Author interview: Mindy Hardwick, Contest Information

For the remainder of the mounth, everyone that comments is in the running for a couple of prizes. Here are the details:

Anyone who comments in the month of April will be in the running for the prize book and will be allowed to recommend one book for me to review.

No rude or off topic comments allowed

this will be a random drawing

people are only entered once.

**The prises are that the winner gets to have a copie of the jounal in the jug and gets to choose a book for me to review in June**

This week I am reading Stained Glass Summer by
Mindy Hardwick. Here is her Author interview:


When did you decide to be an author?

I majored in creative writing in college. When I graduated from college, I applied for MFA graduate programs. All of the programs were focused on the MFA in Writing for Adults.  I wasn’t accepted to the MFA programs and went on to teach middle school. But, the writing wouldn’t let me go. I took my seventh grade classes to a Young Author’s Conference and immediately felt a kinship with the children’s authors. I followed up that hunch by taking a local writing class, Writing the Picture Book, and I was hooked on children’s writing!  I began drafting my Musa novel, STAINED GLASS SUMMER. At the time it was called, JEWELS FROM THE DUMPSTER. Later, it became GIRL ON A THIN WIRE, and then finally, STAINED GLASS SUMMER.  And, to complete the MFA circle, I did go back and try again for the MFA degree program. This time I was accepted and earned an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College!

What was your first piece published?

My first piece was published in my college literary journal. I was on the staff, and I remember how excited I was to see my byline in the annual journal. My first short story was published in an anthology called, SUMMER SHORTS.  It was based on a true story about the first time I visited my Dad after my parents were divorced. There was a category one hurricane at Virginia Beach, and he took us out to watch the storm come on-shore.

What character is most like you?

From my own books, I’d say it’s Jasmine. She’s determined and focused on her art goals and I’ve always been like that about my writing.

What was the first story you wrote as a child?

The first story I wrote as a child was in second grade. It was a story about a girl, her brother and her cat, Sunshine. It was a very true story and had pictures my Dad took as well as my writing.

Do you have any advice for anyone writing a book?

The best advice I received was never give up. It took ten years to write and sell STAINED GLASS SUMMER, and the story has found the exact right home with Musa Publishing.  Trust in the process and keep writing your next story!

Who is your favorite author?

Cynthia Voigt is one of my favorite authors and the inspiration for STAINED GLASS SUMMER. When I was in eighth grade, I devoured HOMECOMING and DICEY’S SONG. Years later, when I wrote STAINED GLASS SUMMER, I realized I subconsciously modeled Jasmine after Cynthia Voigt’s character, Dicey. Both Jasmine and Dicey are abandoned by a parent and have to start a new life living with a relative. I always admired Dicey’s strong sense of survival, and I’d like to think Jasmine has just a little of that too!

What technique do use write (make it up as you go, plan it)?

I always start with character. I have to know who my characters are in the story before I write. I do a lot with character archetypes and character interview questions. Then, I branch out and begin to find out more by writing character monologues about various topics. Once I have a grasp of who my characters are (both hero and villains), then I work on the plotting. I do spend time outlining and I like to use the beat sheets by Blake Synder from his book, Skin the Cat.  I am also a big believer in writing the awful first draft fast! I participated in NANOWRIMO for a couple years, and that really taught me how important it is to get that first draft on the page. Then, you can start the editing and working it out!

What piece are you working on now?

I am working on a story about my experience running a poetry workshop with teens in juvenile detention.  Some of this experience inspired my novel, WEAVING MAGIC. In my current work in progress, I am telling the story through flash fiction pieces.

I am also working on the next romance novella in my new romance series, The Elmheart Series. These are sweet, contemporary short romances. I’m focusing each one around a holiday. VINTAGE VALENTINE is the first one in the series and will release soon. All my books can be found at my website:

What is your favorite book?

I don’t have a favorite book, but my favorite authors are Jennifer Donnelley and Kate Morton. I love the historical time periods Jennifer Donnelley writes and Kate Morton has such wonderful description and stories about cottages and National Trust houses in England.

Did you receive any awards for a book of yours?

STAINED GLASS SUMMER is a finalist in the EPIC ebook awards in Children’s. I will find out in the middle of March if it won! I’m thrilled to have it final!

Mindy Hardwick’s upper middle grade, STAINED GLASS SUMMER, published by Musa, is a 2013 EPIC ebook award finalist in the children’s category. The audio book of Stained Glass Summer has just published and Mindy is thrilled with narrator Sarah Newswanger’s reading of the story. You can see pictures of teens working in glass art on the book’s facebook page at:

Mindy holds an MFA in Writing for Children from Vermont College and is a member of SCBWI. Mindy blogs at and is on twitter @mindyhardwick. You can also find her at her website: or on Goodreads:



Barnes & Noble

Musa Publishing

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2 Responses to Author interview: Mindy Hardwick, Contest Information

  1. sharonledwith says:

    I never heard if you won the EPIC award, so if you haven’t heard yet, wishing you all the best, Mindy. And you’re right about that advice – never give up! Great interview, gals! Cheers!

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