Interview with Mugen Press

Describe your desk
The dining room table, the office desk facing the garden with huge windows and potted orchids, or a coffee shop where I don't know the Wi-Fi password.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I'm a Cancelled Czech! That is, I finished 7th grade in Prague, Czech Republic. Our family bummed around Europe as political refugees for a while. I started 9th grade in the United States in 1980. English is my linguistic comfort zone, although I am still fluent in Czech and speak several other languages at a decent tourist level.
Escaping the Iron Curtain, having to adapt, and also seeing the American culture from an outside perspective makes me see the most ordinary things as new and fascinating. You'll also see my heroes and heroines tackle various issues that I had to deal with. Their struggle is tempered with humor, and so far, all my books have a happy ending. Check the blurb for clues!
When did you first start writing?
I wrote my first book when I was six. It was about the kitten that always slept with me, Modroocko. I wasn't allowed to be a writer, because we didn't have free speech back where I grew up, and being a writer would've landed me in jail.
When we came to America, I had to learn to speak English from scratch, and I studied chemistry and geology, because aside from being interesting, the technical fields are pretty forgiving when it comes to bad grammar and foreign accents.
When my first daughter was born, I couldn't leave her in daycare for 60 hours a week to accommodate my science job, so I turned to my language skills, and started translating and interpreting as a free-lancer. That's when I realized that wow, my English is actually good enough, and I can write. I've been writing fiction since 2004.
What do your fans mean to you?
Telling stories has meaning only when there is an audience who appreciates the effort. No storyteller is every satisfied by an empty theater. I am thrilled with every review and fan mail (even the negative ones - because I must've stirred some serious feelings to inspire the reader to actually write something!), and I'm grateful for every sale that justifies the time I spend sitting alone and making things up! Because that's writing is, when you boil it down to its essence.
What are you working on next?
I'm writing "Like a Torrent," book 2 of the Disorderly Elements series. Book 1 and 3 are out already. This is one of those cases where my readers liked a book well enough, but really wanted to know what happened before the events of "Like a Phoenix." Their questions got me thinking, and one very long shower later, I had two new book ideas in my head.
Writing out of order is as frustrating for me as it is for you... but stay with me, and enjoy the ride!
Who are your favorite authors?
Dana Stabenow, who has both a whole cache of Alaska-based whodunits, and a lovely, adventurous medieval trilogy.
Robert B. Parker, who died too young, and who wrote great detective stories.
Neil Gaiman, who defies categories, and always puts a smile on my face.
Amelia Faulkner, Lori Witt, and Anna Zabo, who write witty gay romances that are just so much fun as a relaxing read between grittier books. You know, the ones with guns and high stakes and an even higher body count!
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
There is no one thing, but my day wouldn't be the same without my loving husband, my great daughters, and the friends that help me laugh when going gets hard. I love my life, and I work hard to protect our world for all of my loved ones.
Do you have pen names?
Yes, I do. They are in my bio.
Published 2017-02-03.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Just Blow It Up
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 4,050. Language: English. Published: July 30, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Women's fiction » General, Fiction » Humor & comedy » General
A matriarch in the 1970’s communist Prague, Jarka steers her family through the charged Cold War climate. Except for her son-in-law, super-genius. After yet another explosion rocks the house, it's time for disarmament, sudden and covert. She has to find a way to dump everything that goes BOOM and protect the family. A funny, thrilling historical addition to the Cancelled Czech Files series!
Strawberries in the Snow
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 550. Language: English. Published: December 15, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Gay, Fiction » Romance » Clean & wholesome
Divorced, apart from his young daughter, Vince just can’t get into Christmas. He’s supposed to be free, gay, and out. His ex-wife encourages him to date and be happy – but his heart isn’t in it. Vince’s younger officemate Tom is working through dark time but his personable manner and generosity is the bright candle that lights the day. Vince and Tom gently find their way toward their own HEA.
Treading Water
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 1,730. Language: English. Published: August 22, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Gay, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Jesse, a Crow Native and IT guy, is learning to swim to complete a company-mandated triathlon. He and Sebastian, a swimmer and an ice cream magnate, become fast friends and training buddies. An intimate secret binds them - but if Jesse finds out, it may shatter their budding romance. A story of friendship and valor, where old ghosts are slain and hope perseveres.