TS. I met Manning after discovering her exciting new release, Green Fees. Manning Wolfe is an author and attorney, with one foot in the business world and one foot in the creative realm. Manning writes cinematic-style, intelligent, fast-paced action-packed legal thrillers with a salting of Texas bullshit. She is writing a series of Texas Lady Lawyer novels based on her main character, Austin attorney Merit Bridges. Manning’s background as an attorney has given her a voyeur’s peak into some shady character’s lives and a front row seat to watch the good people who stand against them.
Q. Where do you write? Do you have a special room, shed, barn, special space for your writing? Or tell us about your ‘dream’ work space.
MW. Since I travel a lot, my writing space often changes depending on the city, state or country I may be visiting. One of my memorable writing spots was on a houseboat in Berkley Marina near San Francisco, California. I could watch the sailboats come and go, sea lions visited while I drank my morning tea, and the sunsets reflecting on the Golden Gate Bridge were breathtaking.
Q. Do you have any special rituals when you sit down to write? (a neat work space, sharpened #2 pencils, legal pad, cup of tea, glass of brandy, favorite pajamas, etc.)
MW. I have a ceramic wolf that I purchased in Alpine Texas. I set up my travelling space and face the wolf toward the window. Then, I know it’s time to write.
Q. Could you tell us something about yourself that we might not already know?
MW. I raised a dyslexic son, Aaron. It was heartbreaking to watch him struggle to read – the very thing that means so much to me. I always include something about literacy in my books. Aaron was enrolled in a school for dyslexic students and not has a complete command of his reading and writing skills.
Q. Do you have a set time each day (or night) to write?
MW. No. I am not a good sleeper, so I may write in the middle of the night, or any time during the day that the story comes to me. I tend to think things through at odd times, i.e. while sleeping, cooking, walking, etc. Mindless tasks allow my mind to wander around in the story and I usually come up with my best ideas at those times.
Q. What’s your best advice to other writers for overcoming procrastination?
MW. My self-diagnosed periods of procrastination turned out to be times when the story was not clear in my mind or I was needed elsewhere. I’m not sure procrastination exists.
MW. In my series, the next story comes to me when Merit Bridges starts to feel caught up in something. She “calls” to me and I start solving the problem mentally. When I feel there’s something of substance story-wise, I begin to write.
Q. What first inspired you to write your stories?
MW. I told my mother stories when I was very young. I grew up in my small-town library. By the time I was in junior high, I had read every book in the building. I loved Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, Thomas Hardy, on and on. I always thought I’d write a book someday.
Q. What comes first to you? The Characters or the Situation?
MW. As above, my main character, Merit Bridges talks to me about a situation. That said, all my stories are based on real life legal dilemmas that happened in my law firm. Of course, I take the facts only so far and then explode them into a thriller.
Tune in for Part II of this Interview June 22nd.
MY BLOG features INTERVIEWS with best-selling AUTHORS! March: Mystery (and Western) writer, Larry D. Sweazy. April: International adventurer, writer, Tal Gur. June: Manning Wolfe