Welcome to my Wednesday Author Interview Series.
Today, I am interviewing Marjorie Mallon.
Q: Can you tell us a little about yourself?
A: I’m a late bloomer, with a young outlook on life. I adore all forms of creativity: art, photography, music, poetry, prose, drama, etc. I can’t draw or paint but I wish I could! Instead, I enjoy taking photographs. I live in the UK in Cambridge with my husband and youngest daughter. My eldest daughter is abroad at the moment teaching English as a Foreign Language in South Korea and I miss her terribly. Family is very important to me and perhaps that is why I wrote a family-centered YA novel. But, please believe me when I say that my main protagonist Amelina’s dysfunctional, weird family is nothing like my own!
Q: When and what made you decide you wanted to be a writer?
A: It wasn’t a conscious decision. I blame magic. One day I woke up and had this overwhelmingly strange desire to write. It coincided with a succession of visits from a stray feline who became Shadow, my black cat character in my book. I’ve never been the same since! I’m certain that beautiful, mysterious cat cast a spell on me.
Q: Can you tell us something about the genre of your books and why you write in that genre?
A: I write fantasy because life is too dull without magic. I’m drawn to horror, but I’m frightened to write it. The other genre that I long to explore in future writing is… crime writing — murder… but that scares the heck out of me too.
Q: Where do you get your ideas from?
A: A magical well at the bottom of my garden! I throw in a penny and out pops a fully formed idea! When the well is dry I go beyond the far reaches of my backyard and visit museums, art galleries, travel somewhere, or eavesdrop on trains. Also, I meet and greet a lot of visitors in my day job. One young man had an uncanny resemblance to a vampire! I’ve stored him in my memory bank for a future story idea! Recently I discovered a magical park which I’d never noticed before. It made me wonder could this be a prompt for a story?
Photograph of Garden is Copyrighted by Marjorie Mallon.
Please do not use this Garden Photo without permission from the photographer.
Q: Are you working on a new book at the moment?
A: I should be but I’m bogged down in marketing book one! I intend to focus on the second book in The Curse of Time series soon. The novel has a title: The Curse of Time Book Two Golden Healer. There are rough chapters which need fleshing out and some new story concept ideas which I hope to explore. The overall structure is there. I promise to give a chubbiness to baby two.
Q: Which writers inspire you?
A: Jay Kristoff, I read his YA novel Nevernight recently and loved it. Victoria Schwab, Brandon Sanderson, Clare Mackintosh, Madeline Miller, Garth Nix, Steven King.
Q: What book are you reading at present?
A: Oh, I’m so glad you asked me as I am really enjoying the book I’m reading at the moment: Caraval by Stephanie Garber. This is such an amazing novel. So magical, loving it.
Q: What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
A: Don’t give up. Keep on perfecting your craft, remember to eat, and try not to neglect your husband/wife/children/partner too much. Guilty as charged.
Q: Do you have any advice on how to market your books?
A: A blog and social media is an absolute necessity. Try to be imaginative in your marketing. It crossed my mind to walk naked through Cambridge with a promotional billboard over me but it would have to be a sunny day! Write more than one book, several books bring you more readers, consider anthologies and the possibility of entering writing competitions.
Q: What would you consider to be the worst thing about being an author?
A: Rejection. Editing. Sitting down all day! To spare my joints I take my knobbly knees and my mind for walks. I wish I had a dog; maybe writers should participate in a walk a dog programme. It could be a new trend.
Q: What do you like to do when you are not writing, your hobbies, etc.?
A: Hobbies? What are they? Do writers have time for hobbies? I’d love more time to play the piano, watch films, go to the theatre, perhaps act, do a Tai Chi set, bake cakes, and travel.
Q: How long on averages does it take you to write a book?
A: I don’t know! But I know my debut took me far too long. I need to learn to sprint write, so I am considering entering Dan’s competition.
Q: What is your schedule like when you are writing?
A: Wake up, sip tea, grab breakfast and then hit the keyboard. I write in the morning while my ideas are still fresh.
Q: Who designed your book(s) cover(s)?
A: My book cover designer is Wendy Anne Darling. Photographic images via Dr. John C. Taylor, OBE the inventor of the world renowned Corpus Christi Chronopage clock.
Q: How are your books published?
A: I published The Curse of Time by setting up Kyrosmagica Publishing. It’s my independent publishing house for me, a black dragon and a white unicorn. We’ve got loads of plans. Who knows one day we might even have other mythological beings or magical humans join us. Logo designed by Allie Potts.
Q: What is your favorite quote?
A: “You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you.”
― Maya Angelou
Q: What is your favorite book?
A: I don’t think I can pick just one! I loved the Beauty Thief by Marcus Zuzak, Nevernight by Jay Kristoff, Claire Mackintosh’s novels: I Let You Go, I See You, and I’ve enjoyed some memoirs recently: I Am Malala and In Order To Live – Yeomi Park.
Q: Would you give us an excerpt from your book or one of your books?
A: I stepped back and stifled my scream. The trembling of the earth continued beneath my feet. I glanced down in horror as I watched the crack grow, spreading tendrils of darkness in an eerie shadow.
I tore my eyes from the trembling ground and glanced at the two boys on the other side of the fissure. Shock and fear registered in their eyes as they met my stare. My heart pounded in my chest, sending a shot of adrenalin through me. I moved as far away from the shadowy cleft as possible, my feet moving with no direction from my mind.
The lads took refuge in glancing at their feet, moving backward from the advancing crack as if they’d thought the strange shadow would swallow them up. I found it odd, but they didn’t run. Instead, Will and Mitch hardly dared to breathe. They stepped slowly, stealing away from the edge. Before long I watched as they became two indistinct shapes far off in the distance.
I felt my body relax. The quivering stopped, and the ground felt solid beneath my feet again. I took a deep breath and managed a faint smile. ‘Thank you, Ryder.’ I could feel the heat of a pink tint colour my cheeks.
‘No problem, it’s my pleasure,’ he replied. He turned to face me, and with an elaborate bow his face lit up with a confident smile as his eyes met mine.
I grinned back and chuckled when I realised Ryder reminded me of a princely actor. I thanked my lucky stars he had crossed my path. I shuddered to think what might have happened if he hadn’t come by when he did. I felt unsettled by that pathway where the shadows seemed to come alive. Those boys were weird. I shook my head trying to get the image of their blank eyes staring at me out of my head.
A residue of uncertainty remained. Those shadows lingered in my mind, resurrecting buried memories from my thirteenth birthday: an imprint on glass, a charades card and a young man’s beguiling voice bewitching me. I shivered, feeling the coolness of the air. Glimpsing up at the sky I noticed that grey rain clouds were gathering.
I looked over my shoulder at Ryder, ‘I better get back. It’s going to rain.’
Ryder glanced up at the gathering gloom, ‘I think you’re right. If it’s not rain, it’s darkness that follows me. You never know what’s lurking in the shadows. With that in mind, let me walk you home.’
What a strange thing to say, I thought as we turned to walk down the path toward my home. Ryder’s words sounded creepy, and I couldn’t shake my uneasiness. Perhaps, I should have run away, but instead, I allowed myself to walk with him. I do not understand what possessed me to do so. It must have been the irregular hiccupping of my heart.
Stealing a glance at Ryder, I drew in a sharp breath. I had been so absorbed in the drama back at the river that I hadn’t noticed the subtleties flickering like wraiths across his face. I took the time now to note that he had blue-black hair that gleamed in the gloominess of the day. As the rain began to fall, I found myself drawn to his unusual eyes. His inky black eye contrasted with his green eye and had to be his most stunning, and unique, feature. He had long lashes now slicked with raindrops that gleamed in the failing light. Unable to look away, I stared into those captivating eyes as if they were two dark, mysterious pools pulling me into their depths. I imagined myself sinking into oblivion. I felt light-headed as if I’d lost my grip at the top of a high cliff, free-falling, tumbling over and over again, but instead of fighting against this frightening sensation I welcomed it.
Q: How can readers connect with you? Facebook, Twitter, Website, etc.
Authors Website: https://mjmallon.com
Collaborative blog: https://sistersofthefey.wordpress.com
Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon and @curseof_time
My Facebook Authors/Bloggers Support Group:
Q: Where can readers purchase your books?
A: My kindle book and paperback is available on Amazon – Buy Book: myBook.to/TheCurseofTime
If you would like to be interviewed for my “Wednesday Author Interview” series, please visit here.