Welcome to Strange Candy Reviews, M.J. Thanks for joining us!
Thanks for having me on your blog!
For those who have not yet heard about your book, can you tell us a bit about it?
Shadow Kin is a dark fantasy. It’s about a half-Fae assassin who botches her current assignment. Because of that her world begins to fall apart.
How did you feel when your book had been picked for publishing?
Thrilled! I was at work and got an email from my agent that said we had an offer. I had to casually stroll off to a meeting room so I wouldn’t start jumping up in down in the middle of the office. Though by the time I got the final offer it was more thrilled and exhausted as it was a two week process that involved many sleepless nights!
What has been the most exciting thing that has happened to you since your book was released?
Having a book launch a few weeks ago was lots of fun—there was a queue of people to get a signed copy. But really, just knowing that people are reading and liking the book is the most exciting part.
I love the world and characters you have created in Shadow Kin. How did the idea for it come about?
It was one of those books that sprang up from nowhere. I’d written two books in an urban fantasy series that was being shopped by my agent and another more futuristic urban fantasy and was trying to figure out what to write next, playing with a few ideas. Then one night I was lying in bed, almost falling asleep and a voice in my head literally said “revenge is silent”. At first I almost ignored it but then the voice said it again and I started thinking “why is revenge silent?” and started to get the first scene and had to get up and write for an hour or so. By the time I’d finished that scene I had my heroine and hero and the basics of the world. Which is a longwinded way of saying “I don’t really know with this one”.
Is there one place you'd love to go but have never been before?
I’d love to go to Tuscany. Whenever I see pictures of that region in magazines or movies, it just looks beautiful. I want to live in a villa in Tuscany and eat great food for a few months.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I wrote my first stories when I was quite young…around seven or eight. I wrote stuff off and on throughout high school but then did the sensible thing and picked a sensible career. Because working writers were sort of fabled mythical creatures. But the stories never really went away and I decided I really wanted to give it another go about ten years ago.
What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
I still have a part time day job, so it varies. On day job days I write after work (and sometimes on the train or at lunch if I really need the time). I try and do four pages or so on those days. On non day job days, I tend to write in the afternoons (and sometimes at night). My muse, like me, is not a morning person. I aim for more pages on those days.
What do you think makes a good story?
For me, it’s the characters. Give me interesting characters doing interesting things and make me care about them. Make them real and flawed and entertaining. If you do that and have good world building, I don’t mind the odd plot hole and will read away happily. But if you have a brilliant plot but boring characters (or worse boring characters and boring plot) chances are that book is not going to be finished.
If you could tell aspiring writers one thing, what would it be?
Listen to your stories to find what you really want to write, write a LOT, read a LOT, do whatever you can do to learn about writing and publishing and don’t give up.
Name five things you can't live without.
Books, my cat, my iPod, dark chocolate and a computer.
M.J Scott is an unrepentant bookworm. Luckily she grew up in a family that fed her a properly varied diet of books and these days is surrounded by people who are understanding of her story addiction. When not wrestling one of her own stories to the ground, she can generally be found reading someone else’s. Her other distractions include yarn, cat butlering, dark chocolate and fabric. She lives in Melbourne, Australia. Her website is http://www.mjscott.net/.