Shaz Stars interviews author Mandy Baggot

In the hot seat today I would like to welcome:
Hello Mandy, thank you for letting us have a peek behind thescenes.  Your sun sign is ARIES.

  • Aries is the first of the zodiacal signs and as such represents new beginnings and action.  Despite this desire to be the ‘front-runner’, boredom can set in quickly.  Writing is a long creative journey.  Do you lose interest quickly in writing projects?  Does there need to be something specific to hold your interest?

Wow – that’s a good first question. I never seem to lose interest in any writing projects completely, because I don’t like not seeing things through to an end. But, having said that I have developed a habit of having several projects on the go at the same time all fighting for a place on the computer screen. There are four at the moment, all jostling for position. What helps me hold interest in a subject is some physical inspiration, for example one of my male leads is an ex-soldier turned bodyguard and I find watching ‘Strike Back’ with the gorgeous Richard Armitage definitely gets the creative juices flowing.

  • Enthusiasm and confidence are a part of the Arian energy.  Would you consider this to be a strength in your writing?

I’m deeply enthusiastic about my writing and writing in general but if I’m honest I lack inner confidence. No one would think that but it’s true! Luckily I am quite good at projecting confidence (I think!). I would say I’m determined rather than confident and definitely persistent. Once I get an idea in my head I run with it and order everyone to follow me! I’m bolstered by the support of a lovely network of people, my husband Mr Big, my close friends and the wonderful friends I have made on social networking sites. Their encouragement and belief does help when you want to strangle the postman for bringing you yet another rejection letter.

  • It is said that there is no new thought or action in the world that hasn’t been thought of or tried before.  Arians are pioneers in thoughts and action.  Do you agree with this statement?

I wouldn’t say I was a pioneer because there are so many wonderful writers out there writing in the same genre. What I would say though is my stories are different because they are so dialogue led. When I’m writing its like I’m watching a film with my two main characters on screen. I try and set the scene and tell the story all with dialogue and as little description as I can get away with. I like the partnership to shine through and I find sometimes telling readers how autumnal the tree leaves are holds things up. 

I do like putting things instories that I wish I could say to people. Most of my characters are braverthan me!

  • Arians can tap into an immense amount of energy.  Would you say this has an effect on your writing schedule?

I’m not sure I have lots of energy; I always seem to be tired! But maybe that’s because I try and cram 101 things into my life. I love being busy, go crazy when I haven’t got a project to plan and usually end up burning the candle at both ends a lot of the time. At the moment I write mostly on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays when my youngest daughter is at preschool but I also have to fit in exercise, meetings, shopping and housework into those days too. I’m lucky if I manage a couple of hours a day writing but then again I can usually be found at the computer at 9.00pm doing more and not even really realising it. Writing is definitely not a 9-5 job and that has up and down sides.

  • Objectivity is a word common in the Arian vocabulary.  How do you get into the soul of your characters to give them depth, make them come alive ……… so your readers believe in them?

The only way you can make your readers believe your characters is if you can put yourself right into your character’s shoes. For me you have to forget how you would react to situations and become them, you have to think like them, do things they would do, react to things the way the character would etc. That isn’t to say that I walk around the house dressed in different clothes and pinning my husband to the bed every five seconds (although he might like that!) but I do tend to almost live my life as the character when I’m heavily into a story. Samantha in Breaking the Ice was my favourite character to empathise with because anything that happened to her was a disaster. There was lots of sighing and crying and bewailing everyday ups and downs with her.

  •             One of the negative Arian traits is an irritation at slowness.  When you experience a lull in ideas,something is taking longer than planned or is just not working out to yoursatisfaction, how do you deal with that?

I never have a lull in ideas! I’ve always got loadsof those and never enough time to get on with them! I am a bit of a whirlwindand if something is getting a bit bogged down that’s when my determinationkicks in. I don’t like to leave a job half done so I just persevere until it’sfinished. I get irritated when other people are slow but I understand peoplehave their own timescales on things and it’s always a lot slower than mine! I’mvery impatient but not in a stressy way, in an excited ‘I want things to happennow!’ way.


  • To progress and grow in any sphere of life it’s important that we take note of other people’s advice.  Arians are loathe to do this, especially if they disagree.  Do you take note of anyone’s advice in relation to your writing, or do you disregard it?

Hmmm yes, taking advice, what’s that? No, just kidding. I found it really really hard to take advice about my writing at the beginning. That isn’t to say I thought my novels were the best thing since sliced bread and couldn’t be improved I think it probably was the Arian in me that feels a bit weird about being scrutinised. I have got much better at it though and now I welcome advice. I am always asking my readers and website members what they think about things and this is because I really want to know. I like honest opinions because they’re the only ones worth listening to.

But you do have to listen to yourgut too and assess whether the advice is right for you. I disregarded someadvice given to me by a professional who critiqued ‘Strings Attached’. Shewanted me to consider changing the male lead from a pop star to a reclusivenovelist. It just didn’t do it for me. Quinn (my character) was someone I hadspent almost a year with and he just wasn’t a reclusive novelist, he’s ashowman, a brooding hottie everyone fancies, yes it might not be quite asoriginal but at the end of the day I created him. We will have to see whetherthat was a right or wrong decision!

Thank you for your honesty Mandy.

Mandy is a showcased author with Loveahappyending which is an interactive reader/author website.  Visit Loveahappyending to find out more about this brilliant project and how you, as a reader, can support them.

Author Biogrophy:
Mandy Baggot lives in Wiltshire with her husband and twodaughters. She is currently unrepresented and publishes under Youwriteon.comwho are supported by The Arts Council. She has three books in the marketplaceExcess All Areas, Breaking the Ice and Knowing Me Knowing You. Mandy writes inthe contemporary/commercial romantic fiction genre.
Author weblinks:

When the going gets tough Freya Johnson gets going! Humiliated by her boyfriend the day she turns 30, Freya boards a last minute flight to Corfu to visit her best friend Emma. Little does she know that this holiday will change her life forever. Enter Hollywood film star Nicholas Kaden whose entourage is stirring up the village of Kassiopi while filming his new movie.

Caught up in a media frenzy, feeling unwelcome and uncomfortable in Nicholas’ movie world, Freya battles with the ghosts of her past and the uncertainty of her future. Can she help Emma? Can she keep her own big secret? And can she find out what Nicholas is hiding before she feels the urge to run away again?

  • Paperback: 482 pages
  • Publisher: New Generation Publishing; 1st edition (1 April 2010)
  • Language English
  • ISBN-10: 1907461272
  • ISBN-13: 978-1907461279
When routine driven box office assistant Samantha Smith meets the stars of ‘Skating on Broadway’ her life is turned upside down. Immediately attracted to the infamous lead skater Jimmy Lloyd, Samantha does her best to deny her feelings. But when all you can do is burst out laughing and hyperventilate every time you’re under pressure, keeping things under wraps is a hard task. When the future of her beloved Civic Hall is threatened Samantha must rise to the challenge to ensure its survival. Constantly scrutinised and criticised by her zany sister Cleo and her brogue wearing boyfriend Jeremy, can Samantha save her job, save the Civic Hall and stop her panic attacks just long enough to give her away her heart?

  • Paperback: 394 pages
  • Publisher: (11 Feb 2011)
  • Language English
  • ISBN-10: 1908147601
  • ISBN-13: 978-1908147608

KNOWING ME KNOWING YOU – BRING ON THE LOVE! Recently single mother Kate is struggling. Clinging on to a career and bringing up her 2 year old daughter leads to nights alone drowning her sorrows in the cheapest white wine she can find. Forced to employ Joel, a male escort, to accompany her to a professionals’ dinner, Kate somehow ends up in the middle of a relationship contest, competing for a £100,000 prize alongside someone she barely knows. With her boss, the Lady Dragon Miranda, desperate for Kate to flounder, her tarot card reading child-minder trying to match-make and her ex-husband making her life a misery, can Kate keep her life on an even keel? And more importantly can she put her trust in a serial dater who used to be an underwear model?

Due for publication 1st November 2011

Caterer George Fraser has a mission. She’s going to prove everyone wrong. Ambitious owner of catering firm Finger Food and black sheep of her family, she’s determined to succeed in business where she’s so far failed in her personal life. Asked to cater for gorgeous rock star Quinn Blake’s after-show party her life suddenly takes a turn for the dramatic. 

Magnetically drawn together, George and Quinn embark on a relationship that no one must know about. But is Quinn everything he seems or is there more to his star life than he’s telling her? 
Things hot up when George is invited to the wedding of the millennium and her integrity very soon becomes compromised. 

With celebrity obsessed colleague Marisa in the mix and her beloved Adam spending more time in her life can George keep her secrets and hold on to her ambition, or will love finally get in the way? 


7 thoughts on “Shaz Stars interviews author Mandy Baggot

  1. Mandy is an author I greatly admire – she’s gone from strength to strength and she’s like a whirlwind! She’s just started a massive tour of book signings at Waterstones all over the country – and I know each signing will be entertaining, she’s a fun lady!

  2. Pingback: Secret Squirrel: Have you heard … | Jera's Jamboree

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