Saturday, March 6, 2021

Bethany Mangle

Bethany Mangle writes young adult contemporary fiction because she refuses to ever grow up. She graduated from Hood College and George Washington University with degrees that have nothing to do with writing. Although she currently lives in Mississippi, Mangle has called many different states home. When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found reading, baking questionable cakes, or spoiling her dog.

Mangle’s short fiction has appeared in a variety of publications, including Maudlin House and The Citron Review.

Prepped is Mangle's debut novel.

My Q&A with the author:

How much work does your title do to take readers into the story?

I think the title Prepped gives readers some clue that the story will center around preparation, though not necessarily to the extent of doomsday prepping as a lifestyle. I like that it’s short and direct, since that reflects the same no-frills values held by many of the preppers.

What's in a name?

I don’t generally choose names for any particular reason. There are a few exceptions. Roy, for example, is a nod to Roy Mustang from Fullmetal Alchemist, my favorite TV show. I also saw a lot of parallels between the two of them in terms of personality.

Do you find it harder to write beginnings or endings? Which do you change more?

I find it harder to write endings because I like to leave things fairly open-ended in my novels. It’s a tough balance of wanting to wrap things up in a satisfying way without having to necessarily put a neat bow on it.

Do you see much of yourself in your characters? Do they have any connection to your personality, or are they a world apart?

I can see myself reflected in almost all of my characters. I’m not sure that I could write them as completely separate. I’ve had friends tell me that they read certain jokes or bits of dialogue in my voice, and that’s totally on point.

What non-literary inspirations have influenced your writing?

I draw a lot of inspiration from music as a whole. When I’m writing, I pick a song that helps me connect with the mood of the story. I listen to that song on repeat the entire time I’m drafting. It’s funny because I don’t even always like the song or the band. It’s all about how it makes me feel in relation to the project.
Visit Bethany Mangle's website.

--Marshal Zeringue