January 27, 2012

Welcome Morgan Mandel, author of Forever Young, Blessing or Curse

Today I welcome author Morgan Mandel, whose latest is FOREVER YOUNG, BLESSING OR CURSE.

Talk about life inspiring art, be sure to read about Morgan's scary experience, and how she used it in her work. And thankfully, it didn't scare this dog lover off pets forever. Pictured is her favorite dog, Rascal.

** Be sure to COMMENT for a chance to win an ebook copy of FOREVER YOUNG.**


Fresh beginnings turn tragic when Dorrie Donato’s husband, Larry, is killed in a hit and run accident a few months after starting a new job at the Life is for Living Institute. Discouraged and desperate after suffering countless setbacks, Dorie accepts an offer by Larry’s boss, the famous Angel Man, to be the first to test an experimental pill designed to spin its user back to a desired age and hold there, yet still retain all previous memories. The pill seems too good to be true. Maybe it is.

- Nook - Smashwords - See all book links


What inspired you to write about this topic?
Age was my inspiration. I’m not getting any younger, but would like to know what it would be like to look and feel young again. In my imagination, I can do that. Reverting back is the germ of the story, but there’s much more to it than the Fountain of Youth concept.

What is unique about your characters?
Well, two of them that interact a lot with each other have totally different looks. One, who for now shall remain nameless, is short, stocky, has thick glasses and a deformed face. His counterpart, whom I’ve dubbed the Angel Man, is a hunk, with an angelic appearance and long blond hair.

How much of you is in the characters?
I’ve adapted one of my own life experiences for this book. One day when I was in the library parking lot, I stopped to say hello to a Golden Retriever seated in a station wagon with the window partially open. The dog lunged at me and bit my face, almost taking off part of my lip. I rode in an ambulance to the emergency room, received plastic surgery, and fortunately survived the experience without looking the worst for it. The character in my book doesn’t fare as well.

Here is the fictional version of that experience:

On that September day years ago, he’d gotten no warning of the tragedy awaiting him when he’d stepped from his favorite haunt, the local library.

Back then, a short, normal looking college freshman, owning somewhat weak eyesight from constant reading, he still looked decent enough to get some tail whenever he felt like it. With above average intelligence and grand ideas, he’d dreamt of the road to riches stretching ahead.

All that disintegrated when, instead of heading toward his Camaro, he’d taken a deadly detour to admire a golden retriever perched in the flatbed of a truck.

Before he could open his mouth to say hello to the dog, the placid looking animal went vicious, lunging at him, targeting his nose, mouth and cheeks, mauling his face.

The physical pain and numbness were nothing compared to the mental anguish he’d endured since. He’d consulted doctors, but to no avail. Perhaps if he’d been wealthy, the outcome would have been different. Then again, maybe not. It would have taken a miracle to repair the extensive damage, no matter how skilled the plastic surgeons.

Each successive surgery worsened his features, until he couldn’t look in the mirror without vomiting. No wonder people turned from the sight of the short, squat Frankenstein-ish creature who looked as if he’d stepped out of a monster movie. He didn’t blame them.

What was the most intriguing part of the book, and why did you write it?
The concept of the existence of a Forever Young pill to turn back the aging clock intrigued me enough to expand on it. If one could be perfected, it would certainly be a boon to mankind.

What’s your favorite line?
If she shoved him into the ocotillo cactus in back of him, would he flinch when his flesh hit the thorns?

It struck me as funny, picturing Dorrie shoving the Angel Man backward into the cactus. The line was actually inspired by my trip to Scottsdale, Arizona, where I saw many ocotillo cacti, which are not native to Illinois.

If you met your characters in real life what would you do?
I’d be curious enough to ask my main character, Dorrie, who takes the Forever Young pill so she can remain 24, if she’s getting tired of being the same age for so long. Some of the other characters I’d run away from as fast as I could!

Morgan Mandel is a former freelancer for the Daily Herald newspaper, prior president of Chicago-North RWA, prior Library Liaison for Midwest MWA, and belongs to Sisters in Crime and EPIC.

She enjoys writing thrillers, mysteries, romances and also enjoys combining them. Her latest paranormal romantic thriller, FOREVER YOUNG: BLESSING OR CURSE, Book One of the Always Young Series, is available on Kindle and Smashwords. Other novels the romantic suspense, KILLER CAREER, the mystery, TWO WRONGS, and the romantic comedy, GIRL OF MY DREAMS.

Morgan is now working on Book Two of the Always Young Series called Blessing or Curse: A FOREVER YOUNG ANTHOLOGY, where readers learn what happens to others who have taken the Forever Young pill. One more book will follow bringing back the original heroine to close out the series.