Raised by traditional people in a modern world, Mindy Tarquini is a second-generation Italian American who grew up believing that dreams are prophecy, the devil steals lost objects, and an awkward glance can invite the evil eye. She loves writing heroines with special powers. Alas, she has none herself.
Practice pitching: tell us what your book is about in 30 words or less.A sixteen-year-old fortune teller who casts her neighborhood into a stagnant bubble of time must learn the intricacies of time bending, teamwork, and living in a world that seems as hell-bent on breaking her spirit as she is to keep it.
How do you think your protagonist would respond if aliens landed in the center of town on page 57?
Fiora would watch the ship land, convinced the neighborhood will blame her for this, too.
Tell us something about you that isn’t common knowledge.
I type 90 words a minute, used to be an accountant, and my favorite ever career was as an ultrasound technologist.
You have to flee the country. Where are you headed to and why that location?
Italy. Probably a cozy mountain retreat in the Mezzogiorno. I have to give a reason why? It’s ITALY.
Your protagonist has to flee the country. Where are they headed to and why that location?
To Atlantic City to play in the waves. Okay, that’s not another country, but it’s a far cry from the city streets, she gets to ride a train to get there, and it’s New Jersey. That’s far enough.
If you were in an arm wrestle with your protagonist who would win? What is your protagonist better at than you? What are you better than your protagonist at?
She’d win, hands down. She’s way braver, stronger, and more resilient than me. My protagonist is better at saying what she thinks without worrying about the consequences. I’m better at putting everything into orderly columns.
If you have to live in a potential natural disaster zone, would you pick blizzards, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes or volcanic eruptions? Why? If you had to describe your protagonist as a weather system, what would they be?
Blizzards. It’s just snow. And so long as the roof is strong and there’s enough food and water and light to last the winter, no problem. I’d burrow under and read or write stories.
It’s the zombie apocalypse. You have to pick a weapon from what’s currently within 10 feet of your present location. What will you defend yourself with?
I’m in trouble. I think I’m ducking under the comforter and breathing shallowly so they don’t realize I’m there.
How long will you survive in the zombie apocalypse? How long will your protagonist survive? Why?
Fiora’s a survivor. She’ll be here when we’re all long gone. Me? I survive so long as the doors and windows hold.
Check out the fall issue of Spinetingler Magazine for more insights from Mindy Tarquini about her life, her writing and what she’d sing if she was on Carpool Karaoke.