Friday, November 12, 2021

Mandy Eve-Barnett Interview - The Commodore's Gift

Photo Content from Mandy Eve-Barnett

MANDY EVE BARNETT currently lives in Alberta, Canada but is originally from England. Her background is diverse and gives her rich experience to utilize in her writing. She has traveled throughout Europe, parts of America and Canada and was born in Africa. 

Mandy is passionate about writing to the point of obsession and she succeeded in becoming a published author in record time. 
Mandy’s venture into freelance writing has been successful and she regularly contributes to Strathcona Connect, an e-zine and the Never Been Better page in the Sherwood Park newspaper, as well as satisfying numerous freelance clients. She is also the Secretary for her local writing group, Writers Foundation of Strathcona County and Secretary of the Alberta Authors Cooperative. 

Writing in various genres, Mandy has been published in anthologies, on numerous web sites, as well as regularly blogging about her writing journey at

Her published works are constantly growing with numerous manuscripts pending and ideas flowing - there is no end to her stories. Each tale has a base theme of love in all its forms. Mandy has a deep love of the natural world and a childlike wonder of the magical fairy realm.


Why is storytelling so important for all of us?
Stories have been a vehicle for relaying experiences for eons. Whether to relay a hunting trip, exploration of a new place, pass on family history or to excite or soothe a child, or indeed an adult, in equal measure. Stories, whether verbal or written, keep us connected to our past, our cultures, our sense of self. They give us continuity and pass on information for future generations. As authors our mission is to spellbind a reader with the worlds we create from our imaginations or to inform about events, cultures or people that are, or were, pivotal in some way to our lives or culture.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
There are many – holding a new book, readers contacting me to rave about the story, readers demanding a sequel to a specific novella, seeing the reaction when I read an excerpt. However, when I shared my first short story with my local writing group the reaction to my words was such a buzz, it was the moment that hooked me on storytelling.

What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us?
Currently, I am working on a detective trilogy. The first book, An Elusive Trail, has gone through several edits and revisions and is now ‘sitting’ for a month or so, before I go back for another revision. In the meantime, I will be utilizing NaNoWriMo to get a start on book two, A Tainted Search. The trilogy title is The Delphic Murders, spanning three Canadian cities. This project is my first series, so I have been learning new skills and delving into location research. For me that is the beauty of writing, you always have something to learn.

My other projects awaiting attention include a suspense, The Giving Thief, a cowgirl romance, Willow Tree Tears, and a contemporary romance, Seasons of an Affair.

Can you tell us when you started THE COMMODORE'S GIFT, how that came about?
The initial idea was sparked by a writing prompt, while I was on a writing retreat. We were given random book titles and allowed to let our imaginations take over. My title was The Toymaker. I wrote a steampunk story of around eight thousand words, centering on a male protagonist. Although, I succeeded in having the story accepted for an anthology, unfortunately the project did not progress, so I was back to square one. I left the story sitting, but when NaNoWriMo came around, I thought I could expand it into a novella. However, a female character began demanding I write her story and thus Owena, became the main protagonist and the narrative expanded into a full novel. I did keep the original protagonist, but he became a secondary character.

What do you hope for readers to be thinking when they read your novel?
That we can go against type, and forge ahead with their capabilities, through resolve and determination. We should not limit ourselves to the ‘box’ society wants to put us in. It is our life and we should make it our own. Case in point, Owena is seen as a genteel woman within a Victorian society, but she is so much more – as we all are. She fights for her right to fight beside the men in a rebel force and show she is worthy of their respect. I also hope my readers become immersed in the steampunk world of my imagination and find a connection to the characters.

What was the most surprising thing you learned in creating your characters?
That each one becomes a friend, a leader in their own story arc to guide me in directions I had not even considered. When a character takes charge the narrative flows better and I have a movie playing in my head.

What was the single worst distraction that kept you from writing this book?
There is not just one – I wish there was! I work full time, volunteer as secretary for my local writing group, the Writers Foundation of Strathcona County and am also secretary of Alberta Authors Cooperative, added to these are my commitments to family and friends, leaving me with a finite amount of time for writing. Hence, I go on regular writing retreats to ‘catch up’ on my writing.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
As many of my characters are, or become strong women, I would certainly introduce them to each other. They would learn how each one overcame their specific struggles and how to become stronger and independent.

What was the last text message you received?
I love you, Mum.

What is something you think everyone should do at least once in their lives?
Most certainly travel and experience other countries and cultures. We should not limit ourselves to our ‘norm’. I have traveled through parts of Europe, and Canada and these experiences have given me a wealth of experiences to utilize in my narratives.

Best date you've ever had?
Goodness, what a hard question! It would probably be my most romantic proposal, out of them all. It was a summer night walking along a small cove beneath a castle (in England) under a full moon. He got down on one knee and proposed as the waves sparkled under the moonlight and lapped the shoreline.

What was the first job you had?
Before I began SRN nursing training, I spent a summer in a nursing home and then several months working as an auxiliary nurse in my local hospital. These experiences gave me a true insight into the career I was going into.

Which incident in your life that totally changed the way you think today?
I have had several turning points in my life. The first was suddenly becoming interested in babies, something my family and everyone who knew me, thought would never happen. When my son was born, I was completely smitten and became Mother Bear instantly. The same happened when my daughter was born. Other changes were more gradual. As a child I was quiet and shy, as my confidence grew as I became older and life gave me obstacles to overcome, my inner strength and resolve to be independent also grew.

First Heartbreak?
While having my hand on my father’s chest as his heart beat for the last time. I physically felt pain as my heart broke in that moment.

Which would you choose, true love with a guarantee of a heart break or have never loved before?
My true loves are my children, so I would say I would choose true love and know they would not break my heart.

Where can readers find you?
Primarily, on my blog – which has all my social media links, books, and my twice weekly posts for readers and writers. As well as links to my freelance writing business.

  • “How can such crippling fear become strength?” asked Owen. Galen replied. “Use your demons to harness anger – fight them.”
  • “You are a unique woman, Owena; I never thought I would find anyone so willing to stand at my side in battle yet yield to my manly desires.”
  • “I think my desire certainly matches yours, but we are not so different; we are both fierce in wanting to do right by the true King and apart from our physical size our hearts beat in harmony with our cause. I never thought I would find a man, who would accept the quirks of my personality. I am somewhat limited by my feminine form but will stand and fight with courage in my breast.”
  • “If I am fighting for my life, Galen, I am quite sure I will have no time to think on it. And you forget I have nursed men with battle wounds where blood flowed freely. Where do I plunge my blade?”
  • “I did not expect to meet such a woman as your sister. She has such energy and strength, a fierceness that truly astonishes me. I will protect her with my life and give it gladly.”
  • “Playing games of fighting with your lover is not the same as confronting an angry and formidable force, Owena. Let the men fight and you stay here, this leadership is not for you. One of the men should take the lead.”
  • “Benjamin, you know I am of a certain mind when it comes to my abilities, I want to fight.” Her brother replied. “I am well aware of your non-traditional upbringing my dearest sister. Sword play and riding a horse at full gallop do not make a warrior though.”
  • “I find it so mundane sitting reading or sewing or taking in the blooms in the garden. I want to scale the mountains, practice my fencing and swordplay, and have adventures. With a man - such as Galen - my life would never be dull.”
  • “You have a fire in your belly, Miss Wintermute, I had not expected that. Your brother has spoken of your determination, but it is a surprise to see it in action. Very well, you have one week to prove your worth. I take you at your word as I do in Benjamin’s and Chatham’s; they both spoke highly of you both.”
  • Galen did not question her resolve; her look of determination flared in her gaze. He knew she was passionate, but this was more, much more, a resolve set in vengeance.
Your journey to publication
When I joined my local writing group, it was to fulfill a creative need. I thought it would be fun to try my hand at writing, after all, I had crafted in most creative mediums during my life, including, but not limited to, pottery, textiles and paint. As I became more confident in my writing ability and enjoyed the reactions to the ‘unexpected twists’ of my tales, several other group members encouraged me to think on publication. To be honest I didn’t take it seriously. I lacked the confidence to send my words out into the world at large. Although, my family thought my ‘hobby’ was cool, they did not realize the impact sharing stories had on me, nor did they consider me a ‘proper’ author. It was the members of my writing group that gave me much needed support and encouragement, and I am forever grateful for it. Through their constructive critique, I improved my skill and increased my word count and exploration of different genres.

After creating a story about a little monster, a local publisher encouraged me to have it illustrated and published. This little children’s picture book became the first of many books. Rumble’s First Scare is still a popular book for younger children, especially around Halloween. Handling a print copy of my story for the first time was such a thrill and no matter how many books I have published since the thrill is always the same. Now, I have family and friends celebrating with me as each new novel is published and regard my ‘writing’ as a real accomplishment. I know my stories are my legacy, there may not be fame and fortune, but my stories will go into the future for readers everywhere.

Fighting against society’s feminine expectations, Owena’s excellent strategic and swordsmanship skills come to the fore after an attack and imprisonment of villagers. Running for their lives, a small group escape persecution but find new dangers ahead. Propelled into the world of rebel forces, she joins the battle against the Buldrick Empire. After seeing the failings of the rebel encampment, she makes changes – some well received, others not. Her unlikely champion is a giant of a man, who is feared by all. Their mutual respect and his acceptance of her as an equal propels them to organize a win or die fight to restore the rightful King to the throne.

You can purchase The Commodore's Gift at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you MANDY EVE-BARNETT for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a $10 Amazon Gift Card.


  1. The comfy sweat pants shorts that my wife bought me. She has a talent.

  2. I have a bohemian cheesecloth blouse that I adore.

  3. Red Velvet Doc Marten's I got when I was 14.

  4. "What’s your favorite piece of clothing you own/owned?" Any shirt that's plaid.

  5. I have an old, worn out sweatshirt that I adore!

  6. I like my jacket i wear when we go to the snow.

  7. A pair of flare jeans with butterflies that I owned when I was younger