Jen: This weekend we welcome Margay Leah Justice to Book Talk. Margay, will you please share a short bio with us?
Margay: Although I’ve been writing for years, Nora’s Soul is my first book to be published. So I am a relatively new author and the mother of two daughters.
Jen: Tell us about Nora’s Soul and where it’s available.
Margay: Nora’s Soul is about a woman who, at a crossroads in her life, becomes the pawn in a struggle between two factions of angels: The dark angels and the light angels. It is available from Amazon.com and Second Wind Publishing, LLC.
Jen: At what age did you discover writing and when were you first published? Tell us your call story.
Margay: I started writing just as soon as I learned how to hold a pencil! I can’t remember a time when I didn’t write. As for my call story, it’s a little unusual. I had entered a contest with a prize of a book contract at the end and although I didn’t win that contest, I did make several friends along the way who were supportive of my writing and each other’s. We ended up starting a critique group as a result of that contest. Well, one day, someone threw out the idea that we should start our own publishing company and one of the members, Mike Simpson, ran with the idea. In just a few short months, he created Second Wind Publishing, LLC., and then started collecting manuscripts from the rest of us. So my “call” was an email that requested I send the whole manuscript to him. I did, and that is how I became published.
Jen: How does your family feel about your career?
Margay: I think they’re proud of me and happy for me, though it does drive my younger daughter crazy when she says something and my response is, “That’s a good title for a book!” I can’t help it, though; she is a very witty kid.
Jen: Describe your writing in three words.
Margay: Evocative, emotional, humorous (so I’ve been told).
Jen: Do you have a writing routine?
Margay: Not a firm one. I wish I could be one of those people who treat it like a regular job and sit down for so many hours a day and just write, but I don’t always have long blocks of time to write like that. The only routine thing I do is set out a good outline before I start to write.
Jen: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing? Easiest?
Margay: The most challenging aspect of writing is to get past that first page, especially the first paragraph. We sweat that one out so much that it often causes writer’s block. Once I get past that, though, the words tend to flow. I think one of the easiest things for me to write is dialogue. I love coming up with the banter between characters and I love reading/watching shows that have great dialogue, too. I learned a lot about dialogue by watching Gilmore Girls – that show has some of the best dialogue out there, in my opinion.
Jen: What’s the most rewarding aspect?
Margay: The most rewarding aspect is the reaction of readers to your writing. Especially when I hear or read someone say, “My husband loved it, too.” I think it’s wonderful when guys read my book!
Jen: Do you feel as if the characters live with you as you write? Do they haunt your dreams?
Margay: It’s funny you asked, because a lot of my stories, including Nora’s Soul, were born in my dreams. So, the answer to your question is yes!
Jen: If Nora’s Soul was made into a movie, which actors would you choose to play the hero and heroine?
Margay: There are actually four characters central to the plot, so I’m going to cheat and cast all four. I would love for Evangeline Lilly (from Lost) to play Nora and Patrick Dempsey to play Kyle, Simon Baker (from The Mentalist) as Peter and Hal Ozsan (Fallen, Kyle XY) as Dante.
Jen: Do you do anything special to celebrate a sale, new contract, or release?
Margay: I took my daughters out to dinner.
Jen: Who are some of your favorite authors and books? What are you reading now?
Margay: Jane Austen, Julia Quinn, Lisa Kleypas and Luanne Rice are just a few of my favorite authors. I love anything Julia Quinn writes and Jane Austen is the master of romance. Right now, I’m reading an eclectic mix of books: the Austen books, Very Valentine by Adriana Trigiani, and some arcs that I am reviewing, one of which I just finished that is really good called According To Jane by Marilyn Brant.
Jen: What’s next for you?
Margay: Right now, I am working on the next book in The Dante Chronicles (a follow-up to Nora’s Soul) while I await the publication of another book in a different series. I am also mapping out a YA series that has paranormal elements, and I am participating in the Dorchester contest, America’s Next Best Celler, over on Textnovel.com. My entry is called The Jane Austen Society Pages. I would love for everyone to come over and check it out. It’s about a gossip columnist who finds herself in Jane Austen’s time.
Jen: Where can you be found on the web?
Margay: http://margayleahjustice.com and The Jane Austen Society Pages: http://textnovel.com/stories_list_detail.php?story_id=1347
Jen: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
Margay: I am always very curious about what draws readers to a certain type of story or a particular book. So that is my question for your readers: What dictates your reading choices?
Thanks so much for having me here, Jen! It’s been fun.
Jen: Readers, Margay is giving away a copy of Nora’s Soul to a random commenter. To enter the drawing leave a comment for Margay. Then you must either leave your email address in your post or send a message to email@example.com. Only those who leave contact information will be entered in the drawing. The winner will be chosen on Friday, October 2.