Friday, May 4, 2012

YA Author, Mindy Hardwick - Weaving Magic

AUTHOR: Mindy Hardwick
BOOK TITLE: Weaving Magic
PUBLISHER: MuseItUp Publishing
BUY LINK: Release date is April 27, 2012. 
You will be able to find links to buy Weaving Magic at my book’s webpage here:

Please tell us about yourself?
Hi Everyone! My name is Mindy Hardwick and I write for tweens and teens. My young adult contemporary novel, WEAVNG MAGIC, is published with MuseItUp Publishing. I also have an upper middle grade coming of age novel, STAINED GLASS SUMMER published with Musa Publishing.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I first considered myself a writer when I sold my first short story, “Hurricanes” to Blooming Tree Press. I was in the final semester of my MFA in Writing for Children at Vermont College, and I saw the call for short story submissions at my local Seattle SCBWI meeting. The day I got the call from the editor telling me they wanted to publish my story in a collection called, Summer Shorts, I felt like I could finally call myself a writer.

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?  (Has anyone ever realized it?)
WEAVING MAGIC is drawn from my experience running a poetry workshop with youth in detention. Christopher’s character is based on some of the stories that I have heard in the detention center. Shantel’s character is based on some of my own experience, as a teen, dating a young man in recovery.

What books have most influenced your life most?
Cynthia Voigt’s Homecoming and Dicey’s Song. Dicey is such a survivor in those stories. She always resonated with me. In Weaving Magic, Christopher is trying to start a new life, clean and sober. In Dicey’s story, she is also trying to start a new life with her Grandma in Maine.  The theme of “starting a new life as a teen” is something which is in both of my novels. 

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
All of my Vermont College MFA in Writing for Children Advisors including: Liza Ketchum, Lisa Jahn-Clough, Kathi Appelt, and Sharon Darrow.
What are your current projects?
I am currently working on a memoir about my experience running the poetry workshop at the detention center, and I am working on a middle grade story for boys.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I always liked to read, and my parents were both journalists and always working on novels themselves. I think being a writer was just something that went along with being in my family.  I also had a lot of support from my grandparents who were huge readers. They always took us to bookstores and bought us books for holidays.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I have a really hard time when I am starting a new draft. I am always afraid that the story won’t be there when I sit down to write. I love revision after that first draft. Even if I have to ditch most of the writing, I still have something on the page!  

What do you do when you’re not writing/editing or thinking about writing/editing?
I like to art journal, travel, hike, and cook.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?
It’s told in alternating viewpoints. I had to make sure that both characters had equal character arcs, and that the story wove together. Christopher’s story was always more dramatic. It took me a long time and many, many drafts to find Shantel’s story.

Any special appearances or events coming up that you want to mention?
I am teaching a writing workshop at Richard Hugo House in Seattle on Saturday, May 5 called, Writing the Unreliable Narrator.” This workshop evolved out of what I learned writing Shantel’s character in Weaving Magic.

Who is your publisher and how did you connect with them?
MuseItUp. I heard about MuseItUP on Hope Clark’s Funds for Writers. I printed the submission guidelines and stuck them in a folder for about six months. I wasn’t quite sure that the children’s market had moved into e-books as well as the adult market. And then, in that six month period, it seemed like ebooks took off, and all the teens and tweens I knew had e-readers and iPads. I decided that now was the time, and I submitted my story.

How can we find you? Website, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc. - please share your public links.
Twitter:  @mindyhardwick

Story Blurb:

He loves magic. She loves romance. But the biggest illusion is the one Shantel and Christopher perform together. Sixteen-year-old Christopher fights to stay sober while fifteen-year-old Shantel struggles in the aftermath of her mother’s death and seeks refuge in a fantasy world. But the unacknowledged roots of their problems refuse to stay buried, and soon, the two are headed toward a deadly magic trick. Can Shantel and Christopher move beyond magical illusions to find love?


Everything would be okay, I told myself. Christopher was my boyfriend. I trusted him. I crunched inside the wicker basket and curled my legs underneath me. I wiped my sweating palms onto my black slacks. The audience stopped calling for an encore. They were so silent I wasn’t sure anyone was still out there.
I’d barely gotten my balance before the first sword barreled into the basket with a lot more force than we’d practiced. Startled, I realized Christopher was keyed up from the magic show performance. He was overestimating the force he was putting behind the swords.

I tried to figure out how to tell him to slow down. I couldn’t very well call out to him or the audience would hear.

Before I could it figure out, the second sword zoomed past me and into the basket. The two swords crossed over my head, and I rearranged myself so I could crouch lower. As I shifted, a third sword whizzed by my left arm and peeled off a small layer of my skin. I saw the blood before I felt the searing pain.


  1. You're welcome Mindy and thanks for your patience while we worked through the bugs on the blog!

  2. Cool interview, cover and writer! Much enjoyed.