If you’re a Star Wars fan, you’ll appreciate my first interview. Ladies and Gentlemen, the one, the only… Mandalorian Girl! Even if you’re not a Star Wars fan, you should check out her blog. I may be a little biased, but it’s pretty awesome. You can also follow her on facebook and twitter.
Bbt: Hi Mandaloriangirl. Thank you for taking time to do this interview. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
There really isn’t much to tell. I am just a country girl who loves sci-fi, Star Wars and writing stories. There is constantly some sort of story rattling around in my head; I have a vivid imagination. I am just your average geek girl and avid gamer. My head is always in a book or a game. When I am not doing that, I like to be with my husband and my animals. I have 5 cats, 2 dogs, 6 ducks and 11 chickens.
Bbt: You write non-cannon Star Wars fan fiction, can you explain that for any readers that may be unfamiliar with the terminology and tell us a little about your blog?
Non-cannon fan fiction is when a fan takes a specific story or fictionalized universe and adds their own twist. They may just add their own characters to the already made story or they may create a whole new story based on the already created universe or storyline. It is a testament to the love we have for the fiction we are writing about and shows our desire to be a part of it in our own way. In my blog, I write about a Mandalorian girl in the Old Republic era of The Star Wars universe named Na’sha Tal-i. I am very passionate about Star Wars and I love that particular era. It is about seeing the galaxy from her point of view and following her through her adventures. She is on an important mission, not only to save the galaxy, but to find her true self. I try to keep the story cannon in that I stick to what is happening in the era. I make sure to get things accurate for the time she is in. I am creating the story and most of the characters, while adding cannon characters and staying as true to the original timeline as possible.
Bbt: How did you first get involved in with blogging? What inspired you to start your blog?
I was just sitting at my computer and I wanted to create a twitter account. I saw all of the star wars fanson there, roll playing and thought that it would be fun to get to know people who share my love of Star Wars. Once I got on there, I decided to give the persona I had created on twitter a backstory. I figured that the best way to do that was a blog. I have a habit of not taking time to write but I thought if I were to do this story where others could read it, it would force me to make the time.
Bbt: Do you have a strategy or process for writing?
Truthfully, no. I usually sit down and just write. I attempt at times to do an outline, but the characters always have a way of doing something totally different once I sit down to write. I don’t know what is going to happen from one entry to the next. It keeps things interesting.
Bbt: Would you say you and Na’sha are a lot alike?
Probably more than I would like to admit. She is a little more outgoing than I am, for the most part, I think we share a lot of the same qualities, especially being stubborn and fighting for what we believe in.
Bbt: What is the most challenging moment in your blog content development process and why?
Stopping. Each time I make a new entry I have to find the perfect place to end it. There always has to be a what is coming next moment. I want the readers to want to come back. Each piece needs to leaving them wanting to read the next part. Sometimes I start writing and can’t really find that point.
Bbt: What’s the best thing that’s come from your blogging?
Getting to interact with so many different people whom I would never have gotten in touch with otherwise. I have gotten connected with Star Wars actors, amazing artists in the community, authors and just all around amazing people. The Old Republic community and the SW community as a whole, is filled with some amazing people, people I am privileged and honored to know.
Bbt: Do you like to read a lot? What genres do you prefer?
I love to read! I enjoy all types of books but my favorites are Science fiction and Fantasy stories. I love space operas and you can find me on many evenings curled up with a good zombie book. I love zombies!
Bbt: What authors have inspired your writing?
I am inspired by so many authors. I would have to say that when it comes to Star Wars though, I am most inspired by Karen Traviss, Arron Allston and Paul S. Kemp. They are awesome writers and their stories grab your attention. They make you want to be part of their tales.
Bbt: If you could be any Star Wars character from the original trilogy, who would you be and why?
There are so many to choose; I love them all, but I think that from the original, it would be fun to be R2D2. He has been present during a lot of pivotal instances in the lives of some very important characters. He has seen and heard some pretty awesome things. His being a droid allows him to get in places and not be noticed. He just observes. I bet he has some great stories to tell and I think it would be interesting to see things from his perspective.
Bbt: How do you keep coming up with content for your blog?
I treat it like a video game. In a game, you have missions and you meet new companions. I am playing out a game in my head and writing it out. I try to make the characters very deep though. I want them to have real emotions and real conversations. Finding content to write about is easy enough, but making it flow smoothly, is a bit harder.
Bbt: What has been your strategy for creating visibility to yourself and your blog?
I haven’t really done much for creating visibility. I have been lucky to have been noticed by a great group of people, the founders of TORSyndicate. Their website allows Star Wars fans to come together and share info. We help each other. They feature me reading sections of my blog on their weekly podcast that is downloaded by thousands of people on iTunes. Other members of the community have featured me and my blog in countless interviews and they are good about sharing my website with their fan bases. Bioware, the creates of the MMO Star Wars the Old republic, even mentioned my blog in an interview they did for video podcast in the SW community. Without the wonderful Star Wars fans embracing my story, I would never be able to share this story like I have.
Bbt: Besides blogging, what other roles does writing play in your life? Are you working on any other projects?
I have started a young adult novel and I have a couple of ideas in my head for another. I am also in the process for compiling a book of my poetry.
Bbt: That’s great! Can’t wait to read them.
Bbt: With 689 subscribed followers and 18410 hits, averaging at just under a thousand hits a month, your blog has caused a big stir in the Star Wars fan fiction community over the past year. Did you ever think you would have so many followers?
Never! I am so pleasantly shocked. I hadn’t even counted on having a hundred and now, I have well over a thousand on twitter and both my Facebook and Google+ fan base is growing by leaps and bounds. I love all of them. I have found so many great people and made some life long friendships. They are so great and so supportive. They encourage me to keep going. They are the reason I write.
Bbt: If someone was interested in blogging, what would be a few things you would suggest?
Pick a topic that you are passionate about. People write better when it is about something they love. Once you get started, stick to it. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t have thousands or even hundreds of readers. It isn’t about numbers, it is about writing about what you want and sharing your views and opinions. Also, don’t let people’s comments bother you. Not everyone will like your blog or your views, but so what!? Just write and enjoy it.
Thanks again, Mandaloriangirl! To my readers, I hope you enjoyed the interview as much as I did 🙂 Mandaloriangirl is also a fellow authonomite and if you’re interested, you can check out a sample of one of her books here. I’ll be doing more interviews with various authors, published and unpublished, so be sure to subscribe or check back here often! I usually post on Wednesday or Thursday. Y’all take care, now. Bye!