Writer Interviews: Mickie Turk

Posted by on May 15, 2012
















I have so many things to say about Mickie, but I’d rather she do most of the talking. But here’s just a smidgen about her: Mickie not only has the coolest name, she’s ultra talented in so many areas: writing novels, writing films and documentaries, and taking photographs. She’s just overall cool and I’m honored to be friends with her.

1.  Describe your writing routine and/or schedule.

I wish I could say something like, ‘I write for two hours every morning, or, I write until I come up with 1000 words. Or even, I write everyday. I don’t have a routine. When I’m in the throws of a story, I write in the morning, I come back to the computer to write at night. Sometimes, I write as I work (in my head). Or while taking a walk. I write in the car when I’m listening to NPR. I will pull over and talk new ideas into my phone; sometimes I do it while I’m still driving, to the detriment of myself and everyone around me on the road.  I work best when I’m under pressure. Like when I have to submit to my writer’s group. I’m pretty faithful to coming up with something every two weeks, for the times we meet.

2. What do you do if you get writer’s block?

I cry. No, I wander around the house and outside and try to imagine scenes. I don’t get stuck too often, but when I do, it helps to break things down into itsy bitsy parts. If I need to write a chapter about a discovery the protagonist makes, or new mayhem, I write a broad outline of things and events and then, one word underneath each idea. Then I tackle one sentence at a time. This madness does occur from time to time.

3.Who do you read, or recommend other writer’s read, in regards to craft?

Stephen King’s On Wriing and  Eudora Welty’s On Writing.  Two smart people who came up with the same title. Interesting, right? Classes and books are helpful and necessary in the beginning, but to sustain life as a writer and sane person, I recommend a really good writer’s group. After a few times, after getting to know each other, the critiques you get, and more importantly, the critiques you write, teach the best. Every time I leave my writing group, not only do I feel like I’ve learned something I could use to improve my story, but I also learned so much about the world from invested and like-minded participants.

4. What do your read for fun.

Suspense. I like reading European writers—just to see what’s going on across the ocean. And I just love that unself-conscious way they write about flawed characters and flawed lives. A breath of fresh air. Lately, I’m really into Benjamin Black, Sophie Hannah, Minnette Walters, Reginald Hill, Henning Menkel.

5. When did you first know you wanted to be a writer? Tell us about it.

When the Coca Cola truck drove through my neighborhood giving away writing tablets. The cover was yellow with Coca Cola Advertising on the front. Inside were lined white pages. Yummy, I started writing stories. I was in second grade. In sixth and seventh grade, I wrote a lot of poems and essays. One poem was about wanting to be a writer in order to escape from the world.

6. What advice would you give an aspiring writer.

Try everything.

7. What do you think is the most important skill to have to succeed as a writer?

The want. The passion. Figure out the discipline later.

8.What is your favorite food and/or drink?

I love sushi. I love trying new things. If it involves fish and home-grown veggies, and flavorful and exotic herbs and spices—I’m in.  I love tea—all kinds of flavors. And Belgian beer and white wines. I prefer to drink and eat outside on a sunny day.

9. Do you have a favorite book or movie?

Too many too count—but okay – just for now, just for this:  One Hundred Years of Solitude and Satyricon.

10. Is there anything else I didn’t ask you that you’d like to share.

Wow, the podium all to myself. So . . . I am tremendously grateful to so many whom I’ve Ioved and who loved me back, and for all of the shared experiences – too sappy? It’s all I think about these days.

Born and raised in Minneapolis, Mickie Turk has worked independently and commercially in film, photography and journalism, for the past 20 years. She wrote, directed and produced several films, both short and feature-length narratives and documentaries. Wayward Girls, which appeared in festivals and on PBS, can be found in libraries across the United States and Canada.

Between 1992 and 2004, Mickie traveled extensively to photograph and film. Included were four trips to Cuba–during the last expedition she brought back a rare Cuban shorts film festival to show at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design–a gazillion times to New Orleans and the south generally, and to visit family in Russia and Ukraine.

In the past eight years, Mickie completed three novels, several feature-length screenplays, a variety of short stories and memoirs, and continues to write for a number of Minnesota journals.

One of Mickie’s favorite activities is keeping up with her globetrotting daughter, whose travels have included Peace Corps service in Bulgaria and teaching English in South Korea.

Here’s Mickie’s blog:  http://www.mickieturkauthor.blogspot.com/

Here’s the Amazon/Kindle site (The Delilah Case) : http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00833790A

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2 Responses to Writer Interviews: Mickie Turk

  1. Kristi

    Yay! Thanks for doing it. xoxo

  2. MIckie Turk

    My first author interview! That was fun and thanks, fellow mysterista.