Today we're joining the FRACTURED book tour and speaking with author Majanka Verstaete. Don't forget to enter the giveaway at the end of the interview for your chance to win a cool prize!
Welcome to We Do Write, Majanka. Tell us a bit about yourself.
Thank you for having me over on We Do Write! Well, my name is Majanka, and I live in Belgium. I’m 23 years old, and I’m currently studying law at university. Writing has been my passion for as long as I can remember – from the moment I could write, I spent time writing stories. I’ve always been obsessed by the paranormal as well. I love reading ghost stories, articles about unexplained phenomena and mysteries. Everything that’s unsolved or unexplained, I want to solve.
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing on and off since I was about seven years old. Of course, the stories I wrote back then weren’t all that good – go figure. I got serious about writing about two years ago.
Tell us about FRACTURED. What’s the story about?
Seventeen-year-old Piper discovers an antique mirror on the attic of her new home. She brings it downstairs and hangs it in her bedroom, but ever since, weird things start to happen. She starts hearing disembodied voices, items move all by their own, and a weird figure lurks in the shadowy corners of her bedroom. Piper does some investigating as to what’s going on, along with her best friend Alison, and the two girls find out that the mirror preys on the guilty. Now Piper has plenty of guilty feelings about stuff that happened in the past, but is that enough to activate the mirror, or is something else going on?
Piper has to get to the bottom of the mystery. The last girl haunted by the mirror ended up killing herself, and Piper may be next.
How did the idea of the story come to you?
I saw a gorgeous picture of a haunted mirror online, and then I got the inspiration for the story. Mirrors have always fascinated me. In Victorian times, people believed mirrors were portals, and if someone passed away, you had to cover all the mirrors in the house, or they’d get trapped inside. I understand where those Victorians were coming from! When you look in a mirror for too long, it can get pretty creepy. Mirrors at night, especially. So the mirror was the main inspiration for the story.
Do you have a critique group/partner or beta readers, or do you self-edit?
I do a mix of both. For “Fractured”, I didn’t have any critique partners or beta readers, so I did some self-editing. Thankfully it went through a lot of editing rounds with InkSpell, or it wouldn’t have been all that great, trust me. For my children’s books, I tend to self-edit as well.
But nowadays, when I write young adult, I have a few critique partners ready to help out and give comments on my work. Their input is great, and they can point out mistakes I would’ve never caught myself!
I’m also looking for some beta readers for some of my novels.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I’m a mix of both. Some books I’ve completely plotted before beginning to write, others are just an idea, and then I write from there. I prefer combining both techniques in one novel though – plotting most of it beforehand, but when creativity takes over control, just go with the flow and write whatever comes to me.
What’s the hardest part of writing for you?
Editing. If there was some magical formula that all my first drafts would be perfect, I’d absolutely use it. I don’t mind editing when edits come from my editors, but when they come from critique partners, and require me to do a lot of revising/rewriting, well…that doesn’t make me a happy camper. An editor never asked me to revise a whole chapter or anything, but I imagine if they would, I wouldn’t be happy either. Of course, those revisions can really make the plot better, but it’s just not something I enjoy. I love drafting, but editing is, well, not as much fun.
What do you absolutely have to have nearby when writing?
Nothing, really. I can write about anywhere, when creativity hits. Of course I need a computer to write, so I’ll go for computer. Some things help, like tea (I love sipping tea while working), a scribble pad and a thesaurus, but it’s not absolutely necessary.
If you could have any super power, what would it be?
That all the stories I imagine in my mind magically appear on paper, in novel-format. That would be absolutely amazing. Or flying. I’ve always wanted to be able to fly.
What's the weirdest thing you've googled?
That would probably be that time I googled for how long it takes for a body to rot, and well, completely decompose until no more is left but bones. After that, I wanted to know how long it was possible for a body to go without decomposing. All in the name of book research, I swear!
Quick writing test! Use the following words in a sentence: fractured, image, and rescue.
She stared at the fractured ice below, cracks meandering below her feet. Her image stared back at her, lips twisted in a silent scream, eyes wide, all colour drained from her skin, leaving her as pale as a rotting corpse. The ice squeaked. If only someone would be around, someone to see the ice attacking her, who’d run over and try to rescue her. But the forest was abandoned, and she’d been the only one out on the river today. The ground disappeared from under her feet, and she fell into the pitch-black water.
Very cool! Finish this sentence: If I'm not writing, I'm probably ...
Studying, reading or playing a video game. I have tons of hobbies, so tons of possibilities there. Studying isn’t as much as a hobby as it’s a necessity though.
Here’s the part where you thank the people who are supporting you. Let's hear your shout outs.
My biggest supporter is my Mom. So, thanks Mom. But then there’s also the rest of my family, my boyfriend, my friends and the lovely people working for my publishers. Thanks, everyone.
And thank you, my never-silent muse, because without you, I wouldn’t have the inspiration to write anything at all.
And finally, where can people find you and your books online?
I have a website, because that’s what all the cool kids have. You can find my website here: http://majankaverstraete.com
I’m also on Twitter and Facebook.
You can purchase a copy of Fractured here:
If you’d like a free example of my writing, there’s a prequel short story for “Fractured”, which is available for download on the InkSpell Publishing website.
And you can visit my profile on Goodreads to see my other books here: