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  • Writer's pictureJo-Anne Blanco

Excerpts From My Interviews 2: Interview with The Book Junkie

TBJ: How would you describe you style of writing to someone that has never read your work?

JAB: I would describe my writing style as classic. I love classic literature and authors, and I feel that they have influenced me much more than contemporary writers. Even 20th and 21st century authors I love and admire, such as J. R. R. Tolkien and Juliette Marillier, write more in the style of classic authors, as I do.

TBJ: Do you feel that writing is an ingrained process or just something that flows naturally for you?

JAB: Writing is an innate gift, but it also takes a lot of work to nurture and develop. I don’t subscribe to the notion that anyone and everyone can be a writer; it’s like saying anyone can be a musician or a painter or an actor. Certainly, you can study painting or acting or learn to play a musical instrument, but it doesn’t necessarily follow that you’ll be good at it. It’s the same with writing. Everyone has a gift, but, equally, there are always going to be things we’re not good at and that’s perfectly okay. I was always good at writing and terrible at drawing, for example. I’d have loved to have been good at drawing or painting and been able to illustrate my own books, but, alas, it was not to be.

TBJ: What mindset or routine do you feel the need to set when preparing to write (in general whether you are working on a project or just free writing)?

JAB: I don’t really have a routine. Some days I’ll write several pages, other times it might take me a week to get a single paragraph right. I’ll usually write at my desk at home, but there can be times when I’m by the sea or walking in the countryside, for example, when I see a sight that inspires me or a thought or idea occurs to me, and I’ll get out my notebook to write it down.

TBJ: Do you take your character prep to heart? Do you nurture the growth of each character all the way through to the page? Do you people watch to help with development? Or do you build upon your character during story creation?

JAB: I always have an idea for the character and where I want to take them, how I want her or him to develop and evolve, but, since writing is a fairly organic process, I find that, while I’m writing, the character may be taken down a path I don’t expect and I have to adjust their evolution accordingly. They’re still going in the same direction I intended, but are taking a different, unexpected route to get there, which adds richness and complexity and unpredictability to their journey. It’s one of the things I most love about writing!

TBJ: Do you have a character that you have been working on for a long time that still isn't quite ready, but fills you with excitement to work on the story?

JAB: I have. His name is Gwydion. He’s a figure from Welsh mythology but I have a unique take on him which I can’t wait to share with readers. Unfortunately, he won’t appear in the next book but in the book after that!

TBJ: Have you found yourself bonding with any particular character(s)? If so which one(s)?

JAB: My protagonist, Morgan, is obviously the character who means the most to me. But I love all her friends as well – Fleur, Safir, Taliesin, Ganieda, and even Merlin, who is the most complicated of all of them. But at this point in her young life, Morgan’s friends are the most important thing in the world to her and writing them all is a joy.

TBJ: Can you share your next creative project(s)? If yes, can you give a few details?

JAB: I am currently writing Book IV of the Fata Morgana Series. Its title is Morgan Le Fay: Hireth and the Missing Moon and it is the conclusion to the events of Book III, Morgan Le Fay: Giants in the Earth, which ended with a cliffhanger. ‘Hireth’ is a word in the Cornish language which has no English equivalent: it means an overwhelming longing and deep yearning or nostalgia for something in the past or something which may never have existed but is missed anyway. ‘The Missing Moon’ pays homage to the English fairy tale ‘The Buried Moon’, which has influenced this novel and has connotations with regard to a life-changing discovery Morgan makes about herself in the book.

TBJ: What are some of your writing/publishing goals for this year?

JAB: I hope to finish writing Book IV in 2022 and publish it that same year.*

TBJ: If you could have dinner/dinner party with 7 fictional characters, who would they be?

JAB: Morgan le Fay would be the first invited guest, obviously. And I’d probably include Arthur and Merlin too, for good measure. Anne Shirley of the Anne of Green Gables series would be there, my fictional best friend and kindred spirit. I had a bit of a teenage crush on Sebastian Scott of Lorna Hill’s Sadler’s Wells ballet books, so he would be there, as the charismatic adult composer and conductor he became in the later books, of course! Jo March of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, because she’s another kindred spirit who is brilliant and fun, and Algernon Moncrieff of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, because he’s hilarious and sophisticated, (and he’s Wilde’s alter ego), would round off the guest list.

TBJ: Where would you spend one full year, if you could go ANYWhere, money is not a concern? What would you do with this time?

JAB: I’ve always longed to travel to the stars. If I only had a year and with money no object, I would put together an expedition to Mars to establish a base there, stopping off to visit our Moon on the way. It would take seven months travelling through space to get there, during which time we could study the stars and adapt ourselves to the different gravity, and the remaining five months would be spent exploring alien landscapes under the skies of a new world.

*Book IV will now be published in 2023

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