Today I have the privilege of chatting with returning author, Margaret Mal. Margaret is the author of seven titles including Crimson Hills, and most recently, Double Lightning.
IDI – Thank you so much for joining me today. You’ve been busy since we last talked. Seven books? Tell us, how are you published?
MM – Seven of my books are published traditionally (in Russia). I’ve self-published two novels written in English through Kindle: Crimson Hills and Double Lightning.
IDI – Let’s talk about your newest release Double Lightning. How did you get the idea for this novel? Did you develop the plot thoroughly, outlining the beginning, middle and endbeforehand, or did you just start writing?
MM – The idea to write about a criminal boss having supernatural abilities came to me several years ago. This man has been living in my head for so long, begging me to let him live – for real, on paper – that I finally gave in. When I started to write, I saw the beginning and end very clearly. I never start writing without knowing how I would end my novel because, for me, the end is the most important part. It’s what gives the readers an aftertaste and what helps them decide whether they liked the book. The middle is the most flexible thing which is mostly being developed in the process.
IDI – Who’s your target audience? What aspect of your writing do you feel targets that audience?
MM – Funny thing here. I always thought my target was what is called young adult and new adult. First, because of the main characters in my books who are young. Second, because of thriller and ‘bloody’ aspects which are always included in every novel I write. I used to think that people of previous generation didn’t appreciate that: they were raised on books and movies of other sort. But being in a library in my hometown in Russia, I came across an old lady who claimed to be my fan and who said there’s nothing else for her to read, except me (she meant my books I guessJ). I was confused and amused at the same time. Now I really don’t know who my target audience is! J
IDI – Everyone has visions of where they see themselves in the future, be it a year or five. Where do you see yourself in five years?
MM – In a mental house. Seriously. I talk to my characters a lot more than to real people. Out loud. I guess from the outside it looks like I’m a schizophrenic and talking to myself. One day someone will call the ambulance and I’ll be put into a madhouse.
IDI – I might be in trouble because I think that is rather commonplace for writers! Where did you see yourself five years ago? Did you make it there?
MM – Actually, I kinda did. In 2012 I was eager to become a traditionally published author and had no idea whether I’d ever achieve this goal. And in 2013 most of my novels were published by the biggest Russian publishing house.
IDI – Wow, impressive. Most writers are happy to have just one picked up, let alone most. What is the hardest part about being an author?
MM – The hardest part is to get noticed. When you’ve finished your book and you are like: ‘Hey! Look at me! I’m a genius!’ – you have to realize that you mean nothing to the world. You either accept it and keep writing for yourself and your family or try to fight for the right to be noticed by other readers. If you choose the second option – here comes a real, cruel battlefield.
IDI – You are so right about that. Too many writers think that just because they’ve actually reached “the end” of their book, the world is ready to welcome it with open arms. It can be a devastating let-down when reality comes knocking. I’ve been promoting indie authors for almost as long as I’ve been writing and with almost every single one of them, the reality of writing has been one of the hardest aspects of writing to accept. What advice would you give to new/unpublished authors?
MM – Never ever give up. I know it’s a banal thing to say, but it’s true. It’s the only way to accomplish something you really want.
IDI – Random question, do you have any pets? If so, what are their names?
MM – Yes. A tortoise named Mary. She is adorable! And she loves to read too, doesn’t write anything though.
IDI – Do you have an all-time favorite book? What is it and what makes it your favorite?
MM – I have two: A Hero of Our Time by Mikhail Lermontov and The Collector by John Fowles. These novels both are very deep, but in different ways. In A Hero of Our Time the main character Pechorin is so bored and confused with who he is that he constantly ruins other people’s lives. Despite dying young, Lermontov had learned people well (especially women), that’s why his works contain so much psychology. On the other hand, Fowles divided people in two groups in his novel – well-educated, intellectual elite and ‘the others’ who live in accordance to their basic instincts. And he did a great job in colliding them (although the most part of the book there were just two of them representing these two categories).
IDI – If you could have one wish granted, what would it be?
MM – No wars anymore. People, please, just stop killing each other!
IDI – I think that wish would resonate with many. You’ve received word that you will be included in a new book of original quotes on writing to be published next year. What quote do you contribute?
MM – If you failed seventy three times, give it a seventy fourth try.
IDI – Margaret, thank you so much for joining me today. Congratulations on your latest release, and we’ll look for more books from you in the future!
About the author. Margaret Mal was born in Russia. Double Lightning is her second book in English (mystery/paranormal). Link to buy www.amazon.com/dp/B06Y3LJ43S
Author’s page on Amazon www.amazon.com/author/margaretmal.