– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –
Today I’m on the ‘The Starfolk Arcana’ blogtour, organised by Random Things Tour.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.
About the Author :
Martha is a dreamer and lover of stories who likes nothing better than spending her days exploring the paranormal and intuitive senses and getting to know the characters in her head.
She is a tarot card reader and Reiki Master, and loves to chat reading, writing and all things mystical on social media, as well as posting pictures of her fellow pack-member, Bertie the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.
Martha is a fiddle player who fell in love with all kinds of traditional music, but particularly Irish, and is also teaching herself to play the Irish Bouzouki. She played her way through her English degree at York and remembers that time as much for the music as the books.
Martha started her working life in PR because she wanted to write and in the end she left PR because she wanted to write more. But along the way she had the opportunity to work with journalists, hone her writing and editing skills and adapt to the many voices she was asked to use.
They’ve spent lifetimes being pulled apart. This time, they’re ready to fight.
After years of hiding her psychic abilities, Beth meets Jonan – the man with the violet eyes – and starts to feel like she belongs for the first time. Jonan has waited lifetimes to be with the woman who haunts his dreams. Drawn together by deeply buried memories from before birth, they try to make sense of a soul connection that opens windows into both their histories and their destiny.
But when a woman from Jonan’s past starts weaponising their emotions and stirring up hate, distrust and a fear of the supernatural, Beth and Jonan find themselves targeted in a wave of suspicion.
Only they can see what she is doing. But can they hold out against her bombardment and be true to who they really are, or will they allow The Fear to tear them apart?
First of all thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions, I really appreciate it. Here we go! 🙂
Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I didn’t always know I wanted to be an author, but I have always loved writing. As a child I wrote stories in books and on pieces of paper. I studied literature at school and university and then went into Public Relations because I thought it would give me the chance to write. It did, but it wasn’t enough. I started writing my first book in my lunchtimes and on the train on the way to work. I kept it secret for a long time, and then finally spoke my dreams out loud. Since that moment I have been working towards publishing, but it has taken me a lot of years and several books to get to this point. I have also been very lucky with the support I have been given by friends in the author community.
Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
I am a bit of a genre hopper and like to mix it up, but I have always loved fantasy books. As an adult, that progressed into a love for paranormal and urban fantasy. I love the sense of a hidden reality beneath the surface, which most people are unaware of. One of my favourite books recently, has been A Thin Slice of Heaven by P.M.Terrell, which is wonderful ghostly romance set in an Irish castle.
Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
I would love to pick Diana Gabaldon’s brains. In Outlander, she has created characters that have come to life to such a vivid extent that she has inspired an enormous fandom who read and reread the books, and follow those characters with such love. I wonder whether she knows how she did that? If she does, I would love to find out more!
If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
Ooh, great question, there are so many! I would love to sit down for a chat with Jonan, the hero in The Starfolk Arcana, but I would also love to meet Jamie Fraser from Outlander, and Captain Hook (another Jamie) from Anna Katmore’s Neverland.
Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I love to light candles and oil burners while I write. In fact, I burn so many candles that I’ve started making them myself! Otherwise, it depends what I’m writing. Sometimes I listen to music, particularly if I’m trying to create a certain mood, other times I like to write in silence. But I always have my furry writing companion by my side, keeping an eye on me from his dog bed.
Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
My ideas start as a single character. Sometimes they come from dreams, or they just start popping up in my mind. That character is like a seed and at that point I don’t know anything about them or their story. So I watch them as they begin to show themselves. It can take a long time to really get to know the character, and I only know part of their story before I begin writing. The rest evolves as I go. And no, people in my life don’t need to be worried. I’m very careful not to dig myself into any holes!
Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I’m largely a pantser. I find it hard to think creatively in the planning process. That said, I do like to have some idea where I’m going, so I spend some time moving post-it notes around until I have them in a reasonable order. And I usually know the characters pretty well when I start writing. But once I start, all bets are off and the ideas I have at that stage are usually a lot better than the ones I come up with while I’m planning.
Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Be careful who you take advice from! There is a lot of advice out there, some of it better than others. Avoid following every tip you read on Twitter or Facebook, instead research which writing or publishing books or podcasts are the best for your needs and stick to those. I followed bad advice early on, because I didn’t know any better. I was lucky, though, to have a professional structural edit. I learned an awful lot from that, about both my writing, and how easy it is to go down the wrong road if you listen to everyone who pipes up.
What are your future plans as an author?
I have a standalone Romance novel called Wild Shadow coming out in the New Year. It is about a woman who astral projects as a tiger. I have the second book in the Starfolk Trilogy written and waiting to be edited and the seed of a new novel, or maybe series, germinating in my mind. I’m really excited to see where that one leads me!
Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
Beth sighed and slouched down in her front row seat at the TV studio. If she’d known she was going to be subjected to this drivel, she wouldn’t have come. She’d been here for two hours already, and not one of the stories had been genuine. Her so-called friend and flatmate had a lot to answer for. She was pleased Laura loved her new job, and it had been obvious her friend’s enthusiasm about the chat show was overblown, but this was worse than she’d expected.
She caught a movement out of the corner of her eye and turned. Laura was standing off to the side of the set, waving her clipboard at Beth. She shifted on her mile-high spikes. Her feet must have been so uncomfortable, but Laura had been determined to make an impression today. Her eyes were bright as she scanned the set, drinking in her world. This job was her triumph. Beth couldn’t fault her enthusiasm, she just wished Laura had left her out of today’s charade.
Seated on the dais, Katherine Haversham waited for a moment, eyebrows raised, bright red lips pursed.
‘Thank you for staying with us over the break. I know this is the moment you’ve been waiting for. Model and It Girl Amelia Faustus is here, live, on Deep and Dark to break her silence over the horrific out-of-body attack that took her from the media spotlight. After weeks of fear and soul-searching, she has decided to step back into the public eye. Amelia, welcome. Tell us what happened.’ Katherine leaned forward. ‘Start from the beginning.’
Her posture mirrored Amelia’s, but their faces couldn’t have been more different. Amelia was trying hard to look demure. Katherine was trying not to laugh.
Amelia couldn’t have looked less traumatised if she’d arrived straight from the spa. She looked around the audience, head tilted so the glossy, black curtain of hair fell as a backdrop to the too-perfect mask of her face. Her high cheekbones had a sheen as though she had been crying, but her eyes were bright and clear. She shifted in her seat, crossing her legs and allowing the white pencil skirt to rise a little farther up her tanned thigh.
‘It’s been a harrowing few weeks, but my decision to speak out, to bring attention to this awful, aggressive force, has given me a new reason to get out of bed each day.’
Most people would never have noticed the tension in Amelia’s eyes. Beth wouldn’t have seen it herself if she hadn’t felt the pressure, a coil of anger that sent a sliver of cold through Beth’s chest before Amelia looped it back in.
Beth sat up, searching her body for the familiar signals that something unseen was present. She allowed her awareness to reach out. There was a buzz around her from the rapt attention of the audience. It lifted her mood, and the dread eased for a moment. She was tempted to let her guard slip, but this vanished as the thread of darkness twined its way from Amelia and out towards each member of the audience. For a moment, Beth felt it. She watched the threads in her mind’s eye as they snaked out towards her. Then, before they reached her, she visualised herself in the middle of a ball of pure white light. The threads fell uselessly at her feet.
Amelia narrowed her eyes as she gazed out at the audience. She scanned the rows of people in the ultra-modern TV studio, taking in the transfixed faces, and then, Beth. For a moment her red lips tightened, but then they stretched into an attempt at a smile.
Isn’t that a great reason to pick up this book and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, Martha Dunlop.
Thank you so much for inviting me onto Magic of Worlds. It was lovely to chat to you. If anyone would like to check out The Starfolk Arcana, it is on offer on Amazon for this week only, at 0.99p.
The Magic of Wor(l)ds
P.S. Are you an author (or publisher) who also wants a FREE interview like this? You can always contact me via e-mail!