Some frequently asked questions about myself and my writing

How do you pronounce your name?

The first syllable is not pronounced like the month of May but like the “Mi” in the name Mike. The second syllable is pronounced just like the name Ken.
This is how I say it: Mayken (Click to listen.)

And what are those dots in your last name?

The “ü” is called an “umlaut”, and the convention is to replace the dots by an “e” if the umlaut is not available, such as in e-mail and website addresses.
Hence www.maykenbruenings.com and mayken@maykenbruenings.com.

You live in Paris. Do you write in French as well?

No. Though French is the language I live in, English is the language I write in.

I want to read the Mage Girl books. Where can I buy them?

I am actively looking for a publisher to take Mage Girl from manuscript to print, starting with Dragonflame. In the meantime, I make my writing available to my critique group.

Have you written other books besides Mage Girl?

I have a few works-in-progress, or WIPs. The two I am currently working on are Emily in my Head and I am Delphine Lamarck, a middle grade novel and a short story, respectively. Check them out in the Magical Realism pages on this site.

How long did it take you to write Mage Girl?

The first draft of Dragonflame took me three and a half years, but I started out writing by hand in a notebook, then on a PDA with a cute little folding keyboard, before I got myself a laptop. The first draft of Girl Mages only took half a year, by comparison.

How did you get the idea for Mage Girl? Was this your first book?

The first presentable one, yes. There was a silly holiday adventure story I wrote when I was about 15, a detective story that started out as a school essay, and a time travel story that laid the foundations for A Gap in Time (see in Magical Realism).
As for how Mage Girl began, read The Origins of Mage Girl on this site.

Do you drink as much tea as your characters do? And what’s your favourite flavour?

Almost. My favourite is Rooibos vanilla with milk. Contrary to my characters, I can’t drink tea without milk. Lots of milk, in fact.

Are there any real-world places that have inspired your stories?

Several. The Numara watchtower was inspired by the Cordouan lighthouse in the Gironde estuary just off the French Atlantic coast. Takond looks much like the Tuscan village of Pitigliano. And the red cliffs of Numara are a reflection of the German North Sea island of Heligoland.

Have you ever been to Nunavut?

No, though I’d like to go some day. I have to thank the Internet and my online friends for help in research. Where else can you find out average daytime temperatures in February for the Canadian Arctic with two mouseclicks?

Do you have a question? Contact me!