Bookshop of Dust and Dreams - Laura's Shelf
Laura: There are so many kinds of writing and storytelling, adult fiction, non-fiction, short stories, graphic novels, picture books. What has brought you to writing children's fantasy?
Mindy:I feel like I was fortunate to grow up during a time where books like Harry Potter and Percy Jackson created a boom in Children’s Fantasy. As a result, I fell in love with reading, and I knew that I wanted to write stories like those. In some ways it feels like I always wanted to write stories for Children, even when I was one. Children’s Fantasy has always felt limitless to me. If I can dream it, I can write it, and I love the freedom and the whimsy that brings.
Laura: Which character came to you first? Are there real world inspirations for your characters?
Mindy:The first two characters in The Bookshop of Dust and Dreams that came to me were Poppy and Al, and the Rhyme and Reason the rest of Fulbright family filled in shortly after. I knew from the beginning that I wanted this book to be about family and specifically about sibling relationships. It’s easy to love family so much, but those relationships are also incredibly difficult at the same time, and I wanted to explore that in a book.
I grew up the second oldest of five kids, and my siblings are some of my best friends, but that doesn’t mean it’s always easy to get along. I think some of my life experience comes out in the book, and within the Fulbright family there is a little bit of everyone in my family reflected there.
Laura: Which books have meant the most to you? AND/OR Which books are you reading or recommending now?
Mindy: One of the books that inspired me the most as a young reader was The Two Princesses of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine. It’s a book about sisters, in which one sister has to set out on a quest to save the other sister. It has magic, adventure, romance, just a little bit of everything and it was one of my most read novels.
Right now, there are too many great Middle Grade books being published to count them all! But I am loving the Eva Evergreen Semi Magical Witch series by Julie Abe. Along with the Gilded Girl by Alyssa Colman and The Circus of Stolen Dreams by Lorelei Savaryn.
Laura: If you could visit a bookstore anywhere in the world (or other worlds) which bookstore would you go to?
There are so many fascinating bookstores around the world, and I had so much fun learning about them all when I researched this book. For one, I’d love to visit The Last Bookstore in L.A. Because it has a tunnel of books you get to walk through as you enter and the whole place seems magical. There’s a bookstore in Argentina called El Ateneo Grand Splendid that operates in what used to be a theater. So, there’s a stage and the books are shelved where seats used to be, and they fill up the balconies and that’s just incredible. If we’re talking fictional bookstores, I would love to visit The Shop Around The Corner from You’ve Got Mail, and of course, Monsieur Labisse’s bookshop from The Invention of Hugo Cabret.
Laura: When you are not writing what is your favorite thing to do?
Mindy: If I’m not reading or writing, I love making content for my Instagram account. I’ve been dipping my toes in the water of creating reels and transferring them over to Tik tok, and I’ve had a lot of fun coming up with videos and ideas for future content.
The Bookshop of Dust and Dreams is at the top of my bucket list of great bookstores. In this magical shop people from different times walk in the door to find the book they need and be nourished by the magic of the shop. Flowers bloom, messages appear on the chalkboard, and everyone feels loved and valued.
Poppy has grown up in this shop with her two brothers, and cannot imagine being anywhere else than her beloved bookshop. But it’s 1944, and her brother’s friend, Al, is not coming home from the war, and queer things begin happening around the shop. Flowers droop, chill drafts come through, and arguments erupt. Then on top of everything, Poppy’s father must go to the hospital.
To make things better, Poppy tries everything, But everyone needs help, even Poppy.
I read this book in a single sitting, staying up far too late to see how it ended. I am glad that I did, and I hope you find magic in its pages just like I did.
This story keeps getting better. Mindy lives in the Treasure Valley, so we are extra excited to have her book featured at our shop. AND we are hosting a virtual book birthday party for her when her book releases on Tuesday, October 26 at 4 p.m.
Pre-order your copy of the book and help launch Mindy's book.