this will sound cliche, but New Orleans. I absolutely adore it. The energy, the people, the art. I could spend a month there exploring and not get bored. I am a picky eater so this one won’t be terribly exciting; I love peanut butter and pickle sandwiches. My favorite book of all the books is The Mist of Avalon for the reasons stated above.
Coffee or tea?
Honestly, both. I am typically a coffee girl from the time I wake up until 3ish. Then I switch to tea. Iced (and sweet) or hot, anything goes.
Red or white?
I love a sweet white wine and it has to be well chilled.
Tropical or chilly?
Tropical! I hate the cold, it hurts my body.
Handwritten or typed?
I type everything except poetry. My poems I always write out by hand first.
And finally: what’s your guiltiest pleasure?
Once a year I like to abandon all my adult responsibilities and binge all seven seasons of Buffy.
Thanks for joining us, Amanda, and full speed ahead! Darker Daze is available for pre-order now on Amazon.
About the Author
A.L. Mabry is one of the founders of and the Executive Marketing Manager for Our Write Side (OWS Ink, LLC), an online community for writers, readers, publishers and more. She writes occasional articles on OWS focused on the connection between life and writing. She publishes articles on Medium and also has a weekly writing prompt; Coldly Calculating: Writing By The Numbers: Putting a dark twist on colloquial phrases with a numbers theme. She was previously the Editor in Chief for Eat, Sleep, Write and once ran a successful special needs blog, Rage Against the Washing Machine which has since been retired. She is a highly sought freelance writer who specializes in research-based writing. This allows her to provide quality content on a variety of topics. She enjoys helping other authors find their way with private coaching and sharing what she has learned from personal experience, for example, this post on Perfecting Your Bio. As an author, she enjoys writing in all genres and forms, even grocery lists. She is an artist at heart and Wiccan by nature with an obsessive love of vampires, kilts, and blue butterflies. She is passionate about many topics, and her posts and stories are often laced with the snarky sense of humor one acquires from raising five teenagers, all at once.