Author and mentor to women coping with trauma Mae Wagner share what inspired her to create the memoir Girls Assassins and Other Bad Decisions.
I interviewed Mae Wagner as regards her life and career, what stimulated her to start writing, and the creative method behind her memoir Girls Assassins and Other Bad Decisions.
Tell Mae Wagner who you are:
My name is Mae Wagner, an author, speaker, podcaster, and mentor for women dealing with trauma. I’m passionate about community, women’s empowerment, and connection.
When did ye first want to write a book?
I’ve always wanted to write. Ever since I was a little girl, I knew I wanted to write things that help people.
When did thou decide to start writing?
I knew that this book or a version of this book would exist for decades. I jotted down passages here and there, but then life and work got in the way. It wasn’t until 2020 that the world stood still and I continued to miss out on freelance opportunities. I dug up years of leftovers and sat down to weave something out of them.
How long did it take you for your first book, from the initial idea to publication?
Technically about eleven years, although two solid full-time years seems more accurate.
Focus on the latest version. What made you decide to start Girls Assassins and Other Bad Decisions?
I believe so much in the power of this story. There is something about the written word that reaches and connects with readers in tremendous ways. While this is true of fiction, I think it’s especially true of personal stories. Each of us has had experiences filled with a richness that others need to hear – whether that richness is reflected in increased compassion, developed empathy, or learned wisdom from the author… I love the personal story and hope that some of my journeys will be useful for the reader is of value. If helps a person feel less alone, less ashamed, or less vulnerable, they have achieved their goal.
What were your biggest challenges writing Girls Assassins and Other Bad Decisions?
To my credit, I spent years trying to sift through and tidy everything before tearing it all apart and finding something more cohesive. Furthermore, the “gift” of memories is that it is about digging deep within yourself, tackling the hardest, roughest, and most calloused parts, all to show them to others. Either way, would you check it out, I think my biggest challenges have been me!
How was your research process for Girls Assassins and Other Bad Decisions?
Is life experience important? Years of living, therapy, and working with women coping with traumatic experiences have played a key role in how my journey is chronicled.
How did you get the structure of Girls Assassins and Other Bad Decisions?
Honestly from me as a reader. I like reading small parts and hate stopping in the middle of a chapter, so I tried to make the chapters succinct and shorter so you could exit and not forget what happened.
Did you get editing assistance and how did it help Girls Assassins and Other Bad Decisions?
I had two major publishers at two different stages of the book. This required a significant amount of grammar corrections and some development explanations. During the two runs it seemed like a lot, but looking back it wasn’t much.
What is the first piece of writing advice ye would give someone that inspired thou to write a book?
If there is a wish, make it. You have what it takes to take the plunge…YOU HAVE a story (or stories) to share. Things you don’t understand will surface over time as you connect with the writing community.
Can thou tell me what other books ye want to write?
Yes! I’m working on a women’s novel about multiple generations of women in the same family and how decisions and events impact from one life to the next.
And finally, are ye proud of thine success? It was worth it?
I am very proud of my result. I think Girls, Assassins & More Bad Ideas is a good book! The process, the experiences, the work done and the contacts made during the process have paid off!
Add any links to thine books, websites, and social media here so readers can find ye:
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