This month, I’m delighted to welcome Marjorie Mallon to my blog. I first meet Marje at the very first Annual Bloggers Bash and thought October was a great month to feature her first book given that she is a huge fan of Halloween. Without further ado, over to Marje…
What’s the name of the book?
The name of my book is The Curse of Time – Book 1 – Bloodstone.
What inspired you to write it?
I’m still wondering about that… I think I might have taken a funny turn; maybe it was my way of having a midlife crisis!
The principal inspirations were –
Crystals inspired by the crystal grotto – The Light Pours Out of Me by Anya Gallaccio at Juniper Artland, Wilkieston, Scotland. All the artworks at Juniper were incredible, loved them all and wrote lots of poetry with those sculptures in mind. Here’s a link to one of my favourites: https://mjmallon.com/2015/02/06/my-friday-image-juniper-artland-sculpture-firmament-by-anthony-gormley/
Time – time whizzed into the story on the spectacular wings of a grasshopper that you can see if you ever visit Cambridge. This magnificent sculptural clock The Corpus Chronopage lives in Kings Parade. It truly is a sight fit for kings. The Chronopage is invented by Dr John C Taylor, OBE a gifted inventor who I have had the pleasure of meeting on the 11th of September, 2017.
Here we are together standing by the clock.
Other inspirations include shadows. They crept in too! I’d photographed their dark patterns and decided they’d be an interesting concept to explore in a YA fantasy.
Beauty and Art – I’d read Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray which had caused a riot in my imagination. I’ve never been the same since!
Deception and Mystery – Ooh these two added a dollop of excitement!
Mirrors. Yes one thing puzzles me, how can you see yourself in two different mirrors in the same house and one can reflect a lovely image of you and another can make you look ancient? Just saying!
How long did it take you to write it?
Oh, that’s a difficult question to answer because I’m a writing butterfly. I start one project; pick up another, twiddle about on social media, etc., etc. But I started over three years ago and now have Book one plus a rough draft of Book two.
Tell us a little about the story and the characters.
The story is set in Cambridge, UK. It is a YA/MG fantasy exploring lots of themes which I thought would interest young people, teenagers and old folks too. The main protagonist, Amelina is a fifteen-year-old schoolgirl living in a strange household, inhabited by a girl stuck in a mirror, a mysterious black cat, and two parents who would make you wince if you stumbled upon them down a dark alleyway. It’s all rather strange and puzzling. It’s a mystery…
Who cursed Amelina’s family? Why did they do so? What does the Grasshopper of the Chronopage have to do with it? Or is the Grasshopper a red herring? Who is Ryder, friend or foe? To find the answers to these questions, I’d really recommend you read book one and book two, but you can read book one as a standalone if you so desire.
Who do you think the book will appeal to?
Anyone who loves the power of imagination, fantasy and magic. It doesn’t matter whether you are young or old. Time is our universal downfall.
Do you have any plans for a follow-up book?
Yes, Book two is partially written. The ideas are all there raring to go… I’ve even given it a title. The Curse of Time #2 The Golden Healer. I hope to progress to a trilogy.
Where can people buy the book?
You can buy The Curse of Time #1 The Bloodstone via Amazon. At the moment it is a Kindle copy, but I will launch the paperback hopefully in time for Christmas.
How long have you been writing?
Oh, I started when I was a teenager, gave up when I discovered boys, had a couple of kids and never picked it up again for years. Such a regret! Started writing again about four years ago.
Where do your ideas for your stories come from?
Everywhere! Walks, art galleries, sculpture parks, eavesdropping on trains!
When and where (and how often) do you write?
At the moment not enough! I’m busy promoting, writing blog posts trying to write reviews, and guest hosting blog tours. I’m struggling to find the time. But I intend to take a blogging break soon to make time for Book two.
What do you think the future holds for you and your books, or what plans do have for future books?
I have so many plans but not enough time! I have a partially written middle-grade novel about a dragon and a girl, my father’s travelogue, a few picture books, and loads of poetry which I should do something about!
What three pieces of advice would you give to someone who wants to write and publish a book?
Read widely in many genres.
Write as much as you can to perfect your craft. Try new forms of writing – poetry, flash fiction, short story writing.
Establish contacts with other writers, bloggers and book reviewers.
What does blogging mean to you?
It means I’m never bored. Ever. It means I have friends all around the world. It means life is never dull. It means – Whatever did I do before I blogged?
What have you learned from being a blogger?
Connections and collaborations are key and fun to do. That’s why I’ve formed my #ABRSC Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club on Facebook.
I’ve had the fortune to collaborate with several bloggers most notably:
Carolina Russo created a stunning portrait of one of my characters Esme which is now available to order: https://yesterdayafter.com/2017/09/06/new-release-esme-bringing-alive-a-character-with-a-painting-collaboration-with-author-mj-mallon/
Samantha Murdoch who has a wonderful blog about cats and crystals. https://samanthamurdochblog.wordpress.com. Samantha’s gorgeous cat Lily became my supermodel cat stand in for the black cat in my novels – Shadow. Her son Alex Marlowe https://alexmarloweblog.wordpress.com photographed Lily.
A lovely Bloodstone crystal appears on the spine of my paperback book via Samantha Murdoch/Alex Marlowe. Isn’t it lovely?
Congratulations to Marje on the publication of her first book. If you have any questions for Marje, please leave them in the comments section, and she’ll come back to you as soon as she can.
Bio – Marjorie Mallon
I am a debut author who has been blogging for three years: https://mjmallon.com. My interests include writing, photography, poetry, and alternative therapies. I write Fantasy YA, middle-grade fiction and micro poetry – haiku and tanka. I love to read and have written over 100 reviews: https://mjmallon.com/2015/09/28/a-z-of-my-book-reviews/
My alter ego is MJ – Mary Jane from Spiderman. I love superheroes! I was born on the 17th of November in Lion City: Singapore, (a passionate Scorpio, with the Chinese Zodiac sign a lucky rabbit,) second child and only daughter to my proud parents Paula and Ronald. I grew up in a mountainous court in the Peak District in Hong Kong with my elder brother Donald. My parents dragged me away from my exotic childhood and my much-loved dog Topsy to the frozen wastelands of Scotland. In bonnie Edinburgh, I mastered Scottish country dancing and a whole new Och Aye lingo.
As a teenager, I travelled to many far-flung destinations to visit my abacus wielding wayfarer dad. It’s rumoured that I now live in the Venice of Cambridge, with my six-foot hunk of a Rock God husband, and my two enchanted daughters. After such an upbringing my author’s mind has taken total leave of its senses! When I’m not writing, I eat exotic delicacies while belly dancing, or surf to the far reaches of the moon. To chill out, I practise Tai Chi. If the mood takes me, I snorkel with mermaids or sign up for idyllic holidays with the Chinese Unicorn, whose magnificent voice sings like a thousand wind chimes.
Connect with Marje
My blog – for information about new releases, photos of main characters/character interviews, book reviews and inspiration: https://mjmallon.com
My New Facebook Group #ABRSC: Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club on Facebook
Facebook: Facebook: m j mallon author
Tumblr: Tumblr: mjmallonauthor
I have devoted the past few years to writing over 100 reviews on My Goodreads Review Account, and on my blog to help support traditional and indie writers.
If you’d like to vote for me in the WritersDB first line and cover contest here’s the link to my blog post about that: https://mjmallon.com/2017/09/08/please-vote-for-me-in-authorsdb-first-line-contest/
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