Thursday, 14 February 2019

CWD Member Interview - Mazzy Adams

Each Thursday we will be interviewing one of the members of Christian Writers Downunder – to find out a little bit more about them and their writing/editing goals.

Today’s interview: Mazzy Adams

 Question 1: Tells us three things about who you are and where you come from.

Who am I?

I’m an evolving story—with a title change along the way. I have poetry, short fiction, creative non-fiction and spiritual devotions published under my real name and as Mazzy Adams, the penname I adopted about four years ago. If you’re curious, you can read more about my evolution into a writer here and about why I chose my penname here

I’m also a word addict. I am totally hooked on those incredible lettered delicacies that pepper pages, tantalise tongues, trip through teeth, evoke a million images and emotions, flood curious minds with knowledge and wisdom and release springs of love, hope, compassion and understanding from responsive hearts. Not to mention, words can be oh so much FUN to play with! 

Photo above: My shape poem, Maple Music,was listed as chosen by the judge in the 2013 Poetica Christi Press Poetry competition and published in their 2014 Anthology, A Lightness of Being

Where do I come from?

I’m Queensland born and bred and, after a five year dalliance with Northern Beaches Sydney, New South Wales, my husband and I settled in Toowoomba to raise our three amazing children (I look at them and marvel). I’ve also been blessed with three wonderful grandchildren. Currently, I help my Maths/Science genius husband support my writing habit by working as a creative and academic writing tutor and manager in our Education Consultancy.

Question 2: Tell us about your writing (or editing/illustrating etc).  What do you write and why?

What do I write?

I’m a PAGE—Poet, Author, Genre non-conformist, and Encourager—or Essayist if you prefer. At times, I’m PAGES, either because I’m writing Spiritual devotions, or I’m being long-winded, at which time the E stands for Editing and the S stands for Strike that/Slash and burn/Stalking typos and grammar gremlins or Scratching my head and tearing my hair out.

I've also written a New Adult Thriller. (Throw Ludlum’s Jason Bourne into a bowl with a biblical worldview. Sprinkle with quirky acronyms and gospel allegory. Add a dash of Calvin and Hobbes’ Homicidal Psycho Jungle Cat’s philosophical humour. Bake with a fertile imagination. Enjoy.)

Despite my concerns, the suspense of writing the novel didn’t kill me so I expect I’ll survive the Indie Publishing learning curve. Then, Licence to Die will be a living, breathing, deadly intriguing debut novel available in paperback and e-book—before 2019 expires.

Why do I write?

Because I can. And because I can’t not write. The urge to collate words with intention and purpose has become both a passion and a divine commission. And it’s FUN! (Yeah, even when I’m tearing my hair out.)

Question 3: Who has read your work? Who would you like to read it?

Readers of the dozen Australian, US, International print and online anthologies in which my poetry, CNF, short fiction and devotions have been published.

Also, my compassionate, encouraging, and helpful Quirky Quills writing companions. Several Beta Readers and my Editor have read the novel as a WIP.

While my children were young, I managed to woo and entertain enthusiastic audiences with my drama sketches and puppet plays (especially during the lolly meteor showers and dust storms), but technically they were hearers and viewers, not readers.

Who are my target readers for Licence to Die (and other works-in-progress I’m percolating)?

That mysterious and wondrous group recently recognised in their own right as New Adults; 16-25ish, they’ll have conquered—or be in the process of conquering—the trials and tribulations of senior schooling, university study, earning a living, or generally nailing Introductory Adulting—or giving it a good bash. Also, Advanced Adulting students (25-106ish) who remember what it was like to be a young adult, and can cope with adulting being used as a noun and a verb, not just an adjective (You’ll be relieved to know I haven’t nouned or verbed the word ‘adulting’ in the novel).

Question 4: Tell us something about your process. What challenges do you face? What helps you the most?

Process? It usually starts with a couple of words, a line of poetry, or a sentence that intrudes upon my everyday activities or my attempts to go to sleep, and gives me no rest until I’ve written it down. Many of my published pieces (and my novel) began life as ‘quick writing exercises’ for my Creative Writing degree. I focus on the ideas that have promise and those that are downright demanding till I give in and write them, like Licence to Die. I either go with the flow, or formulate a plan which I modify, as flow and coherency directs.  

Challenges? The poet in me likes to slip ‘writerly’ masterpieces into the mouths and minds of my characters, which I then have to delete for POV authenticity. Sigh! Like so many writers, balancing the financial budget also creates challenges.

I am most helped by the assurance (and reassurance) (and re-reassurance) of the Holy Spirit that this is what he wants me to do. Frequently, he uses other Christian Writers as his mouthpiece in this regard.

Question 5: What is your favourite Writing Craft Book and why?

I found Manuscript Makeover by Elizabeth Lyon invaluable in managing and simplifying the complex structure of my novel. I also appreciate the wealth of quality wisdom and advice available online. In terms of influence, I found Janice Elsheimer’s The Creative Call helped me realise the hand of God had written ‘writer’ into my DNA long before I learned how to read his writing.

Question 6: If you were to give a shout-out to a CWD author, writer, editor or illustrator – who would they be?

Absolutely, Nola Passmore—writer, editor, Quirky Quill and my most significant influencer. Some people won’t let you down, or won’t let you let yourself down. Nola is one of these rare and precious friends.
Also, Iola Goulton—not only for her recent, excellent work as copy editor for my novel, and her informative blogs, newsletters and social media links to all things writing, editing, publishing and marketing, but as a significant early influencer who, along with Anusha Atukorala, sent me out from my first Christian Writers Conference believing I had writer’s stuffing inside me—and it wasn’t all fluff. (Now you’re singing, ‘Winnie the Pooh, Winnie the Pooh, funny little tubby all stuffed with fluff’, aren’t you?)

Question 7: What are your writing goals for 2019? How will you achieve them?

Indie Publish Licence to Die, acquiring new and necessary skills in the process. Start pushing up the word count for the next novel. I hope to achieve this one step and one day at a time.

Question 8: How does your faith impact and shape your writing?

I’ve been a Christian believer from my childhood. I survived life’s wild, stormy weather long enough to become a writer because Jesus Christ is my anchor. We’re tethered together in love and trust. Just as nothing can separate me from the love of God in Christ Jesus, so nothing can separate Christ in me from the words that I write. Sometimes that connection is overt and obvious. Sometimes it is as inconspicuous and deeply layered as the rock beneath the ocean’s currents.

As Galatians 2:20 says, ‘I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.’ Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

That sounds like a licence to die, don't you think? And also freedom to live (the ultimate sequel). 

Mazzy Adams is a published author of poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction. She has a passion for words, pictures and the positive potential in people.



  1. Great interview, Mazzy. I love your sense of humour. The poem in Lightness of Being is amazing (or amazaballs if I'm embracing my Advanced Adulting students self - love your definitions of target audience btw) & super excited that your novel is coming out this year. Woohoo. Onward and upward in the grace of our Lord.

    1. Thanks Jenny for your high praise. I'm glad to see you are embracing Advanced Adulting skills and repertoire with gusto and panache. And I'm chuffed to know my sense of humour tickles your funnybone.

  2. Hi Mazzy, what a great interview. Your fascination with words and linguistics is inspiring, and how great to be able to call yourself a PAGE. I'm really looking forward to hearing more about Licence to Die as the time draws nearer.

    1. Thanks Paula for your lovely comment. Sometimes it feels like someone's folded the PAGE into a paper plane and launched it into the never never; on those days the fascination is more like, 'Where am I?' and 'wot r werds?'. Fortunately, the words seem happy to wait till I find my feet again. As for Licence to Die, I'm looking forward to it landing safe and sound soon (though the pilot might be a bit frazzled).

  3. Hi Mazzy, I love your passion. How can anyone explain what it feels like to breathe, or to love breathing, why they breathe, or what they do with their breath once it leaves their lips. Worse, what they intend to do with it in the future? Writing is breathing. Our words, when they leave us, float on the wind and land where they will. Thank you for your words and for your love of words.

  4. Thank you so much, Monica. Yes! To write is to breathe. Though writing doesn't always come with quite the same ease as breathing, does it? Some days it's more like an asthmatic gasp or a drowning gurgle. But then the days come when it is an aria rising, and all is well with the world again. I sense a fellow word lover in you.

  5. Hi Mazzy. Loved your interview and love your way with words. I read your previous post about how you took the name Mazzy Adams. Now that's precious ... as are you! :) I'm a lover of words myself so all you said about it resonated with me. You are very clever with your use of words too my friend. Well done. I will be looking forward to reading 'Licence to Die' when it comes out. How very exciting!

    Congratulations on all you have accomplished to date dear Mazzy. I love it how you mentioned that Jesus and you are tethered together in love and trust. I'm sure it warmed our Saviour's heart to read that as it warmed mine. Thanks for sharing and thanks so much for the shout-out. I am very glad we affirmed your writing because you are a very gifted writer. No doubt about it.

    All the best in your writing journey in 2019 Mazzy. Cheering you on with joy.

    1. Thank you so much, Anusha, for your affirmation and your encouragement. It's not easy to answer the 'shout out' question briefly, because, just as it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a community to raise a writer. You, Nola, Iola - your voices, honoured, respected, trusted by the community because you have all proven yourselves to be trustworthy guardians not only of truth and wisdom, but of the vulnerabilities, hopes and dreams we, in this community, all share - you three unquestionably deserve to be recognised and appreciated. Had you not been there, and been who you are, when I was taking my first steps, I may not have stepped into my calling as a writer at all. I can't imagine how devoid of hope and possibility my life would be now, if I'd missed it. So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.

  6. I am humbled to read your words dear Mazzy. So glad to hear and thank you for your warm words of appreciation. He is a faithful God. You have a distinct calling as a Christian Writer dear friend. May He continue to fulfill His purposes through you and your writing. Thanks for your words of affirmation which bless me.

  7. I too am humbled to read your words, Mazzy. Thanks so much for the shout out. You've encouraged me so much over the years too. We were obviously meant to do that Tabor course together all those years ago just so we could meet up in Toowoomba. Good luck with all of your writing goals for the year. Can't wait to see that fabulous book in print :)

    1. Yes, Nola. One might say Tabor was our divine meeting place. Nevertheless, I've met a lot of people over the years, but I'm especially grateful for the special ones that have become true friends and allies like yourself. Rarer still are the zany, daring, uniquely inspiring enthusiasts who make life so much fun. ;)