Life in Writing
Where are you from?
I was born in England, but I now live in Germany which I absolutely love. I have a whole host of footpaths to walk just behind my house, getting out in the countryside really helps get my creative flow going.
Do you have a job other than writing? What do you do?
I'm a work at home Mum right now, so between writing and wrestling a tearaway toddler I have my hands pretty full. I have a separate office at home so that I can concentrate, but I'm always available for cuddle duty when needed.
Why do you write sci-fi and fantasy?
I have a bit of a split personality on this. I write fantasy for the escapism. There's nothing like getting swept up in a completely “alien” world. I write Magical Realism because I want to believe that it exists in the here and now and that it isn't “fantastical”. I like to think that the world is a little less mundane than we realise.
What are you currently working on?
At the moment I'm working on a 7 part set (7 is a good number for magic, so's 8 but I like odd numbers). The Mages' Stones:Rose Quartz is out now on Amazon, Part 2 is out on the 30th March.
Tell us a little bit about it.
The Mages' Stones or TMS (it saves characters on Twitter) is a 7 part set each focusing on a different Mage and the stone they are joined with. The stories all link together and follow the fight to defeat an unearthly static and black rain that are destroying both the Mages' Stones and the environment around them.
When will your next book be released?
TMS: Blue Goldstone is out on the 30th March and Part 3 is scheduled for release on the 29th April.
When did you decide to become a writer?
I've been writing, for myself, since I was about 14. When I was younger it was mainly plays and poetry rather than stories. I kept writing on and off throughout my teens but got distracted by the Performing Arts and concentrated on that whilst I got my degree. I decided to publish relatively recently, moving to Germany gave me a chance to re-focus on my creative desires. It gave me the drive to put myself “out there”.
Where do you get your inspiration on what to write?
I have no idea where the seed for TMS came from to be completely honest. With each story I write I set myself an exercise, with Rose Quartz it was simply to write. I sat down in front of my screen and just let it flow, I read it back it back the next morning and thought “wow!” Later that day I went for my usual walk and the plot for the whole 7 part set was solidified. I actually write “in my head” whilst out walking quite a lot!
What are some of your hobbies outside of writing?
Germans have a real passion for decorating their windows and front porches with the seasons, so I love making window art. I post what I do, to my social media all the time. Today I posted a picture of the “Bunny-mobile” I made for our Easter Egg Hunt!
What book are you currently reading?
I'm reading 2 at the moment, an H P Lovecraft collection, and P A Priddey's Vesta Mansion:Book 1-The Power Inside
Who are some of your favorite authors?
I'm a huge Margaret Atwood fan. I don't think anyone can write “dystopian women” as well as her. Jules Verne is another favourite, Children of the Cavern & The Green Ray are my 2 preferred works. They show a very different side to his writing, especially The Green Ray which is essentially a love story. Catherynne M Valente as well, the way she rolls words around is simply astonishing. I'm blown away by duality of her books, her worlds are both childlike and very grown up at the same time.
What do you do to market your books?
I try to let the writing speak for itself really. I share excerpts and I like to let readers in on a few titbits/sneak peeks through my Facebook fan page and on Twitter. I think “buy my book” gets a bit boring for everyone after a while, so I concentrate on sharing cool stuff. I launch a competition to feature in Part 3 tomorrow, the winner gets to choose a character name in the story and a free copy of the trilogy on release, I thought it would be a pretty sweet idea so I went with it.
Of all the books you’ve written, which is your favorite, and why?
That's like having to pick your favourite child! I'm really proud of Blue Goldstone because there are some incredible secrets revealed and there is a character who is just horrible. She is cold and manipulative, the complete opposite to me so it gave me a chance to wear those shoes for a bit. But Rose Quartz was the story that started it all and Ceridwen is the personification of love.
If any of your stories could be made into a movie, which would you choose?
I wrote a play when I was about 15, it was a “space opera” about a female shuttle pilot who finds the answer to everything and decides to fly her ship in to a sun. The general theme was that life is about the journey and that if you know the destination it's no fun. It was immensely depressing, in true teenager style, so it would need a re-vamp but I think the theme still holds its own.
If you could be friends with a fictional character (Including any from your own stories) who would you choose?
September from Catherynne M Valente's “Girl Who” books. She is both naïve and wise in the same breath. Brave in the face of danger, and who doesn't want to hang out with a Wyverary? Part Wyvern, part library-who doesn't like dragons (well sort of dragons) and books!
Does your taste in movies and shows line up with your taste in books? If they differ, how so?
Sci Fi and Fantasy tend to be a constant for me in terms of both. The difference is that I tend to watch tv shows in German, whereas I read in English at the moment. Reading (and writing) are about the pleasure of word painting for me and I'm still catching up with my over 35 year fluency in English.
Do you have a certain place that you like to do your writing? Does environment affect your work?
I have my home office for work during the day or if I need to concentrate, but at night I use my own pc. It's important to me to have each of the crystals that I'm writing about on my desk. I like to meditate on them to prepare me to write. In the stories mages are “joined” with their stones & wedlock is also called “joining”. I guess meditating on the crystal I'm working with is like a mini marriage.
Of all the books in the world, why is yours worth taking the time to read?
Because for less than the price of a cup of coffee, I can help you see a whole new world. You'll see mages live and die to protect their world, deeply buried secrets exposed, and you'll understand the power of Obsidian.
Leave the blurb to your latest book.
The Mages' Stones:Blue Goldstone. The second story from The Mages' Stones Set.
With the unearthly static and corrosive black rain seemingly defeated, Mistress Morgana must now challenge its harbinger to ensure the safety of her world. But with magic so devastating, Morgana will need more than a mage to conquer them. Can she learn from the mistakes of the past, to create a new future? Or will her champion fall victim to the one they call Obsidian?
What makes the main character of your latest book interesting to read about?
Mistress Morgana, the mage from Blue Goldstone, is the one of the Council of Elders. She's an adept mage but has made some difficult decisions over the years and got them wrong more than once. The whole plan to destroy the corrosive rain is her idea. She also has a secret or two.
Daniel M. Quilter is the author of A Soul Divided. On this blog he'll interview other authors, review books, share nerd wisdom from popular sci-fi and fantasy, and occasionally share his insights on writing. See a list of his works or see what he's working on.
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