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Mandy Baggot: Taking Charge~Interview!

Hey everyone! I unusually leave the author interview for the end of a week long blog tour. But with the fireworks holiday (I love that phrase!) I had family and friends over and and we spent the day at the lake. I just didn't have time to put together my post. So, on Friday, we have our dictionary posting, mixed in with unusual places to meet your spouse. Along with our contest vote for best new wedding scrapbook page. So LOTS going on Friday.

Quick Trivia: Taking Charge is not as much about weddings as it is what SPORT? Do you know?? The answer is in the interview, so you MUST guess before you read...

Finally, here it is. The interview with Mandy!

1.     You are an established author with several books on the market today. How exciting! Please tell us about your first book and the obstacles you had to overcome in writing that first manuscript.

My first book, Excess All Areas, I wrote during my maternity leave from work when I had my first daughter in 2005. I set the book in a resort in Corfu where I had my last holiday abroad before having children! For me, writing that book was pure escapism. It was goodbye to nappies and night feeds and hello to sunshine, sand and a hot hero. When I wrote the story I didn’t write it with the intention of turning writing into a career, it was just a hobby, something I loved to do. But, when I heard about an Arts Council of England scheme to get new writers into the marketplace I decided to think differently. I had Excess All Areas published under this scheme, had another daughter and spent the next maternity leave writing my second book!

2. Every writer faces "writers block" from time to time. What do you do when that happens? What inspires you to get over the wall?

Yes, I get writers block, quite often, especially if I have spent more than a week away from my manuscript. I think ‘what was supposed to come next’, ‘what ideas did I have for this section’. But my answer to it is simple – just keep writing, write anything but move the story forward. If you read it back and it all looks rubbish you can always edit it later, but just keep on going!

3. Are you a plotter? Can you tell have you create a character or an idea?

I’m not a strict plotter at all! I usually start with the main characters, create them in my head, then I will set them somewhere and then I will work out what their conflicts are. As for the actual story, my characters usually tell me how that’s going to go. I hardly ever write notes on anything, I just write. Sometimes I have a little list of bit-part characters because it’s hard to remember a name you’ve mentioned in page 6 and want to bring in again at page 200, but that’s about it. I sound a bit lazy don’t I?!

4. Just for fun, what's your favorite foods? Favorite music? Favorite outfit?

Favourite foods! I love food! My all time favourite food is mashed potatoes but I also love Chinese and Indian takeout and I love Greek food too, especially the salads, olives and feta cheese.

Favourite music – well I like all sorts of music really from Lady Gaga to country and most things in-between. One of my favourite bands is Train – I saw them live in Bristol in the UK and I was front row and got a special t-shirt! At the moment I am going through a Pitbull phase but I think that has something to do with doing Zumba to his music on holiday!

Favourite outfit – I am a girl who loves comfort and, whether it’s right or wrong, I try to mix comfort with business. I will often be seen in a little black dress, knee high socks and cowboy boots. That’s me!

5. Please tell us about Taking Charge. The MC is quite a character!

Ah Robyn Matthers is someone I would love to know! She is forward, boyish and outspoken, but pull away that external layer and you’re left with a fragile girl who has never really grown up. She’s hurt and damaged and all she really wants is the ordinary life that everyone else in her town seems to lead. One review of the book sticks in my mind where the reader said how much she hated Robyn and how annoying she was. Then she went on to say that as the book went on she learnt why Robyn was the way she was and she thought the book was brilliant. I like to give the reader what they think is one thing and then turn it into something else. I like surprises!

As research, although I didn’t know it at the time, I spent a month in Portage, Michigan and the story for Taking Charge came about pretty quickly. The romance between Robyn and Cole is always at the centre of things but it’s also about family dynamics and friendships. There is also a whole hockey team of men to drool over – I think every novel should have one!

6. And last, can you give us any clues or ideas about what's in store for future books from you?

Ooo yes I can! I am currently working on a romantic thriller entitled ‘Security’. This is a story about pop princess Autumn Raine and her newly appointed bodyguard Nathan Regan. Autumn’s received kidnap threats and no one knows who is behind it. Could it be a terrorist group because of her mother’s job as a high-ranking politician? Could it be her boyfriend – rapper Rottweiler - who is short of cash? Or something else entirely? And who exactly is Nathan Regan?

I’ve not written a romantic thriller before so it’s something a bit different for me. However, my books are always going to be romance led so contemporary romance fans don’t worry, you’ll still love it!


  1. I agree entirely! I think a whole hockey team to drool over is a fabulous idea. I love the sound of your romantic thriller, Mandy. Can't wait to see that one. Um, I was a bit concerned about the writer's block bit - I was sure you were about to say your ideas flow better when on maternity leave... Uh, oh. That's an awful lot of babies!

    1. I never had the energy or the will-power to write anything during maternity leave. Wait a minute. i didn't have a maternity leave. HaHa! But I have had babies and I never had any EnErgy for weeks. I say, "Way to go, Mandy!"

  2. I'm stunned--I'd never had you down as someone who gets lost for words, Mandy! Great interview, thanks for sharing all those lovely insights into your life... getting to know you a bit better every time!

    1. I agree with you Nicky. Awesome interview and I loved learning about Mandy in a more personal way.

  3. Great interview. And to think I wasted four maternity leaves worrying about baby weight. You had a much better idea!

    1. Ooooo, baby weight. Such an ugly word. Is that where all this weight came from on my hips? hehe

  4. Ooh, a romantic thriller from Lady Baggot - can't wait to read that one! Bet you are enjoying every single moment ...

    1. I don't know about Mandy, but *I* am enjoying every minute of Sapphire Star Spectacular. It's been a thrill getting to know these authors better:)

  5. This is such a great interview. All your books sound wonderful right through to the one you haven't even finished yet. Rock on Mandy!!

  6. I can't wait to read the new book coming out. I'm just trying to figure out if it was a nice thing for Mandy to tease about her upcoming book or if it was just something aggravate us because we can't read it yet. (hehe:)

  7. Loved the interview! Your new book sounds exciting, too, Mandy! Oh how I wish I had more time to read *she says, lamenting* :-)

  8. I know ! I've been crazy busy this month. And the coming weeks I have triple the load. My poor WIP needs some attention, my muse thinks I've abandoned her and the ever growing stack of books I can't wait to read are waiting, crying out to me begging me to pick them up and just read even one chapter. Excuse me a moment while I sneak off with a book in my back pocket...

  9. Thank you Anonymous:) I enjoyed the interview, too!


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