Three Times A Charm with Mindy Hardwick

Welcome to Three Times A Charm. I love meeting new authors, illustrators, bloggers, agents, editors or promoters from the children’s publishing industry and sharing their careers with my readers.

Today’s guest is author, Mindy Hardwick. It is rare when I’ve had the privilege of meeting an author in person, but Mindy and I did indeed meet recently at EPICon in Vancouver, Washington. It was lovely sharing a table with Mindy during the awards banquet! I hope we can do it again next year in Texas.

Welcome to Strands of Thought, Mindy. Tell us a little about you, please.

I am the author of STAINED GLASS SUMMER, a 2013 finalist in the EPIC Awards in Children’s, as well as the young adult romance, WEAVING MAGIC. The inspiration for WEAVING MAGIC came from the poetry workshop I facilitate with kids in a juvenile detention center. I am currently working on a memoir about that experience. I hold an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College. When I’m not writing, I love to take long walks on the Oregon Coast beaches with my dog, Stormy. 

How wonderful of you to work with kids in juvenile detention. My hat’s off to you. Can you tell us more about your latest book?

STAINED GLASS SUMMER is the story of twelve-year-old Jasmine who adores her photographer Father and wants to be an artist just like him. But when Dad abandons the family, Jasmine is sent to spend the summer with her Uncle on a Pacific Northwest Island. Soon, Jasmine is learning stained glass from island glass artist, Opal, and thinking she might just be developing a crush on Island boy, Cole. But, it’s not until Jasmine finds herself mentoring another young artist that she can truly let go of her Father and call herself an artist by her own terms.

Now, for the Threes. Share with us your top 3’s to help us know you a little better.

Top 3 books you recommend reading and why you recommend them.

1.      The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler. This book is one of the best on plotting using the hero’s journey. I often use this book to teach kids in workshops as well as help plot my stories. It works for all types of stories from memoir to romance to children’s books.
2.      Now Write: Fiction Writing Exercises from Today’s Best Writing Teachers: I think it’s important to have at least one book with writing exercises. These can be used as quick, get you in the mood for writing, or, I find them helpful for teaching workshops to all ages.
3.      Second Sight by Cheryl B Klein. Cheryl Klein is an editor for Scholastic who gave some great talks to SCBWI Conferences over the years. She compiled a lot of those talks and information into this book. If you struggle with character, or want to learn more about creating children’s characters, this is the book!

Top 3 skills to hone for people just starting in your business.

1. Read everything you can. Children’s books are very different from ten years ago. It’s important to stay current.

2. Take classes and attend workshops and conferences. Workshops, conferences and classes are invaluable for the people you meet as well as the opportunities to pitch to editors and agents and learn about the business of writing.

3. Find a critique partner. It’s really important to share your work with others who are writing too, and this does not mean friends and/or family. One of the best ways to find a critique partner is to join organizations such as SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators), and/or attend workshops and classes.

Top 3 leisure activities.

1.      Collage and journal art
2.      Sewing—I love sewing things such as Kindle covers and various shapes and sizes of book bags.
3.      Traveling to fun places like the Oregon Coast and taking walks on the beach in all types of weather.

Where can our tech-savvy readers go to keep up with you and your writing?

Twitter: @mindyhardwick

Thanks, Mindy, for charming us on this week’s Three Times A Charm. Best of luck to you, your writing.


GUESTS WELCOME!  I am always looking for guests for Three Times A Charm. If you are an author, illustrator or book reviewer, an agent or an editor. If you have something related to children’s publishing that you’d like people to know about, feel free to contact me about a future appearance.


  1. Thanks so much for having me! It was great meeting you at EPIC. Hope to see you at another event.

    1. I'm so glad you found the post. Today's my daughter's birthday so I've been really focused on her today (rightfully so!) and forgot to send you the link. Thanks for being such a great guest and I hope we run into each other at another event - maybe NW Book Festival in July? NW Author Fair in Lincoln City in August?


    2. I will check out the NW Book Festival and NW Author Fair!

  2. Great interview Mindy. You'll have to stop on by the Bayou some time! Congrats on the 2013 EPIC Awards finalist!

    1. Great to see you here, Rita. Thanks for stopping in.

  3. Love the way, Kai asks you three questions in different categories. Wonderful interview, ladies, and best wishes in all you're publishing ventures, Mindy! Cheers!

    1. So glad you enjoyed the interview, Sharon. I'm happy to host you, too. Just drop me an email. Thanks for stopping in!


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