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Author interview with E. B. Mann

By Amanda Merriman

The Castle Pines community certainly has a lot of talent within the city. One such talent is resident E. B. Mann, author of a young adult novel named “Karina.” (Read a review of “Karina” on page 21.) I recently had the opportunity to speak with Mann, which is a pseudonym, and learned about her writing process and life philosophy. Below is an excerpt from our conversation.

AM: Were the characters in Karina inspired by real people?

EM: I drew from my own girlhood experiences and from the perspective of having a daughter. Karina’s friend Mary pays homage to friends in my life who were artistic and free-spirited. Karina’s brothers are much like my own. They were crazy growing up.

AM: What inspired you to intertwine Karina’s story with mystical elements?

EM: The cave serves as an allegory for going inside to find truth in your life. It’s about the healing process, which has a strong connection to feelings/emotions.

AM: What inspired you to write? Was it hard to put your work out in the world by getting Karina published?

My background is in copy-editing but years ago at one of my book club meetings, I shared my dream of writing a book. My friends were very encouraging. I was on a long road trip when the idea for the book came to me. I finally committed to the process when I had a lot of free time during my daughter’s gymnastics class. The ladies from the book club provided invaluable recommendations after they read the first draft. Actually publishing it was very hard because it was like a piece of my heart was outside my body. The whole experience was like a marathon of self-doubt for me.

AM: Can you talk a little about your decision to write under a pseudonym?

EM: I am very shy in real life. I also didn’t feel like my real name sounded very literary. My name is a combination of both my grandmothers and the middle initial of writer E. B. White

AM: You mention online that you’re interested in anything that makes you cry. What is the first book that made you cry? What are you currently reading?

EM: I love anything that elicits a strong emotion. The first book that made me cry would probably be “Charlotte’s Web”. I most recently read a biography of E. B. Browning and “The Cottingley Secret” by Hazel Gaynor.

AM: What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

EM: Write what you know. Write the book you are given to write. A lot of people write what they think will sell but that doesn’t lead to good writing. Write the story that is close to your heart. Most importantly, make time to quiet your monkey mind as they say in Buddhism.

AM: Any new books in the works?

EM: I’d love to write a part 2 to “Karina.”

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