The Interrogation Room with MJ Spikett
MJ Spikett joins us in the hot seat this week! Please give her a warm welcome!
What were you like at school?
Shy, quiet and tried keeping to myself.
Were you good at English?
Yes and no. I loved to write and create stories but since I tend to write stream-of-consciousness my grammar gets jumbled.
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
One day I hope to be able to write full time so I can spend more time at home with my family and help my son who is an inspiring author.
Which writers inspire you?
Steven King, Laurell K. Hamilton, Christopher Pike, Anne Rice, JK Rowling, Cressida Cowell and so many more.
So, what have you written?
Fallen, Unspoken Oaths, Brothers (the following are about to be republished) Raven’s Child, Windows to the Soul, Chaos Within, Immortality, When Darkness Falls.
Bewitched, Hunters Moon
Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
Oh which character? Well since Raven’s Child is due out in January let’s talk about Eli Hawke.
Eli is a child sorcerer, the reincarnation of a powerful mage who died unexpectedly back in the 1950s. He has tremendous power but a tragic life. Orphaned at a young age he is raised by his grandmother and looked after by his two Guardians who train him in the art of magick. Eli doesn’t care for magic, he wants to be normal but after a freak accident triggers past memories of his former life he now travel to Canada to find someone he never met who has the power to tame the magic running uncontrolled through him.
What are you working on at the minute?
I’m in the middle of rewriting Victory, the second novel in the Gods Among Dragons saga
What’s it about?
Victory follows Brothers Eiryk and Vidar who are fighting to stop a madman from finding the ultimate treasure that will allow him to take over the world. In this case that treasure is hidden deep inside Eiryk, a secret no one knows but the Guardians of Asgard and a dark witch who intends take it for herself. Vidar must race against time to save his little brother but to save one life another must be sacrificed.
What genre are your books?
I write a large variety of genres. God’s Among Dragons saga is YA fantasy, Raven’s Realm is adult Urban Fantasy, Women of Ravenwood series is Erotica and then I also write children’s books and the odd sci-fi and film.
What draws you to this genre? Pretty much anything that catches my fancy. It’s hard to nail down.
Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book? I really don’t know.
How much research do you do? A lot. I would spend days or weeks pouring over research for certain novels while others I make just about everything up.
Have you written any other novels in collaboration with other writers?
When did you decide to become a writer?
I wrote my first short story when I was about eight and just kept going.
Why do you write?
It’s a stress reliever. I can put all my thoughts on paper and create a new reality.
What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?
I don’t know. Sometimes I just start writing and don’t stop until whatever thought is out of my head.
Do you write full-time or part-time?
I try for full time but with work and family it often turns to part-time.
Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
No special time. I usually write in the evening but keep a pen and notebook or smartphone on hand to write when the mood strikes me.
Do you write every day, 5 days a week or as and when?
Every day, whether it be only a few hours or all day, I’m always writing.
Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?
6000 is the aim but I’m happy with 3000. My best was 20,000 in one afternoon.
Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?
Longhand and computer.
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
Free form is the best.
How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
I’ve taken new challenges in writing. I went from writing for grown-ups to YA and children…although I still write for grown-ups, too.
What is the hardest thing about writing?
Killing off a beloved character and making sure it’s emotional enough to tear at a readers heart.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
One to six months.
Do you ever get writer’s Block?
Now and then.
Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?
Find something else to write or focus on until it comes back to you.
If this book is part of a series, tell us a little about it?
Raven’s Child is the first of the Raven’s Realm series that follows Eli as he comes of age and embraces his powers. It takes dark turns where friends become enemies and enemies aren’t always as they seem.
What are your thoughts on writing a book series.
I love writing a series because it gives more time to develop and evolve characters but it can also be a challenge to make sure everything flows smoothly.
Do you proofread/edit all your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?
I proofread and edit my own plus send them off to beta readers to catch anything I miss. Although an editor is always best to catch anything we missed.
Do you let the book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to it to edit?
Sometimes. Heck, I waited three years before touching the Gods Among Dragons saga.
Who designed your book cover/s?
I design a lot of the new ones with help from my friend Kristen Cannon.
Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?
Yes, the more eye catching and appealing the more likely someone is to stop and check it out.
Would you or do you use a PR agency?
If I could afford one I would use one.
What part of your writing time do you devote to marketing your book?
About half my time now. Marketing is very important.
What do you do to get book reviews?
I turn to my beta readers first to get the ball rolling since they are the best source to go to in order to help catch any errors or plot holes.
How successful has your quest for reviews been so far?
Do you have a strategy for finding reviewers?
I often turn to my beta readers for my first reviews.
What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?
A review is a review, I learn from them, what people liked, what people didn’t and use it to improve my future novels.
What’s your views on social media for marketing?
Social media is great for interacting with readers and I use it often.
What do you think of “trailers” for books?
I think their great and I’m hoping to do a series of them in the near future.
In what formats is your book available?
Hardcover, ebook and soon softcover and audio.
How do you relax?
By writing or creating something new with my hands. Right now I’m working on a dragon as a prop for the Gods Among Dragons saga.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Just do it. It doesn’t have to be perfect as long as you finish writing your story. Editing and rewrites later are what will make your book perfect, but that won’t happen unless you get out there and write it first.
A great big thank you to MJ for hanging out with us this week on the blog! Please keep your eye on her all over the web!
Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/M.J.-Spickett/e/B00IXWRG4U