Author Interview: Mindy McGinnis
Talking Vigilante Justice, Writing Tough Topics, & Nicknames
YAS Book Con: The Female of the Species deals with some serious subject matter. How did you decide how to write the subject matter so that it would resonate with your audience?
Mindy McGinnis: I knew that the only way to write about this subject matter was to do so unapologetically. It’s a serious issue with terrible consequences and ugly things going on. So I made the book all of those things. It will be too much for some people, but for the people it was written for, it will ring true.
YAS Book Con: This novel focuses on the grey area surrounding vigilante justice. What is the most important ingredient to writing a likable narrator who isn’t a “good guy”?
Mindy McGinnis: To make them sympathetic is always the goal. No one is ever the “bad guy” in their own mind, they simply have different goals than the other people in the story. As long as the reader understands how Alex sees the world, she will be neither bad or good – just Alex.
YAS Book Con: Peekay goes by a nickname rather than her actual name. How much does a character’s name affect their identity? Do you pick your character names for specific reasons?
Mindy McGinnis: I let the characters name themselves, so generally no, their names have no deep or symbolic meaning. For Peekay, it’s more about finding an identity past the one that’s been inherited from being a “PK” – Preacher’s Kid.
YAS Book Con: The Female of the Species takes place in a small town. How does a more intimate setting change the scope of your book? Is it easier to map out everything in your head
Mindy McGinnis: I’m from a small town, and I think it’s important to show that this issue is prevalent everywhere, not just in dark alleys or bad parts of town, or the wrong side of the tracks. The same problems are everywhere, just with different settings
YAS Book Con: Your latest book, This Darkness Mine, focuses on a narrator who has absorbed her twin sister in the womb and now shares her heart. How do you come up with the challenges your narrator has to face?
Mindy McGinnis: Honestly, my stories are things that happen without my direction. There are events in my head that I simply transfer to paper. I’m never in charge of that world, I just relay what’s happening there.
Learn more about Mindy on her author profile!