Q & A Author Mandy Brown and Nipples to Kneecaps -
to die or not to die with cancer
Tell us about yourself.
I love the sea, painting, singing, the colour purple and having family and friends visit from all around UK and abroad - love a full house! Life is meant to be fun!
Steve and I have been married for 36 wonderful years. We intent to grow old together. We have three grown up children. One who will do anything for a Beano annual (he is deafblind and autistic): one who organises and loves LARP and one who is an amazing dog trainer!
After being qualified as a teacher (1984), I worked as a teacher of the deaf, an intervenor (for deafblind), a special needs teacher and became a fully qualified BSL sign language interpreter (1995).
To further my understanding of the body and mind I studied psychology, nutrition, spiritual healing, mediumship, iridology, herbalism, Swedish massage and epigenetics. I enjoy delivering training and giving talks.
I enjoy reading fantasy, personal & spiritual growth and YA and adult paranormal.
My mission is 'to touch the souls of others' via my writing, teaching, speaking and life.
What have you written in the past?
My university thesis questioned an education system that was using an approach based on ability to hear to teach deaf children to read. I am passionate about all children being able to enjoy reading.
I have written two short story for competitions: ‘Skate For Love’ (Romance) and ‘Apple Cake From The Grave’ (Paranormal), both were selected for publication. This gave me the confidence that someone out there likes my writing style.
However, ever since I wrote and put on my first play in Junior School - a puppet version of Beauty & the Beast, I have continued in my passion for writing. Only now am I finally putting those stories into print! I do have a list of books ready to polish and write.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
Nipples to Kneecaps – to die or not to die with cancer. Inspired by my husband who in 1986 was given three months to live and sent home to die. It is a true, inspirational book. Steve is alive and well today.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I often do a short meditation before I write. I write best at bedtime!
What are you working on now?
I am currently working on the audio version of ‘Nipples to Kneecaps – to die or not to die with cancer’ and at the proof reading stage with ‘Bonegirl’, a supernatural shamanic mystery for children.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
My reading passion started with my first visit to Wombourne Library. I was ten years old and immediately started devouring all books by Eleanor Hibbert under her various pseudonyms e.g Jean Plaidy for fictionalized history of European royalty; Victoria Holt for gothic romances, and Philippa Carr for a multi-generational family saga.
Who influenced me growing up? D H Lawrence, ‘The Rainbow’, Plato ‘Socrates’, Richard Bach, ‘Jonathan Livingston Seagull’ and Diana Gabaldon ‘Cross stitch (Outlander)’. I could go on!!
On a serious note in recent years Oliver James 'Contented Dementia' has been a great help with my mother.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I am new to promoting books and in the early days, but I feel so far Facebook has been my best method.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
If you are unsure about your work, write and enter competitions. If you get placed, it might give you the confidence to go for the big book! Write every day. I have hundreds of notebooks stored. I pull them out from time to time and they inspire me.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
My family mottos: Believe in yourself and everything is possible. A life lived in fear is a life half lived.
The words my dad struggled out just before he died, “Happy, Happy!” He was happy and wanted us to be happy. Happiness comes from within. Only you can make yourself happy. It is not someone else’s responsibility.
What are you reading now?
I am reading two books I chose randomly: Beatrice Sand ‘House of Guardians – Sons of the Olympian Gods’ (Paranormal Romance) and D.S.Murphy ‘Shearwater: A mermaid romance’.
What's next for you as a writer?
I want to polish up and get my other books out there: 'He’ll Never Talk' (true, inspirational story about deaf blind son); some of my children’s stories: 'ChickenSpots', 'Spotty Nose Eleven', 'Magic Herbs' (fantasy series); 'The Devil’s Daughter' (adult paranormal romance) and more…
To write: Book 2 of the Bonegirl series
What is your favorite book of all time?
That’s so difficult. I want one in each genre, but okay 'Jonathan Livingston Seagull' because it is inspirational.
When did you know that you wanted to be a writer?
As a child after I wrote that first play. Mrs George decided to encourage me to follow it through to production in front of the whole school and it was a success.
Who has been your biggest inspiration?
Oh, another difficult question. In life: Steve and my parents who all faced impossible challenges and overcame them. In writing JK Rowling’s (for fantasy fiction), Louise Hay ‘You Can Heal Your Life’ which I read after Steve’s battle with cancer (I wanted to write books like this – I now am!). Also, I was inspired by some of the content in the Abraham Books by Esther Hicks.
How do you create the characters in your books? Are they based on people you know?
My fiction story characters seem to evolve as I write, but some of their actions and behaviours are taken from people I have met (many are from chance encounters with strangers) and moulded into one ‘new’ character.
If you weren’t a writer, what be your profession?
These days I would say: Motivational Speaker
If you were stranded on a desert island and could only have 3 things, what would they be?
My family, my memories and health, the internet connection with a working unbreakable computer. I know cheating!
What is your favorite movie of all time?
I have two: Dirty Dancing and Strictly Ballroom
What is the one thing that you want all your fans to know?
We are an eternal spirits temporarily living in a body, so what we do here is important. Believe in yourself and everything is possible. Do not be limited by your body and circumstances. YOU are Amazing!
If you could invite 5 people to dinner, who would they be and why?
I am a family and friends person so first choice would be them. If it has to be famous people I'd invite the following motivational guys - but only as long as we could have serious in depth discussion -Napoleon Hill, Wayne Dyer, Ester Hicks, Madonna and Will Smith.
If you could use a time machine, would you go to the past or check out the future??
Future or maybe even another dimension such as the afterlife realms to see if anything I learn there could help others here to not fear death so much.