Miranda Boers Interview Published on: 09, Feb 2021

Which is your favorite memory while spending your early childhood in Surrey?

The woods around where we lived, which would be full of bluebells in the Spring, and making dens in them.

How did you begin writing your first story? Did it ever get published?

I have always written snippets just for myself, but my first ‘official’ piece of writing was a short piece of just 800 words (the term ‘flash fiction’ had not yet been invented) written for a competition to win a copy of James Herbert’s Portent, back in 1992. Nothing came of it, but that piece is now the opening to my psychological thriller, Sleep.

Why did you decide to write under pen names?

I have two pen names, but both are my name, just different versions of it. I have two because I write under different genres. Miranda Kate is for Dark Sci-fi Fantasy – and soon Dark Paranormal Fantasy, and M K Boers at the moment is for a Psychological Thriller, which also falls under Women’s Fiction. I hope to write more under that pen name soon.

What do you adore the most about flash fiction challenges?

The short burst of being able to get a scene down fast. I also like how it helps you cut a piece of writing down to the bare essentials. It’s a good way of training yourself out of using adverbs and conjunctions, keeping sentences short and raising the pace. It’s also stretches the writer by forcing them to find better descriptive words. And it’s a lot of fun and a great way of meeting and connecting with other writers online.

When and why did you decide to host your own Mid-Week Flash Challenge?

When I joined twitter in 2011, I found lots of Flash Fiction competitions; every day of the week there was a different one and it was great. Then slowly, over the years, the owners got busy and stopped running them, and I missed them. But I didn’t really want to judge other people’s writing, I just wanted to write for them, so in 2017, having collected pictures I found interesting as good writing prompts over on pinterest, I decided to start my own challenge. It was for myself mainly, but others could join if they wanted. And even though I don’t get that many people taking part on a regular basis, many writers have told me a writing prompt from the challenge has served as a lead in to a novel they have written.

What is the best advice for a new freelance editor?

For someone setting up as a freelance editor? Get qualified, then you might get taken more seriously and get work more easily and paid your value. In the UK there is the CIEP (Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading) or the Publishing Training Centre, both of which provide training that the big publishing houses will take seriously and enable you to get more work. There are a lot of editors out there, so it can be very difficult.

I have now specialised and focus more on developmental editing and work with Indie authors who aren’t always able to pay the top prices demanded by many editors.

What would you look like if you were born as the opposite gender?

Taller and buffer, but still blonde and green-eyed. People that I’d think I might look like would be, Josh Holloway (Lost/Colony), Chad Kroeger (Lead singer of Nickelback), or Nikolaj Coster- Waldau (Jamie Lannister in GOT).

What is the significance of the title of your book, The Game?

It’s what the lead antagonist, The Jester, forces the main character, David Sinclair, to play. He pushes David out of his own time and slips him through different time parallels every 3 or 4 days until David manages to catch him. The Jester finds it very amusing, but if you don’t follow the rules, he might force you to play The Game again – as David finds out.

Which is your favorite story from the anthology, "Mostly Dark: An anthology of short dark, horror stories"?

Gosh, that’s a hard one, as they are all my favourites, picked from all the flash fiction tales I have written over many years. ‘Scissors vs Knife’ is one I refer to often at Christmas, but the readers favourite is often ‘Last Supper’ – although ‘In the Dark, They Sing’ gets a mention in reviews too.

Who inspired the character of Lizzy Dyson in "Sleep"?

No one inspired her character specifically, but when I was in college, studying Theatre, our playwriting teacher would tell us about the work he did in prisons, helping inmates work on their writing, particularly those in for life. He’d tell us about the inmates and the problems they faced dealing with being locked up and processing the crime they had committed. There was sometimes the conversation about women being in prison because of a man in their life (husband/boyfriend) and I think that sparked the story. I didn’t want Lizzy to be seen as a victim or insane, I wanted her to be real, dealing with everyday life events that shape us, and affect our mental health and can lead to things getting way out of hand.

Do you think someone could be a writer if they don’t feel emotions strongly?

I think anyone can be a writer about anything. I think there are readers for all sorts of writing. I personally need to be able to feel an emotion about a character both as a writer and a reader, because that is what engages me.

What is "going too far" when writing horror?

I can read a lot of horror, including extreme horror that involves torture or abuse, but sometimes it’s simple things, like in Salem’s Lot by Stephen King, he had a mother punch her baby in an offhand scene. I had to put the book down for several days before I could pick it up again. I also found The Wasp Factory by Ian Banks really unsettling and disturbing. Sometimes if they are written as though it is normal it can hit me wrong.

And I had a book on how to write dialogue that used an example of a mother talking about beating her handicapped son. I found it so disturbing I binned the book! Sometimes it’s the context; that mother was justifying her reasons and that became unacceptable to me. Plus it’s a ‘how to’ book that wasn’t specifically aimed at horror, I couldn’t fathom why they would use such an example.

Which is the best compliment or fan-mail you have received for your work?

A writer friend was reading through Sleep for me, and he paused to send me a message to tell me that it wasn’t a question of whether I was a good writer or not, that I just was and what I had written was magnificent! I admire him as a writer too and it meant a lot.

Which is the next book you are working on? Is it a series or a stand-alone book?

I am currently finishing the sequel to The Game, which will be a full sized novel called, Pool of Players. I am hoping for a Spring release. And I am also working on a series – I have the first of three down, about Tricky, a witch ... of sorts. It will be a dark, paranormal fantasy series.

How has your experience of being associated with AllAuthor been?

I love the mock-ups that AllAuthor offers to authors for promoting and the review gifs. I find it a very simple and straight-forward website with a friendly team.

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