Writing has always been a passion of mine from the very first time I picked up a pencil. Telling stories has always been in my blood; there have always been great tellers of tales in my family, whether it was my grandmother passing on a family store or distant relatives publishing their own. Yes, my claim to fame is being related to the Lowells of Boston - James Russell Lowell, Amy Lowell and Robert Lowell. So I’m not kidding when I say that writing is in my blood.
Though I started out writing just for me, somewhere along the way I came to realize that others might be interested in what I have to write. It started with family and friends, then teachers, but still, it took some time to convince myself to pursue publication. It has been quite a journey, culminating in the publication of my first book, Nora’s Soul. Here’s to continuing the journey.
I want to thank you for letting me interview you.
Thank you for this opportunity.
I read that you are related to some very famous writers…Lowells of Boston - James Russell Lowell, Amy Lowell and Robert Lowell. What was it like growing up in a family of writers?
Well, they were cousins of my grandmother, who used to joke that we were the poor relations in the Lowell family. But they were always these mythic figures in the background that I was aware of and never thought to emulate. Now that I have published myself, it’s kind of nice to know I’m keeping the tradition going.
How do you like to start off your morning?
By checking my email. I have to get that and my promotion stuff done in the morning. Then I write.
When you want peace and quiet, where do you go: example take a bath, read, bedroom, vacation, etc?
I go into my room and read.
Can you please tell readers about your book Nora’s Soul.
The blurb says it best:
When angels of light and dark collide on earth…
Once he held a favored position in the heavens. But one moment of weakness casts Dante out and now he is cursed to walk the earth, collecting the souls of vulnerable women to buy his way into hell.
All hell breaks loose…
But standing in his way is Peter, an angel of light. Peter is everything Dante is not. Pure, above reproach. And determined to prevent Dante from achieving his goals. Peter will stop at nothing to protect the souls in his charge, even if it means achieving the impossible – leading Dante back onto the right path.
And no one is safe from the fall-out.
Nora Kendall believed in angels. Once. But then she lost her brother to cancer despite all of her prayers – and she lost her faith in all things angelic. Now, she is a lost soul who wanders through life like a sleepwalker, playing it safe and leaving the risk-taking to others.
Kyle Cameron is one of those risks. Burned by a bad marriage, his only concern now is providing a stable life for his children, who are left motherless by the unexpected death of his wife. This means working overtime to grow his architectural firm into a viable business – and leaving the care of his children to the care of someone he trusts. Despite his past connection with Nora, Kyle isn’t certain that she’s the right person for the job. He also doesn’t want to reconnect with her and repeat history.
But fate – and the machinations of two angels – has other ideas.
What was the inspiration behind your book?
I know it probably sounds trite, but the inspiration came from a dream – well, two dreams, actually, that were interconnected. The first was about a woman dancing the night away in a nightclub with a devilishly handsome guy; when she finally turned away from him, his eyes glowed red and his teeth took on a demonic cast. The second dream was about the same woman, hair pulled back in a severe bun, dressed real proper, moving into a garage apartment in preparation for caring for the twins of a widower. (I had both of these dreams the same night.) When I woke up, I was still consumed by the dreams and had to figure out what they meant and how they were connected. That was the genesis of Nora’s Soul.
Where were you when you first heard the wonderful news that your book was going to be published?
The way it came about is a great story. I had entered it in a contest on Gather.com and although it didn’t win, it garnered a lot of attention with a great group of people. We ended up starting a critique group together and we used to joke about starting our own publishing company because we loved each others' books so much. Well, one of our members took the idea to heart and ran with it, thus Second Wind Publishing, LLC was born. So, I learned that I was going to be published via email from Mike (i.e., I was sitting at my computer, reading my mail when I found out!).
What has been the great thing so far about the release of your book?
Holding it in my hand for the first time and reading my name on the cover. There is nothing quite like that feeling when you realize your dream.
If you were stuck on a deserted island and could only bring one book with you to read, what would it be and why?
Probably Twilight. I’ve read it twice already and would have no problem reading it again. It is just so universal and like millions of others, I’m sure, I identify with Bella. She is just such a real character, she makes the rest of it seem real, too.
Can you please share any words to live by.
Be true to yourself. Nothing else matters as much as your perception of who you are. So don’t compromise your values, opinions, or beliefs for anyone. Don’t change for anyone else. If you want to make a change, make it for yourself, not to please someone else. It never works out the way you want it to. And above all, be good to yourself; you deserve it. Everyone needs to spoil themselves sometimes – and let others fend for themselves for once!
What can readers look forward to from your next book?
My next book is the next chapter in the Dante Chronicles, which began with Nora’s Soul. As you can guess from the title of the series, it continues the saga of Dante as he travels on his quest for fulfillment. So if you are a fan of Dante, watch out, because he is in rare form in the next book and promises to be even more devilish in the ones to come.
Check out her website at http://margayleahjustice.com/