Mymcbooks's Blog

Keepsake that Educates!

Interview with Author Mandi Tillotson Williams

I was born and raised in North Florida. I have always had an extensive imagination. At an early age, I was able to convince some my classmates that I had traveled to Earth on an enormous bubblegum slide from an undiscovered candy-coated island. This is where the idea for Mortimer’s Sweet Retreat stemmed from. I have three amazing children and I love them more than anything. Following a personal tragedy-turned-miracle, I decided to pursue my lifelong dream of becoming a children’s author. My youngest son was born at only 28 weeks, weighing less than 3 pounds. We were told that he may never walk or talk due to a Grade IIIIVH (brain bleed) He is 5 years old now. He is walking and talking and he is doing excellent in school. This is part of who I am and why I am pursuing my dream of writing. I also love making children happy and seeing their little faces light up when I share my stories with them.


Interview with  Mandi Williams author of The Many Adventures of Mortimer Crump Mortimer’s Sweet Retreat

I want to thank you for being my guest here on Mymcbooks Blog

What is the last book you read? At this moment I am reading The Duke and I by Julia Quinn, it is really entertaining thus far.

What were your earliest memories of writing? I began writing around 8 or 9 years of age. I still have a book that I had written on copy paper. I cut it into pages and stapled them together. It was about a circus pig named Herb. Lol. It is really funny to see the words I misspelled back then being so young. Now I save anything my kids write or draw so they will be able to look back on their work too. 

Were you encouraged to write or was it something that came natural? It came natural to me. I enjoyed it because I was able to share my thoughts with others. I had a big imagination back then and still do.

Are you working on a new book?  Yes, I have the second book in the Mortimer series completed. I just have to complete the illustrations. Those are the most difficult for me.

What inspired you to write Mortimer’s Sweet Retreat and how did you come up with each character? I actually came up with the character several years ago, well before my youngest son was born. What’s funny is now my youngest is 5 and he was a preemie so he is a skinny little thing with blue glasses. He reminds me of Mortimer without the red hair. I tell him he’s my little Mortimer.

If you were to chose a character from your book, which one would it be? Mortimer of course, he is full of adventure.

What was your favorite children’s book? I am really not sure, I love so many of them. When I was young my favorite books were

What is the most difficult part of writing? Probably deciding on how to end the story.

What do you do when you’re not writing or promoting your books? I am a professional photographer and have my own business. I am also a full time mom to three wonderful kids.

How do you react to a bad review and have you ever suffered from writer’s block? So far I have gotten really good feedback as I only have one book out. I would guess that it would hurt my feelings some but I feel that as long as the person was trying to help me and not just being unkind it would be ok and I could come away from it stronger and with more knowledge.

What do you hope that readers will take away from your book? I hope that they will see that no matter what someone looks like on the outside, they can still be kind and become a friend if you just give them a chance. Everyone needs a chance in this world and you never know how a simple smile may change someone’s day.

Who are some of your favorite authors you would love to dine with? Probably Beverly Clearly as I always loved her books.

What author inspires you the most and why? ProbablyBeverly Clearly and Shel Silverstein. I used to absolutely LOVE the poetry in Where the Sidewalk Ends. I read every poem in there hundreds of times growing up and even now to my kids.

What discipline do you impose on yourself regarding schedules, goals, etc.? I try to make sure that no matter how much I have to do, I still make time for my children and family. Nothing is more important than family.

What advice would you give parents on selecting the right books for their children to read? I would say read them first. I always like a book that flows well with a good story line.

What advice you would give to new writers? Being that I am still a new writer I don’t have much advice, however, I do believe that you can do anything you put your mind to so never give up. Research through the internet has really helped me a lot.

Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers? Yes, I would like to share with everyone the reason I picked up writing again after several years. I summed it all up in a poem. My youngest was born at 28 weeks and was in NICU for 73 days with many complications. He is now 5 years old and doing amazingly well. He is a true miracle and the reason I am pursuing my dream. I am hoping that one day I will be able to share his story with the world.



I woke up this morning with a really clear view.
My answer as to “Why?” I hope you see it too.
Several years ago, I had a two pound baby boy
12 weeks premature… I felt anything but joy.
He wasn’t doing well, his life was hanging by a thread
Not knowing why this happened, my heart was filled with dread.
The doctors said he may not walk, his brain was full of blood
He wouldn’t learn, he may not talk, none of this was good.
I sat and wrote that very day, an email to my friends
Asking all of them to pray and then to please hit send.
Within a week, to my surprise, I had an inbox full of letters
Strangers sending hope our way, praying he’d get better.
They sent him home after 73 days but again, with not much hope
We had no clue of what may happen on this scary uphill slope.
On this day, he’s five years old and no one would never know.
He’s doing great, he’s really smart. He’s anything but slow.
As I said before, I woke today with an answer as to “why?”
I came to my desk to try and type and then began to cry.
My child was saved so I’d spread the word of what Jesus did for me.
I feel that’s why I rhyme so well. I want all the world to see.
Something big will come of this, I can feel it in my heart.
For now I’ll spread to my home town, but I know it’s just a start.




November 5, 2011 - Posted by | Meet the Author | , , , , , ,


  1. Thank you for reviewing my book. Glad you enjoyed it. :o)

    Comment by Mandi Tillotson Williams | November 5, 2011 | Reply

  2. Great interview Mandy! I cant wait to get my hands on a copy of this book! And the next one!

    Comment by Missie Sadler-Goodwin | November 5, 2011 | Reply

  3. Hi Mandi,
    It just goes to show that Jesus has the final answer and it’s quite evident through your son’s miracle. 🙂 I loved your poem. My youngest at 24 is my miracle after a battle with Bone Cancer and is a very healthy young lady today. 🙂
    I’m definitely going to put Mortimer’s Sweet Retreat on my to buy list. It sounds like such an entertaining story my youngest grandson will love. Very creative. Thank you for sharing with us.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

    Comment by Carol L. | November 6, 2011 | Reply

  4. So glad you enjoyed my poem, I literally woke up crazy early one morning (which I never do if the kids are sleeping) and somehow knew why I am writing. I have never had anything happen to me like that ever. I just walked to my computer and wrote that poem in less than 30 minutes. It is soooo good to hear of others being blessed with miracles too so thank you for sharing that. I am sooo glad your daughter is healthy now and survived such a terrible thing. She definitely has a purpose here. Since the day I wrote that poem, I have been like a writing machine and I am loving it … alot of it has to do with the support of my friends,family and fans of Mortimer too. Mortimer has a facebook too if you want to like him. :o) Also, go to amazon and look under customer pics on Mortimer’s Sweet Retreat. There is a pic of my son reading my book and he looks like Mortimer with brown hair! I actually made Mortimer up before he was born! lol. Really weird.
    Here’s facebook link too:
    I have a twitter too but I am not the best tweeter yet. Lol. I think it’s @mortimercrump but not sure. Lol. :o)
    Take care and thanks again for sharing your miracle.

    Comment by Mandi Tillotson Williams | November 6, 2011 | Reply

  5. I love your poem and am so glad you had a happy ending…many years ago I did not! Am so glad that things have progressed and that your boy is a living miracle.
    Thank you for sharing your gift of writing with kids!


    Comment by Maureen Timerman | November 6, 2011 | Reply

    • I am soo sorry Maureen. 😦 I sometimes hesitate sharing my story because I don’t want to hurt someone else that may have gone through a similar situation. I am just so thankful that he is here with us and as I prayed during that time, I made a promise to God that if he’d let him live, I’d tell everyone I could so this is why I share. I will say a prayer for you Maureen, I hope that you will be blessed 10 fold. I know that nothing will ever make up for a loss of someone you love but I wish you will have great things to come. Take care and Thank you for your kind comment.

      Comment by Mandi | November 6, 2011 | Reply

  6. What a beautiful poem and a wonderful reason to pursue her dream!

    Comment by Kristie | November 7, 2011 | Reply

    • Thank you so much. 🙂 I’m glad you liked it, it means so much to me.

      Comment by Mandi | November 7, 2011 | Reply

  7. Very interesting interview. I love her imgination and openess. Thanks

    Comment by Larissa Brunken | November 8, 2011 | Reply

  8. Great inerview! So glad things are working out for you 🙂

    Comment by Kristina Parmenter (@harley_chick883) | November 18, 2011 | Reply

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