Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
Hi my name is Marje, author name M J Mallon. I’m a bit over the hill but just short of the rainbow, with two grown up daughters.
Fiona: Where are you from?
Ah, I was born in Singapore, grew up in Hong Kong, smuggled away to Bonnie Scotland, Edinburgh, and now living in Cambridge, England.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I studied in Glasgow, the then polytechnic, gained a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies: Media, Marketing, PR. Didn’t do much with it… then, but it’s coming in quite handy now! I live in Cambridge with my husband who loves to play rock guitar. My two daughters are both creative, my eldest writes/ teaches English and my youngest is a keen photographer/fashion/business student.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I’m releasing my first poetry/prose collection very soon. It is entitled: Mr Sagittarius, Poetry and Prose. Release date to be announced soon. I’m planning on donating the first month’s royalties to the Australian Bush fires.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing about five years ago. I’d describe my initial style as: a writing butterfly flitting about trying different forms of writing – novels, short stories, picture books, and of course my blog.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’d say I considered myself to be a more serious writer when I released my first YA fantasy novel: The Curse of Time Book 1 Bloodstone. Buying link: http://mybook.to/TheCurseofTime
Prior to that, I wrote various short stories, flash fiction, and poetry on my blog but hadn’t published anything for the reading public.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Oh, so many inspirations… where to begin?
- A mysterious black cat strolled into my garden and became a character in my book: Shadow.
Image via Samantha Murdoch: https://samanthamurdochblog.wordpress.com/
- I visited a magnificent crystal grotto in Juniper Artland that triggered an idea for a mysterious cottage housing magical crystals.
- Walking past the Corpus Christi chronophage clock , (a popular tourist attraction in Cambridge,) made me wonder whether I could I include this strange clockwork creature in my fantasy story…
- I read masses of books,including Oscar Wilde’s Dorian Gray.
- Helping my daughter with her GCSE Art, sparked a fire of creativity in my belly.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
In The Curse of Time it was a magical mix of time, crystals and a special ingredient: a curse.
In Mr. Sagittarius. I wanted a quirky title; using a zodiac character seemed to be a good idea.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style orgenre that you find particularly challenging?
Normally I write fantasy/dark fantasy, but I also write poetry, and a touch of horror! I’d say that the most challenging aspect to date has been writing the second book in the Curse of Time series. Remembering all the finer details from the first book is really hard and moving the plot forward into a second book is much harder than I expected. And beginnings are always the hardest part for me, endings are so much easier!
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone youknow, or events in your own life?
In The Curse of Time the story is set in a‘real life’ setting in the city in which I live: Cambridge, but the cottage and several of the characters are fantasy based. So, I’d say it’s magical realism.
In Mr. Sagittarius It’s a mix of poetry and prose with a magical feel to it. The story isn’t based on anyone I know, but the two main characters are based on a couple of gents I saw drinking coffee in a cafe in Cambridge.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I’d love to, but this particular novel is set in Cambridge and there are snippets about Edinburgh where I grew up.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
The Curse of Time was designed by Wendy Anne Darling: https://wendyannedarling.com/
Mr. Sagittarius was designed by Rachael Ritchey: https://rachaelritchey.com/
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
In The Curse of Time: Beauty is skin deep, and people aren’t always what they seem. Time is a monster that none of us can escape. There’s also a strong family/coming of ageaspect to it too.
In Mr. Sagittarius: Life is short, live it to the fullest, and enjoy the quirky wonders and fun escapades of life. It’s a celebration of the wonder of the natural world.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is yourfavorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
My favourite authors are: Jay Kristoff, and Philip Pullman.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported yourcommitment to become a published author.
My eldest daughter Natasha who also writes and is an avid reader.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes, I am working towards that goal. At present, I write around a full-time job.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
The Curse of Time: I wish I had plotted more, but my imagination tends to be difficult to reel in!
Mr. Sagittarius: This is my debut poetry and prose collection, so we’ll see how it is received.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Make sure you proof read the title! Mr.Sagittarius is difficult to spell… At first I spelt it with two rr’s instead of two tt’s! Luckily I noticed before the book launch.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
In the Curse of Time: Male lead: Dylan O’Brien (Teen wolf) Female lead: Juno Temple – The Dark Knight Rises.
In Mr. Sagittarius: Someone who looks like: Joseph Gordon Levitt. – Inception.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Read as much as you can in a wide variety of different genres. Try different writing styles including flash fiction, keep on working at your writing craft, believe in yourself and don’t let anyone put you off. If you want to write, write!
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Do what you love. Always, never stint on that!
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Two at the moment, D WallacePeach’s Catling’s Bane and Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials #2 – The Subtle Knife. Both of which are amazing!
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
I loved C.S. Lewis The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe. I also loved comic books when I was young. Growing up in Scotland I loved The Broons, and I also was a fan of Asterix The Gaul and Tintin.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Books! I often cry, or laugh on buses whilst reading. Sad and funny movies make me cry too..
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
David Bowie or Prince. So sad these two musical geniuses died before they should have.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
I love eating out, coffees, socialising, going to the gym, and trying to relax whenever I can.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I hardly watch any TV – no time.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Favourite food: Asian, colour: green, music – eclectic: David Bowie, Prince, Bon Jovi, Stereophonics, Jo Bonamassa.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I’d create in some way. Play the piano, paint, (badly,) or bake.
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
With my family, I’d have the best day outdoing all the things we love.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
It took me a long time to grow up and find out who I truly am; glad I discovered me at last.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Yes, my author blog is: https://mjmallon.com
I also contribute to the sisters of the fey blog: https://sistersofthefey.com/
Amazon Authors Page UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1