Margaret Mal

My guest today is Russian author, Margaret Mal. She’s penned thirteen novels, although (and unfortunately for many of my readers), only her latest release, Crimson Hills, is written in English. 

IDI – Good morning Margaret, thank you for joining me today.

Tell us a little about the books you’ve written.

Crimson Hills

Crimson Hills

MM – I’ve written 13 novels. The newest one, Crimson Hills, is in English; the others are in Russian. I’ve published 7 detective novels in Russia. But Crimson Hills is not a mystery. It’s an adventure dystopia about a few people who are so obsessive about their fate and future that they decide to make a really dangerous journey, which can give them all the necessary answers. I’ve self-published this novel through Kindle.

IDI – When did you realize you were born to be a writer?

MM – When I was 16, I wrote my first detective novel (this novel, by the way, 11 years later was published by the biggest Russian publishing house). Before that, I’d had several attempts to write a book, but none of them had ended. So when I finished that book, I told myself “Wow, I can do it!” That’s when I totally knew. However, some acquaintances of my family told them I was going to be a writer even earlier, when I was a little child, because of my ability to rhyme. I created my first poem when I was 5 or 6 years old. I couldn’t write then; thus, my granny wrote it down.

IDI – I hope she hung on to them!

Think back to the first book you wrote and then think to the last one you wrote. In what ways have you grown as a writer?

MM – At the age of 16, I was less wise, less smart, less tolerant and less experienced than I am at the moment. And these are the things you need to use while writing a novel. So I guess now I can write a little bit more qualitative books.

IDI – How long does it usually take you to write a book from the initial spark of an idea to the finished product?

MM – Between the spark and the start of the writing process there can be a really long time; it varies. I can tell that it takes me roughly 2 months to write the whole book, from the first word to the last one, if the idea is totally thought-out. However, this time frame only works for me when I have nothing else to do. Unfortunately, you can’t just write books and enjoy your life; very few people can do that. The most of authors are paid so badly for their writing that they have to work somewhere else. And when you have a full-time job, you can’t give enough attention to your books. That’s why the most of my books took a year to write each.

IDI – Give us a rundown of your writing process.

MM – What works for me, first of all, is silence; second of all, is music. Hard to unite those two, huh? 🙂 Well, silence is above all. When you write a scene, you have to merge yourself into this atmosphere. It’s hard, and every extraneous noises make it even harder. As to music, I use it when I can’t put myself in the right mood. For example, when I have to write a scary scene, I open my playlist and listen to some creepy music, like soundtracks from horror movies, etc.

IDI – You’ve said that due to the low earnings, like yourself most writers have to work outside jobs. What do you do for a living?

MM – I tried many jobs. I was a social worker, an accountant, a manager, a journalist, etc. Now I’m trying myself as a screenwriter. I’ve made a few episodes for a Russian TV-show Trace (something similar to American C.S.I.).

IDI – Who is your favorite author, and why?

MM – Being Russian, I’ll pick Mikhail Lermontov. I adore his poetry, and I adore his novel A Hero of Our Time. It’s deep, it has so many levels, you can reread it twelve times and never get bored. He was a great writer with such a horrible fate. As regards non-Russian writers, I choose Oscar Wilde and John Fowles. I love the way they drew their characters.

IDI – We all draw from within. How much of ‘Margaret’ will a reader find in one of your books?

MM – Much, very much. As to Crimson Hills, there are some characters (may I conceal which ones?) whose all thoughts, fears, and moral values were taken from myself. But the whole story and characters’ biographies are, certainly, just a fiction.

IDI – What is the hardest or most frustrating aspect of writing: ideas, getting started, writer’s block, editing?

MM – The last one. As English is my second language, it’s really hard for me to edit my books. I can check every sentence carefully and be still not sure if everything is fine and understandable.

IDI – I can see where that would be an issue.

What do you do when you’re not writing?

MM – I love to travel. I’ve been to France (twice), Spain, Germany, Czech Republic, Belgium, Poland, Belarus. My dream is to see the whole world! Beside traveling, I like to study and to learn. I already have two degrees (Economics and Journalism), and I’m not sure if I’m ready to stop, lol. Also, I’m into self-education. I enjoy learning something new.

Margaret Mal

Margaret Mal

IDI – Is there something you can’t live without?

MM – Chocolate! Muffins! Pies! Green tea! These are the most important things in life! (Kidding. Well… Ok, not kidding, it’s all true.)

IDI – Define a great book.

MM – There are books dedicated to entertainment. There are books that make readers think; it is clever books for intellectual process. Both are good. Well, I think that a great book is the one which contains both funny stuff and intellectual stuff. It’s certainly the most difficult to write. That’s why it is worth readers’ attention the most. In Crimson Hills I tried to combine action and philosophic, romance and religion, laugh and social drama. I don’t know if I achieved this goal; it’s up to my readers.

IDI – In the end, it’s always up to the readers. It was a pleasure talking with you Margaret and I wish you the best of luck with your writing. Hopefully, we’ll be seeing future books released in English as well.

About the author – Margaret Mal was born in Russia. Her Russian pen name is Margarita Malinina. Crimson Hills is her first book in English (dystopia). You can find it HERE. You can find Margaret on Instagram or Facebook.

Join Me!

Books!

Lily White LiesThe Red StrokesMissouri in a Suitcase

Advertisements

About K.E. Garvey

Gather 'round and let me tell you a story... View all posts by K.E. Garvey

Thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

K.E. Garvey

The Official Website

People We Know

They're more interesting than you think.

Diane Gallagher Photos

Photos taken around the world...

Problems With Infinity

Confessions of a Delusional Maniac

Daily (w)rite

A DAILY RITUAL OF WRITING

Jean Lee's World

Finder of Fantasy & Adventure in Her Own Backyard

A Holistic Journey

Finding my way back out of motherhood -- while mothering

The Writersaurus

Adventures in Writing, Editing, and Publishing

davidjrogersftw

Starting life Fresh: Living to Win

Sarah Lea Stories

Where brevity is literary minimalism®

BookPeople's Blog

Austin's largest independent bookstore since 1970 - 603 N. Lamar Blvd.

Book of words

Books, reviews and all things worth reading

101 Books

Reading my way through Time Magazine's 100 Greatest Novels since 1923 (plus Ulysses)

The Misfortune Of Knowing

Books, Writing, & the Law

Kristen Lamb's Blog

We Are Not Alone

Stroppy Editor

Minding other people’s language. A lot.

David Gaughran

Let's Get Digital

Live to Write - Write to Live

We live to write and write to live ... professional writers talk about the craft and business of writing

Drinkers with Writing Problems

Literature by the Lit Up

Guild Of Dreams

Build Your World and They Will Come

Ink Drop Interviews & Reviews

The Sister Site of Author K.E. Garvey

Women.Who.Write.

“Nothing stinks like a pile of unpublished writing.” – Sylvia Plath

Writer Unboxed

about the craft and business of fiction

Writers In The Storm

A Blog On Writing

A Writer's Path

Sharing writing tips, information, and advice.

"Blog This" with the Lily White Liar

Thoughts, Observations & the Occasional Rant

%d bloggers like this: