She is an American fiction writer and poet from Chicago, Illinois. At the young age of 23, she founded the transgressive publishing company, Maudlin House. In November of 2014, she unleashed upon the world the existentialist’s poetic nightmare, Fear Like A Habit. She spends most of her days (when she isn’t writing) lost in her own mind, traveling, and fearing death. She most recently contributed her voice to the Mirrored Voices: Emerging Poets Anthology (February 2015) and is working voraciously on her first novel, Starving.
Welcome! Mallory. By the way, we share a common platform that you have mentioned above where I have also contributed my voice J
Your real name and pen name?
What career did you plan during your education days?
At school, I spent my time in studying History & Philosophy, but I could never commit to any specific career. I think that’s why it was so easy for me to plunge into writing. It was the only thing that really made sense to me. Before that, I dabbled in trying to become something sensible like a teacher or a lawyer but neither seemed to fit. I just couldn’t see myself go to the same job every day from 9-5. So I dropped out, without really knowing what I was going to do, and discovered writing.
What is your biggest source of inspiration in life?
That one day I’m going to die. It sounds ridiculously morbid, but reminding myself that every day keeps me motivated to do the things I truly love and to not let things or people hold me back. It’s tempting to do things you don’t necessarily agree with to please others or to conform. But when you wake up every day and think “I’m going to die”, it becomes a lot easier to ignore societal expectations.
What if your favorite genre/ why?
I try not to limit myself to genres. I go more by the feel of something. If it feels honest, I like it.
When did you start writing? What is the purpose of your writing?
I started dabbling in writing when I was on the road, driving cross-country in a red, rusted-out old minivan. It was my first time away from home really. Was in the middle of a lot of confusion and excitement in my life at that point. I had just left school and still wasn’t sure what I was going to do yet.
I was packed tightly into this old van, with three other people that I didn’t really know, with backpack/ garbage/dissent driving off with no purpose or sense direction. I wrote to keep track of my thoughts and from that came my book.
Which of your work has been published so far?
My latest work is the poetry chapbook I wrote on the road called “Fear Like A Habit”. I have also been fortunate enough to be included in a recent poetry anthology called “Mirrored Voices”.
Would you like to share a synopsis of your work?
“Fear Like A Habit” is a series of poems connected to a specter orb known as the “Industrial City”. I would describe it as the work of an outsider in the midst of an existential crisis. I wrote the majority of it whilst I was on the road, so it comes off more rushed than my other writings.
What are your forthcoming writings?
I’m planning to write several more books in the future, although they will be rather different than this one. I’m in the process of releasing another poetry book that should be out in early 2015 and I’m still writing my first novel, “Starving”.
What is generally your preference in reading – a paper book or ebook? And why?
Paper books all the way. I enjoy the tangibility of actual books. I love the smell, the feel of the pages and so on. They’re just great.
Your favorite time of the day?
Nighttime. I think most writers tend to be nocturnal or insomniacs at the very least. It’s the only time of day when I can just shut out the world and write (when I’m not distracted by Facebook or Netflix).
Your zodiac/ sun sign?
What is the last book you finished reading?
I just finished “The Story Of Che Guevara”. It was GREAT. I think a lot of people don’t really know a lot about him, which is a shame. I enjoy reading books about people who are brave and passionate, like he was. He gave his life for something he believed in and idolize him for that.
What is the current book you are reading?
Right now, I am reading “Pour Your Heart Into It” by Howard Schultz. It’s the story about he came to become CEO of Starbucks.
Your favorite book and why?
It’s hard for me to pick a favorite book, because I love so many and I think your favorite book is relative to what you’re going through at that point in your life. But I think the book that has affected me most to this point would have to be “On The Road” by Jack Kerouac. His writing in general serves as a standard for me to reach for. I love his stream-of-consciousness style of writing and how every word drips with energy. It’s the kind of book that makes you just want to run, or drive haha.
First thing you do in the morning after waking up?
Yoga and coffee.
Last thing to do before sleep?
More yoga. More coffee.
Your favorite color and why?
Green. No idea why.
What comes to your mind when you think of India?
Some quickies: Sun or Moon, moon
Laughter or Smile, smile
Morning or Evening, evening
Coffee or Tea, coffee
Mountain or Sea, sea
Long Drive or Short Drive, long drive
Silence or Conversation, conversation
Water or Fire, water
Air or Earth, earth
Mars or Jupiter, mars
Tulip or Rose, rose
Red or Blue, blue
Left or Right, left
Glance or Stare, stare
Fame or Money, fame?
Boy or Girl, feels like a trick question haha: boy?
Day or Night, night
Tree or Plant, tree
Love or Passion passion
State your signature line/ tagline/ best quote:
Links & other relevant details for “Fear Like A Habit”:
Publisher: Maudlin House
Twitter handle: @malsmart
Goodreads author page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9759758.Mallory_Smart
Link to the Poetry Anthology (Mirrored Voices) that I was recently published in : http://www.amazon.com/Mirrored-Voices-Emerging-Poets-Anthology/dp/1507710712/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1423449729&sr=8-1&keywords=mirrored+voices
Also check out my website where I blog and experiment with different forms of writing: http://www.mallorysmart.com