Marcia Mickelson was born in Guatemala and moved to the U.S. as an infant. She began writing her first novel her senior year of high school and finished it more than ten years later. Marcia graduated from Brigham Young University with a Bachelors Degree in American Studies. She is the author of Star Shining Brightly, Reasonable Doubt, and Pickup Games. Marcia's YA novel, The Huaca, was released in May 2013. Marcia currently resides in Texas with her husband and three sons.
Today, my author interview is with Marcia Mickelson whose new book The Huaca, a YA novel, was just released last month. Thank you for stopping by my blog today and let’s get you introduced to my readers.
Seventeen-year-old Ellie Cummings just wants to be a regular teenager, but after her mother’s mysterious murder, she isn’t sure if she’ll ever be normal again. Her mother’s death has left Ellie and her father worlds apart. And when her best friend abandons her, Ellie has no one else to turn to—except for the strange boy who says he can help.
1. First, being someone who has their name screwed up 99% of the time, could you please tell us how to pronounce your first name? Is it mar-cee-uh or is it mar-sha?
Ha, ha. It’s pronounced Mar-sha. It’s always mispronounced and misspelled. I’m used to it by now. I do take some pride in knowing that Marcia Brady spelled it the same way as I do!
2. Now that everyone can pronounce your name, thank you for agreeing to talk with me. I am sure that my readers and your fans will love learning more about you. Are you ready to get started?
Yes, I’m all ready. Thanks so much for having me on your blog.
3. Your new book The Huaca is a YA book. Why did you change to a YA audience?
I hadn’t been interested in YA since I was a teenager, and I had only been interested in reading and writing adult fiction. About four years ago, I began reading more and more YA, and I fell in love with it. They didn’t have YA like this when I was a teenager. For the past few years, I have read only YA. Now, it is very rare that I pick up a book that is not YA. It’s all I want to write now. Maybe it’s because I’m getting older, and this is my way of holding onto youth. Ha, ha. I don’t know!
4. Where did you get your inspiration for your story?
I was watching the trailer for the movie, The Lovely Bones, and I was really taken with the idea of depicting a character that had passed away, but could observe her family as they lived next door to the man who killed her. Immediately, I began thinking what if… What if a character that had passed away could somehow communicate with her family to let them know? If only there was a way. This line of thinking coincided with a comment my mother said to me shortly after. She said, “why don’t you write something about Mayan myths?” Her comment collided with my ‘what if’s’ from The Lovely Bones, and then idea of The Huaca came to me.
5. Do you always find your inspiration from the same source?
I find inspiration from many different sources—books, movies, news stories, people I meet, strangers I see in public, songs. Inspiration can come from anywhere. In fact, here is a blog post where I talk about inspiration coming from anywhere. http://marciamickelson.blogspot.com/2012/11/inspiration-can-come-from-anywhere-or.html
6. I see you went to BYU and earned a BA in American Studies. Have those studies helped you in your writing? Has it helped with time, history, inventions, or in any other way?
I love American history and literature. I don’t write historical fiction, but only contemporary fiction, so it hasn’t necessarily helped me in that sense. Having studied the American experience has helped shape my current work in progress. The search for the American Dream has always been a point of interest for me. My current work in progress, tentatively titled “You Don’t Belong Here,” explores one young girl’s search for that dream that draws people to the U.S. every day.
7. Did you meet your husband at BYU?
Yes, I did! We saw each other at a men’s volleyball game at BYU. He kept looking at me; I kept looking at him. My friend and I had met his friend the night before. Well, they didn’t come to talk to us at the end of the game, but we saw them at a dance on campus later that night. During the final song, they finally came to talk to us. We hit it off right away!
8. Is he supportive of your writing career?
He is absolutely supportive of my writing! He carries my business cards around with him and gives them to anyone who will take one. He talks to people about my books all of the time.
9. Are your children old enough to understand what you do?
My boys are 13, 11, and 7. They are old enough to understand that I write books. They’re very excited about my writing and wanted to come to my last book signing. They wanted to be there the whole time. They also like to tell others about my books.
10. Does your husband help you with editing or plotting or anything else with your writing?
He doesn’t do too much of that. I’m a very closed person when I write which means that I do not talk to anyone about my books until they are almost complete. I don’t like to let anyone read any of my manuscript until it’s way over halfway done. I’m very afraid that talking about it will ruin the process for me. If I talk about it too early, I fear that I will not finish writing it. He is, however, excellent at answering questions. So, I can ask him specific questions about things I’m not sure about, such as changing tires or golf.
11. Where do you like to write? What is your special spot?
I don’t have a specific writing spot. I write on the couch, at the kitchen table, at a desk, in the car—wherever I get a chance!
12. Where can my readers and your fans find your books for sale?
My books can be purchased here:
13. Where can my readers and your fans find you on the internet?
You can find me here:
14. Will you be having a launch party for your book? If so; when and where?
I had a book signing in Corpus Christi, Texas last month. I have another one coming up in July in San Antonio, TX, and I’m hoping to schedule one for Utah in July.
15. Is there anything else you would like to tell my readers?
I hope you enjoy The Huaca. I loved writing it, and I hope readers will like reading it. Thanks so much for having me on your blog, Brenda.
Thank you for stopping by and good look with your new novel.