Mira Monroe is an award-winning YA fantasy author, receiving the New Apple Award for her debut novel Magick, in The Unwanted Series.
Mira is a lover of all things fantasy and fairytale, especially the twisted ones. She loves to write strong female characters who don’t fall victim to circumstance but instead rise above. Mira prefers a world where a princess can save herself.
Originally from Tennessee and a nomad to various states and countries, Mira now calls sunny Florida home with her family.
Voyage: What was the inspiration behind your novel, Magick? What made you want to tell this story?
Mira Monroe: As a mother of two teenage daughters, I am motivated to write strong female characters, like Willow. I wanted a female character who represented strength with the ability to turn her circumstance into an opportunity over a victim mentality. I wanted to show my daughters that bad stuff happens and it’s how you choose to react to it that makes the difference. It’s okay to be upset and own the emotions of any situation; the difference is how you move forward.
I wanted to tell this story because I’ve always enjoyed stories with magic, and I’ve always found Wicca exciting and often misunderstood. I love twists in fantasy, and I found it fun to play with this in such a fashion that it held some base roots in Wicca that allowed my story to flourish versus old stereotypes.
V: When you write your stories, what is the one thing you hope readers will take away?
MM: I hope readers take away that no choice is permanent, and decisions are not always black and white. It’s essential to make choices for yourself that are fit for your purposes and to understand that you can always pivot later if you need to. Life is fluid and being rigid in choices is an active choice as well. Be purposeful and flexible.
V: What was the hardest scene of Magick to write?
MM: For me, the hardest scene to write was where the family, as well as, destiny clashes for Willow. She is forced into her choice and decision quickly. The scene was hard but also the most rewarding because I needed to ensure I conveyed the emotional impact for Willow’s character arc. After all, it was vital in this part of the book.
I tend to read stories that move quickly, and I tend to write stories in the same manner. My goal was to ensure my pacing for the action while maintaining the impact that was required emotionally for Willow. I’m happy with the outcome and learned a lot in the editing process for this scene.
V: If you could tell your younger writer self anything, what would it be?
MM: To get out of your head. Write, just write!
I had a lot of inner critic turmoil, and I also suffered what I would say is education by paralysis–that I wouldn’t start due to fear. I regularly put my goals of writing and publication on the back burner for other priorities. I think any working parent consistently juggles their life. I learned to appreciate later, my goals are just as important, and I am responsible for allowing myself to achieve them. I’m glad I can be this for my girls, so that they see they can go after their dreams too. I’m lucky that I have a supportive family who’s willing to chip in when I have deadlines or I’m on a writing streak.
V: What are your writing must-haves?
MM: I need efficiency with my devices, meaning everything needs to sync with each other so that I can write anywhere. I love that I can quickly dictate a note on my phone or open my manuscript and add to a scene whenever and wherever. Time is precious, and when you’re juggling, this is the key to getting the word count down.