DL: Since this is a coffee chat and I have a virtual cafe, how do you drink your coffee/tea or other beverage of choice? And what is your favourite time of day to indulge?
MIRREN: As I'm speaking to you at night, I'll have a glass of red wine, thanks. And some cheese if you have it.
DL: It takes authors long enough to write a book, and then find a publisher. Even after it's accepted for publication it takes another small eon of time until it's released. Since you have a few books waiting in the wings to be released, how do you deal with the frustration of waiting? And talk us through the timing and process from the moment a book is accepted by a publisher.
MIRREN: I try not to think about it too much, but I'm pretty patient. I've also been really lucky in that my other publisher — the one not publishing Night Witches— is always on the lookout for opportunities for its authors to help get our names out there. Burning Willow Press is involved in anthologies, helping get a magazine back up and running, and a bunch of other things. So I'm kept busy. Hopefully by the time my books are out, people will want to look out for them.
The timing depends on the publisher. Night Witches has taken a year from submission to publication. After acceptance was editing, which involved two rounds with the editor and two with me; then it was working with the cover artist to make a cover we all liked (and finding the right plane for the cover). Then it's a matter of waiting for the book to be formatted and distributed. And bought, read and reviewed.
DL: You're booked to attend SupaNova Sydney this June 16-18 (sharing a stall with me yah!). What's the number one thing you want to take away from this event?
MIRREN: Money, lol. No really, a few new readers would be nice, see a few panels, track down a Han Solo pop vinyl.
DL: Night Witches is historical fiction. Firstly, can you tell us the inspiration behind the story. And secondly, what was the reason behind writing this story as historical fiction instead of non-fiction?
MIRREN: The story itself was the motivation. What could be more cool than a group of women flying flimsy biplanes and dropping bombs on the baddies? Also that it was a largely untold story made it more compelling. It's a story people should know.
Why fiction? Because fiction is my thing, and non-fiction had been done about them and I didn't know what I could add to that without travelling to Russia.
DL: Lastly, you were on my blog a while ago and your favourite cake/biscuit was biscuit because a cake goes stale too quickly and isn't always covered in chocolate. Are you tastes still the same?
MIRREN: Yes, I stand by this statement.
Thank you , Mirren, for the coffee chat. Good luck with the new book "Night Witches". All the details are below so please keep reading.
About the book
Nadia Valinsky was a student teacher in Moscow until Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union. Determined to defend her people, she joins the Air Force; where the famous aviator Marina Raskova is recruiting women for three fighting regiments. After rigorous training, and in nothing more than canvas and wood biplanes, Nadia and her friends are sent to the front line, where they'll become the legends history calls The Night Witches.
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Don't go away just yet...
Attention budding writers!
Mirren Hogan is also one of the creators behind a charity short story anthology "Like A Woman". If you have a story about an inspiring or interesting woman that you’d like to be considered for this anthology, please check out all the details here. Submissions are open until August 2017.