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Interview with Abigail Manning

She is a wife, nanny, and author of YA romance. She resides with her husband, Marcus, in the beautiful state of Tennessee. In school, she studied both Early Childhood Development and Theatre Arts, both of which aided in the development of her Emerald Realm series, based off of retold fairy tales. 

Abigail has always adored working with young children and drawing inspiration from their creativity. Her stories are geared toward young adults but inspired by children's tales. She greatly enjoys the challenge of reinventing stories that most readers grew up with. She has only recently begun her career in writing, but already has growing ambitions revolving around her blossoming stories.

Q.1 Tell us something about yourself not many people know?
I actually studied theatre arts in college! I hate acting or being on any kind of stage, but I loved learning about all the behind-the-scenes elements.

Q.2 Are we going to read more from you in the near future? Any new project you’re working on?
Most definitely! My first series only has three books released at the moment, but I already have all five books completed and undergoing editing. I’m also actively working on a second and third series.

Q.3 What inspired you to write The Emerald Realm series?
I have always adored fairy tales ever since I was younger (both the Disney adaptations and the classic Grimm tales) so it only felt natural to write my own series of retold fairy tales. I just loved the idea of bringing new life into an old story.

Q.4 What is the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
Flirting! I have to ask my husband all the time “do guys actually do this?” or “would a guy think this is cute or annoying?”

Q.5 How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?
I am a bit of a pantser and mostly do a loose plot then run with it! I always have a general idea of how I want my characters to behave, but then I just follow their natural reactions to the story and build from there.

Q.6 How many books have you written? Which one is your favorite?
At the moment I have written six books and one short story (only 3 published so far!) It’s hard to pick a favorite because each is very unique, but I definitely have a soft spot for my third book Framed in Florals: A Retelling of Cinderella simply because it was the first book idea I ever had. Plus, I really love Cinderella!

Q.7 What was the hardest part of writing books?
Writing travel scenes! I love being extra descriptive in my writing, and whenever my characters are actively on the move I really struggle to layer the environment with my words.

Q.8 Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I would probably make use of my theatre degree or continue nannying! (that’s my current job!) I was one of the unlucky few who graduated college right before Covid hit the world, so there wasn’t any opportunity to work in a theatre when I was ready. Perhaps I’ll still get the chance someday!

Q.9 If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead role?
I have a different main character for each book, but I definitely could see someone like Dove Cameron taking on any of the roles since she has a wide range and can definitely fit into a princess-type role.

Q.10 Is it vital to get exposure and target the right readers for your writing, tell us about your marketing campaign?
Absolutely! I am honestly TERRIBLE at marketing, but I’ve been getting better! A lot of my audience is in the young adult to the mid-adult range so I’ve found that being active on multiple social media really helps me get the word out!

Q.11 If you could be a member of any fantasy race, which would you choose and why?
Fae/Fairies! Mostly because I would love to fly, and second because I just think they’re super cute!

Q.12 What is one stereotype about fantasy writers is absolutely wrong? What one stereotype is dead on?
I haven’t heard too many fantasy stereotypes, so I can’t say for sure which ones are wrong, but I can say that an accurate assumption is that we’re all nerds. We may not all be dungeon and dragon nerds (respect to those who are!) but we’re all at least nerds about our own stories.

Q.13 Do you ever research real events, legends, or myths to get ideas?
All the time! My books are entirely based off of folklore and fairy tales, so I always draw from the original content or similar legends and myths that may contain like elements.

Q.14 Among all the supporting characters in your books, who is dear to you and why?
I love my “Dwarf” characters in my Snow White retelling of Poisoned Heart. Each and every one holds a special place in my heart, but Hazel in particular will always make me smile.

Q.15 Who designed your book cover? How do you select them?
I used Art by Karri, and I found her by researching other fairy tale retelling authors and seeing who they used! Karri is the absolute best for designing fantasy romance covers!

Q.16 How do you select the name of your characters?
I put a lot of effort into my names and try to connect them to their original inspirations. For example, in my second book, Bearly Free: A Retelling of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, the main character is named Aurelia Lockly. Aurelia actually means gold and Lockly is just a play on words!

Q.17 Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with good or bad ones?
I read ALL my reviews pretty much as soon as they show up. The good reviews are what inspire me to keep doing what I do, and I often reread them when I’m stuck in a rut. The bad ones are definitely a little difficult to see, but I try to take them with a grain of salt and remember that not every book is for everyone, and that’s okay.

Q.18 Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
I would love to meet Lindsey Stirling one day... If you don’t know who she is, look her up! She’s an incredible musician who is extremely inspirational!

Q.19 What is your favorite book from other authors and why?
I love Traitors Masque by Kenley Davidson because it’s the story that got me into retellings. All of her books are wonderful, but as I said I love Cinderella stories and that’s exactly what Traitors Masque is!

Q.20 Share the experience of your writing journey so far?
My writing journey hasn’t even been a year-long yet. I first came up with the idea to write in July of 2021 and found myself sitting at my computer to give it a try. Ever since that day, there’s rarely been an afternoon that you won’t find me typing away. I’ve been running at full force since then and don’t plan to stop anytime soon!

1 comment:

  1. Awesome interview and I can’t wait to keep reading all of your books in the future