Author Interview: Mina Bekker
Author Mina Bekker
Short Story: Semicolons
Apologue of the Immortals
Tell us a little about your background and what led you to writing.
When I was 12 or so, I had a big crush on a game character from Clive Barker's Undying, Ambrose Covenant. He was a bad boy and a pirate. I kept fantasizing about him and made up stories about him. This world also became what I call headshelter, because I've had some rough times in my life, when I rather spent time with Ambrose in my fantasy world than being awake..
In 2020, I met a girl on instagram who was as crazy about Clive Barker's Undying as I was. She was the first person I ever told about my headshelter, the stories and Ambrose. She (jokingly?) suggested writing those stories down and that's what I did. I shared them with her and was so embarassed but she loved them. So I kept writing. Over time, the story evolved from being a smutty Undying Fanfiction to becoming my own story. I got rid of everything that was "Undying" but what remained was a pirate called Ambrose, although nothing of the story has to do anything with the game anymore (please don't sue me, Clive Barker, plsthx).
That's how it all kind of begun. I wrote in English before I started writing in my native language German and never thought about becoming an author until I realized I am one. That's how it goes. Thanks to Xenia Cerastes and the writing community on Twitter, this all is happening and I couldn't be happier.
How or when did you realize you wanted to be an author?
I never wanted to be one. I just became one, you know? First I wrote those stories only for Xenia and myself and I was SO embarassed when I started telling people that I write them. There has never been a childhood dream of becoming an author. I wanted to be in a Punk Band, not an author.
Sometimes I'm not even sure I WANT to be one today, to be honest. But it is what I am. I started and stopped doing so many things in my life, but writing is something that never leaves me alone. Even when I think it's all too much, I never stop.
It's in me, I guess.
What is your writing process like?
Oh, it's a mess. It involves much swearing and procrastinating, self doubt and fear. I cry and whine so much.
Jokes aside, writing sprints work very good for me. I pick music that inspires me, usually film soundtracks or Two Steps from Hell or Thomas Bergersen.
Usually I start with an overall idea of what I want to write, a character who bugs me to tell their story or I got inspired by a prompt or problem I personally have. Then I dive into the story and let it all happen without thinking too much. I tend to try out pantsing, but I'd say I'm a plantser and possessed by the demons of my stories. They know the way. I trust the story. That's the way. That's why I'm super annoyed by writing advice and you can bet that I'm gonna break them if I can. As soon as I read a tweet saying mirror scenes are cringe, I'm gonna add one or five to my stories.
So, yeah, spite is a big part of my writing process, too, and if you took my precious spite and pettiness from me, I'd never create anything again.
What inspires you to write?
If I don't write, who's gonna tell the stories that live within me? It's my own darkness that inspires me. I have many things to say that no one wants to hear, but when I wrap them into a story, people listen. I do what I always did. I wear my heart on my sleeve. Now I call it poetry and storytelling and suddenly people listen. A few even care.
What part does writing play in your life?
Writing itself not as much as I wish. I think about it all the time, though. I often wish I was quicker and more focused, but I only have so many spoons, you know? If I wrote as much as I think about it, I'd be waaaay too mighty.
What are your aspirations for your writing journey?
At the moment, I only want to finish my book series, A Tale of Debt and Sacrifice. Scátha is the first book and two more are gonna come. I also want to write my scifi story, Revoltown. That's it, actually. I don't like planning too much ahead. We'll see what happens when it happens.
What is something you know now about writing you wish you knew when you started?
Phew, hard question. I had more fun when I didn't know anything about it, to be honest. I made all the mistakes, but I had fun. Now, I tend to question myself and overthink. Knowledge isn't always power, sometimes being naïve is a blessing.
Describe your favorite character (you created). Why?
I love Cyn from my Scifi WIP, Revoltown. She's a total badass, but her wrath consumes her. She trusts no one and doesn't need anyone, always does what's necessary to reach her goals. She's my fave because he has this soft spot buried deep, deep, DEEP in her black soul and it will be interesting to see what she's capable of once she overcomes her trust issues and fears.
Plus, she has scars on her face and two blasters, is blunt and unapologetically herself and is a fighting machine. Who doesn't love women like that?!
Now that I'm thinking about it, I want to mention CB, who's also in Revoltown. He. Is. So. Wholesome. Half of his face is burnt and bionic and many parts of his body have been altered by bionics. He's a killing machine, but also such a softhearted man. He will accompany Cyn on her journey and while she's cold and wants to burn the world down, CB SUFFERS so much. It breaks my heart thinking about it. He's so good! (omg who's cutting onions here? *sniff*) So yeah, those two are my faves. They have such a good dynamic. (Read Revoltown: Lozh on my buymeacoffee account and find out *wink, wink*)
Which author(s) inspires you as a writer?
I love the work of Joe Abercrombie. He has this talent to create anti heroes and gray characters. I admire that. And who would I be without my friends and fellow authors from the writing communities? The german indie author Lily Magdalen is a big influence for me. She's also my editor, but apart from that, her writing in her debut, Novemberkönig is so full of soul, darkness and beautiful pain. If I only get half as good as Lily, I'm gonna be more than happy. Yola Stahl is another author I admire. She has this talent of creating images so vivid and intense, her characters are so full of emotion and her debut novel, Birkenherz is a brilliant mix of different genres. Dave McCreery is a scifi writer from the english writing community. His books Reality Check and Weight of the World are my fave current scifi reads. Who doesn't love underdog heroes, found family and alien-space fights in giant mechs? Honestly, such an awesome story.
What advice would you give newly aspiring authors?
Be bold and tell your stories and in Brydva's name, don't listen too much to the things people say on Twitter. Write your truth. I promise you will find people who will resonate with your work. You won't find your place by playing a role. Not everybody will like you and please, please, believe me, it's better to write a bad first draft than nothing. You can edit everything. You can't edit a blank page. Write that shit down, people. No one else is gonna do it for you.
What works can your readers expect to see in the near future?
I'm currently writing a short story for a german anthology. It has sexy Orcs in it and is about an Orc tribe searching for the eternal fire that will save them from freezing to death in the cold that kills everything every 40 years. It's gonna be dark, violent and bloody and I can't wait to finish it. Oh yeah, and probably Scátha, my debut novel. I should work on that too.
How can your readers find more about you and your works?
I hop on and off social media, but my twitter handle is @aaahhhhmina or @minabekker, depends if I'm gonna change it or not. On Instagram, my author profile is @minabekker (it's in german) and my art profile is @flintenvibe. I also have BMAC which is in English. https://www.buymeacoffee.com/minabekker