Friday, June 28, 2013

All About Middle Grade Interview: Mindy Hardwick (author of Stained Glass Summer)

I am very excited to welcome Mindy Hardwick, author of Stained Glass Summer, to the blog for this week's All About Middle Grade Interview. I Hope that y'all will give her a very warm welcome.

About the Author:
Mindy Hardwick is the author of EPIC Ebook Award Finalist in Children's, STAINED GLASS SUMMER, contemporary young adult romance, WEAVING MAGIC, and contemporary sweet romance novellas, VINTAGE VALENTINE, LOVE'S STORMS, LOVE'S BID and LOVE'S CHRISTMAS GIFT. She facilitates poetry workshops with teens at Denney Youth Juvenile Justice Center, and is the co-editor of four of the youth's anthologies. Mindy is included on the Washington State Arts Commission Teaching Artist Roster and worked with the youth of the Tulalip Tribe in the 2011 New Directions Music and Art Prevention Program. She is one of the teaching artists included in the Reclaiming Futures Program at Denney Juvenile Justice Center. Mindy holds an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College and is a member of Seattle SCBWI.

You can haunt Mindy Hardwick at-
Website | Blog | FB | Goodreads | Twitter |
1       1. Could you tell us why you chose to set Stained Glass Summer on an island in the Pacific Northwest? 

Glass art is a large part of the Pacific Northwest and very prevalent on many of the San Juan Islands.  The San Juan Islands are small communities, in which the only way off the island is by a ferry, boat or plane. This sense of “being apart” was needed to both mirror how Jasmine felt after her Dad left as well as provide the small, supportive, artist community Jasmine needed in her journey to let go of her Dad.

22.       While Jasmine's living with her uncle for the summer, what will be the biggest help for her as she tries to heal after her beloved father leaves her and her family? 

The biggest help to Jasmine is five-year-old Sammy. Sammy is a lot like Jasmine. Her father has recently died in a fishing accident and she is trying to process that grief.  Jasmine and Sammy spend a lot of time together in Opal’s glass shop. Jasmine learns a lot about herself by helping Sammy.

33.       So, Mindy, why do you think readers will like Jasmine and her story of finding who she is without her dad around?

I think Jasmine is a survivor. She takes a situation which is devastating and learns how to find her own identity as an artist by helping others. I think readers will resonate  with Jasmine’s strength. 

44.       If Jasmine, the main character in Stained Glass Summer, could visit any art museum in the world which one do you think she'd love to visit? 
The Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Washington

55.       Mindy, I hear that you facilitate a poetry workshop at a juvenile justice center, would you mind sharing with us  your thoughts on working there? How did you get into giving workshops at the Juvenile Justice Center?

I started facilitating the poetry workshop at the detention center seven years ago. I had just left a career in teaching and I was looking for a way to continue to work with teens, but not in my teaching role. A friend was volunteering in the Pongo Publishing Program in Seattle. She suggested I contact my local area detention center.

I really enjoy working with the kids. Many of them have a strength and spirit like Jasmine which is fighting through great challenges—(Drug use, parents in prison,). Their stories come out in the poetry.  I always feel it is a privilege to be allowed to share in that process.

We keep at blog at: and you can read some of the poems.

66.       It's always nice to find out who inspires someone, so, I was wondering if you would like to share with my readers who inspires you? Why?

So many people inspire me! One of my writing inspirations was young adult author, Norma Fox Mazer. I met Norma at the National Book Foundation Summer Writing Camp about ten years ago. I was just starting my writing journey and going to visit my Dad for the first time after ten years apart. I had a lot of emotions about that upcoming visit to Dad and they all came out in Norma’s writing workshop. Norma sat with me as I cried and she handed me tissues. When I was done, she suggested I apply for the Vermont College MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults program where she was on the faculty. She said it sounded like I had a story to tell. Stained Glass Summer is my thesis novel from that program.

7.       This is perhaps the hardest question of all: Three books that have made the biggest impact on you? Why?

1.       Dicey’s Song by Cynthia Voigt—I loved reading this book in middle school and it stayed with me for many years. After I wrote Stained Glass Summer, I realized Jasmine and Dicey had a lot in common. They are both characters who had a parent abandon them, they both went to live with extended family, and they both are characters who learned how to reshape their lives without that parent.

2.       The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler—This book really opened my eyes to the journey of the hero and how to incorporate the hero’s journey into writing a story. I have always had a hard time plotting. I am more a character writer, and when I found this book, I learned how to incorporate my character writing into a plot.

3.       A Vein of Gold by Julia Cameron. I am a big Julia Cameron fan and worked through all her books. I love anything which has to do with the creative process, but this book opened my eyes to the idea that we all have a “vein of gold” and if we will tap it, the well will overflow.  I can see this when I’m writing.

8.     8.  The world has fallen to a robot invasion and only one heroine/hero can possibly save the day, who do you choose? 
Great question! I would send Sandra Bullock out to save the day! She seems to be able to save a lot of days!

9. Care to tell us about your writing cave (include picture if you want)?

 I work in multiple places. I tend to do most of my drafting either sitting on my couch with my computer or sitting at my dining room table that overlooks Lake Stevens. When I am editing or in the “business” side of writing, I work in an upstairs  loft.

10. Any upcoming projects that you can sure with us? 

I just finished drafting a memoir, Kids In Orange: Voices from Juvenile Detention Poetry Workshop which is about my experience working with the teens in juvenile detention.  I did a post-graduate semester at Vermont College with this project and it was intense! It’s a story told in multiple formats (poetry, vignette, and flash) and it was like working on a large mosaic project pulling all the pieces together.

This summer, I am working on a short, tween novella called, Celtic Dreams, which is a mystery with a little bit of romance. 

Mindy, thank you so much for stopping by and answering some questions. I agree, Dicey and Jasmine would probably be able to relate well with each other.

Stained Glass Summer by Mindy Hardwick, June, 2012. Published by Musa Publishing.
Twelve-year-old Jasmine adores her photographer Father and wants to be an artist just like him. But when Dad abandons the family, Jasmine is sent to spend the summer with her Uncle on a Pacific Northwest Island. Soon, Jasmine is learning stained glass from island glass artist, Opal, and thinking she might just be developing a crush on Island boy, Cole. But, it’s not until Jasmine finds herself mentoring another young artist that she can truly let go of her Father and call herself an artist by her own terms.

You can buy Stained Glass Summer or learn more about it at-
Stained Glass Summer Reading Guide | Amazon | B&N | Musa Publishing |

1 comment:

  1. Great interview ladies. Lovely writing space. I'd have to clean up a bit before taking a picture of mine. :0(


I read, and am working on replying, to all the comments y'all leave. All comments are moderated by me, so, if you don't see it automatically that's why.
Psst, there is no "Word Verification" on the comments. =)

Keep on being awesome!


Blog Widget by LinkWithin