Welcome to another great Writers on Wednesday interview. This week I am chatting with Australian author Margaret Blake ...
Tell me a bit about yourself …
I was born in the northern hemisphere, immigrating to Australia with my family when I was almost ten years old. I’m a jack of all trades when it comes to my work-life, trying my hand at car detailing, machining, commercial artist, fabric designer, waitressing and have even been a farm hand. I’ve had a go at playing piano and guitar, done some time on stage, was a co-founder of a Camp Quality group, raising money for children living with cancer. I love reading and have written book reviews for a local newsletter, as well as been a teacher’s aide with kindergarten and grade one/two children. In between all that I was married for a while and have two grown-up children. After spending thirty three years living in Tasmania I now reside in Queensland. I’m retired and spend a lot of my time writing.
Tell us about your most recently published book?
I am in the process of releasing a children’s ‘read alone or read to me’ book of short stories entitled, RIVERBEND; A Collection of Fairy Tales and Other Short Stories - available now on Amazon (only in ebook at the moment). The writing of it was inspired by a property that I bought together with my brother, Terence and his new wife, Tonya. This book is to be followed very soon by the release of Sword of Stone, the second book in my Merlins’s School for Ordinary Children series. The first book The Ring of Curses is also available on Amazon in print and ebook format.
Riverbend is a real place, 12 kilometres west of Tiaro in Queensland, Australia. It is 28 acres of beautiful bushland, with a winding seasonal creek; an enchanted place where once a dragon came. He lies there still, infusing the land with his magic. Because of this Riverbend is now a locale where fairies dwell and leprechauns visit, where trolls take an evening stroll and a witch once lived, casting spells and curses!
Tell us about the first time you were published?
I was so excited when I got my contract that I burst into tears then rang my best friend Barbara. We opened a bottle of champagne and in amongst flat out chatter and giggles we got tiddly. Then it was down to business. I’d often wondered why it took so long to get a book to the market … well now I know … with editing and proofing and working with your publishing the months fly by. I must admit I love the process and I think it will be a long while before I give up writing.
As a writer, what has been your proudest achievement so far?
Seeing my book in print. While I have sold many books I think this part is a bonus as a new author on the block. It was holding my book in my hand that has given me the biggest buzz so far. Who knows … in time it may be something else.
What books or writing projects are you currently working on, if anything?
I have three books on the go at the moment. As I mentioned before I am writing a series. I am currently working on book number three for this, The Grail and Back Again, as well as a couple of books in slightly different genres; one for YA and another for adults. The YA one is humour/horror the other is fantasy/fiction with an historical background. As I am just into these I will keep my cards close to my chest for the time being.
Which do you prefer? eBooks or Paper Books? Why?
I prefer paperbacks any day. I love the feel of a book in my hand, and I love the fact that it is real. I do own a kindle but I find the battery usually goes flat before I get around to reading anything on it.
Indie Publishing, or Traditional Publishing?
Both! As long as with Indie publishing the books are edited, formatted and proofed correctly. I have found that so many writers let themselves down by publishing a book which hasn’t had these things applied. If I come across a shoddily presented book I will not read it and this can be a shame for the author as a lot of them have great story ideas. Also … I know how much hard work goes into the creation of a book.
Aside from your own books, of course, what is one book that you feel everybody should read?
That’s a hard one … I’ve read too many great books to be able to pin-point one.
Finally … is there anything you would like to say to your readers in Adelaide, Australia?
Thank you for your support for without it an author has no following. I hope also that you enjoy my book/s. I would love to hear from you.
Ring of Curses : Merlin's School for Ordinary Children Book One. by Margaret R. Blake. Category: Fiction / Children's / Fantasy ISBN: 978-0-9925095-5-2
The Ring of Curses: Merlin's School for Ordinary Children Book One. Blake, Margaret R. and Ormsby, M. J.. Published by LIGHTNING SOURCE INC 01/10/2014 ...