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Monday, July 5, 2021

Interview with Adeena Mignogna


Adeena Mignogna has written the book Crazy Foolish Robots. 


First, let me thank you for joining me.  I appreciate you giving me your links and I want to share those with our readers.






Sign up for her newsletter here


That is great.  Can you tell us a little about yourself and what led you to start writing?


I’m a lot of things to include a sometimes software, sometimes systems engineer at a day job in the aerospace industry building satellites. But I’m also a mom, a collector of hobbies, a reader, and a writer.


I wish I could remember what led me to start writing. I’ve always been a fan of science fiction but I don’t know when the urge to create it became strong. It was sometime around high school. I took a creative writing class. So I’ve been writing on and off for 30ish years, mostly off. I was 25 or so when I finished my first story well enough that I submitted it to a magazine. It was rejected of course, but with a handwritten note that included some notes… that was one of the things that encouraged me to continue and not completely give up. But I went many, many, many years unable to finish what I started. 



Where do you get your inspiration, information, and ideas for books?


Everywhere. I love to read and listen to audiobooks for the sake of reading, but I can’t listen to any non-fiction without it spawning snippets of ideas. 


I understand. I often am reading something and have to jot down an idea that may not even be related to the story I am reading. Non-fiction in particular can spawn new ideas. 


Now that you are a published author, what advice would you give someone who wants to be a writer?


Don’t take anyone’s advice. Especially mine. But definitely appreciate that this is something you need to work for if you really want it.


Oh – and if you’re going to self-publish, hire a copy editor. Yeah, ignore what I said initially and listen to me when I say a copy editor can be some of the best money you spend on your writing.


That is very true. I get a lot of inquiries to interview. Not everyone makes the cut and that is usually the issue. I like most genres, but it has to be readable. What is the best advice you have ever been given as a writer?


If you’re going to self-publish, hire a copy editor. 😊 


Touché. Do you write full-time or around another job? How do you schedule your time to write?


Yes. I have a full-time “day job” as a software/systems engineer and sometimes manager. I’ve been in the aerospace industry nearly my entire career. When I was young, I thought I could write in the evenings after I got home from work. Afterall, I had several hours from arriving home until I went to bed. PLENTY of time. But night after night I accomplished nothing. 

When I was about 28 or 29, I was working for myself for a little while, so my schedule and time was my own. I started writing in the mornings. That’s when the lightbulb went off – I’m a morning person/morning writer! 

So for several years now, I write from about 5am to 6am most mornings. After the workday, my brain is just too worn out to write in the evenings. Instead I use that time for research, marketing or other things that require very little, if any, creativity on my part. 

I have taken some staycation time, too, over the years and have used that to write – to see what it was like and how productive I could be in a normal workweek of writing. Answer: pretty productive.


How many hours a day do you write?


Not as much as I want to. Right now, I get about an hour at most. Some days I can squeeze in a little more. It depends on how committed I am to having breakfast and brushing my hair before I start my day job. 


 If you’re going to self-publish, hire a copy editor. 😊

What is your favorite part about writing?


This part! The part where I can scream from the rooftops: I WROTE A BOOK! It’s the part where I can say “I’m done with this piece” and mean it. 


That is a great answer. What does literary success look like to you?


If the following things happen (not necessarily in this order), then I’ll claim I’m a successful author: Wil Wheaton wants to narrate my audiobook; I’m invited to be on panels at sci-fi conventions; I have a Wikipedia page and the first thing it says about me is that I’m an influential sci-fi writer and of course, monetary success wouldn’t be so terrible either.


Please tell us about your current release.


Hopefully, your readers like humorous sci-fi! Crazy Foolish Robots is about Ruby Palmer. She’s 19 and lives with her Uncles on a space station in the asteroid belt. Ruby hates robots and all forms of AI. Like, seriously loathes them. Of course that means that alien robots kidnap her and she has to deal with what. 

The official blurb is on my blog here: Adeena's Blog

and on amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0951DLMPF



I love quirky, humorous stories. And some of my favorites are in the Sci-Fi genre.  Can you read / provide us with a small exert? 


There is an exert on my blog: Adeena's Blog



What exciting story are you working on next?


Book 2 of this series is my main focus. The working title is “Robots, Robots Everywhere” Ruby will continue her adventure with the robots she’s met, and see more of the robot planet. There’s another unrelated book that I’m working on, but also with lots and lots of robots. I hope to finish that one within the year. The working title is “With the Moon as My Witness.” It was something that worked itself out of last year’s NaNoWriMo.


Oh, wow. If you did the write-an-entire-book in the month of November I am impressed. I've yet to take that challenge, Though I do participate in Story-A-Day in May. ( https://storyaday.org ) A lot of times the prompts lead me to wonderful authors. Who are your favorite authors?


Old-school, I’m a big Asimov fan and I also love Robert Sheckley. There are a lot of others, too, but I’m most influenced by them. And of course, Douglas Adams for Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, one of the very few books I could always re-read and have re-read several times. 


If your book is in the same Sci-Fi humor as Hitchhikers, I bet it is great!

When it comes to contemporary, I like John Scalzi, Hugh Howey, Andy Weir, Ernest Cline, Dennis E Taylor, Mary Robinette Kowal… and others I can’t think of right now. These are presented in no particular order – just how my brain served them up.


Outside of sci-fi, there’s this linguist John McWhorter. I don’t know why Linguistics fascinates me, but it does. He has some very interesting books available on the English language. I also really enjoy Bill Bryson (who also happens to have a book on linguistics as well.)



What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?


On copy editing.


I see a theme here. Apart from needing a copy editor, what is your writer’s kryptonite? 


Oy. Kryptonite. I shudder at the thought. I have two:

1) Having someone tell me in response to one of my short stories that I’m working on that it should be a novel and 

2) Being in the middle of a project, and another novel or TV show comes out that has some major similar element. Several years ago, I was putting all my energy into a novel that I called “Tales from Ceres.” And then the Expanse came out. It’s nothing like mine except for the fact that Ceres is a primary location. It just completely demotivated me and I didn’t work on anything for almost two years. I’m still not sure if I’ll come back to that or not. 



What part of writing and publishing was most difficult for you?


Finishing. I start a bazillion things. I have a bazillion ideas. Getting the right idea to the end in a way that makes sense and might entice others to read is VERY difficult. I have a feeling I’m not alone in this…


I hear that a lot, so you are not alone. One thing that really helps me is my writer's group and their accountability. Are you involved in any writer groups?


Yes! There are a few FB writing groups that I participate in, but for several years I’ve been a member of the Frederick Writers’ Salon, an in-person group local to where I live. We mostly do feedback and critiques, but we’ve also collectively put out three anthologies (all available on Amazon). I participated in all three under the pen name: A. Francis Raymond. 



That is great! My group does the same. ( Crazy Buffet Writer's Club or Corner Scribblers) Anything additional you want to share with the readers? 


Just that I hope everyone enjoys Crazy Foolish Robots. The best compliment I can get is knowing that readers laughed, or at least chuckled, and are looking forward to the next book in the series. 

Wonderful! I wish you the absolute best in your promotion! 

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