Interviews with Lily


7/19/23 I enjoyed having this conversation with Sara Hart about my writing life:

5/13/23 I had a wonderful chat about writing and publishing with Liz Bullard, Ereads Podcast.

12/6/22 Thanks to fellow Canadian Carolyn Clark for featuring me on her HenLit Central blog. Carolyn created her blog for middle-aged and older women looking for mature and unadulterated fun! Author Interview: Lily Iona MacKenzie – HenLit Central

6/7/22 What an honor to be interviewed by The Story King today. A fascinating discussion on poetry, magical realism, and teaching memoir.

2/18/22 Interested in how novels find their way into the world? In this interview, I take you backstage for a glimpse into the mysterious art of novel building:

12/31/21 I just became aware that D.C. Gomez posted her interview with me in October! I loved chatting with her. Check it out: Inside The Minds Of Authors: Lily Iona Mackenzie, Author (

12/21/21 Thanks to Master Interviewer Grace Sammon for her interesting questions for this interview with her:

12/16/21 Waking Writer posted this interview with me today!

12/15/21 Thanks to The Book Smugglers Den for smuggling me onto their website for this interview:

Thanks to Read & Write Podcast for this interview with me about overcoming self doubt as a writer:

12/11/21 Thanks to Stephen at Discovered Wordsmiths for this interview where I discusses my latest work as a writer and teacher of writing. Enjoy!

Why was 10/15/21 an important day? Pen-L Publishing released the print version of my new novel THE RIPENING: A CANADIAN GIRL GROWS UP, and I had the pleasure of discussing its release with my writer friend Cliff Garstang on his blog “I’ve Got Questions for You Lily Iona MacKenzie”! Take a look!

I’ve Got Questions for Lily Iona MacKenzie

8/15/21 Pen-L Publishing released the print version of my new novel THE RIPENING: A CANADIAN GIRL GROWS UP, and I had the pleasure of discussing its release with my writer friend Cliff Garstang on his blog “I’ve Got Questions for You Lily Iona MacKenzie”:

7/23/21 Bonnie Lee Black has created an award-winning blog, THE WOW FACTOR: WORDS OF WISDOM FROM WISE OLDER WOMEN. Apparently, I qualify as she recently interviewed me for her site. Here is the interview. Judge for yourself whether I’m wise or not!

6/3/21 Thanks to Rika Chandra for her interview:

5/6/21 Discovered Wordsmiths has posted two interviews with me. One explores my origins as a writer:  The other focuses on my thoughts regarding “Demystifying the Road to Publication”:

3/18/21 Thanks to The Writers Block on LA  Talk Radio for this lively interview:

2/22/21 Find out how a high school dropout, Canadian Girl in Training, and single parent moved from Calgary to San Francisco and eventually became a published author! In this video interview, I  reveal how the lines between characters and author can become blurred!

2/12/21 I’m grateful to Alex Pearl for the interview he did with me. You can view it at If you’re interested, you’ll learn what I do besides writing and publishing!

8/27/20 Thanks to Carolyn Clarke at Hen Lit, a Canadian publication (go Canada!) for publishing an interview with me: “Get inspired with Lily MacKenzie as she shares with us her journey and writing process for her three published books featuring older women!”

4/6/20 Thanks to Angelica, located in Toronto, Canada, for featuring me today on her podcast (in my home country.—Published-Author–Blogger-ecd4hu

11/10/19 Fiona Mcvie has published this interview with Lily Iona MacKenzie on her website:

10/4/19 Thanks to Late Last Night Books and Terra Ziporyn for this wonderful interview:

4/26/19 Dove Winters has posed some interesting questions in this interview she did with me, starting with “What is the meaning of life?”:

2/24/19 Thanks to Diamante Lavendar (such a great name!) for this thoughtful interview with me, posted on her website:

1/10/19 Thanks to Scott at Artists First Radio for featuring me and my new novel Freefall: A Divine Comedy. Check it out!

10/15/18 Thanks to Writer N Authors for publishing this interview with me:

Author Interview with Lily Iona MacKenzie Writer of Freefall: Divine Comedy

5/9/18 Joseph Carrabis offers an informative video interview with me on his site. Thanks, Joseph!:

2/20/18 Thanks to Lisa Hamilton for this interview:

1/16/18 Thanks to Sheri for this interview with me:

Here is an interview that Kate Raphael from KPFA’s Women’s Magazine had with me about Curva Peligrosa‘s origins. Kate’s interview with me starts about 38 mins into the this tape:


Here is a podcast of and interview the Mutiny Radio’s Amanda White, Afternoon Delight, conducted with me on 10/26/17. The interview starts at 25 minutes into the recording:

Here is a podcast of the interview Mutiny Radio’s Jennifer Machado conducted with me on 10/7/17, 2-4 PM, about Curva Peligrosa. The interview starts eight minutes and 20 secs into the recording:

9/25/17 Thanks to Celtic Lady for this interview:

9/22/17 Jessica Voights of Wandering Educators has posted this wonderful review of Curva Peligrosa and interview with me:

9/19/17 Mythical Books Blogspot had some interesting questions about Curva Peligrosa and my writing process:

8/15/17 After reading Curva Peligrosa, Katherine Gilraine interviewed me and asked fascinating questions about Curva, the main character in the novel.

7/16/17 Thanks to Prakash Vir Sharma for choosing me as his first author interview on his blog

5/28/17 Rita Lee Chapman has posted an interview with me on her website:

5/10/17 Thanks to Sally Whitney for posting this interview with me on Late Last Night Books:

2/3/17 Linda Strader posted this interview with me about my strong female character Curva Peligrosa

1/29/17 Thanks to Lisa Brunette for posting this interview with me about the source of my eccentric characters in Fling!:

11/6/16 Thanks to Mercedes Fox for publishing this interview with me

10/12/16 Thanks to Bernata Haynes and Waking Writer for publishing this interview with me:

8/13/16 Thanks Mrs. Mommy Booknerd for this interview:

7/6/16 Thanks to Jane Davis for publishing this interview with me on her virtual book club site

3/14/16 Authors Talk About It:

2/18/19 Author Interview

1/25/16 Interview with Kate Raphael, KPFA radio “Women’s Magazine”: (My portion in this hour-long program starts mid-way through the session.) Two segments look at the experience of “women of a certain age” in a culture obsessed with eternal youth.

Interviews with Lily Iona MacKenzieLily Iona MacKenzie joins me to talk about her rich journey from high school dropout and teenage mom in Alberta to author, writing teacher and labor leader in San Francisco, with forays into longshore work, waitressing and everything in between.  Her first novel, Fling, is a twist on the traditional “coming of age” story, asking whether women can come of age at 60, or even 90.

And I speak with New York Times reporter Patti Cohen, whose recent article, “Over 50, Female and Unemployed” looked at the struggles of women over 50 to find jobs, even as the general employment picture improves.  Patti covers economics for the times and is the author of the book In Our Prime: The Invention of Middle Age.

12/11/15 Thanks to Darcia Helle for this interview about Fling!’s origins

11/30/15 Thanks to Livin’ la vida Latino for this interview

11/16/15 The California Journal of Women Writers published an interview with me today. “Language by its very nature is magical, transforming our everyday reality in multiple ways, carrying us aloft on the wings of thought. When I call on magical realism in my fiction, I do it because it opens me up to a fuller understanding of our world, both internally and externally.”!Interview-Lily-Iona-MacKenzie/czls/563d5d710cf23796cd90d1cb

Following is an interview that CJSW conducted with me on their program Suffragette City in July 2015 when I was in Calgary for the launch of Fling!:

Here is a podcast of the interview KUSF conducted with me in August 2015:

Andi Cumbo-Floyd  posted this interview with me on 5/22/15

Meg Dandler published this interview with me on 5/13/15

Thanks to Majanka Verstraete for conducting this interview with me on 5/28/15

Thanks to Janet Brown for the thoughtful interview she posted with me on the day my novel FLING! will be launched by Pen-L Publishing:

—– Interview by Crystal J. Otto

WOW: Thank you for choosing WOW to help promote your book. We are looking forward to a great tour!

Lily, We are going to start with a really tough question: Who or what inspired you to write and how have you been instrumental in encouraging others?

Lily: I wish there was a simple answer to this question. No one inspired me to write. Something in me had to write. I was a high school drop out, and I didn’t have parents who understood there was such a thing as an artist’s or writer’s vocation. When I was in my mid-20s and working as a customer service representative for Olsten Services, I recall telling a co-worker that I wanted to be a writer. But I honestly didn’t know where those words came from. At that point in my life, all I had written were letters. English had been my strong subject in high school before I dropped out. But the only poem I recall having read at that point was Poe’s “The Raven,” and that had happened before I quit school.

But I did begin to keep a journal while going through a depression when I was 28, and that practice continues until today. I also went into therapy. That commitment helped me to discover myself as a writer and led me to major in creative writing as an undergraduate. Later, I also earned a Masters degree in creative writing and another in the humanities. The rest is history.

How have I been instrumental in encouraging others? I’ve taught expository and creative writing over the years, and that has exposed me to gifted students. It’s been a privilege to support their process.

WOW: Support is incredibly important for all of us. Have you found book clubs and writers groups to be a good place to find additional support and encouragement? What has your experience been?

Lily: I’ve been part of a small book club for many years. What I’ve loved about the group is discovering books that I otherwise wouldn’t have chosen on my own. It’s forced me out of my comfort zone into works that challenge and inspire. We’ve read works like The Constellation of Vital Phenomena, a masterfully constructed novel about Chechnya, and The Traveler of the Century, one of the best books of 2014.

I’ve also participated in an on-line writer’s group for a long time. I started it because I wanted to continue to receive the valuable feedback that fellow experienced writers can give one another. So I sent out a message to graduates of San Francisco State’s Masters’ in Creative Writing program and invited those who were interested to get in touch. The group members have changed over the years, but we continue to give each other important comments on our fiction. By the time each person has remarked on a submission, it adds up to one expert editor’s response. It’s been enormously helpful to have these readers’ views.

WOW: Sounds like it was time well spent. Speaking of time, how do you manage to get everything done, stay on task, and use your time to your fullest?

Lily: Before I had a book in pre-publication, I didn’t have too much trouble keeping to my one hour a day schedule. I usually can fit in that amount of time, and I’ve produced an amazing amount of material over the years as a result: three poetry collections, one of which is published; four+ novels, two of which are on their way to being published, and I’m sure the other ones will as well; a short story collection; travel articles; reviews; memoir; and much more. But at the moment, marketing responsibilities have made it difficult to be as faithful to this regime. I look forward to when I can resume it!

WOW: You certainly are focused and driven: such an inspiration for all the rest of us!

Who is your favorite author?

Lily: I really don’t have a favorite author. There are too many that I admire and regularly return to for inspiration. Gabriel Garcia Marquez is one such writer. His One Hundred Years of Solitude found me at a time when I needed a model for the magical realism approach that seems natural to me and inhabits much of my work. I’ve read nearly all of his books and return to them frequently. He’s a kind of muse.

WOW: Support (as well as inspiration) is incredibly important in any career, but especially as a writer. Who has been most supportive of your writing through the years?

Lily: My husband has been exceptional in not protesting when I need time to write. His field is the 19th and 20th Century novel, so as a reader, he’s perceptive and extremely thoughtful. In my acknowledgement in Fling!, I refer to him as my first and best reader.

WOW: Sounds like you two are a great team! How do the two of you celebrate your successes?

Lily: Success is relative. I’ve published many things, and it’s always satisfying to have one’s efforts recognized in this way. However, I’ve been writing for so many years now, that when one of my books finally is published, my response is “It’s about time!” But my husband always wants to do something special to acknowledge a new publication and will bring home champagne for us to share.

WOW: On the flip side of success, what about rejection? Not that we ever want to be rejected, but let’s face it…it’s all part of writing and being published. Do you have some words of wisdom for others?

Lily: Finding a responsive reader for one’s work is challenging. I’ve sent out many stories/poems/essays over the years that didn’t get picked up immediately. But if you believe in the piece and it’s worth being published, then it will eventually find a home. Persistence and doggedness is essential to succeed as a writer.

WOW: That’s a great way to explain it; thanks for sharing! What’s next for you Lily?

Lily: Bone Songs, another novel, will be published in 2016, so I’ll be spending some time in the next few months revising that book. I’m also two-thirds of the way through a collection of short pieces entitled The Sinner’s Club. Each character is part of the same church setting and has an intriguing story to tell. The various sections offer a kaleidoscopic view of this particular religious community and its characters’ foibles. Since I’ve written a total of four novels, I’m eager to focus at the moment on short fiction and poetry. I’ll be interested to see what will tempt me to tackle another longer work.

WOW: Thank you so much for choosing WOW! and for today’s wonderful interview. We look forward to your future books and hope to see you again in 2016 and beyond!

Comments make my day. Please leave one!