Interview: Mae Thorn, Author and Archivist

Mae Thorn, a white woman with glasses and a red floral shirt smiling at the camera.

Mae Thorn is the author of several historical fiction and romance novels, including Poisonous Passions, Briarwyck, Wyvern, and an upcoming #OwnVoices novel Without Words. The manuscripts are currently pending homes and are out on submission. Diagnosed with Treft Syndrome, a rare genetic mutation that causes vision, hearing, and balance difficulties, Thorn identifies as hard of hearing.

In today’s post, we talk about the importance of never giving up on writing, the fascinating genres included in speculative fiction, and actually finishing a novel during NaNoWriMo.

  1. Recently on your blog, you talked about perseverance and how that was the key to writing your books. Can you give the readers ideas about how to persevere in their own craft?

Perseverance is an everyday practice. You have to get up every morning and do at least one thing to hit your goal. Of course, I did skip days. I had a big mental block last fall, and I found that working through it was the only solution. It takes a lot of baby steps to make a mile.

2. Without Words is an #ownvoices romance and fantasy novel. How does the main character reflect your own journey with accepting hearing loss?

Without Words is very much my story. It goes through the same stages I went through before I accepted my hearing loss. I’ve heard that when you lose your hearing, you go through the stages of grief. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. My denial lasted the longest. I wrote it as a kind of therapy and venting exercise. My agent is currently looking for a home for Without Words.

3. Your other writings delve into everything from sci-fi, nonfiction, horror, and fantasy. What books and authors inspired your writing style growing up?

I’m a big fan of Jane Austen, and she has inspired my historical romance novels (also waiting for a home). The Mayfair Witches from Anne Rice has also inspired me. Without Words is about witches. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention one of my earliest inspirations, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy. I started writing fantasy shortly after reading Tolkien when I was about 14. Also, I used to read a lot of poetry too. William Blake, Emily Dickinson, and Edgar Allan Poe were some of my favorites.

4. What is some advice you would give to those who want to participate in NaNoWriMo? What kinds of goals do you set during the month?

NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month gives you the goal of writing 50k words in a month, which is basically a short novel. Whether you accomplish the goal or not, it is a good motivator. My best advice is to not look back. Don’t edit and don’t stop. Write every day if you can.

5.What other work do you have planned?

Without Words is meant to be a series following each witch I mention. In the second book, I will tackle my depression and anxiety, which will be a difficult task since I’m still learning to cope with it. Right now, I’m editing my historical romance series to prepare it for publication. It’s a lot of work, but I’m loving it. Being a writer is an ideal job for someone with my disabilities because it gives me the freedom to manage my own time and have my own communication style.