This is L.M. David and today, I will be interviewing Mindy Larson, author of This Morning I Woke Up Dead. Hello Mindy, thank you for agreeing to come to my little spot on the planet to do this interview. For those who have been following the saga of Preston, our undead nuisance, we finally managed to get him out of the building, boarded up every entrance to prevent his return. When I arrived to do this interview, there was a message on my computer that said “you forgot the air ducts”. Now, it’s a matter of time before he makes his physical presence known…
While it’s still peaceful here, let’s start the interview.
Q. Mindy, tell me about yourself.
A. I love to write! So much so that I don’t even consider it a job. It’s just what I do and who I am. When I’m not writing, I’m taking care of my kids and house, reading, at the gym, enjoying the outdoors, cooking a meal with my love, or traveling and exploring new places.
Q. Your book, This Morning I Woke Up Dead, has an interesting premise. How did you come up with it?
A. I am spiritual but not religious. The title, This Morning I Woke Up Dead, came to me first and I ran with it from there. What truly happens after we pass is one of the only questions that no one is 100% certain of. I wanted to explore some alternative options of what could happen. Also, I am a romantic at heart and a sucker for great love stories. What’s more romantic than a love with such intensity that it survives death?
Q. That’s a good point. Tell me about the character Hadley Christensen.
A. Hadley once spent her days working at a retirement home and caring for the elderly. She now spends her time between reaching out to Dominic, and as a spirit guide for the Unknowns. Hadley is the keeper of truths, which means that she encourages her charges to speak only the truth. Subtly Hadley guides them by whispering inspirational messages. Fueled by a strong desire to be with her beloved, she makes desperate attempts to get in contact with her soul mate. Sadly, she is mostly unsuccessful and her temper rises as does her frustration and rebellious streak.
Q. The character Dominic Morris, tell me about him.
A. When we first meet Dominic he is in a major depression. He’s full of angst and moodiness as he attempts to get by and ‘live’ without his other half but Dominic’s broken heart makes it impossible to do so. He sees her. Hears her. And quite frankly, it causes him to feel as if he is on the near brink of madness. Being a realist doesn’t help him to believe. In fact, it only furthers him from the truth. It doesn’t help that he has trouble seeing things other than what is in black and white and right in front of his face. This way of thinking helps him to be a good doctor. He could be a great doctor, he but isn’t able to find the focus or desire to be anything without his love, Hadley.
Q. In your book, everyone is dead. Why?
A. Again I found it very interesting to explore the unique possibilities of what the afterlife existence may consist of. In my novel, the characters realize things as they are, that they are dead, when they’re enlightened, doing what they love, are grateful, and not to sound cliche, but they’re ‘living the life’. How interesting would it be if we are already dead? It got me to stop and think about a few things. The terms ‘live like your dying’, or ‘live everyday like it’s your last’ suddenly take on new meanings.
Q. Hadley goes to another realm, separated from Dominic. What do these souls do to fine each other again?
A. Throughout the novel, Hadley has a strong desire to go to Dominic. She follows him around their apartment, and while he is working. She even does his laundry! Soon, she finds that when he is at his most vulnerable, asleep at night, that he is more aware of her and of the other realm. It’s unfortunate that Dominic goes back and forth as to whether or not he believes that he is seeing and hearing Hadley or that he is just going insane due to his misery without Hadley. When he is at loss as how to proceed he takes desperate measures and pays a visit to a psychic in attempt to get answers. Sadly he leaves with more questions than answers.
Q. Is there a sequel to This Morning I Woke Up Dead?
A. Yes, I am working on a follow up novel to This Morning I Woke Up Dead, entitled Thirteen Choices. It, too, takes place in the afterlife and, of course, centers around a love story. But different than my first novel, everyone is aware of the situation and are dead. We watch as they exist and make their way about their new existence.
Q. What was your favorite part in This Morning I Woke Up Dead?
A. My favorite part of the novel was when Dominic takes his niece Ruby, and his sister/best friend Emerson to Disneyland. Both of them have suffered a loss of a loved one and they really just needed to get away and let loose. Dominic even changes his name for the day, and creates an alter ego. For the day he is able to truly let go of his pain and the heaviness that is him and enjoy life again.
Q. What was the hardest part when writing This Morning I Woke Up Dead?
A. The hardest part of writing This Morning I Woke Up Dead was the heartbreak. Literally I ached for them to be together and end their pain. I found myself depressed at times and at a loss as how to proceed with the story. Dominic and Hadley encouraged me to believe and kept me going, hopefully to give them the happy ending they deserve. The ending we all deserve.
Q. You are also the author of children’s books. Please, name a few.
A. The kid’s books I wrote are entitled, For the Love of Socks, Another New Outfit, and Never Enough Time. I have a few ideas for new ones. They will be called, Mr. Ned Recycles, and Zooey Goes Missing. I am really having a blast writing my novels though and I am honestly not sure when I’ll get them.
Q. You self-published This Morning I Woke Up Dead. Why?
A. The main reason I self-published was to get it out there faster, I believe in my novel, I believe in me.
Q. What age group would This Morning I Woke Up Dead appeal to?
A. I feel that ‘This Morning’ will appeal to all ages! Who hasn’t wondered about life after death? But given the tender love story involved most likely females ages sixteen to twenty five age will be more drawn to it than anyone else.
Q. If your book were being made into a movie, who would you want to play the lead role?
A. As for the movie, I’ve always felt that Jennifer Lawrence would be perfect as Hadley Christensen, and Ian Somerhalder as Dominic Morris.
Q. What advice would you give writers struggling to get published?
A. Keep doing what you love, just believe in yourself and your goals and you’re half way there.
L.M. David: Okay, I think that does it. Thank you again for stopping Mindy. I wish you success!
Mindy Rae Boyer Larson was born in 1977 in Provo, Utah. She is the eldest of four children and only daughter. The family moved to the salt lake county in the early eighties when her father got a job at the USPS.
With a very vivid imagination storytelling came only natural, often she entertained her younger brothers with evening story tales. Her strong passion for reading books as well as a desire to write her own fairy tales, led her write her first book at the tender age of seven. It remains locked up in a box for safe keeping.
At the age of fourteen she baffled her classmates when she looked forward to her honors English homework, rather than heading off to the movies or to canyons with the rest of them. Mindy often completed twenty page book reports on the day they were assigned and rarely got less than A’s on her writing assignments.
She has written handfuls of kids books, short stories, and many other works. This Morning I Woke Up Dead, is her first published novel. She has big plans to publish numerous more and to never stop writing.
When Mindy isn’t writing, she is looking after her four kids, cats, and dog. Being a passionate person, her other favorite pastimes include; working out, cooking, baking, traveling and exploring all across the land often looking for treasures at her various favorites shops.
After a long search, she has finally found her true love and lives happily ever after in South East Idaho with her four kids, two girls and two boys, and the love of her life.
Things are seemingly perfect for Hadley Christensen and Dominic Morris. They’re engaged, both of them have promising careers in the medical field, and they’re happier and more fulfilled than they have ever been. When Hadley heads off to work one morning, she realizes things aren’t as they seem. While staring into the headlights of a fast approaching oncoming vehicle, life as she knows it is forever altered. Her last breath on Earth is only the beginning.
She isn’t about to die.
She is already dead.
No one else knows but they are all dead too.
This powerful realization forces Hadley to leave Dominic behind and exist in another realm. Neither soul handles the painful separation well, nor can their bond be broken. Even in death. Hadley is given the rare privilege to make contact from the other side, desperately hoping to convince her beloved of his true state and ensure they be together once more.
This Morning I Woke Up Dead takes you on a journey of discovery as two souls fight against their undeniably difficult situation of being tormented and separated by different realms of existence, proving that those who are destined to be together will not be kept apart by a beating heart.