Hello my little munchkins. Sorry I haven’t been that active. I have been super busy this week and this is literally the only free time I have had all week to do this so I hope you enjoy it and don’t forget to read the interview and enter the giveaway.
I hope you are all doing well.
About Marjorie Mallon:
I am a debut author who has been blogging for three years at my lovely blog home Kyrosmagica: 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.
Fifteen-year-old Amelina Scott lives in Cambridge with her dysfunctional family, a mysterious black cat, and an unusual girl who’s imprisoned within the mirrors located in her house. When an unexpected message arrives inviting her to visit the Crystal Cottage, she sets off on a forbidden pathway where she encounters Ryder, a charismatic, but perplexing stranger.
With the help of a magical paint set, and some crystal wizard stones she discovers the truth about a shocking curse that has destroyed her family’s happiness.
Title: The Curse of Time Book 1 – Bloodstone
Kindle Publication date: 27th August 2017
Genre: YA/Paranormal Fantasy
Universal Link: http://mybook.to/TheCurseofTime
Buy Paperback Book link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Curse-Time-Book-Bloodstone/dp/1999822439/
Authors Website: https://mjmallon.com Collaborative blog: https://thesistersofthefey.wordpress.com Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon and @curseof_time My Facebook Authors/Bloggers Support Group: Authors Bloggers Rainbow Support Club Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mjmallonauthor/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mjmallonauthor Tumblr: http://mjmallonauthor.tumblr.com/
- The characters were all extremely enjoyable and I loved how they got better and had a more complicated story arc as we got farther throughout the book.
- The internal development that the characters had throughout the story was also very much deeply appreciated.
- There are parts about our main character, Amelia, that very much made me squeal with delight.
- EX: She isn’t a stuck up little girl who is wondering why everything is happening to her.
- The setting was perfect. Almost making it me feel like I was there. But I would 100% die in like a milli-second if I was.
- The use of folklore was so grand in this book and all it does is just make me want to learn more about the world and the folklore in the real world.
- The beginning was a little hard to grasp but I believe it was manly due to this whole new world but the ending was such a ROLLERCOASTER.
- All-in-All I would definitely suggest reading this book while you can.
What is your writing kryptonite?
I love your question! My writing kryptonite is dialogue. I had to work very hard to improve my writing dialogue weakness. That’s why I eavesdrop like crazy. I am a total nosy parker. Listening to conversations can be a wonderful tool. Journeys are great for this, particularly long train journeys!
What made you want to write this book?
I woke up one morning and a flood of ideas bombarded my brain! I had a notebook by my bedside and kept jotting down scenes. It was a Eureka moment. I’ve never been the same person since, and I doubt I ever will.
If you could tell your younger writing self-something, what would it be?
Why didn’t you keep writing you idiot? I am so angry with you! Oh and why were you so shy? All those wasted years…
Have you ever had difficulty coming up with an idea for your story?
No, I don’t tend to have a lack of ideas. I am very lucky that I haven’t suffered from writer’s block… I hope I didn’t just jinx myself by saying that. Fingers crossed.
As a writer what would your spirit animal be?
A cat of some kind. A panther, as they are sleek, black, and shiny like the mysterious black cat Shadow in my book. Photo courtesy of Alex Marlowe, via https://samanathamurdochblog.wordpress.com
What Hogwarts house would the main character of your book be sorted into?
That’s tricky. I’d say that my main character Amelina is probably Gryffindor as she is determined to find an answer to her troubles. She faces obstacles that demonstrate her courage and strength of character. Whereas, Ryder might seem to be Gryffindor but he is Slyverin, no hesitation!
What do you owe the real people upon whom you base your character?
My characters are based upon an amalgamation of facets of people. I wouldn’t say that one particular character is the replica of a person I know. Or, if they are I’m not admitting to it.
While you were editing your book what were some thoughts that were going through your mind?
I hate editing. This is the worst part. I love the creative aspect of writing, the editing isn’t much fun. It’s frustrating, time-consuming but very necessary.
Do you google yourself?
I did recently, when I went to the Society of Children’s Writers and Illustrators Boot Camp event at Goldsmith’s University in London. One of the speakers, Candy Gorley asked us to do so. My profile was quite good, and luckily there was nothing embarrassing that came up!
What word would sum up your book.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
Yes, it exists and I hope to never fall under its cruel spell.
What is your writing process like?
I write in my pyjamas, the doorbell rings and I answer the door to the Avon lady. She is used to my weirdness by now.
What advice do you have for other writers?
Read masses, make lots of writing friends to share the highs and lows with. Try your hand at new forms of writing: poetry, flash fiction, short stories, blog posts… Listen to people talking, observe their idiosyncrasies, and take note of sounds that you hear, and don’t forget touch and smell too. Above all else, believe in yourself, don’t give up and expect to wrestle your demons to produce your first book!
How much research do you do for your books?
Quite a bit. I researched the properties of crystals, studied Greek myths, and read about legends. As well as this, I was fascinated and intrigued by The Corpus Christi Chronopage, a magnificent invention which is situated in Cambridge, UK. The clock plays a central part in all three planned books in the series. Here is a photo of me with the esteemed inventor of the chronopage clock, Dr John C Taylor, OBE.
When did you decide that you wanted to become a writer?
I’d say about four years ago. I regret I didn’t write before that but sometimes the right time is the time you begin to write.
When did you first start writing?
When I was a teenager. At the time I had a ginger tom cat called Chester who loved to go adventuring. He became a central character in my writing. I also kept a travel diary. I was fortunate to be able to travel to exotic places when I was young to visit my father who often worked abroad.
Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?
Always on the computer, but I do sometimes write ideas and rough drafts in a notebook.
What do you believe is the hardest part of writing?
Writing a novel is hard. In some ways, I wish I had started on a smaller scale – a short story or a poem perhaps. But I dived right in. If I could do it all again I’d start off small and work my way up.
What is the easiest part of writing that you consider?
I find writing descriptions easier than dialogue.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
This is my first book, it has taken me somewhere in the region of four years to write. But, it is an inaccurate estimate as during that time I have also devoted a considerable amount of time to developing a blog, writing poetry, short stories, flash fiction, and an unpublished MG fantasy novel set in Edinburgh. As well as this, I’ve dabbled in ideas for a couple of picture books, and my dad’s travel memoir of his wanderlust adventures in the Far East, Middle East, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, and Africa.
Any tips on how to go through a dreaded writer’s block?
I have been very fortunate as I haven’t had much trouble with the dreaded writer’s block. But, if I did I’d go for a walk, visit a museum or art gallery, travel somewhere, or eavesdrop. That always works for me.
How did you decide to pick out your book cover?
I asked Tina Fotherby, Dr. John C Taylor’s publicity lady if I could use his amazing images of the Corpus Christi Chronopage clock on my front cover. Permission was granted. Wendy Anne Darling, a talented book designer turned my vision of The Curse of Time into a beautiful book cover. I asked her to include a Bloodstone crystal on the spine of the cover. The photograph of the Bloodstone had been kindly offered to me for use by a good blogging friend of mine Samantha Murdoch, who blogs about cats and crystals. The book cover was a wonderful collaborative team effort.
Here is the photo of the Bloodstone in its full glory:
Do you think the cover plays an important part of the buying processes?
I think an enticing cover can definitely encourage readers to buy. I am drawn to a beautiful cover and often buy a book at least partially because of the cover.
How do you market your books?
Mainly on my blog: https://mjmallon.com, and a new collaborative blog: https://thesistersofthefey.wordpress.com and via my social media. For the release of my kindle version I organised my own blog tour which was an interesting experience. It went pretty well, but for the release of the paperback I wanted to employ a professional blog tour organiser. I’ve been following the lovely Jenny at Neverland Tours for some time and she seemed the obvious choice.
Why did you choose said route?
I’m hoping that using a tour company to promote my paperback will bring in a younger audience and more reviews.
What is your favorite quote of your book?
One of my favourite quotes of my book is this short extract highlighting Esme the, mirror girl, image copyright (permission given,) Carolina Russo my illustrator: https://yesterdayafter.com/
‘This familiar black place has no exit door. I slide down an imaginary cliff face, and when I reach the bottom I gasp for air, my heart hammering in my chest. My frequent palpitations of anxiety drown me in sorrow.’ Esme clutched at her heart in a dramatic fashion. I peeked through half-closed eyes, and I could see the message written in her reflection’s beseeching eyes; they were imploring her to push through, to fight.
Through a veil of black words, Esme continued, ‘I couldn’t cope with the pressure, and the hidden hatred everyone had for me. Who wants to be friends with the girl that can do everything? Nobody.’ Esme seemed to rally and stood taller as she continued her diatribe with her reflection in the mirror. ‘They pretended to like me. The depression didn’t just go for my brain it bit me in the throat. Dark thoughts reached the redness of my heart. Soon everything turned black, everything except my blood.’ Her reflection’s eyes glowed with the intensity of hot coals. Esme paused for a moment, sucked in a deep breath and then said, ‘We all need to be loved; we all need to be saved.’
How can your readers discover more about you and your work?
On my blog there are many articles about me, from my About Me page to a range of blog posts, personal anecdotes and experiences. My most popular post is this: https://mjmallon.com/2014/04/27/writers-journey-how-did-it-all-happen/
Where do you see publishing going in the future?
Obviously, a lot more people are self-publishing and this will continue to have an impact on the publishing industry. I believe that self-publishing will allow less formulaic books to reach readers. Sometimes, I wonder if traditional publishers are scared to take a risk on a book that is unusual and unique, like mine. That is a great shame as there are many self-published books deserving of more attention.
Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included.
If you met me five years ago and told me I’d be an author and blogger I would never have believed you. I’d say you never know where this wonderful life will take you. Take a chance, dream, and be the person you long to be.
The Curse of Time Giveaway
Prize: £35 / $50 Amazon Gift Card
Please state that it will be equivalent to £35 for an International winner and if it’s not possible to purchase a gift card, the winner will receive the cash equivalent of £35.
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