I’m not a coffee lover, although I’ve made attempts at becoming one. (The attempts generally call for massive amounts of chocolate syrup, French vanilla creamer, AND whip cream. Oh, and a smidgen of coffee.) But when I saw the cover for Miss Match, with a giant coffee cup front and center, I couldn’t resist. Good thing, too, because when my husband and I stopped at Home Depot forever, I had something to entertain me. And entertain it did. I finished Erynn’s debut novel around 2 a.m or so. (Don’t worry—we did leave Home Depot a few hours before that.)
Though I’m still wary of coffee, I am addicted to Erynn’s stories about her coffee-chugging main character, Lauren Holbrook. (Click the books link on http://www.jennesswalker.com/ to read my review of Miss Match.) And now, without further ado, let me introduce Erynn Mangum.
JW: Erynn, first of all, I have to know. How much coffee do you REALLY drink?
EM: Really and truly? Not half as much as Lauren Holbrook does. I drink a lot more when I spend the day writing than when I’m working, but usually between two-four massive cups a day (seriously, my mug holds about three and a half cups of coffee!). Hey, the caffeine is half my personality!
JW: Maybe the coffee is the secret to getting published so young. Speaking of which, how did you get into writing?
EM: I’ve loved to write since I was old enough to hold a crayon. I don’t really remember a time when I didn’t write. My mom always loved books and would read to us a lot, so I imagine that got me started in this crazy make-believe world called fiction.
JW: Do you have a specific purpose for writing?
EM: I like to quote 1 Peter 5:12b – "My purpose in writing is to encourage you and assure you that the grace of God is with you no matter what happens." I have this posted above my desk just to remind me.
JW: That’s awesome. Speaking of your desk, tell me about your writing space and routine.
EM: Well, my writing space is on a laptop and I sit at my desk in a very uncomfortable desk chair. I’ve got lots of pictures, quotes, comics and just sticky notes everywhere on the wall I’m facing, and even more pictures and postcards on my desk. My routine is that I don’t really have one: I write when I can and hope I make the most of that time!
JW: The wall sounds fun—very inspirational. So what does inspire the ideas for your stories?
EM: I get a lot of ideas just from things that happen to me. I love hanging out with friends and going to college Bible studies because weird things always happen there! Sometimes a conversation will spur an idea, or a movie or a book.
JW: Hm. Sounds like I missed a lot in college. Now for my favorite favorites questions. List some of your favorite things, doesn’t matter what. Food, hobby, author, book, verse, whatever.
EM: Okay, favorites are in no particular order: Daisies, 50s music, singing loud in the car when it’s just me and God, singing loud in the car when I’ve got some of my girls from the youth group and we’re playing Christmas carols, coffee!, caramel Frappucinos, homemade chocolate chip cookies, staying close with God, beaches, anything ocean or water related – that includes snow, s’mores over a campfire, starry nights, sunsets, hanging out with my family, spending time with my boyfriend, meeting friends for coffee, watching movies, reading, reading Psalms, dressing up really nice but also having days where I just wear sweats… oh my, the list could go on forever.
JW: I happen to know that Cheesecake Factory is your favorite restaurant. As it is also one of mine, I wanted to compare notes on the cheesecake. What’s your favorite?
EM: I absolutely adore the Chocolate Pecan Turtle cheesecake! I plan on living near a Cheesecake Factory at some point in my life. I’m thinking maybe the sooner the better, because my metabolism isn’t going to get any higher.
JW: Well, if you’re ever down in my neck of the woods, er, beach, we’ll have to get together and go. Although I must say that my Chocolate Tuxedo Cream has got your Chocolate Pecan Turtle beat all to pieces. Ha! Okay, last question. I would love to hear two bits of random advice—one writing-related and one not.
EM: Writing Advice: If you have the talent and the desire to write, don’t ever give up! God doesn’t gift where He doesn’t expect it to be used. Also, try really hard to not edit yourself as you’re writing, but wait to go back through the next day or even after you finish the manuscript to edit. Editing while you’re in the thick of it just disrupts the flow. General Advice: Don’t play 3-on-3 basketball in flip-flops.
JW: I’d love to ask the story behind that last bit of advice, but I won’t, just in case you’re going to use it in one of your novels. Thanks so much for taking the time to do this interview!
To learn more about Erynn Mangum and her books, check out her adorable website at http://www.erynnmangum.com/ . She is the author of Miss Match, and the JUST RELEASED sequel, ReMatch from NavPress. Don't miss it!