Today, I’d like to introduce you to M J Mallon, YA author, poet, photographer and book blogger.
1. When did you first call yourself a writer?
I’d say I first called myself a writer when I started my blog six years ago. A lot has happened since then: I published my YA fantasy The Curse of Time – Book One – Bloodstone in August 2017.
And my first poetry prose and photography book: Mr. Sagittarius this year in February.
For me, the distinction between a writer and an author is the moment when you start offering your books for sale. So, I became a published author in 2017.
2. Tell me about your novel and poetry
Both of my published works include poetry. With The Curse of Time there are numerous short Tanka poems throughout the book. The majority of the poems act as an introduction to the mysterious aspect of each chapter, or puzzle piece as I like to call them. The Curse of Time will be a three part series. To date, I have published the first in the series but I hope to release book two later this year.
Mr. Sagittarius is a short compilation of poetry, short stories and original photography conveying thoughts and feelings about nature, the circle of life, sibling relationships, love and magic. It is an uplifting, sweet book.
3. What inspires you to write?
Everything and anything. Art, observing and listening to people, reading books, watching films, and walking in the natural world: trees, flowers, birds, crystals .
Becoming a writer has opened up my imagination to the world in the most extraordinary way. I doubt I will ever be the same again! I am so fortunate to have discovered this creative me.
4. How important was research to you when writing your novel?
Quite important, especially with The Curse of Time. I researched The Corpus Christi Chronophage time pieces – all three Chronophages – the grasshopper, the mythological fly and the dragon invented by Dr. John C. Taylor, OBE.
Also, it was fascinating researching the properties of crystals. The main protagonist in The Curse of Time, Amelina Scott wields crystal magic. My antagonist, Ryder is a Shadow Demon, so naturally I had to research shadows too. It was intriguing and fun to investigate local Cambridge ghost and folklore stories.
With Mr. Sagittarius, I was drawn to tales of myths and magic associated with dragonflies, trees and the natural world.
5. When and where do you write?
I write at home in my study.
The only exception to this is a weekend break spent in Brighton. I wrote in cafes and the library. It was a wonderful, carefree experience and I would love to do it again. I met loads of interesting and creative people to engage with. I’d highly recommend it!
Also, from time to time, I write in pubic places with the SCBWI – The Society of Children’s Writers and Book Illustrators. They host Scrawl Crawls in Cambridge for local authors/artists in art galleries and museums. I’m not an artist but I find art inspiring. I don’t mind having a doodle if the mood takes me!
6. Plotter or pantser?
Pantser, I’ve never plotted anything. I write from a burst of imaginative ideas. I always promise to plot next time but it never happens!
7. Putting aside the writing for a minute, what is your favourite genre to read?
YA fantasy is my favourite genre to read. l read in a wide range of genres, including crime and thriller, horror, poetry, romance, and memoir.
8. Any advice for writers just starting out?
Be resilient, persist, write often, don’t throw away any writing that you aren’t happy with. Instead, keep those pieces as they may spark ideas for future writing projects.
Read, write and believe in yourself.
Join a writing group that offers critique partners. If you can’t attend a group in person participate in an online group.
Start a blog, join in writing prompts and try different styles of writing. I’d recommend writing flash fiction, as short pieces help to hone your writing skill. Charli Mills at Carrot Ranch Literary Community offers 99 word writing prompts and masses of encouragement.
I write YA Fantasy/Paranormal novels, Horror/Ghost short stories and multi-genre flash fiction as well as micro poetry – haiku and Tanka. I share book reviews, poetry, flash fiction, photography, guest posts and inspirational details of my writing journey at my lovely blog home – Kyrosmagica.
I’m a member of two professional writing groups: The Society of Children’s Writers and Book Illustrators and Cambridge Writers
I run a supportive group for authors/bloggers with fellow Administrator D G Kaye on Facebook: Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club
I work as a Receptionist/Event organiser for an international sixth form and live in Cambridge, England.
M J Mallon online:
Author Website: https://mjmallon.com
Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon and @curseof_time