Interview with author Mary M. Cushnie-Mansour

Posted by on Jun 8, 2016 in Author Interviews | 0 comments

Interview with author Mary M. Cushnie-Mansour

Cavern of Dreams Publishing’s author Mary M. Cushnie-Mansour has been a very busy writer! So far in 2016 she has released her short story book of mysteries,Mysteries from the Keys, as well as her new children’s series, the “Just Imagine” series. The series has already released five titles and there will be nine in the series before the end of summer! She took a quick minute out of her busy schedule to answer some questions about her writing journey. The _Just Imagine_

  1. What inspired you to become a writer?

When one asks a born writer what their inspiration was to become a writer it is a difficult question to answer directly. Therefore, I shall say to you there was no direct inspiration––I was born a writer. Writing flowed in my blood from the time I was born until now. It is my high––my reason for breathing, my legacy to the generations to follow me.

  1. How many books have you published?

I have published several books: four collections of poetry; two collections of short stories; a vampire series (currently four books); a biography; a youth novel; and as of May 2016, five children’s books. TWSSC01

  1. What is the name of your most recent publication?

My most recent publications, and I pluralize this because they are part of the Colour Me!/Coloriez-moi! Just Imagine Children’s Stories/Histoires d’enfants, are: The Day Bo found His Bark/Le jour où Bo trouva sa voix, Jesse’s Secret/Le Secret de Jesse, The Temper Tantrum/La crise de colère, Freddy Frog’s Frolic/La gambade de Freddy la grenouille, and Teensy Weensy Spider/L’araignée Riquiqui. These will be followed by: Charlie and the Elves, Curtis the Crock, Charlie Seal Meets a Fairy Seal, and Alexandra’s Christmas Surprise––all to be released during the summer of 2016. This Just Imagine series will add even more titles in 2017. JSSC01-2

  1. What is it about?

These titles are children’s stories written in English and French, with pictures for children to colour, questions about the story to discuss, key words, and a place for children to write their own story.  They all have a good message for children without being preachy. Some use animals to tell the story while others use a more realistic “people” approach.

  1. Where did the idea for your book come from?

The majority of these children’s stories were written back in the 90s when my children were young and were inspired by my children and some of their friends. In truth, I sometimes do not know where the stories actually originated––my pen would just take over and ink the pages!DBFHBSC01-2

  1. Why did you decide to publish your book?

With the Just Imagine Children’s Stories, I felt it was time to pull my large collection of kid’s stories off the shelf and get them published. I pondered on how to do this, as I had written so many, and then a brilliant idea came to me based on my own personal past history of purchasing French books for my children when they were in French Immersion. My mind began spinning with ideas to make these books something special for kids: English/French, colouring, discussion about the story, key words, and a place for children to write their own story (which came after I needed to fill some blank pages at the back of the first book! LOL!)

  1. How did you find Cavern of Dreams Publishing?

Cavern of Dreams Publishing found me, and I am ever so grateful for the time I have spent with this company and the editors and illustrators I am working with to bring my creations to fruition. TTT01

  1. What is the most important lesson you have learned from the writing/publishing process?

Ah, there are many lessons so where do I begin? I guess one of the most important lessons is NOT to be your own final editor! A writer is a writer, and they are much too close to their work to be unbiased. Secondly, I might add that writing is the easy part for me, but editing is the hard work; therefore, once again I must reiterate to all writers and would-be writers out there––hire a professional editor. There is a saying I will tell aspiring authors: “You get what you pay for, or you don’t pay for!” There are no shortcuts in being a writer––not if you want to have a clean, polished, professional piece of work that can stand out on any bookstore or personal bookshelf!

  1. What was your biggest challenge/obstacle in your writing/publishing process?

My biggest challenge in my writing/publishing process is the marketing. Marketing takes up so much time. It is one thing to publish a book, but getting out there in the big wide world we live in is another matter. The book world is constantly changing, and it is mind boggling at the best of times to try and keep up with what is in now and what has become obsolete.FFF01

10. What advice would you give to someone wanting to publish his or her work?

I think I will refer this back to question eight…do not think that because you have gone over your MS several times, or your neighbour, or good friend have done so, or someone who has a “degree” in “something,” or even another writer/friend, your work will be well-edited. Hire a non-biased editor and get it done right! Too many times, people we know “sugar coat” their responses to our work because they don’t want to hurt our feelings! In my experience, editors have no feelings (just kidding). Their feelings come from the need to ensure an author’s work is the best it can possibly be! Therefore, bottom line––don’t take shortcuts with your MS because the end product will shout out loud and clear that you did so!

11. Are you currently working on anything now? If so, what?

A very silly question to ask a write-a-holic like me! LOL! I have a number of projects on the burner and my editors have put a set of reins on me, and a martingale, to hold me in check. They have also said I should not write anything new; I must complete the multitude of manuscripts scattered around my office and other places yet to be discovered! I am not sure if I have totally listened to them because any idea I get must, at the very least, be written down for future reference––whether it be one sentence, or hundreds of words! CATESC01

12. What is your next writing goal?

My next writing GOALS are to complete the Just Imagine Children’s Stories series. Hopefully, by the end of 2017, there will be close to 20 titles available. I also must produce another vampire book in the Night’s Vampire Series––“Night’s Betrayals” has been scheduled by one of my editors to be released in October 2017 with a big vampire-style party! At the same time, I will be working to complete two other novels: a mystery, “Are You Listening to Me,” and another youth novel, “The Silver Tree.” Those are just the ones my editor has scheduled for me to complete! I shall not tell you about all the other stories on my shelves that are saying: “Pick me…pick me!”

13. Where can readers find your books?

My books can be found in many places: my personal website is where you can read about my books and see my blogs. My books, from this site, link directly back to my publisher’s site for purchasing. The majority of my books are also available on Amazon and other online bookstores around the world.

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