Welcome to Coffee n’ Notes. Today, I’d like to welcome M. J. Mallon, author of The Curse Of Time (Bloodstone,#1), for an author Interview.
About the author
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.
Hello, Marjorie. Thank you for being here today at Coffee n’ Notes 🙂
Can you tell us a bit about yourself
I live in Cambridge, England with my husband, and youngest daughter Georgina. My eldest, Natasha is following in her grandfather’s footsteps, (my amazing dad had a serious case of wanderlust,) by working abroad. She is TEFL in South Korea and I miss her very much. Proud mum moment! Family is very important. Perhaps that’s why I wrote a family-centered YA novel. I love spending time with my two daughters, whether we are chatting, or gossiping! I’ve been with my hubby (who I like to call my black sheep,) since I was eighteen. I can say there has never been a dull moment, not when your husband is a Scot who plays guitar and listens to rock music every night. Welcome to the biggest teenager ever! My extended family: mum, dad, and elder brother plus my in-laws live in bonnie Edinburgh. I love visiting the Edinburgh International Fringe Festival in August. I adore the buzz and excitement of the book festival, the visiting theatre groups, dance performances, art exhibitions, street performers and comedy shows. You name it; I am there.
I am a member of several writing/reviewing/author collaborative groups: SCBWI, Cambridge Writers, RRBC, Sisters of the Fey. Founder of Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club on Facebook.
A self-proclaimed hedonist and sponge for fun.
Describe your book in 1-2 sentences
This imaginative YA fantasy, coming of age novel will appeal to teens, young adults and those who hear the ticking clock but fight to stay young. If you adore stories filled with magical crystals, dark family curses, and curious mysteries this novel is for you.
Do you have any writing rituals or habits?
Not really. But, I do sometimes wake up early in the morning with an idea and this overwhelming (almost manic,) desire to commit my words to the page. This is strange as I am not a morning person!
Where did you get your book idea from?
My initial book idea came from: The Light Pours Out Of Me at Juniper Artland Wilkieston, Scotland – A stunning crystal grotto designed by Anya Gallaccio: https://mjmallon.com/2014/06/15/jupiter-artland-the-light-pours-out-of-me/
Then I incorporated the magnificent Corpus Christi Chronopage Clock, which features on my book cover into my novel and the story became darker and more curse driven.This extraordinary time device invented by Dr John C Taylor OBE is situated on King’s Parade in Cambridge.
I had to have a muse and one came to visit me one fine day: a strange black cat who I called Shadow. Photo courtesy of Lily, Samantha Murdoch’s cat: https://samanthamurdochblog.wordpress.com
Art had to feature in the novel too. Art’s beautiful possibilities are too exquisite to ignore.
Mirrors sprung to mind and my resident mirror girl—Esme–brought a new, unexpected element to the narrative—one I feel passionate about: mental health and self-harm. Poor Esme can’t escape her mental health issues physically or metaphorically and this turmoil is represented by her imprisonment in the mirrors of Amelina’s house.
And last but not least. Where would this story be without a scary creature? Who is Eruterac? What does he want? And was Amelina wise to paint him bringing him to life?
Esme portrait and portrait of Eruterac, The Creature designed by talented artist Carolina Russo: https://yesterdayafter.com/
What is your favorite place to write?
A few years ago I enjoyed a writing break in Brighton. That was very memorable and so much fun. I wrote in cafes, eavesdropping on conversations and met lots of interesting people. I’d love to do it again one day. Brighton is such a friendly, vibrant, seaside town—the perfect place for a writer’s break.
Just for fun 😀 Pick your favorite color, animal, and food.
Favourite colour: Green. I’m drawn to the colour green. The first crystal I ever bought was a green malachite, a stone of transformation.
Favourite Animal: My first cat—a ginger tom cat called Chester. I adored him and so did everyone. He was such a friendly, adventurous cat. Chester featured in the first post I wrote on my blog and is still rocking the web with his beauty: https://mjmallon.com/2014/04/27/writers-journey-how-did-it-all-happen/
Favourite Food: A huge plate of spicy Noodles. I adore Asian food—my mum is Malaysian and the best cook ever.
What is your writing process like?
I plan little. Sometimes ideas come when I least expect them to. I’m working on Book Two in the Curse of Time Series and I realised that the ending I had envisioned wasn’t the ending at all. I added a little extra. It’s those unexpected inspirational moments that make writing so magical. Discovering a new direction that one of your characters can take is so liberating and exciting!
What is the latest book you’ve read that inspired you?
I’m reading Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff. I adore his writing. I devour each page saying to myself if only I could write like Jay! I am in danger of becoming a fangirl stalker! Ha Ha! He once chatted to me on twitter and I nearly fainted!
What is the greatest challenge you have faced in your career as an author?
I’m a debut author so there have been oodles of challenges. At the moment I’d say writing the second book is a huge hurdle and I’ve always been terrible at sports days! There are so many things to consider. It’s important to refer back to the first book to check details and to ensure that I am developing the full potential of the story. My ultimate aim is to make the second book in the series even better than the first book.
What is the best advice you’ve been giving?
Stay true to who you are. Believe in yourself, but remember to help and encourage others to fulfill their potential too. Never put anyone down.
Before we say goodbye… Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Write for the love as few authors make masses of money! Read in all genres, and pay particular attention to how your favourite authors write dialogue, character, and plot. Write whenever and wherever you can. Try different forms of writing such as flash fiction, short stories, and poetry. Never give up even if you feel that the journey is impossible. Accept helpful positive criticism with good grace but reject negative, unhelpful criticism with confidence.
Buy Paperback Book link: http://mybook.to/TheCurseofTime
Unique Selling Point: Unique, Imaginative, ‘Charming, enchanting and richly layered this is purely delightful.’
“This delightful book will appeal to teens and young adults who love stories filled with magical crystals, dark family curses, and mysteries waiting to be solved around every corner. Each chapter leads you on a journey of discovery where Amelina earns the right to use three wizard stones to reset the balance of time and finally break the curse that holds her family hostage. A captivating tale!” – Colleen M. Chesebro (Editor)
You can find Marjorie here at:
Authors Website: https://mjmallon.com
Collaborative blog: https://sistersofthefey.wordpress.com
Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon and @curseof_time
Founder of #ABRSC – Authors/Bloggers Support Group:
Thank you so much to Marjorie for being here at Coffee n’ Note, I loved having her here and I hope you enjoyed her interview, as much as I did 😀
As always, thank you so much for reading ❤