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Coffee Chat with Mirren Hogan, author of Crimson Fire

Today I'd like to welcome Australian author Mirren Hogan to my blog for a virtual coffee and chat. Mirren and I met through my sister and we started out sharing a market stall together, as you do. We were both writers and quickly became friends. It's always wonderful to be able to share success stories of friends and local writers. Mirren has written many novels, as you do, and has now finally had her hard work turn into success with not one, but two fantasy series accepted for publication, the second series just announced today.

DL: Firstly, how do you take your coffee and when is your favourite time to partake?

Mirren: I'm a coffee philistine, I only like the sachet latte crap, and not very often. I prefer tea: Earl Grey, hot. Morning, noon and afternoon.

D L: You're a writer, a freelance editor, and an acquisitions editor for a small press publisher. Is it hard switching hats? And do you have any tips for others who juggle writing and editing and might be struggling?

Mirren: Yes it certainly can be difficult.

Writing is often pounding out a lot of words, while keeping the plot in the back of your mind and hoping it comes out half way decent. I've also taken to taking notes as I write, of names, places and random facts I might need later.

Aq editing is all about reading and giving feedback, and later liaising with the author to discuss promotions, sequels, etc. The Dragon's Rocketship wants the author to feel supported and involved at every step.

Editing is a lot more precise than either of these and requires a lot more focus. You cannot get caught up in the story, you have to see every word which is on the page and make sure it belongs there. I often have to re-read the first few paragraphs when I sit down to edit, to remind myself that I have to focus now.

My best piece of advice is to make sure you have time for the task you intend to do and don't switch hats in the middle of it. If you sit down to write, then write. Edit later. And don't edit while tired, unless you like doing it twice. Do write while drinking though, it can yield interesting results.

D L: Can you tell us about your upcoming novel. What is it about, when it is being released, have you seen the book cover yet?

Mirren: Crimson Fire (through The Dragon's Rocketship Publishing) is a fantasy novel about a young woman called Tabia. She's reasonably poor and her father is in debt to the royal family, so he gives her to them as a slave. Her mistress is a self-absorbed princess who soon discovers that Tabia can do magic. To increase her value, she sends Tabia to learn how to use it. However, self-absorbed princesses often have enemies and Tabia is caught up in a plot to kill her mistress and the king.

It should be out later this year. There's no cover yet, Druscilla Morgan is booked to do the cover art, but I've just finished writing the next book in the series.

D L: You're had short stories published in anthologies which you helped compile and edit. Can you tell us a bit about these anthologies?

Mirren: Tied in Pink is a romance anthology to raise money for breast cancer research. Like a Girl is to raise money for Plan Australia, to help girls all over the world to get an education.

D L: Can you tell us about the day you found out that your novel was going to be published.

Mirren: I checked my email one Sunday morning and saw one from the publisher saying they adored my book and offering me a contract. It's my second publishing contract, but I still smiled all day.

D L: What is the most daunting part of writing for you - past, present or future?

Mirren: It's a toss up between people not reading any of my work and people I respect very much, who write in my genre, reading it. There are some fantasy authors out there I respect very much and if they liked my writing I'd die happy.

D L: Are you a biscuit or cake kind of person?

Mirren: Biscuit, cake goes too stale too quickly and isn't as often covered by chocolate.

Once we have the covers, I'll do a cover reveal and provide links and blurbs on Mirren's books, so sign up to receive posts if you want to read more about Mirren's journey from writing to publication.

D L xoxo


  1. Congrats Mirren - great to see your books being recognised :) Looking forward to reading Crimson Fire when it comes out. Thanks for the interview Debbie :)

  2. Thanks for stopping by Jeanette. I'd be happy to have you for a coffee chat again if you have any releases coming out.


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