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Author Interview: Jazzy Mitchell Chats about Musings of a Madwoman

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Get ready to learn more about the book Musings of a Madwoman in this discussion with sapphic author Jazzy Mitchell.

Join us for an exclusive peek behind the scenes as we quiz Jazzy Mitchell about Musings of a Madwoman, writing, reading, and more.

This book is part of the Long-Distance Relationship category in the 2024 IHS Reading Challenge.

Why did you write Musings of a Madwoman?

I wanted to write a story about modern, kick-ass females who are at different points in their lives and have to ban together to save the world. I loved diving into different ages (20s, 30s, and 40s) and how they approach life, particularly when they must adapt to the consequences of being exposed to a meteorite.

Who is your favorite character in the book?

I love all the main characters since I put a bit of me in each one. I have a special place in my heart for Kiernan. She’s a successful Broadway actress coasting along on her fame, but she wants more. She does the hard work of figuring out what she needs and making substantial changes in her life. I’ve reinvented myself several times, and I know how scary it can be. Her willingness to take stock of her life and to choose the harder road to walk reflects her desire to be better and more authentic.

What was the biggest challenge writing this book?

I wrote three main characters’ points of view and interweaved their stories. That was complex since I had to keep track of them and what they were experiencing. They also had very different perspectives, reactions, and lifestyles, all which needed to be fleshed out so the reader could understand what they were facing and why they acted the ways they did. For example, Patricia is the youngest lead character, and her life experiences are limited. Kiernan, on the other hand, is older and quite jaded. Marcia changes the most through her exposure to the meteorite, and her experiences with navigating grief, being a mother to a teen, and her work pressures make for a compelling story.

What part of Musings of a Madwoman was the most fun to write?

I loved writing about the changes Marcia and Kiernan (and a secondary character, Lexie) experienced through their meteorite exposure. It was fun to capture other characters’ reactions, such as Rudi’s comical reaction to seeing Marcia’s glowing eyes and, much later, Marcia, Kiernan, and Lexie striking a Charlie’s Angels pose when fighting off the aliens’ attempt to abduct them.

Where do you usually write, and what do you need in your writing space to help you stay focused?

I tend to write in the living room. I find it more comfortable than camping out on my bed or sharing the office with my wife. Sometimes I’ll listen to music which reflects the mood I want to write, so sad songs for an emotional scene and upbeat music for a fun scene. If I’m trying to hit a certain tone, I’ll listen to instrumental music. I try to keep hydrated, but I often forget to eat when I’m writing. I tend to write chapter summaries beforehand, and I use them as starting points to help me focus. I often veer from them, but I expect that. I update the summaries after I finish writing the chapters.

What animal or object best represents you as an author or your writing style?

It must be a dragon since I collect information, store experiences, and bank whatever I’ve seen. When I’m ready, I take out that hoard of treasure and plum its depths to find what I need to write an interesting story.

What has helped or hindered you most when writing a book?

What has helped me the most is allowing myself to write without having to stick to my outline. Sometimes, once I’m in the flow, other ideas surface. I’ve given myself permission to follow those ideas and see where they may lead me. That’s what happened while writing Musings of a Madwoman. Originally it didn’t have a meteorite or aliens. The story’s much richer with those additions.

What do you do to get inside your character’s heads?

That’s where creating a background for my characters helps me. I get to know my characters well enough to understand why they act and think the way they do. For example, to get into Marcia’s head, I thought about the choices she made in her love life, why she made them, and how she changed her perspective on those events as she got older. With her introspection, she was able to process and grow. That allowed her to be open to everything that occurred in the book, and in particular, her responses to Peter and Lexie.

What books did you grow up reading?

I read a lot of fantasy books like the DragonLance series, The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, and A Wrinkle in Time. Those books taught me to use my imagination and some of the larger themes of good versus evil. Of course, I read traditional literary works in school, and that impacted me by broadening my awareness of how people act and what motivates them. Once I started to write, I kept in mind my reactions to my favorite stories and how those authors crafted their works to evoke those responses.

Describe your favorite reading spot.

My favorite reading spot is on a patio near the beach. I love listening to the waves, and I find it to be a soothing backdrop while I get lost in a good book. I can sit in a comfortable chair with a snack and a cool drink and read for hours.

Meet Jazzy Mitchell

Jazzy Mitchell has warned others anything they say or do may appear in her next novel. She has six published books and plans to write many more. Jazzy is the publisher for Launch Point Press, which produces books by, for, and about lesbian issues, culture, and circumstances.

Visit Jazzy’s Website

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