Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Interview with Paranormal Romance Author Margay Leah Justice!

The Interview

GRACIE: I’m excited to have you here at The G-Spot, Margay! Please tell us a little about yourself (or a lot J) and how and when you got into writing?

MARGAY:  Thank you! I’m so happy to be here! Hmm, a little about me. Well, I am related to some pretty well known writers on my grandmother’s side (James Russell Lowell, Amy Lowell, Robert Lowell), so I guess it was destined for me to follow in their path! I began writing or creating stories in some form or manner since I learned how to hold a crayon and I've been writing ever since. But it wasn’t until I was older (I won’t say how much older!) that I seriously began to pursue it as in publishing what I wrote. Before that, I wrote for me – and the occasional family member or friend who was able to con me into letting them read it. Now I write for everyone! But, ultimately, I write because I love it and can’t imagine not doing it. I write for me first, because it makes me happy when I write.

GRACIE: Is there any one thing or person in your life that inspired your writing? Any one thing or person that influenced the genre you write in?

MARGAY: It’s kind of funny. Up until I was in junior high, I didn’t even realize that what I was doing had a name – writing. It was just something I did all the time. I didn’t put a label on it. But it was a junior high English teacher that put a name to it and encouraged me in my writing, so I always credit Miss Black with being my initial inspiration to pursue and hone the craft of writing. She was the first one who saw the talent and encouraged it.

GRACIE: When did you get The Call and what was your first published book?

MARGAY: My first published book is Nora’s Soul and it was published back in 2008.

GRACIE: What do you know now about writing and the publishing industry now that you wish you’d known before you started?

MARGAY: Hmm, that is a good question. I think, first and foremost, that this isn’t an industry for the faint of heart. You have to have kind of a thick skin if you want to succeed, not everyone’s going to love your writing/story as much as you, and if you really want to succeed, you have to have complete faith in yourself and don’t give up until you find the right match. And if a reviewer doesn’t like your work, don’t lash out at them because it’s their opinion and they’re entitled to it. Be gracious. Just say thank you for taking the time to review it and move on. Same with fans on social media networks. Twitter and Facebook can be powerful tools to get your work out there, but they can also be the quickest way to spread word of your bad behavior. So again, just be gracious and move on.

GRACIE: Sounds like wise advice! Please, give us a little story behind the story and what inspired The Wolves of Destiny series.

MARGAY: I actually wrote a post on this because people always want to know! But here it is in a nutshell: There was a call for a novella contest with the theme of wolves and I had these scenes rattling around in my head, inspired by a book I just read, scenes about how I wished the story had progressed. So when I saw the call for the novella contest, I started thinking more seriously about those scenes and the possibility of culling them together into a story. Then I saw an article about wolves being sighted in Massachusetts for the first time in about 150 years and just like that, the story fell into place!

GRACIE: In Sloane Wolf, the first book in The Wolves of Destiny series, Micah Sloane is a strong alpha male who will do whatever he needs to protect those he cares about. What do you consider Micah’s Achilles’ heel and how do you go about stomping it?

MARGAY: Oh, wow, what an insightful question! I love it! I think Micah’s Achilles’ heel is his family. He is extremely protective of everyone he cares about and will do anything to protect them – and their secret. So what would you do with that? Well, if you’re me, you put his family in situations that are high risk and see what he’ll do about it and who better to start with than his 12-year old sister, Ava?

GRACIE: Shiloh Beck has grown up knowing she is special and has been immorally cut off from the family who loves her and whom she loves because of her gift. What aspect of Shiloh’s personality do you think make her a perfect match for the formidable and legendary Micah?

MARGAY: Oh, you’re good! Like Micah, Shiloh is all about family. Despite what has been drilled into her mind about her family (that they abandoned her) by the men of The Institute, she doesn’t believe it. Her whole existence has come down to getting to the truth about what happened to her family and, hopefully, reuniting with them. She will do whatever she needs to in order to achieve that. She’s a lot like Micah in that respect. Plus, she’s not afraid to tangle with him – to an extent. She knows when to back off, when not to push him, unlike his siblings who tend to keep pushing until he pushes back. Shiloh knows when not to cross the line and will take a step back. But she’s not a push-over. If she thinks you don’t want her around, she will walk away with head held high.

GRACIE: Of all the stories you’ve written so far, which is your favorite and why?

MARGAY: Oh, that’s so hard! I love all of my stories. Each one is so different than the other, so it’s difficult to choose one. So I will say only this: my favorite story is always the one I’m currently working on.

GRACIE: I know this is like asking a mother which is her favorite child, but which of your characters is your favorite and why?

MARGAY: Yes, it is! I really have a soft spot for Shiloh – probably because she grew up without a mother and could really use one!

GRACIE: What about your characters makes them unique?

MARGAY: I do try to make each character unique in their own way – I don’t ever want to do stories with cookie cutter characters. For Sloane Wolf, it would go something like this:

Micah is the alpha male who takes care of the family, but he loves The Last of the Mohicans and has always wanted to reenact a certain scene in the movie (if you read the book, you’ll discover which one!)

Shiloh grew up away from her family because of her “gift” – she’s an empath – but what makes her unique is that, although she’s been trained to kick ass and take no prisoners, she is socially inept because she’s been kept away from the influences of society for so long. So in some ways, she’s very innocent.

GRACIE: What is your favorite aspect of the writing process? Your least favorite?

MARGAY: I love the planning of it – the research, the playing around with ideas, figuring out characters, generally daydreaming about scenes I want to write, that sort of thing. Least favorite would be trying to summarize the story for the synopsis and queries. I’ve always found that to be the hardest part.

GRACIE: Are you a pantser or do you outline?

MARGAY: I think it depends on the depth of the story. The more detailed and layered it is, the more complex the outline. I used to do very detailed outlines for everything I wrote. Ironically, I think Sloane Wolf was one of the first stories I wrote in the pantser fashion – it just flowed from the pen. It didn’t need an outline, for some strange reason.

GRACIE: If you weren’t a writer, what other profession would you have chosen to pursue?

MARGAY: I was always interested in psychology, so something in that field, I think.

GRACIE: Who are some of your favorite authors and why? Name some of your favorite books and why they’re your favorites.

MARGAY: My all time favorite – besides Jane Austen, of course – is Julia Quinn. I just love her Regencies and her series about the Bridgertons is my favorite. I also love the Pink Carnation series by Lauren Willig and According to Jane by Marilyn Brant.  I’ve been reading a lot of YA lately and some of my favorites are the Hush, Hush series by Becca Fitzpatrick, the Hex Hall series by Rachel Hawkins, and Hourglass by Myra McIntire.

GRACIE: What are you working on now and what should readers be looking forward to from you in the future?

MARGAY: I am working on the next book in the wolves series, of course, and revamping Nora’s Soul and working on other stories in that series. I’m also working on a story about a psychic who, while doing a hunt at a local mansion, uncovers a family curse that links her family to the family that owns the mansion in a very intriguing way.

GRACIE: Wow, sounds like your fans have some interesting things to expect from you! Do you have a website and/or how can readers contact you?

MARGAY: My blog is at http://margayleahjustice.blogspot.com. I also contribute to Moonlight, Lace and Mayhem at http://moonlightlacemayhem.blogspot.com. I’m also on Twitter and Facebook.

GRACIE: Where and how can readers purchase and/or read samples of your work?

MARGAY: My book can be purchased at Amazon.com, Smashwords and MuseItUpPublishing

GRACIE: What advice do you have for beginning writers?

MARGAY: Never give up if you truly believe in yourself and your writing and want to pursue it. If this is the case, listen to what other people tell you if they’re trying to give you advice or constructive feedback (I won’t say criticism, that sounds so negative), and never stop honing your craft. Even when you’ve been published, continue to learn, to read articles on writing or even take courses from time to time. It’s always good to test yourself and stretch your abilities.

GRACIE: Anything else about yourself or your writing you’d like to share with your readers?

MARGAY: I would love to invite readers to tell me what they like about paranormal romances in general or shapeshifting wolves in particular. Are there any scenarios you haven’t seen that you’d like to?

GRACIE: Margay, thanks so much for taking time from your busy schedule to share yourself and your work with us at The G-Spot and giving us a little insight into your writing and the writing process! We’ll let you get back to writing those wonderful books you write! All the best!

MARGAY: Gracie, thank you so much! It has been an absolute pleasure.

1 comment:

Margay said...

Just wanted to say again what a pleasure it was stopping by your blog.