Mindy McGinnis: “You can expect an angry, female Gary Paulsen vibe.”

5 Questions With...

Mindy McGinnis
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[Note From Frolic: Our resident YA expert Aurora Dominguez got the opportunity to interview author Mindy McGinnis and ask her five(ish) questions. Mindy’s novel Be Not Far From Me is out March 3rd!]

Aurora: What was your inspiration behind your most recent novel?

Mindy: I am an avid hiker, and often take vacations in places where I can get some hiking in. One such vacation was near a particularly dense Pennsylvania forest. The person I was with thought we could get a spur of the trail in before darkness fell. I didn’t think we could, and said so, but curiosity outweighed caution and we tried it. Hours later, with no overnight packs and failing phone batteries, we were in pitch black with a trail as wide as my hand, mostly searching for faded blazes on trees to mark our way. It was simultaneously exhilarating and terrifying. We did break out onto the trailhead around 11 PM. And no, I didn’t rub it in that I had been right about that spur. I was too grateful that we’d made it back to our car… and that a novel had been born while we wandered. But me being right about the spur totally came up the next day.

What character do you most relate to and why?

People ask me often what character of mine I’m most like. Ashley is definitely the answer. I grew up pretty hardscrabble, and a lot of the stories from her childhood are only slightly adapted from my own experiences.

Please describe the content of your latest book and what can readers expect from the read.

I pitch Be Not Far From Me as “drunk Hatchet, with a girl.” That pretty much sums it up. You can expect an angry, female Gary Paulsen vibe.

What’s next for you in the book world?

I’m very excited for my 2021 release, The Initial Insult, which blends retellings of Edgar Allan Poe stories in a contemporary Appalachian Ohio setting.

Who is your favorite writer right now and why?

I don’t tend to have favorite writers. I will pick up anything and give it a shot. I will say that anything by Tiffany D. Jackson has my vote!

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