Wednesday, March 6, 2024

The Writing University conducts a series of interviews with writers while they are in Iowa City participating in the various University of Iowa writing programs. We sit down with authors to ask about their work, their process and their descriptions of home.

mack reyes smiling

Today we are speaking with MacKenzie Reyes, a current undergraduate student, double majoring in Cinema & Screenwriting, with a minor in American Sign Language. Originally from Plainfield Illinois, she started her undergraduate career at the University of Iowa back in the fall of 2020. Currently, she plans to graduate in May of 2024, with the hopes of pursuing a further education in film in graduate school.


1. Can you tell us a little bit about what brought you to the University of Iowa?  
In all honesty, my decision towards coming to the University of Iowa was because of a man at a university fair – you know the ones they always hold for high school students? I was wearing a Marvel shirt, and he had pointed it out making a connection towards the obvious character relation, and it was history from there. I then discovered their incredible filming program, how direct and progressive it is, as well as the incredible writing programs. I then toured the campus, and saw how incredibly friendly it was, and it just seemed like the perfect home away from home.
2. What is the inspiration for your work right now?
I am mainly inspired by the works of various authors, but my chosen style of writing aligns more within the mystery/thriller genre’s – so overall I am heavily inspired by works within those categories. My family is also a huge inspiration to my work ethic and writing overall, and they drive me towards making the best of the best and push me to be the best version of myself physically and creatively.
3. Do you have a daily writing routine?  
During the off season, I try to write a couple pages a day, or even for 10 minutes a day. Sometimes it will be for creative purposes, but it is also great for my mental health to just write a bit everyday of how I am feeling, or how the day has been thus far. I also always keep a little pocket pad or notebook on me in case I ever get any ideas for stories – just so I can write it down without delay. In the semesters, I do not necessarily write for myself a lot as per usual, but that is just because I am developing my other work further for class.
4. What are you reading right now? Are you reading for research or pleasure?  
I always read for pleasure – if you ever need a delightful book recommendation, please feel free to contact me! I truly never go anywhere without my book of choice, and my addiction to buying a new book for every occasion has gotten slightly out of hand. Nevertheless, I have been reading a lot of works from Laura Thalassa, Katee Roberts, Ana Huang, Alex Michaelides, Julia Quinn, and more.  
5. Tell us about where you are from - what are some favorite details you would like to share about your home?
I grew up in Plainfield Illinois, one of the smaller towns of the state but not small enough where everyone knew everybody. I danced for almost sixteen years of my life, which was a wonderful experience but it did not leave me with a lot of free time. When I think of my home, however, I think of my family – they are a huge value for me and something I hold dear to my heart. My extended family is huge, and we would get together for anything and everything, which was always fun and exciting. It was like having twenty to thirty plus built in friends and siblings to always hang out with, and we are all so supportive of one another still to this day. I have also been a dog lover since I was a kid and have said that if my chosen career does not take off in the way I would like – that I will turn towards a career of rescuing dogs. 





Thank you for talking with us today, MacKenzie!